Generator maintenance ensures a clean start - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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Generator maintenance ensures a clean start

Safety officials remind you not to set up generators in enclosed spaces. (Source: WAFF) Safety officials remind you not to set up generators in enclosed spaces. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Lynn Tidmore with Current Electrical and Generator Services shared a few simple tips to make sure your generator works when you need it, and to hopefully prevent you from having to get it serviced.

Location is key. Store your generator in a place where the temperature is consistent, like a garage. This eliminates any condensation that could form with temperature swings.

When you’re operating your generator, when you get ready to turn it off, first, turn the fuel valve off. Allow the excess fuel to run through the lines, then turn off the generator. Tidmore says this two-step process takes all the fuel out of the system, eliminates dry rot, and prevents gumming up of the carburetor.

Just remember that when you get ready to crank your generator up the next time, the fuel is likely off, and you’ll need to turn it back on.

Ideally, you should complete this cycle, letting it run for a few minutes, once a month. The newer standby generators are programmable to automatically complete this cycle.

In both portable and whole home models, look for the indicator lights to let you know your generator’s status. Green means it's good to go. Yellow means it may or may not work. Red means it is not going to work and you need to have it serviced.

If the light is yellow, Tidmore recommends checking some simple items that you can probably do at home before going in for service. 

"If you got the fuel and your fuel valve is on, then obviously you want to check your spark plug," he said. "Did your spark plug wire come off? Maybe the spark plug has failed and it’s time to replace it."

During a disaster, one of the main resources that you may find yourself lacking is enough gas to keep your generator running.

What you should do if you get caught in that situation? One of your best resources is just a phone call away.

MORE: Generator and carbon monoxide safety

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