If you already know about standby generators, then you know exactly what they are meant for. If you don’t, here is a brief lesson on the purpose of a standby generator, and why winterizing one is so important. A standby generator’s entire job is exactly what it sounds like, to standby until needed. If there’s a power outage, a big storm, or any other sort of emergency that causes you to lose power, it’s a standby generator’s job to boot everything back up and bring power to your home or business until the main power source comes back online or is fixed. As you can probably imagine, having a standby or backup generator that has not been properly winterized and so has sustained damage from the cold is not a great position to find yourself in in the midst of a power outage. Are you ready to winterize your generator?
To ensure that your standby generator is properly winterized and prepared for any emergency, follow these steps.
In order to winterize your standby generator, the first thing you need to do is make sure that any area of ground within five feet of the generator is clear of snow. In the Fall, it’s important to clear all the leaves around it, three feet more. You also want to be sure that no snow gets on the generator itself, as you don’t want the wet snow getting into your generator and damaging it. The next thing that you can do is check the battery. If your battery is running too low, it might not be able to hold a charge should you try to recharge it. If your battery is running low, replace it. A cold weather kit can assist in preventing your battery from draining due to cold weather. Your cold weather kit will include a battery warmer, which is placed below the battery and turns on whenever the temperature drops below 40 degrees.
Using an engine block heater can also help your standby generator handle the cold and run efficiently. An engine block heater will heat the engine oil to an optimal temperature for proper starting. A heating coolant, which is an electrical heater, can maintain the coolant temperature for easier starting. Just make sure you consult the manufacturer’s recommendations before using any type of heating device to confirm it is compliant with your generator/engine.
Like a portable generator, a standby generator that runs on diesel fuel can run into further problems when facing very cold weather. The diesel fuel will gel up the same way and needs either a CFI or a way to heat the delivery lines to the engine. By doing the latter, you are heating any fuel passing to the engine so that it doesn’t freeze and become gelled in the generator. You can do this by buying either fuel lines or storage tank heaters to heat the diesel fuel. Always be sure to look at the operator’s manual before making any decisions on winterizing your generator or engine, as you don’t want to end up buying something that doesn’t work on your generator, or worse, using something that doesn’t work and damages the engine while nullifying your manufacturer warranty.
Whether you plan on winterizing a portable or standby engine or generator. Always consult the manufacturer’s guide and make sure that you don’t do anything that may cause damage to the generator. Properly winterizing your generator can save you time and money, both of which are very valuable, and knowing what to avoid when it comes to cold weather could be the difference between a long lasting, reliable generator, or a generator that doesn’t survive even one winter. If you have any questions regarding winterizing your engine or generator, you can contact CT Generator Service who will be more than happy to help answer your questions.
Like any other engine-powered machine, standby generators require regular maintenance. For example, just like your car needs an oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles, most standby generators need one every 2 years or after 200 hours of use.
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