Generator Safety Tips & Maintenance

Don’t wait for your generator to break down before you do some maintenance. Whether your generator sits in the shed for months between uses, or you run it regularly, it pays to follow some simple generator maintenance and safety checks.

STOP! Read the manual.

Before you do anything, read the manual. Refresh yourself on how to use the generator safely. And check the maintenance schedule to see how often you should be making checks and replacements.

Generator Maintenance Tips:

1. Check Engine Oil

Always make sure the generator’s engine oil is in good condition. Even if your generator is used for a short time, you need to make sure you change the oil at least every 6 months. If you’re using it more regularly, change the oil every 100 hours. This is easy generator maintenance – drain the old oil completely. Then place the generator on a level surface to fill up the oil again. Wipe off any excess.

2. Check Spark Plug

Like the oil, you should check the spark plug every six months or 100 hours of use. Look for discolouration of the spark plug. The normal colour should be medium to light tan. If it’s any other colour, replace the spark plug – check your manual for instructions.

3. Check Fuel

It sounds like an obvious generator maintenance tip, but always check you have enough fuel in the generator before you fire it up. Also, look for any signs of a fuel leak before starting the generator.

4. Air Filter

Check the air filter. If necessary, remove the air filter and clean it by lightly brushing it over. If it appears beyond use, replace the air filter.

5. Muffler and Spark Arrestor

Take off the muffler cover and check the spark arrester. Give both the spark arrestor and muffler a good clean to remove traces of carbon deposits. Are they in good condition? If not, replace them.

Generator Safety Tips:

1. Read the Manual

Okay, we’ve said this before. But make sure your first stop is the owners’ manual. If you have any questions or concerns about using the generator, go to the manual.

Every new generator comes with a manual, providing comprehensive instructions relating to starting, operating and caring for your generator

2. Check for Leaks

The exhaust on a generator gets quite hot and has the potential to ignite flammable liquids.

3. Pre-operation Inspection

Check the oil, check the fuel hose and check the fuel before you kick it over. With new units, some retailers don’t include the oil inside – so always check the oil first.

4. Refilling the Generator

If you need to top up the oil or fuel, don’t tilt the unit while refilling. Ensure you tighten all caps securely. And don’t overfill – this will damage the engine.

5. Cool Down

Always let the generator return to room temperature before you change the oil and fuel, or do any other generator maintenance.

6. NEVER Operate in Enclosed Space

Not in your tent, caravan, inside the house or garage. Not even under an awning. The reason for this is that the generator emits carbon monoxide gases which can be deadly if you are in the same enclosed space. Also, never partially or fully cover the generator for the same reason. Always make sure the area is well ventilated and away from where you’re staying.

7. Solid Surface

When using the generator, place it on a solid and clean surface. This stops sand and dust from getting sucked up inside the generator and blocking the gear and filters.

8. Get It Up and Running First

Before connecting any electrical appliances or devices, get the generator up and running. And when it’s time to go, first turn off your electronics, then unplug them, then turn off the generator.


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