“Why do I need preventative maintenance for my home generator, that’s just a high priced oil change?”

In explaining the benefits of preventative maintenance it helps to look at the major components that make up a typical home Generator System.

  • Engine
  • Alternator
  • Control Panel
  • Automatic Transfer Switch
Engine: Most home generators are powered by an air cooled, internal combustion engine fueled by either Natural Gas or Propane. And yes regular oil changes are an important part of engine maintenance but should be one ingredient of a preventative program, not all of it. As with any engine there are many components that all must be in good repair and working together to make the engine hum along as the manufacture intended.

Alternator: Attached to the engine is the alternator. This component is made up of stationary and rotating windings that as the engine turns the rotating parts, electrical current is created. Often overlooked in generator maintenance but absolutely critical to the system’s ability to produce electricity. Visually inspection and checking the power quality should always be part of system maintenance.

Control Panel: Mounted inside the generator enclosure the control panel is the brain of the system. It constantly monitors and directs the function and output of the engine and alternator. It is at the control panel that the technician is able to review the system, input instructions and download software upgrades from the manufacture.

Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS): Separate from the generator this component is usually installed in the home, near the electric panel. In the event of a power outage the ATS will recognize the lack of available power from the utility company, send a signal to the generator to start and then transfer the home to generator produced power. All of this happens in a few seconds. When utility power is once again available the reverse process takes place. The ATS will transfer back to utility power and signal the generator to shut down. Inspection and testing of the ATS is a part of a comprehensive preventative maintenance program.

A home generator is an important investment, providing comfort and security for you and protection against property damage. Scheduled maintenance and testing are the best way to insure your generator system will be ready to perform when the power goes out.

Scherbon Consolidated Inc. can provide Preventative Maintenance for all brands of residential generators. Please contact our service department for a detailed list of the services provided and a price quotation.