If you own or are thinking about owning a Generac generator, it’s essential to understand that, just like a car or any piece of combustion machinery, a backup Generac generator system needs regular Generac generator maintenance in addition to regular inspections.
All too often, backup generators get installed by electricians or individuals who specialize in something other than standby generator sales and service. Suppose these generators are not set on a weekly cycle or don’t get bi-annual inspections and periodic maintenance. In that case, their lifespan will be significantly shortened when they should last 20-30+ years with proper maintenance.
Just like any other combustion engine out there, Generac standby generators need to have regular oil changes and oil filter replacements. Depending on how often your Generac generator has been used during power outages any given year will dictate the frequency of oil changes. Typically, oil changes for Generac generators are needed only once a year but may require bi-annual Generac service if the generator is used more than 150 hours in any given timeframe. Also, generators usually exercise weekly, and as the engine cools, it condensates. Because of this, moisture gathers in the oil, and we want to remove that at least once a year.
Spark plugs are critical to your Generac generator’s ability to provide backup power during outages and usually don’t need to be swapped out as regularly as bi-annual or annual oil changes. That doesn’t mean they should be ignored during an inspection. All standby generators should have annual inspections of their spark plugs to ensure they’re clean and firing correctly and should always be replaced if they’re drenched in carbon or have weak ignition.
Generac generators have three primary filters, oil, fuel, and air, that should always be inspected and replaced as needed.
When your generator gets an oil change, ensure the oil filter is changed simultaneously. Reusing old filters with fresh oil is a bad idea since you would be introducing clean oil to a dirty filter filled with tiny metal fragments and other impurities, which can greatly reduce its performance and lifespan.
Fuel filters on Generac generators always need to be evaluated during inspections, and if they appear to be dirty or old, they should be replaced. Unlike oil filters that need to be replaced with each oil change, fuel filters can last years before needing to be changed but always inspect them.
All combustion engines have to take in fresh air, so be sure your Generac generator’s air filter is looked at during inspections and general maintenance. If the air filter is filled with debris or generally dirty, replace it. If your generator can’t breathe fresh air, it can’t function correctly or fail when needed.
Smaller home and commercial Generac generators have only one large battery and a charger to maximize your battery’s life.
When inspecting and maintaining your generator, ensure the battery and its charger are tested, and the battery has good amperage. If the charger isn’t malfunctioning or the battery’s amperage is low, replace them immediately. A failing charger or drained battery will lead to a generator’s inability to start or work.
Natural gas regulators require periodic maintenance. Gaskets, diaphragm pumps, and leaks are weak points in your fuel system. They can cause serious issues leaving you without backup power. We carefully inspect and perform maintenance, if needed, during annual Generac generator service calls.
Other Generac generator parts that require periodic maintenance that should be inspected, maintained or replaced include:
- Generac generator battery charger
- Coolant system (if applicable)
- Alternator (often overlooked)
- Transfer switch (most common problems happen to those exposed to the elements)