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The winter can wreak havoc on the power grid, causing it to malfunction or fail altogether. When this happens, you should have a trusty generator to provide backup power. But the bad news is that sub-zero temperatures can also affect the generator, leaving you with little to no power in critical situations.

But don’t worry; there’s good news, too. Put in some prep work ahead of winter, and your generator shouldn’t leave you stranded once the cold weather hits.

1. Install an Engine Block Heater
A block heater keeps the generator’s engine (and other components) warm in cold weather. So, it goes without saying – it’s crucial for the winter. If you already have an engine block heater, great. Just make sure it’s plugged in and functioning correctly.

2. Inspect the Battery Charger
If there’s a single component that results in most generator service calls, it’s undoubtedly the batteries. So, before the cold weather settles in, ensure your generator’s battery charger is adequately connected. Also, consider installing battery blankets to keep these vital components at an optimal temperature during the winter.

3. Keep an Eye on the Fuel
Fuel can degrade over time (and even expire altogether). With this in mind, you have two courses of action. One, treat the fuel in the tank with anti-microbial and anti-gel additives to ensure it remains usable. And two, always have fresh fuel available, just in case.

4. Perform Regular Visual Inspections
For your generator to function correctly, the area around it must be clear of debris and well-maintained. While examining the surroundings, also check the generator for any stains, leaks, puddles, or blockages that might indicate potential issues.

5. Don’t Stop the Tests Once the Winter Comes
If you did the prep correctly, you should have some much-needed peace of mind in the winter. But this doesn’t mean you should stop testing your generator. Turn it on occasionally to see how it behaves in cold weather and keep all the parts lubricated.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make sure to check to see if the battery has the proper charge to run.
  • Make sure that the fuel is still good. Fuel can expire.
  • Don’t skip any type of inspection and make sure it all passes.

“Make sure your battery charger is plugged in and connected to prevent batteries from losing too much power due to cold temperatures.”

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