Best Practices for Standby Generator Operations and Maintenance
Posted by Kristopher Schwind
Standby generators are a critical component of many residential and commercial properties, providing backup power when power outages hit. However, to ensure that a standby generator operates effectively, it is essential to follow some best practices for operations and maintenance. Here are some key considerations:
What Does the Manufacturer Recommend?
To keep your standby generator in good working order, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This may include regular oil changes, air filter replacements, and fuel system inspections. Regular maintenance will help prevent breakdowns and ensure that the generator is ready to operate when you need it.
Where Do I Put It?
Standby generators should be installed in an area that should be well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of exhaust fumes and should be clear of any combustible materials. Carbon monoxide can be one of the byproducts of a generator, a colorless, odorless, and deadly gas. Keeping your generator in a ventilated area helps prevent CO buildup. The generator should also be protected from extreme heat or cold, which can affect its performance.
The fuel supply for your standby generator needs to be managed carefully. Fuel should be stored in a clean and dry location for a diesel generator, and it should be regularly tested to ensure that it is still usable. It’s also essential to have a fuel management plan in place in case of extended power outages. This may include rotating fuel supplies or using a fuel polishing system to ensure that fuel is always fresh and clean. NSR offers fuel maintenance plans for generators.
Regular load testing is essential to ensure that the generator can handle the expected load in case of an actual power outage. This testing can help identify any issues before they become critical, keeping you safe and your costs low. Load testing should be conducted at least once a year or as recommended by the manufacturer. NSR also offers load bank maintenance plans.
Similar to your car, the battery in your generator needs to be checked regularly to ensure that it is still functional. This may include checking the voltage and specific gravity of the battery, as well as ensuring that the terminals are clean and free of corrosion. A failed battery can prevent your generator from starting when you need it most, so regular battery maintenance is essential.
Some standby generators can be equipped with remote monitoring systems that allow you to keep track of the generator’s performance from a remote location. This can help identify potential issues before they become critical and can also provide peace of mind during power outages. Remote monitoring systems can alert you to problems with the generator, allowing you to take action before it is too late.
It’s a good idea to have your standby generator inspected by a professional on a regular basis. A professional inspection can identify any issues that may not be obvious to the untrained eye and can help ensure that your generator is operating safely and efficiently. A professional inspection should be conducted at least once a year or as recommended by the manufacturer. NSR has annual service contracts to keep your generator running to the best of its abilities.
In addition to these best practices, it is important to have a comprehensive emergency plan in place that outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a power outage. This plan should
include procedures for starting and stopping the generator, as well as instructions for safely operating the generator during an emergency.
In summary, following these best practices for standby generator operations and maintenance can help ensure that your generator is ready to provide backup power when you need it most. Regular maintenance, fuel management, load testing, environmental considerations, battery maintenance, remote monitoring, professional inspection, and comprehensive emergency planning are all essential components of an effective standby generator program. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your generator is ready to provide reliable and effective backup power in the event of a power outage. Contact NSR today to set up an annual maintenance contract for your generator.