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How To Maintain Your Generator During A Snow Storm

Winter GeneratorLast weekend, Winter Storm Nemo dumped more than three feet of snow on the Northeast. Crews are working overtime, in difficult weather conditions, to restore electricity to affected areas. According to Seth Hulkower, an electric power distribution expert at the consulting firm ICF International, winter storms can sometimes be as dangerous as hurricane:

“…A winter storm that comes early, when leaves are still on trees can be as destructive as a hurricane. A storm that coats trees and wires with ice can also be dangerous. That’s because the weight of the snow and ice drag down wires, branches or whole trees…Snowfall by itself is not problematic…The biggest concern is whether there is going to be ice and how high the winds are going to be.’’

If you have own a home standby generator, you’re might think you’re ready to handle a winter storm outage. But keep these tips in mind, especially during heavy snow storm:

  • Prevent snow from accumulating on your generator. Most home standby generators are air-cooled and must be able to take in air and emit exhaust. Heavy snow can block these vents.
  • If your generator is running continuously for 12 hours, it needs to have the oil check. Learn how do to this

Kohler 8.5 kW

  1. Open the home standby generator housing.
  2.  Turn off the breaker switch. The lights will shut off, but the generator will continue to run.
  3. After ten seconds, move the rocker switch (upper right of the breaker switch) from “Auto” to “Off” or “Reset”. The generator will shut off.
  4. Use the dipstick and check the oil level.
  5. If additional oil is needed, unscrew the oil fill cover.
  6. Add the oil slowly to prevent overflowing. Fill to the “Full” mark on the dipstick. (Use 5W30 Synthetic oil)
  7. Put the dipstick back and close the oil cover.
  8. Turn the rocker switch back to “Auto”. The generator will start again.
  9. After ten seconds, turn on the breaker switch. The lights will come back on.
  10. Close the generator housing.

Kohler 14kW – 20kW

  1. Open the home standby generator housing.
  2.  Turn off the breaker switch. The lights will shut off, but the generator will continue to run.
  3. After ten seconds, push the blue “Off” button, and the generator will shut off.
  4. Use the dipstick and check the oil level.
  5. If additional oil is needed, unscrew the oil fill cover.
  6. Add the oil slowly to prevent overflowing. Fill to the “Full” mark on the dipstick. (Use 5W30 Synthetic oil)
  7. Put the dipstick back and close the oil cover.
  8. Push the blue “Auto” button (next to the “Off” button). The generator will start again.
  9. After ten seconds, turn on the breaker switch. The lights will come back on.
  10. Close the generator housing.