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How to Prevent Generator Issues: 4 Easy Tips

Power outages are common in many areas of the country, but you can avoid the hassles they bring with a standby generator. This type of generator kicks on as soon as the power goes out to ensure your appliances as well as your home have enough power. Unfortunately, yours may not come on quickly or have other problems that lead to some frustrations. Discover some easy tips on how to prevent those issues.

1. Use the Right Size

Choosing a generator that’s the wrong size is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Not only will it struggle to keep up with your needs, but it may fail outright. Finding the right size depends on the total square footage of your home and how much power you need along with other factors. The best way to ensure you buy and install the right size is with help from an electrician.

2. Check and Change the Oil as Needed

Generators need oil to run. Just like the oil in your car goes bad, so does the oil in your generator. You usually need to change the oil after running the generator for a specific number of hours, which you’ll see listed in the owner’s manual. It’s often helpful to change it at least once a year, even if you don’t use yours often. Checking the oil involves placing the dipstick inside the tank and seeing how much is inside. If you need to change the oil, only do it once the generator is cool.

3. Avoid Overloading It

One of the nice things about home generators is that they can power so many things. That doesn’t mean you should not exercise caution to avoid overloading it. Overloading happens when you plug in so many things that it struggles to keep up with the demanding load. An overloaded generator can suffer power fluctuations that cause lights to flicker, but it can also produce smoke and even shut down to prevent further damage. Always use the load amount in the owner’s manual.

4. Get an Annual Inspection

Annual inspections are one of the best ways to prevent issues with your standby generator. The best time for an inspection is usually in the summer when temperatures climb high and the power grid has a hard time keeping up. A fall inspection ensures the generator is ready for the cold weather, which can lead to power outages. Professional inspections allow the pro to check the oil and other tanks, go over the battery, and make sure it connects to your home correctly.

Don’t worry about what could go wrong with your generator this year. Let the pros inspect it and ensure you follow the proper maintenance guidelines. Contact Nichols Electric and Plumbing for generator services and much more in Rochester, NY.