How to Maintain a Home Backup Generator

A home backup generator can be very useful during blackouts, which are almost certainly to occur in times of bad weather conditions and emergencies. Avoid the inconvenience of not having electricity during these times by practicing proper maintenance.

Types of Generators

Generators are equipment that converts a type of mechanical energy into electrical energy. It is like a car engine, but rather than thrusting the wheels to roll and go forward, a generator creates electric current to provide power to home appliances. As car engines are powered by fuel to produce mechanical energy, so are generators.

The usual generators available are propane, diesel and gas-powered generators. Propane and gas-powered are excellent and competent, although compared to diesel generators, they require more maintenance. Diesel-powered generators are tougher and have greater fuel efficiency. Then again, they can have trouble starting during very cold weather conditions since diesel sleeps when it is cold. Propane may function better during the cold season, but they must have an effective starting method. Avoid pull-start engines, except if it is needed for exercise.

Materials Needed

The following things are needed for the appropriate maintenance of a home backup generator:

  • Owner's manual
  • Damp cloth
  • Soft brush


A home generator should be maintained properly for secure and efficient operations. Here are the steps on maintaining a home generator:

  • Secure function and maintenance of a home generator needs the same guiding principles that apply to most equipment. However, the manufacturer has details related to the model, so it is very useful to read the owner’s manual.
  • Clean the generator often. A damp cloth can tidy up the surfaces and a soft brush can get rid any caked-on substance.
  • The manufacturer usually suggests changing the oil of the generator often while it is in operation or as a standard maintenance. If it is not in use, changing of oil is normally done once a year.
  • Check and service the spark plug system. The gap between services depends on the length of time the generator is in use or stored. If it is not in use, have it serviced once a year.
  • When checking and changing the oil, make sure the air cleaner system is check and cleaned.
  • Run the generator once in a while to ensure that it is in good operating order.