Having a backup generator to power your home or business is crucial in the event of a blackout. They ensure that you will have power even during an outage. However, like any other mechanical machinery, generators require regular upkeep to function optimally. The following covers some of the key benefits of regularly servicing your generator and how to know it’s time to schedule a maintenance visit.

To Ensure Safety

Safety is one of the most important aspects of generator maintenance. Ensuring your generator is in good working condition will help avoid accidents and injuries related to fires and electrical issues. During a maintenance visit, an electrician will clean your generator, inspect internal components for issues, and ensure that the generator is venting properly.

To Ensure Reliable Operation

When the power goes out, a generator can be a lifeline. But, a generator that hasn’t been maintained can fail to work when you need it. By keeping up with scheduled maintenance, you can be sure that your generator will be there for you when the power goes out.


If you’re concerned about your energy bills or environmental impact, then you know that efficiency is one of the most important things to consider. If your generator isn’t running as efficiently as possible, it costs you money. Routine maintenance improves the generator’s efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

Cost Savings

By improving efficiency, maintenance makes it more affordable to use your generator. You can also avoid costly repairs and replacements by keeping your generator in good condition. Additionally, regular maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your generator, saving you money in the long run.

Warranty Coverage

If your generator is still under warranty, you likely need to schedule regular maintenance to keep it. Many manufacturers will only honor their warranties if you follow their recommended maintenance schedule. Failing to have it maintained could put you on the hook for expensive repairs.

Environmental Compliance

If you are a business owner, you need to ensure that your company complies with all environmental regulations. Failing to do so can result in hefty fines and damage your reputation. Generator maintenance is important because it helps ensure that your generator is running efficiently and not releasing harmful environmental emissions. By regularly servicing your generator, you can help to protect the environment and avoid costly penalties.

Power Quality

Power quality is one of the most important aspects of generator maintenance. Poor power quality can lead to equipment failures, data loss, and even fires. Maintaining your generator can help ensure clean, reliable power for your home or business.

What Does Generator Maintenance Include?

Generator maintenance typically includes regularly scheduled servicing, inspections, and more extensive repairs when needed. Servicing consists of an oil and filter change, spark plug replacement, air filter replacement, and fuel system cleaning. More extensive repairs may be needed from time to time, depending on the age and condition of the generator. In between regular maintenance and repair visits, you should visually inspect your generator monthly to check for any signs of wear or damage.

Warning Signs That Your Generator Needs Maintenance

Typically, you need to schedule generator maintenance at least once a year or every 100 hours of use. Spark plugs, oil, and oil filters should be changed annually. Valve clearance can be checked every other year, and your air filters need to be cleaned or replaced every 200 hours. You may also need to schedule maintenance sooner if you experience any of the following issues.

Strange Noises

Unusual noises, such as knocking or banging, can indicate a problem with the engine or other internal components. It’s a good idea to get it checked out by a professional. These noises could indicate that something is wrong and that your generator needs maintenance or repair.


If your generator is overheating, it’s important to take action immediately. Overheating can damage the engine and lead to a loss of power. Here are some warning signs that your generator is overheating:

  • Engine is running hotter than normal
  • Temperature gauge in the red zone
  • Steam or smoke from the engine compartment

Reduced Power Output

A generator’s diminished power output may indicate that it requires maintenance. There are several potential causes for diminished power output, such as problems with the fuel system, air intake system, exhaust system, or electrical system.

A problem with the fuel system, such as clogged fuel filters or a faulty fuel pump, could cause a decrease in power output. These issues can reduce the engine’s ability to generate power by impeding fuel flow to the engine.

To prevent further damage and ensure proper operation, it is essential to address the issue as soon as possible. To avoid power output issues, it is also crucial to have a professional perform routine inspections and preventive maintenance on the generator.

Difficulty Starting

If your generator is having difficulty starting, it’s important to take action immediately. This is one of the most common warning signs that your generator needs maintenance.

There are a few possible reasons why your generator might have difficulty starting. One possibility is that the spark plugs need to be replaced. Another possibility is that the fuel isn’t reaching the engine properly.

It’s best to take your generator to a qualified technician who can diagnose and fix the problem if you notice these signs. Taking care of this issue will help ensure that your generator continues running smoothly and efficiently.

Warning Lights or Alarms

Warning lights or alarms on a generator may indicate that maintenance is required. Typically displayed on the generator’s control panel, these warning signals indicate a problem with one or more systems. For instance, a warning light may indicate that the generator’s oil pressure is too low. This could simply mean that you need to top off the oil reservoir, but a faulty oil pump or worn bearings could also be the cause.

Excessive Vibration

If your generator is vibrating excessively, it may signal something is wrong. Excessive vibration can damage internal components and lead to premature wear. It can also cause the generator to produce less power than it should.

Smoke or Strange Odors

If you notice smoke or strange odors from your generator, it’s important to take action immediately. These are warning signs that your generator requires maintenance and repair.

A variety of things, such as a buildup of debris in the engine, an oil leak, or a problem with the fuel system, can cause smoke or strange odors from your generator. If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s important to contact a qualified technician who can diagnose and fix the problem.

Electrical Problems

If your generator has electrical problems, it is important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Loose wires and faulty connections can cause electrical problems, and these are issues that can be addressed during a maintenance visit.

Schedule Professional Maintenance Today

If you’re experiencing issues or it’s been a year or more since you’ve had generator maintenance, it’s time to schedule an appointment. At Thermo Direct, we maintain, and install generators in Raleigh and the surrounding area. Our electricians repair and install other electrical systems in homes and businesses as well. We are also your source for heating, cooling, air quality, ductwork, and crawl space insulation services. Call us today at Thermo Direct to learn more or schedule an appointment.

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