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5 Portable Generator Maintenance Tips

5 Portable Generator Maintenance Tips


By Brian Sell, Sr. Product Manager, Generac Power Systems

A portable generator is a handy tool that serves many purposes, including providing emergency power for your home during or after a big storm. To maximize the life of a portable generator, and to keep it running efficiently, owners need to perform regular maintenance. Following these easy-to-perform maintenance tips will help to ensure that your portable generator is ready to perform when you need it.

1. Change the Oil

Most new generators need their first oil change after just 30 hours of use. Beyond that, the oil will need to be changed every 100 hours of use or every season. To prepare for extended outages after a major storm, make sure you have stocked up on oil, oil filters, and gas to last a few days.   This will help you avoid the rush at your local retail outlet.

2. Replace the Spark Plug and Air Filter

Replace the spark plug and air filter every 200 hours of use or every season. A new spark plug and clean air filter will assure a proper fuel-air mixture, and will help the engine run better and last longer.

3. Drain Fuel When Not in Use

It is important to prevent gum deposits from forming in essential fuel system parts during storage, such as the carburetor, fuel hose or tank. Also, experience indicates that alcohol-blended fuels (i.e. gasohol, ethanol or methanol) can attract moisture, which leads to the separation and formation of acids during storage. Acidic gas can also damage the fuel system of an engine when the unit is stored for an extended period of time.

Prior to storing the unit for 30 days or longer, these steps should be followed to avoid engine problems:

  1. Add a quality gasoline stabilizer to the fuel per the manufacturer's specifications, and run the unit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. After the engine cools down, remove all gasoline from the fuel tank. Use a commercially available, non-conductive vacuum siphon.
  3. Start and run the engine until it stops from lack of fuel. This will ensure there is no longer fuel in the system.

4. Ensure the battery is fully charged

If your generator has an electric start feature, ensure that the battery is charged to its full capacity before each use.

5. Start Your Generator Every 30 Days

Generac recommends that you start your portable generator at least once every 30 days.  This helps to keep key internal components lubricated, and helps avoid maintenance-related issues.

If you have followed these maintenance tips and are still experiencing problems with your portable generator, contact the manufacturer or an independent authorized service provider for assistance. Addressing problems early will save you money and downtime.

Click here to place your order online for a Generac portable maintenance kit; to locate the dealer closest to you, visit