How Often a Generator Needs Maintenance

Champion Generator

More and more people are looking at getting diesel generators to help with potential power outages, but as a new owner, it’s essential to know how often a generator needs maintenance.

Like most complex machinery, generators require great care to run effectively and be ready when you need them. Unfortunately, they can’t just be bought and operated without any thought given to the maintenance that keeps them in good order. 

Here we’ll help you understand why you should maintain your generator, what you can do to improve your generator’s performance and how often a generator needs maintenance.

Why you should maintain your generator

Only reliable systems can guarantee power when you’re in need of it, the potential risks you may face if you ignore or delay maintenance on your generator could be the difference from your business being fully operational or not.

Only reliable systems can guarantee power when you’re in need of it, the potential risks you may face if you ignore or delay maintenance on your generator could be the difference from your business being fully operational or not.

Generator maintenance includes:

Fluid Checks

Generators rely on oil, coolant and fuel to run effectively. It’s imperative that these fluid levels are checked regularly and then topped up/changed periodically to ensure it runs as intended. As well as ensuring the fluid levels are adequate, you should also inspect your fluids regularly with a dipstick to identify any contaminants that could cause severe issues within the generator.

Exercise the Generator

The last thing you want is a dead generator when you need it the most, so it’s important to run it regularly to ensure it is ready for action. The manufacturer will recommend how often you exercise your model to keep the battery in good shape and prevent fuel from becoming stagnant and degrading, as this may vary depending on the brand and model.

Battery inspection

Similar to a car, if your generator has been left unused for an extended time, the battery can fail during startup. You must conduct visual inspections on the battery and its connections and cables to check for any signs of deterioration that could interfere with the generator’s ability to start.

How often should you maintain your generator

The recommended frequency of servicing for a generator will alter slightly depending on how often you use it and how long it is run for. Generally, you should have a full inspection and service on your generator once every six months or after running it for 400 hours, whichever comes first.

Other factors can influence this time, such as exposure to the elements, contaminants, and an excess or lack of use can all impact the demand for service sooner than expected.

  • Elements: If the weather or temperature has been particularly bad, the generator’s components could be damaged and affect its ability to work as intended. 
  • Contaminants: Contaminants such as dust or sand can damage the generator’s internal components. A construction site is a prime example of a location where these would be common and require more frequent generator maintenance. 
  • Use: If you are using your generator more regularly than suggested, for example, as prime power rather than a backup, it could be getting overworked and speed up the time when you might need to perform maintenance. Similarly, if your generator is left unused for longer than expected, then it will require exercise to avoid battery failure.

Professional Generator Maintenance and Servicing

The majority of the generator maintenance we have recommended you can do yourself. However, if you’re looking for more professional servicing, at Hampshire generators, we offer maintenance for portable generators and diesel generator servicing.

Get in touch to talk with an expert about your generator needs; with over 30 years of experience installing and servicing generators, our factory-approved engineers are on hand to ensure your generator is ready to provide reliable power.