PacB Group // 5 Easy Tips for DIY Generator Maintenance and Repairs


5 Easy Tips for DIY Generator Maintenance and Repairs

As if the effects of lockdown on businesses weren’t enough, load-shedding is back again—and we all know what that means for business. Eskom’s energy woes have brought another set of challenges for those that rely on electricity to put food on the table. While no one truly knows how long the lights will be on and off this time, what we know is that if we want to keep control over our profits, we must control of our energy supplies.

Similar to South Africa’s municipal water mismanagement troubles, we cannot rely on the government to keep the lights on– but we can beat our energy crisis by becoming energy independent with a generator. As simple as these machines are, a generator is still one of the most valuable inventions of our times. They are essential for any business that requires power to keep their profits ticking and can serve you for many years. Knowledge of how to repair them, however, is imperative.

As with any power tool, we only ever notice problems when they stop working. Whether you use your generator for the office, shop, warehouse, school, clinic, or home, the last thing you want is for it to fail when you need it the most.

Repairing Your Generator

Here are five easy maintenance and repair tips to ensure your machine will not let you down when you need power most:

1. Keep Generators Outdoors

Generator fumes are toxic and can cause extreme damage when inhaled, even for a short period. For this reason, never place your machine indoors but in well-ventilated areas, preferably outdoors. Besides the health risks, a generator will stop working if it runs out of air. If you want to ensure years of good use, keep your machine outside, and when storing it, keep it covered. This will lessen your need to repair it often.

2. Replace a Broken Pull Cord

As with every piece of machinery, parts break and need repairs, and a common issue is the classic broken pull cord. The trick to a broken pull cord repair is to keep your eye on the spring. The spring is there for a reason, so as you wrap the new chord around the starter, ensure you forcefully wind the spring as far as it can go. If the chord is still hanging from the generator, or if the machine is not starting, then you have not wound it correctly.

3. Practice Regular Oil Changes

Similar to a car engine, these machines can burn through oil and filters fast. Filters prevent dirt in petrol from corrupting the fuel system, and when these filters clog, the fuel system gets no fuel. This results in a broken generator in need of repair. To keep your machine healthy, change the filter every 40 hours. To check if a change is needed, switch your machine off, detach the fuel line and hold over a bucket to catch the old fuel. If fuel does not pass through the filter, it’s time for a filter change.

4. Never Use Old Fuel

Aged petrol is one of the leading causes of generator damage and is a sure way to ensure that it will need repair, so always ensure the fuel is fresh. However, if you find yourself with a machine full of foamy petrol, drain the fuel tank and the carburettor. Once you’ve done this, run the machine until the fuel tank is empty. Another common problem is running a generator dry. If it runs out of petrol, the coils become demagnetised. This results in a pricey injector pump repair.

5. Lock Your Machine Down

Repairs can be expensive, but what’s pricier is a new machine. In 2019, South Africa experienced over a million incidences of personal property theft, and with 2020 proving to be a year of economic unrest and job loss, you need to protect your energy investment more than ever. You can avoid theft by digging a hole in the ground and screwing in an anchor to secure the chain.

Our qualified technicians offer support and advice in the selection of the right power solution for your needs by calculating your power requirements.

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