Preventative Maintenance Keeps Your Generator Working

Everyone who either owns an electrical generator or is considering purchasing one surely recognizes the value of an uninterrupted power supply. Indeed, the purpose of a power generator is to ensure that its owner is never left without a reliable source of electricity. Generators are extremely durable; however, like all complex machines, they require a reasonable amount of upkeep. Regular preventative maintenance will help extend the life of your generator. Preventive measures also ensure that your unit is performing optimally.

Preventative maintenance plans can be purchased through most dealers of power generation equipment. These plans follow the preventive maintenance schedules recommended by generator manufacturers. Most manufacturer warranties can actually be voided by damages resulting from owner neglect. Therefore, it is especially important to schedule preventative maintenance visits when purchasing a new generator. This should not overshadow the fact that preventative maintenance plans are incredibly valuable to owners of every type of unit, including both new and used generators. In fact, before reputable dealers allow used generators to be place on the sales floor, those units are put through the same rigorous inspection process that your generator would receive as part of a preventative maintenance plan. This way, dealers can make sure that used generators marked for resale have been completely refurbished—any faulty or worn down parts will have been replaced and all systems will be operating like new. Likewise, as a customer with a preventative maintenance plan, you can be sure that generator keeps running like new throughout its lifetime.

When it comes to generator upkeep, there is no substitute for the expertise of a trained technician. While maintenance plans differ slightly from dealership to dealership, similar steps are always taken to ensure that customers can continuously rely on their generators. The primary task of a maintenance technician is to inspect all the components and systems of your generator. Inspections involve checking fluid levels, testing and cleaning batteries, and verifying control panel readings. Your technician will also administer a gravity test and a load test in order to verify that all of your generator’s electrical and mechanical operations are working properly. Following the inspection, it is the technician’s job to analyze technical data. Data from the inspected generator is compared with manufacturer standards and also with data from that generator’s previous inspections. This way the technician can be sure that your generator is performing both optimally and consistently. Finally, the maintenance technician will provide you, the customer, with a comprehensive inspection report. This report will inform you of any deficiencies in your generator and it will provide a quote for any suggested repairs and replacements.

Regarding inspection reports, there are two things that customers should remember. First, if you are purchasing a used generator, you should ask to see any available inspection reports. You should be provided with a report that informs you of the generator’s history (any repairs and replacements that were made) as well as a current inspection report which will verify that everything is in proper working order. Secondly, keep in mind that loyal customers (i.e. those enrolled in preventative maintenance plans) are likely to receive better quotes on repairs from dealers. This is just another way in which a maintenance plan can save you money, on top of the insurance against breakdowns that could lead to very expensive replacements.

While regular inspections help a customer avoid generator breakdowns, there are parts to every unit that require special attention. Batteries, coolant, coolant hoses and v-belts (which drive a generator’s fans) are the most important things to maintain. Of course these parts are checked during each inspection, but it is also recommended that they be replaced every three years. Preventative maintenance is especially important in regions that experience very high or very low temperatures, as extreme heat or cold can have detrimental effects on a generator’s battery. If you live in an especially hot or cold region, you should be sure to have your battery regularly tested for voltage and to follow the recommended schedule for battery replacement.

The preventative maintenance plan offered by Worldwide Power Products is an excellent example of a comprehensive plan that takes into account all of the maintenance issues we have discussed thus far. WPP’s preventative maintenance consists of four annual visits. Three of these visits are standard quarterly inspections. WPP technicians will perform a rigorous seventy point check on your generator and provide you with detailed results as well as recommendations and quotes for repairs if necessary. The fourth annual visit will entail the same inspection, but will also include oil and filter change. Diesel generator engines operate very similarly to automobile engines and, as such, they require the same periodic oil and filter changes in order to run properly. In addition to these quarterly visits, WPP provides a special third-year service. At this time they will make all the necessary tri-annual replacements: battery, coolant, coolant hoses and v-belts.

Enrolling in a preventative maintenance plan like the one offered by Worldwide Power Products will extend the life of your generator and limit the likelihood of failures in its parts and systems. Plans can be purchased along with a new or used generator; they vary in price depending on the type of generator and its kilowatt size. Despite the extra cost, generator owners who pay for preventative maintenance are almost sure to save money over time. Without proper maintenance, generators (like all heavy machines) will experience problems and failures that can lead to extremely costly repairs or even, in the worst cases, complete premature breakdowns. Still, the most obvious consequence of non-maintenance is the possibility that you will be left without power when you need it the most. People purchase generators to ensure that they have a reliable source of power so that they may avoid financial losses and safety hazards; it is for these same reasons that generators must be properly maintained. As WPP’s own Ron Bernucho says, “If you rely on your generator for backup power, you should rely on us for maintenance.”

If you are interested in quality new and used generators available for purchase or rent, or if you would like any additional information on this topic, please call us at 713-434-2300 or e-mail us at

Worldwide Power Products