How To: Set up and maintain a portable generator

Set up and maintain a portable generator

Danny Lipford gives us tips on setting up and maintaining a portable generator. Set-up usually includes assembly of things like wheels and handle kits. Most portable generators come without oil so you will need to add it. Be sure to check the owner's manual for the proper type of fuel to use.

The generator must be maintained properly to insure maximum performance. The owner's manual will give specifics about procedures such as checking and changing the oil, cleaning the spark arrestor screen, changing the air filter and replacing the spark plugs. You will want to perform these procedures more often if the generator is subjected to heavy use or dirty conditions.

The unit must be stored where it won't be exposed to excessive dust, dirt, moisture, or corrosive vapors. Clean it with a damp cloth or a soft brush, never a garden hose. If the water enters the engine it will cause problems. If you are going to store the unit for more than 30 days, you should empty the fuel and the engine oil to keep it from gumming up the carburetor. Also add a fuel stabilizer to the tank and run it through the system before storage. If the generator has an electric start, keep the battery up with a triple charger during long storage.

To keep the generator in top condition during storage, run it for 10 minutes or so every two to three months, and it will be ready when you need it.

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