5 Signs That You Need Your Generator Repaired

How To Know If Your Generator Needs Repairs

Your generator is an essential part of your home’s power system, even if it does not see as much action as some of your other systems. When the time comes and you need that backup power, your generator should be fully prepped and ready to meet those needs. This is why monitoring your generator for signs that it is in need of repair is so important. 


Because generators are used infrequently, it can be easy to miss when they have fallen into disrepair until it is too late. The last thing you want to be doing when the electricity is out in your home is inspecting your generator by flashlight in an attempt to fix whatever issue has popped up. Instead, you should be getting regular inspections on your generator to ensure it is not in need of any repairs. Most manufacturers recommend that, along with getting regular maintenance done by your trusted electrician, whole-house generators should be tested monthly to keep them running as efficiently as possible. This small task that will only take you a few minutes every month is going to help you avoid the undue stress of being without electricity and save you money on potentially pricey emergency repairs down the road. 


So, what are you looking for when you perform these monthly tests? There are quite a few signs that might indicate that you need your generator repaired. 


Slow To Start

One of the earliest and most telling signs that your generator is in need of repair is a slow or delayed start. While this could be the result of something as simple as your unit needing gas, it could also indicate a larger problem that could limit its functionality. 


Keep in mind that your generator system should start up pretty quickly. It should only take 1-2 seconds for your machine to take over during a power outage. When you test your system, it should have the same reaction time. If your generator does not turn on right away, it could be due to any number of problems. A delay in power may indicate an engine or battery problem, low oil, level clogged fuel valve or carburetor, or a bad spark plug.


Worn Wires

Like any other device with external wires, your generator wires are subject to regular wear and tear. Most of the electrical components for your system are going to be either visible or easily accessible so that you can keep an eye on the state of them. 


Frayed or overly worn wires and cables can keep your unit from performing at its peak efficiency, and they can also increase your fire risk. While there are always precautions to be taken when working with a generator, any time you can see past the protective outer coating and into the active electrical elements, there is an even higher risk of electrocution and fire. 


If you notice that your wires are beginning to show their age, it is best to call an electrician to take a look before touching anything yourself. If this is the only issue, your electrician will be able to replace the aged wires before you have a real need for a fully operational generator system. These repairs are not typically too expensive or time-consuming for an expert to complete, but can make a huge difference in the performance and safety of your generator. 


Fluid Leak

Like your car, your generator needs fluid to run properly. Without enough fuel, your system cannot run. Without proper lubrication, the components of your system will overheat and wear down quickly. Both of these components are essential to maintaining a properly functioning generator system. 


If you notice puddles of iridescent liquid under or around your generator, chances are you have a fluid leak. Luckily, these are easy enough to identify that you should be able to recognize the signs even with little to no knowledge of generators or power systems. If your generator has a gas leak you will likely smell it immediately. If you cannot smell gasoline upon further inspection then you probably have an oil leak. 


Regardless of what is causing the leak, you should call a service professional to repair your generator as soon as possible. Fluid leaks are not something that should simply be patched at home or left to fester. Besides making powering your system more costly and less energy efficient, fluid leaks are a fire and safety hazard that you do not want anywhere near your home. 


Body Damage


This is another one of those very obvious issues that can hinder the performance of your generator. When you go to test your generator every month, make sure that you are doing a thorough inspection of the body and looking for any external damage that it could have accrued. 


Like anything else that is stored outside, your generator is subject to the elements. Things like fallen tree branches and wild animals can do serious damage to the body of your generator. While the inside components of your generator are typically well protected by the hard outer shell, damage to that protective cover or the exposed wires can do serious damage to the entire unit. 


If you see a dent or hole in the metal body of your generator, or damage to the expired electrical elements, this is a major sign that your generator might be in need of repair. You should call a service professional to check out the problem immediately to ensure that your unit continues to work properly. 


Bad Battery

It is hard to know if your generator isn’t up to the task of keeping your home running until it is too late, but there are a few signs that you can look for to know if your generator’s battery will need to be replaced soon. First, you should know that your generator’s battery should be replaced every 2-3 years, depending on how often it is used and how exposed it is to water and other potentially damaging forces. Another sign that you might need a new battery is damage or corrosion to your current battery. Having your electrician Regularly clean the cable connections with a wire brush can help prolong the life of your battery and avoid corrosion. Your electrician should also be checking your battery with a voltmeter to ensure that your battery is putting out enough electricity to power your home if and when the time comes. 


If your battery can be recharged, make sure that you are regularly checking the charge level and keeping it charged enough to get you and your family through 24+ hours of a power outage without needing to be recharged. While most power outages do not last this long, we all know it is better to be safe than sorry. 


If you believe that your generator’s battery needs to be replaced, you should call a certified technician immediately and have them replace the battery for you. This is not a job that should be done yourself. Improperly installed batteries can cause major damage to your generator system. 


The Importance of Regular Maintenance

If you learned anything today, let it be that regular maintenance is an essential part of keeping your systems running smoothly. Checking these things every so often to avoid the undue stress of a broken generator in the middle of a power outage is very important. Having a certified technician perform regular cleaning and maintenance on your generator system will ensure that your unit is ready to work at full power at any given moment. 


For whole-house generators, regular maintenance is crucial. Every system is different, but this might include changing air and oil filters, changing the oil, replacing old spark plugs, and checking voltage levels. Your preferred local service professional might also need to clean the  sediment traps and the rest of your generator system from dirt and debris around it and inside the unit.


Guaranteed Service

When you call Guaranteed Service you can feel confident that the job is going to get done right the first time, guaranteed! There’s no more need to worry about the long power outages brought on by storms and snow because Guaranteed Service has got you covered. 


If you do not already have a whole-house generator system, now is the time to take the leap before the worst of the winter weather hits. Check out our unmatched coupons before you call to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible! If you do have a system already, but it has not been serviced in more than 6 months, give us a call today so that we can check in and make sure that your system is running as efficiently and effectively as possible. 


If you are a New Jersey resident with any kind of generator-related issues, check out Guaranteed Service today! Our highly-trained service experts are the best in the business, and we have a reputation for excellence that is always upheld! Call us today at (732) 242-7480 or visit online to make your appointment and keep your family safe and ready for the next potential power outage in your area.