Extended outage tips for Back-up Generators published in the Rutherford Chamber of Commerce


If fortunate to have a back-up generator, there are several things to prepare for upcoming storms and/or extended outages.

First, acquire a spare belt(s), air filter, oil filter, a filter wrench, a set of pliers and 10w30 oil. (If a fossil fuel engine, a fuel filter and coolant for radiators if not air-cooled.)

Know that during extended outages, service companies place top priority on critical care facilities. Even if you have a service contract for emergencies, extended outages pose challenges to even the most equipped of service providers.

So when the next ‘big one’ arrives and your generator is running continually you can ‘self-service’ your system by having the items mentioned above.

Follow these basic steps to assure your system stays running:

  1. Periodically turn the engine off and let it cool down 15 minutes and check the oil (like your car). If low, add oil. (Check dipstick for accuracy).
  2. Turn off whatever you can, adjust thermostats according to the season and turn the generator back on. For air-cooled units do this daily and every 72 hours for generators with radiators.
  3. If air cooled, change the oil* if it runs over 100 hours (250 hours if it has a radiator.) *Be sure to scrape off old filter gaskets!

Additionally, prepared with the items above, service providers can ‘coach’ you through these procedures over a phone.

Also, do not worry during an outage if a ‘service’ indicator light illuminates. These are ‘factory’ settings and will automatically come on at a set time determined by manufacturers.

Preventive maintenance is critical, so you should have a PM contract if you don’t have one already. But at the very least the procedures above will help keep your generator working during outages.

PowerCheck, LLC provides resources and services for emergency power supply systems oversight. We help our customers increase their emergency power equipment efficiency while reducing liability. Visit us @ www.power-check.net or call us @ 855-962-7618

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