What Kind of Maintenance Does a Home Generator Need?

You’ve chosen the right backup generator size for your home and turned to expert generator installation services to outfit your home with reliable power that helps you live life uninterrupted. You’re all set — right? Well, not quite. It can be easy to set it and forget when it comes to standby generators. However, just like any other engine-powered machine, these pieces of equipment require regular maintenance. Here, we’ll go over preventative maintenance measures you can take to ensure your home standby generator has no issue working properly for years to come.

Reviewing Your Owner’s Manual

Generator systems are sophisticated — and they’re not all created equal. The maintenance your generator will need will vary based on the particular equipment. That’s why it’s critical to keep and read your owner’s manual, as it contains model-specific information that allows the best operation and performance from your generator. Our installers and repair professionals are happy to consult you on what you should be doing for your generator — and when.

Checking and Changing the Oil

You wouldn’t drive your car for tens of thousands of miles without getting an oil change. The same goes for your home generator. Like with vehicles, you’ll typically need to do this once a year or after a certain amount of running hours — this should be outlined in the owner’s manual.


Begin by checking oil levels using the dipstick; the oil should come up to the fill line when you pull it out. If it does not, you’ll need a change. If the oil appears dark and thick, it’s most likely old and needs to be replaced. To perform an oil change, locate the oil drain tube, loosen the wing nut, and drain the oil into a container. Then, utilize a funnel to add oil into the designed oil fill tube. You can opt for regular or synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is designed for superior and high- and low-temperature viscosity, which means it will perform better for cold starts or while running in extreme heat.

Replacing Spark Plugs and Air Filters

If you’ve been using your generator for a few years, your spark plugs may look worse for wear. Take out the spark plugs and compare them to new ones; the stark difference can be surprising! Install new spark plugs to keep your generator running smoothly. Like the spark plug, the air filter can also get quite dirty. If it doesn’t look too bad, it can be removed and shaken out to remove debris and returned. However, replacing it is recommended if it’s been years and appears very dirty.

Checking the Battery

Your generator’s battery can corrode and leak, so it should be removed and inspected as part of regular maintenance. Remove it from the terminals and check its charge with a battery tester. If there’s corrosion on the battery, clean it off with baking soda or a battery cleaning kit.

Keeping the Area Clean

The kind of maintenance your home generator needs isn’t exclusive to the unit itself. To ensure proper air intake and exhaust, keep the area near the generator clear of leaves, shrubs, and other blockages. This is crucial for the generator itself and the surrounding plant life since exhaust gasses will kill anything growing too close.

Maximizing the Life of Your Generator With Colonial

While there are certain things you can do to ensure your home generator is in good health, it takes a trained eye — and extensive experience — to fix certain issues that could leave you stranded in power outages if not otherwise tended to. How long a backup home generator lasts doesn’t just depend on the quality of the unit itself or its environment — the kind of maintenance it receives will have a tremendous impact on its performance and useful life. For more information about what kind of maintenance a home generator needs, get in touch with our specialists today.