How to Maintain Your Portable Generators

How to Maintain Your Portable Generators

This article we're going to walk you through the steps to take how to maintain your portable generators properly. The proper maintenance of a generator not only ensures that it will run when you need it the most, but it also helps extend the lifespan of your unit.

These steps include:

  1. Cleaning the generator
  2. Changing the oil
  3. Cleaning the air filter
  4. Running the unit monthly
  5. Charging the battery
  6. And adequately storing the unit

How to Maintain Your Portable Generators  - Step by Step Tips

Tips 1: Cleaning The Generator

Do not use a garden hose or power washer, as this may damage electrical components. When you cleaning the generator, use a damp cloth to wipe exterior surfaces clean. After that, inspect cooling air slots and openings on the generator. These openings must be kept clean and unobstructed.

Tips 2: Changing The Oil

Most portable generators require that the oil changed within the first 30 hours, but some smaller generators do require it earlier. Always refer to your products manual for exact oil change intervals. To perform an oil change begin by running the generator for a few minutes. 

This will help the oil become more comfortable to change due to the heat of the engine. After a few minutes, stop the unit and wait until the engine has cooled enough for you to touch it.

Drain The Oil

Properly dispose of the used oil. All of the oil has been drained to replace the oil drain plug. Refill the crankcase with oil to the full line but be sure not to overfill.

Tips 3: Changing The Air Filter

At first, Unscrew and remove the cover, remove the filter, and clean with soapy water. Rinse with decent water squeeze with a clean cloth and leave it flat to dry.

Tips 4: Running The Unit Monthly

Another crucial part of maintaining your generator is routinely running it. We strongly recommend that generators be run once monthly for approximately thirty minutes, with a load that includes an appliance that uses a motor such as a box fan. This ensures that the alternator and engine are both exercised.

If it is not possible to run the unit monthly:

  • Run it at least every three months
  • For 30 minutes or more
  • Use fuel stabilizer

If your generator is not used for more than 30 days, use fresh fuel with a commercially available fuel stabilizer. This will help ensure that the unit's carburetor does not experience issues due to non-use.

Tips 5: Charging The Battery

Electric start units will come with a wall charger designed to charge the battery. It is recommended:

  • Charge the battery every month for a day by plugging it into an outlet while utility service is available
  • Overcharging the battery can hurt it more than undercharging it

Other Maintenance Items Include:

Other maintenance items can consist of checking for the correct

  • Spark plug gap
  • Fuel filter replacement
  • Spark arrestor service
  • And valve adjustment


We recommend contacting a certified servicing dealer as improper adjustments could ultimately break the generator. For any further maintenance or questions, please contact an accredited servicing dealer.

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