Do I Need To Maintenance My Generator?

Regardless of what tool you are dealing with the chances are that it requires maintenance to keep it working correctly and at one-hundred percent efficiency. It could be something as simple as a knife that needs to be sharpened or it could be a fifty-two inch deck zero turn mower. Whatever the tool is maintenance is a necessity and generators are no different in this matter.

One of the most important reasons to perform maintenance on your generator is to protect your purchase and your investment. Depending on the wattage and size of the generator you purchased your initial investment could be substantial. Lower sized generators can still be a couple hundred dollars and the higher end models can be over one-thousand. Do you really want to risk not performing maintenance and potentially shrinking the life of your generator?

Most manufacturers recommend performing maintenance on your generator either once per year or after one-hundred hours of run time, whichever comes first. In most cases it’s going to be that once a year marker. If it was me, I would perform this maintenance right before the rough season. As an example, I live in ‘Tornado Alley,’ here in Kansas. The prime season for dangerous storms is March, April, and May. In this scenario I would perform maintenance on my generator either in January or February to prepare for the storms down the road. If I encounter a problem, such as the generator not starting, I now have enough time to correct the problem before I actually need the generator.

What Has To Be Done?

Remember that your generator is an engine and just like with any engine it needs to have the oil changed. It needs to have the air filter either cleaned or replaced. Be sure to consult your manufacturer’s instructions to find the right type of oil, how much, and what type of air filter that you need.

Along with that, it is always wise to run the generator during this maintenance period to ensure that it starts and that it is able to keep running. You may even try plugging in a few simple things to ensure that power is being generated from the alternator. While the changing the oil and filter is required only once a year, many manufacturers recommend starting your generator every few months (Maybe even once a month) to ensure that the unit is starting. Better to have that peace of mind that the unit WILL start when it comes to crunch time.

Building on that, If the generator you have has an electric starter you should also check to see if the battery is still active and working. If it is not you can either attempt to recharge the battery, or if need be purchase a new one. This isn’t the end of the world if your electric starter’s battery is no longer working as most generators come with a backup ripcord, so this is up to you.

Lastly, is storing your generator. While this isn’t necessarily maintenance it is still very important to extend the life and to protect your generator from the elements. Most homeowners store their portable generators in their garage or in their outbuilding. Ensure that your generator is safe from water, rain, and other elements. Also, please note that you should NEVER run your generator indoors, in your garage, or in an enclosed area.


Ok folks, so now you have a good idea what it takes to maintenance your generator. Depending on the size of the generator you purchased, especially if it’s a standby system, your installer may offer a annual maintenance package. With this package you get a worry free generator that will get maintained each year by a professional technician. These are great for those of you who want to buy it and forget about it until you need it.

If you are in the market for a generator then I suggest you check out our Best Generators Guide by clicking here. Within this guide we go through what generator application you need, what size you need, and provide some of the top brands and models for each category.

After purchasing your generator you may find yourself unsure on how exactly to be safe when installing and running your new tool. The best option here is to read through your instruction manual but we also offer a Generator Safety Guide here at ToughAssTools which can be found by clicking here.

Lastly, please note that this article is designed to give advice and is for informational purposes only. We here at ToughAssTools are not liable for any property damage, fire damage, personal damage, or any injuries from installing or running a generator.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson


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