How to Service and Maintain A Portable Generator
Portable generators are becoming essential in light of power outages across the country and you need to service and maintain a generator.
Every home across South Africa relies on electricity for day-to-day living. We need it to operate our appliances, to heat water and provide heating and cooling in our homes. We rely on electricity to store and cook foodstuffs and when the power goes out we are left in the dark. Thankfully, technology has brought about the invention of portable generators but we need to remember that these machines require service and maintenance to keep them running.
What is a Portable Generator?
Portable generators are petrol- or diesel-powered engines that produce electrical power. The units have outlets that allow you to plug your extension leads to provide a home with electric power. The larger the power output your portable generator has, the more electricity it provides to power your home.
Investing in a portable generator brings numerous benefits and you won’t have to worry about any contingencies that might unexpectedly cut off your primary source of electric power. Having a generator prepared in advance can bring significant advantages for any emergency power needs. But aside from that, you can also use a larger generator to power your refrigerator or power humidifiers, air purifiers and de-humidifiers for those that suffer from breathing or allergies.
Be Prepared for Load Shedding
The main reason any homeowner invests in a portable generator is to be prepared for any unexpected power outages. We now know that load shedding is occurring around the country and that this will continue for some time and the last thing you’d want to happen is to be stuck at home in pure darkness during the cold winter months.
To avoid such occurrence, after purchasing a portable generator you need to maintain and service the unit so that your home will always be powered and avoid any accidents that could occur due to complete darkness.
Buy the Right Model
While it’s true that bigger generators are better as they have more power, it may also mean they are more complicated to use. Portable generators, on the whole, are simple to operate, and you can easily have a new source of power. All that is required is an extension lead. Ideally, you want a portable generator that doesn't require elaborated operations or where you need to ask help from other people to start it up. Purchase a model that anyone can easily use and not have to wait for someone else to assist.
A quality generator can last for many years if properly maintained and used in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines for use. But like any other mechanical equipment is requires maintenance to prevent breakdowns.
Unlike the big, bulky types of generators, the portable ones are very simple to maintain. All you need to do is to clean the plug as often as you can, adjust the fuel pump when needed, and check the oil gauge regularly. Due to its simple method of cleaning and maintenance, most people do it on their own instead of hiring professional electricians to do the job.
• Protection for the elements
First and foremost is the fact that, since generators provide electricity, they cannot be left outdoors during light or heavy rainfall. That means you need a cover or enclosure to operate the generator at these times. Never place a generator inside the home or close to open windows or doors.
• Start the generator weekly
When load shedding takes a break and you have no need of the generator, start it at least once a week to charge the battery and flush the system. Too often, generators are left standing and become sluggish due to blockages or build-up of debris and dust. A weekly start will flush the engine and ensure the portable generator is ready for use when you need it.
• Top up the Fuel Tank
To avoid being in the dark, make sure to top up the fuel tank after every use. It's too late when the power goes off and you are left in the dark. It is also important that you never use the generator on an empty tank as this will destroy the motor.
• Check the Oil Level
Do a regular check of the oil level even though this might not need topping up for months. If you plan to do your own service on the generator make sure you have a good supply of oil and replacement filters.
More Uses for a Portable Generator
Aside from being used as backup for emergencies and family use, portable generators can also be used when you have outdoor events or occasions that take place away from home. Without any primary source of electricity, portable generators can come in useful.
Portable generators are also handy if you regularly go camping or trekking and a portable generator can significantly help you provide electricity despite camping out in the middle of nowhere. From there, you can charge your mobile phones, torches, electric stove, and other electric-powered gadgets you’ll need in the great outdoors.