In an earlier post, How Long Can My Generator Run?, I discussed expected fuel consumption when operating on your home generator and the role of oil in the engine. If you have not read that post, I encourage you to do so. In this post I will add to that discussion with emphasis on the importance of having adequate supplies on hand to keep your generator running during an extended power outage.
During a recent ice storm, many of our customers experienced 5 days without utility power – the longest in recent memory. The length of time for power restoration is driven by the scope and the extent of the damage as well as ongoing weather conditions. The reality is that when extensive damage to the utility distribution system occurs, it takes time to restore power, and those customers who are the most remote will likely be the last to be reconnected.
Since you have taken the first step by purchasing a home generator and becoming prepared, the next step is to determine the length of time you want to prepare for. My personal plan is to be prepared for a minimum of a month. My generator prepping supplies include sufficient oil, oil filters, air filters, and spark plugs. Since each person’s planning horizon is different, I have put together a list of what I recommend for a one-week generator prepping package.
During an extended outage, you should plan to change the oil every 72 hours of operation or twice a week for an air-cooled generator running continuously. Between those oil changes, check the oil level and add oil as needed.
The One-Week Generator Prepping Package:
- 2 oil filters
- 1 air filter with pre-filter
- 2 spark plugs
- 6 quarts of oil – for air cooled engines, we recommend 5W30 fully synthetic oil available at any auto parts store and retailers such as Walmart.
- A container to recover the used oil and save for recycling.
Oil Change Procedure
First, turn off the generator. If the engine has been running, wait a few minutes for the oil to settle. Open the oil drain line and drain into a suitable container. Open the oil fill cap to facilitate complete draining. Once drained, remove the old oil filter, turning counter-clockwise. Before replacing, oil filter coat the rubber gasket with fresh oil and retighten until snug. After snug, hand tighten another 1/3 turn to completely seal. Plug the drain line and add the recommended amount of oil for your engine, checking the oil level as you go and adding as needed to bring oil up to full mark. Do not over fill. Replace the oil cap and run engine for 5 minutes to circulate oil. Stop the engine and let settle for a few minutes, check for leaks around the oil filter seal and then re-check oil level and add as needed.
Visit our online store www.genspring-parts.com for our 6-day Prepper Kits. We also stock Briggs & Stratton, GE, Kohler, and Generac oil filters, air filters and spark plugs. If planning for multiple weeks, just add additional kits as needed.
At GenSpring Power, Power You Can Depend On is not just a slogan, it’s a commitment!
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