Standby Generator Maintenance: Checklist & Schedule

Standby generators are just like other tools and equipment, in that they need maintenance performed to keep them running well. Fortunately, the steps to complete a maintenance process are not many, which you can find out below.

What kind of maintenance does a generator need?

A backup generator is like a car: you wouldn’t drive it for 10,000 miles without an oil change. The spark plugs may become also become very filthy after a few years of usage. Air Filtration and the battery need to be inspected and changed when needed.

Steps to maintain a standby generator

Here are the steps to keep your standby generator maintained:

  • Keep the oil and filter changed
  • Remove, inspect and reinstall the fuel filter.
  • Disinfect and reinstall the crankshaft breather valve.
  • Replace the spark plugs.
  • Make sure the coolant is at the correct concentration.
  • Do a system flush to remove any accumulated debris (as needed).
  • Conduct load bank testing.

How often should a standby generator be serviced?

Standby generator servicing should be scheduled every six months to a year.

What would you routinely check on a standby generator?

A visual assessment should be the first step in any generator servicing. Many issues, such as leaks, worn-out components, and grime, may be spotted with a fast daily or weekly inspection.

How often should generator oil be changed?

Experts suggest changing your generator’s oil every 100 hours, especially if you use it often or for a long time. Make sure the generator has cooled down before you do an oil change.

Highly Rated Standby Generators

Champion 14KW 754cc aXis Standby Generator w/ 100amp Transfer Switch

Generac 7043 Home Standby Generator 22kW/19.5kW Air Cooled with Whole House 200 Amp Transfer Switch

Generac 6998 Guardian Series 7.5kW/6kW Air Cooled Home Standby Generator with 8 Circuit 50 Amp Transfer Switch

Related Questions and Answers

How often do you change the oil in a whole house generator?

Once per year or every time it has run for 200 hours, you should change the oil in your whole-home generator. We hope you never have to use your generator for so long, but it’s still a good idea to keep track of this length of time

How often should I exercise my Generac generator?

In order to maximize the performance of your Generac generator, it is recommended that you run it for at least five minutes each week. There is a user-selectable workout cycle for all 2015 and subsequent models, which includes weekly, biweekly, and monthly options.

How long do standby generators last?

Standby generators can last anywhere between 10 and 40 years.

How long can you run a generator before changing the oil?

Changing the oil after the first 25 hours of use, known as the break-in phase, is recommended by the owner’s handbook for new generators. After then, the 100–200-hour interval begins to take effect.

How much does it cost to service a generator?

Several respected generator manufacturers offer annual service contracts. The yearly cost of generator maintenance may range from $150 to $300, depending on the model and the frequency of inspections.

Is synthetic oil better for generators?

As a result of its ability to manage temperature swings, synthetic oil cleans your engine while in operation, and it is generally less environmentally damaging than other types of oil. There are a variety of synthetic oils, each with a different set of additives, that can handle just about everything

How do you maintain a diesel generator?

This video should help answer this question:

Do whole house generators require maintenance?

Having a qualified expert inspect your whole home generator at least once or twice a year, and maybe after any significant period of use, should be part of routine maintenance for these devices. Some systems may need oil changes, air filters, and, of course, keeping the area surrounding the unit clean

How long can gas sit in a generator?

Gas can sit in a generator between a few days and several weeks between uses.

Can you use car oil in a generator?

A common rule of thumb is that most cars and generators can run on 5W30 or 10W30. Mineral oil and synthetic oil are other typical choices. The two may even be combined.

What happens if you overfill a generator with gas?

Fuel may spill into a hot engine if the tank is overfilled, resulting in a fire or explosion. Avoid putting too much gas in the tank. Allow for fuel expansion at all times. Never add gasoline to a running generator or heated appliance.


Keeping your standby generator maintained and working properly does not require much time if you know what steps to take. Just remember to keep safety in mind when working them because they are considered heavy equipment and contain dangerous fuel.

The “diesel generator maintenance schedule” is a checklist and schedule that can be used to maintain the diesel generator.

NEXT UP: How Many kW for a Whole Home Generator for Different House Sizes?

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James Sylvester
About James Sylvester

James S. Sylvester is an experienced OSHA Safety Supervisor with years of experience in the construction and oil & gas industries. He focuses on workplace safety, occupational health and safety systems. Learn more about James' here or connect with him on Twitter