Troubleshooting Your Generator – What You Should Do
Storm season is sneaking up on us again. You never know when strong winds and heavy rains will whip through a neighborhood and cause destruction during the hot summer months. And just when you think that is through, September comes along and ushers in several months of heavy hurricane season. It can get wild here in Atlanta …
If you’ve lived here for any length of time, the thought of a storm probably doesn’t affect you. “Oh, it’s just another storm,” you might say. But a lot of that comes from being prepared.
When was the last time you scheduled time for troubleshooting your generator? Is it working the way that it should as we approach a new season of wild weather? Or will it leave you without power, vulnerable to the elements?
Before we move into the summer months, spend some time troubleshooting your generator and make sure it’s prepared for the upcoming season. Most generators don’t work because:
Battery failure can occur for a variety of reasons; you can’t predict it. That’s why it’s important to have a maintenance plan in place. On a monthly basis, spend a little time ensuring your battery is working well. Does it have a proper charge? Fix connections that are loose or dirty. Watch charging rates; sudden increases could be a sign of malfunction.
Without the proper amount of coolant, your generator can’t perform at its optimal level. Leaks can occur either externally or internally. Look for a small puddle underneath, or for a crusty residue on hoses. While many generators come with alarm codes, it’s not always apparent a leak is the problem.
Just like your generator can occasionally have a coolant leak, it can also leak oil or fuel too. The key is maintenance. Check hoses and connections to help prevent leaks. Gauges can be inaccurate; check to ensure everything is at proper levels.
Air In The System
Your generator isn’t something you use every day. It only takes one tiny air bubble to move into the system and cause the generator not to run. The easiest way to prevent this is to start it up regularly for a quick test, and move everything through the system to ensure it’s working well.
Depending on how your generator operates, it may have tripped the breaker. Never start the system up again without investigating why.
While some of these problems are easy fixes, you can do them yourself, sometimes a professional is your best bet to ensure everything is working the way it should. Because a generator is a mechanical and electrical device with lots of moving parts and potential problems, if you’re not sure what can go wrong, it’s better to leave analysis to the professionals.
If you have a question about troubleshooting your generator, or anything else as we get ready for Atlanta’s wild weather, just give us a call.