There are a lot of really good generators available. Most issues relate to installation and maintenance.
Maintenance is the issue you can control. Pay close attention NFPA 110, chapter 8. Your weekly inspection and monthly tests help familiarize you with the equipment and catch problems before they become major issues.
Make sure you have a set of manuals. Follow the manufactures instructions.
Here are some of the issues we get called out to correct.
- No fuel. Make sure you have adequate fuel. Keep the tanks full. You do not know how long you may need your generator during an emergency. Diesel fuel is the best. Natural gas can be trouble.
- Batteries should be changed every 24-30 months. See NFPA 110, A.184.108.40.206.1. An old battery may be fine for starting your car, but you do not want to depend on it for LIFE SAFETY. Look at this video:
Battery Specific Gravity and Conductance Tests
- Keep your radiator clean.
- Have the system professionally inspected and serviced every 6 months.
- Protect the system from rodents and other chewy critters. Including snakes!
- Keep wasps out and the enclosure or surrounding area clean. Do not use it as storage!
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