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Residential standby generator on a concrete pad

Early Signs Your Generator Needs Maintenance and Repair

Your family’s safety and comfort may be guaranteed during any eventuality with the help of a standby generator. The essential appliances in your house, and more, may be powered by a generator, making it seem as if the electricity had never gone out. But that’s assuming you don’t have a dead generator!

When purchasing a generator, you should also plan for routine checks and servicing to ensure it’s ready in case of a blackout. Recognizing the following early warning signs may spare you the frustration of rushing to fix your generator when the electricity goes out.

1. Slow Starting

When you have a standby generator system, it’s important for it to start up immediately in the event of a power outage. After a power outage, the generator normally takes a couple of seconds to kick in. Worn spark plugs, a blocked fuel valve or carburetor, and low oil levels can lead to slow starts. Problems like this should not be overlooked even if the generator kicks on the third or fourth time. It might refuse to turn on the next time you need it.

2. Visible Damage Component

Ensure the generator’s housing is undamaged and the connections are securely attached. Wires should be inspected for fraying and other damage as well. If you notice any type of issue on the housing or internal components, it’s a sign that your generator needs some attention.

3. No Generation of Electricity

Obviously, if your generator isn’t producing any power, there’s a problem. If your generator turns on and runs but doesn’t produce any useful power, you should have it checked out. It’s possible that the generator’s wires need to be properly connected to your home’s electrical system. You may only need to turn the breakers on to get it going again, but further generator troubleshooting or repair should be left to the experts.

4. Unusual Smells

There shouldn’t be any odor coming from the standby generator. If your generator begins to emit a peculiar odor, it might be due to overheating of some electrical component, a gas leak, or an exhaust leak. These issues need immediate attention from qualified generator mechanics, so turn off the power source immediately. If you don’t pay attention to this kind of problem, you could be putting your family at risk.

5. Unexpected Noises

Another major red flag is if you hear any odd noises. Strange noises from your generator might indicate a problem with mechanical or electrical parts. Chattering or popping could be caused by something as simple as a bad fuel mix or a failing component, so it’s important to have a professional inspect the unit to find the source of the issue.

6. System Alerts

If you don’t use your generator often, and something goes wrong, you may not notice it immediately. Thankfully, some state-of-the-art generators perform automatic self-tests once a week and report any issues to you. Without automatic testing, you’ll have to conduct the evaluations yourself. Generator manufacturers typically recommend routine inspections once a month and thorough maintenance once or twice a year, depending on the frequency of use.

Watching out for signs of generator issues can help you prevent breakdowns and other serious issues. When you experience any of the above problems, it’s important to reach out for professional help. If you are a Reno, NV resident and want your generator checked, contact Burnett Electric for generator maintenance and repair.