How to Keep your Generator Safe in the Winter Months
When generators used for standby or continuous power will be operated at 0°C or below – especially for long periods of time – it’s important precautions to ensure the generator will start reliably, get to the desired load quickly, and continue to run without incident and unnecessary stress and wear on the engine.
Standby generators, like other equipment, need to be properly maintained to make sure they will function effectively when called upon to bear the electrical load during a power outage. Generators can be particularly difficult to start and operate in cold weather if the machinery is not kept in good condition.
Here are some recommendations for maintaining generators that will help you have your equipment ready for use when you need it and get it ready for the winter.
Inspect your Generator
Before putting your generator away for the winter, you should first perform a thorough visual inspection. Examine each component, taking note of any that have sustained significant wear and strain. Before the winter weather arrives, prepare a note of the things that need to be changed, such as cracked or broken hoses.
Check Batteries & Battery Charger
In the event of a power loss or exercise cycle, batteries are the single most frequent reason for a generator’s inability to start and function as intended. The following are typical reasons for these failures:
As batteries get older, their internal acid coats the lead plates with sulphate, which limits their capacity to produce enough amps to start an engine. If the lead dust from degradation comes into contact with the plates at the bottom of the cell, the same process could result in shorts.
Battery Charger Failure
Failure of a battery charger is frequently caused by a simple breaker being tripped or opened. When routine or scheduled maintenance is finished, make sure the battery charger breaker has been turned back on by checking twice.
Loose Battery Connections
Battery cable connections should always be firmly fastened, thoroughly cleaned, and debris-free. Any accumulation of rust or dirt might cause shorted connections during the cranking cycle, battery discharge, and battery cable/wiring damage.
Change the Generator Oil
Whether it is a diesel generator or a petrol generator, it is important to ensure there is adequate oil in it. Some generators have an automated shut-off feature that, if the oil level drops too low, safeguards the engine. By regularly monitoring the oil level, you can safeguard yours over the winter.
Regularly Inspect Replaceable Parts
While you’re monitoring the oil The portable generator owner’s manual recommends routinely inspecting the carburettor, air filter, fuel filter, and spark plug in addition to the engine oil. For optimum performance and safety, maintain your generator in accordance with the maintenance schedule.
It’s crucial to leave some space around your generator during the winter because it needs to air in order to operate correctly. Given that leaves and snow may have accumulated over the cold winter, you might need to clean the area yourself. You should probably clear a path if it has snowed so that you have access in case you need to get to it to perform any repairs or maintenance.
Run your Generator Frequently
In order to prevent it from breaking down from lack of use during the cold weather, make sure to run it for around ten minutes after extended periods of inactivity. If the temperature is below forty degrees Fahrenheit and your generator hasn’t been used properly or frequently enough, it can have trouble starting up or it might not even turn on. Run your generator once a week for around 10 minutes to give it a boost. This will lubricate all of its working parts and keep them running. Your generator will provide you with years of dependable power if you maintain it this way and check it frequently.
Get a Transfer Switch
Get a transfer switch, an electrical device that enables you to securely connect a generator to your home wiring, for safety throughout the winter. A transfer switch stops utility electricity and generator power from simultaneously using residential circuits. A transfer switch, when activated, isolates the generator’s power from the incoming utility lines, protecting the generator and removing the need to run numerous extension cables from the generator into the house. A transfer switch also eliminates the possibility of back-feeding the electrical utility, which could result in property damage and injury to utility personnel.
Need Professional Advice on Looking After your Generator in Winter? Contact Us Today!
If you have a standby generator, it’s important to take precautions in the winter months to make sure it will start up when you need it. Bellwood Rewinds can help you maintain your generator so that it is ready for use when an emergency strikes. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you keep your generator running safely and reliably.