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Generator Tips & Advice

Generator Tips & Advice (2)

Standby Generator Maintenance

Roanoke Home Generator MaintenanceHaving a standby generator for your home can provide great peace of mind. When the power goes out, the generator automatically kicks in to provide uninterrupted power to light your home, run appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners and more. However, like all power equipment a generator has an engine that requires regular maintenance to ensure it's ready to turn on and operate reliably at a moment's notice when the power to your home goes out. Preventive maintenance and service on standby generators is typically done on a schedule based upon engine hours and/or time periods. The generator will keep itself in shape throughout the year with weekly low-speed run cycles.

Here are some simple maintenance steps you can perform yourself.
  1. Keep the generator clean. Use a shop vac to clean the intake and exhaust louvers on the enclosure. Clear away any vegetation or debris that is near the unit.
  2. Inspect the generator components for corrosion. Rust can be prevented by keeping your generator clear of moisture from downspouts, sprinklers, etc. If you find excessive corrosion, have Ostrom inspect the unit.
  3. Clean and tighten battery terminals. Have the voltage tested to ensure the battery is able to hold a sufficient charge.
  4. Check the oil level to make sure it is full. If it needs to be refilled, refer to your manual for the correct type of oil. Keep a spare bottle of oil ready in case of extended outages.
Generator maintenance kits can also be purchased and include an air filter, spark plug, oil filter, funnel, and oil for routine repairs. 

Important: Before performing any maintenance on your home generator always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and follow all safety precautions.

Professional Generator Maintenance

From routine maintenance to generator repairs and more comprehensive inspections and maintenance, Ostrom can help ensure that your standby generator is running safely and reliably. We have over 12 years of experience installing and maintaining generators throughout the Roanoke area.

Have questions about maintaining your standby generator? Call Ostrom Electrical, Plumbing, Heating and Air.
When having a standby generator installed in your home your electrician will install a safety device called a transfer switch. A transfer switch is designed to isolate power from the utility company from the power made by the generator.

When power from a generator is allowed to return back to the grid – a condition called backfeeding - damage can occur to electrical system. Backfeeding can also put utility workers in danger if they happen to be servicing the electrical grid near the generator.

Transfer switches are also designed to protect the home from electrical fires caused by short circuits and faulty electrical connections. If you're installing a home generator, it's important that the transfer switch be installed by a licensed electrician.

Have questions about generators, transfer switches or other electrical systems? Call Ostrom Services. We've installed hundreds of home generators throughout the Roanoke and Southwest Virginia area.
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