How to maintain your generator

How to maintain your generator

Generators are becoming a must have for every home and business owner, especially in these days of load shedding, but they are expensive and because of the size of the investment that a standby generator represents, it’s a really good idea to make sure that whichever generator you choose is properly maintained to maximise its lifespan.  Here we look at four tips on how to make sure you get the most out of your generator.

  • Choose a generator with the right wattage.

Generators usually have two wattage capacities: the maximum/starting wattage or the rated/continuous wattage.  The maximum/starting wattage that the generator can put out for a few seconds during start up – it cannot run at maximum wattage for long before burning out.  Choose a generator based on whether the rated/continuous wattage meets your needs.

  • Make sure it’s kept clean and protected from the elements.

Generators use oil and fuel and they are situated outside, so they get dirty – dust, insects, exhaust fumes and miscellaneous grime can all affect your generator by clogging filters and parts.  Build an enclosure or invest in an enclosure for your generator to keep off dust and grime.  Because generators also use cords, plugs and switches, it’s important to keep them dry as well, so ensure that the generator is stored and used in a dry area protected from the weather.

  • Run it regularly and check the oil

This is essential.  Most generator manufacturers suggest that you refuel your generator with fresh diesel, check the filters, plugs and coolant and run it for 30 minutes every three months or that you run it for 15 minutes once a month.  This ensures that everything in the machine stays in working order and that you notice problems long before you need the generator and not in the middle of the blackout.  Check the oil, coolant, plugs and filters regularly and replace them when needed.

  • Refuel properly

Generators get hot during use.  Turn your generator off and let it cool down before putting in more diesel to keep the risk of fire to a minimum.  Diesel degrades over time; it can also become contaminated by dust or condensation so always make sure that you top up your generator with new diesel.


Generators are a great asset for any home and business and they will get you through many a dark time, however they’re not something that can be installed and forgotten about.  If you have a query about your generator’s maintenance and servicing needs in the Gauteng area contact TDE Generators on 010 040 8334 or send mail to


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