That time of the year has arrived when, even though the Atlantic hurricane season is nearing its end, the tropical activity is ramping up. It is not unusual to watch the news and see a series of different systems lining up from the coast of Africa all the way toward the Caribbean. While south Louisiana has been fortunate over the past few years, this is still a good time to make sure you are prepared should a storm enter the gulf. If you haven’t used your generator in a while, here are a few tips to make sure it is in good working order.

The last thing you want as a storm approaches, or in any other circumstance, is to start your generator and discover that it doesn’t work. If your generator has been sitting unused, there are some common issues that can occur. Leaving fuel in the tank over a long period of time is typically the number one culprit for creating problems. Check your fuel tank first. If it’s empty check for signs of rust, debris, or any other type of contamination. If you discover anything, it’s a good idea to have that cleaned out before adding new fuel. Trying to run your generator when any contaminant is present can damage the carburetor and the tank itself.

Once you’ve inspected your tank and fuel for traces of sediment, water, and other foreign objects, refuel with 100% non-ethanol gasoline. This type of fuel is less susceptible to moisture an takes longer to break down. This means that if you do leave fuel in your tank for an extended period of time, the chance for damage is reduced, and you’ll receive better performance when it is running.

After addressing the fuel source and tank, you’ll want to perform some routine maintenance. If it has been a while since the oil has been changed, it needs to be replaced. Also check your generator’s air filter. Foam air filters can deteriorate over time and interfere with and damage the engine. These simple tasks not only protect your generator, they will ensure that is ready to perform should you need it.

You should also check your spark plugs and other connections. It’s not uncommon for these to become loose as the generator is moved. This can prevent your generator from starting, even after checking everything mentioned above. Your generator’s carburetor can also be a factor in starting issues. Even if your tank is drained, some fuel can still remain in the carburetor, and it will need to be drained, and or cleaned.

If your generator has been sitting dormant for a few years, it needs to be exercised. So once you’ve checked on the fuel, oil, and air filter, and you’ve started your generator and its running well, plug in a few appliances to ensure that they are receiving power. Just because your generator starts and runs, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ready to provide electricity. Debris and other items can find their way into your generator’s receptacles, preventing adequate contact.

Before a storm gets close, or your power goes out, make sure your generator is ready. If you’re in the market for a new generator, or need to get yours ready, the experts at Bozeman Distributors have been helping Baton Rouge area home and business owners for over 50 years.