Inverter Generators: Lifespan and Maintenance Tips

Inverter Generators: Lifespan and Maintenance Tips

Generator maintenance is the key to a winning performance and quality output. Even the best unit is bound to decline without regular care, which could mean a hassle both for your experience and pocket. Imagine spending for a generator only to end up with a power shortage due to damage!

Hold off typing "how to maintain generator" on that search bar yet, though. We've compiled the basic tips you need to know to keep your unit in optimal condition, as well as helpful information on service life, proper storage, and generator types. 

Ready to learn more about portable generators? Read on, get the best generator for your power needs, and handle it like a pro!

How Long Does A Generator Last?

Typically, a well-maintained generator can last between 1,000 to 2,000 hours of use or 10 to 15 years. This is subject to change, though, depending on other factors such as usage frequency and external conditions. The overall quality of the generator you will purchase in the first place also plays a huge factor in service life, so it's always best to invest in a reputable provider with a good warranty offer. 

A high-calibre generator would most likely be an inverter generator nowadays, as these are designed to be lighter, more fuel-efficient, and extra-advanced in terms of features compared to traditional standby generators. The inverter generator lifespan is also considerably long, spanning 1,000+ hours.

Inverter Generator vs Regular Generator: What's The Difference?

There has been a lot of hype surrounding inverter generators in recent years, but how exactly do they differ from traditional generators? 

Let's start with manufacturing. The great thing about inverter generators is that they're designed using advanced technology to produce a cleaner, more stable power. It works by converting the unit's AC (alternating current) power into DC (direct current), then utilising the inverter function to invert it into reliable AC power output. This type of power is known to be extremely safe, even for sensitive devices, such as laptops and mobile phones. 

Another edge of these generators is their portability. These make the perfect camping generators or caravan generators with a significantly lighter weight than their bulky, traditional counterparts. They also have a quieter operation and are designed to be highly fuel-efficient. These units adjust their engine speed according to power demand, helping reduce fuel costs while extending runtime.

Conventional generators, on the other hand, are a lot larger and more suitable for heavy-duty applications. These operate by either gasoline, diesel, propane, or natural gas by converting chemical energy into mechanical energy through combustion. 

Perfect as backup power in electrical outages, these are highly durable with increased power output and total harmonic distortion (THD). This means that while they produce more output, they may have slight fluctuations and a less stable voltage than inverter generators, making them unsuitable for sensitive electronic devices. 

Top Generator Maintenance Tips

Want to stretch that inverter generator lifespan for years? Follow these tried-and-tested generator maintenance tips to keep your unit in its best shape!

Read And Follow Your Manual

First and most importantly—when you get your generator, make sure to read the manual first. Everything you need from breaking in your unit to storage instructions would be there. This also prevents faulty handling, especially for first-time users, which can result in permanent damage early on. 

Change Your Engine Oil

Fresh oil contributes to the reliability of any portable inverter generator. Typically, oil changes are recommended after the first 24 hours of use and every 6 months after that. Checking your oil levels every after-use is also recommended to ensure you have enough for your next run. 

Keep Your Air Filter Clean

To keep the quality of your generator at its best, clean the air filter every 50 hours or 3 months. You can easily do this with warm water and mild detergent. If your air filter shows any damage, replace it immediately with a new one. 

Spark Plug Adjustment Is A Must

As the name suggests, the spark plug supplies the "spark" that ignites your generator's air/fuel mix to produce power. With such a crucial role, this part of your generator requires checking every three months and a yearly replacement to ensure optimal performance. 

Run Your Generator Regularly

Like most technical equipment, leaving your generator idle for extended periods can result in damage and sluggish performance. Even during the off-season, when you're not likely to use it, try to run it for at least 20-30 minutes with load to test its condition.

Drain The Carburetor

Blocked or dirty carburettors are one of the most common causes of generator damage. Drain it after using your unit or replace it if necessary to avoid poor performance.

Clean Your Generator Before Storage

A clean, well-maintained generator will run smoothly for years, so see that you know how to keep yours free of dirt. Purchase a generator cover if necessary. Use a magnetic dipstick to remove accumulated debris inside the crankcase. Make sure all ventilation openings are not clogged. These little things may be simple but will go a long way when keeping your unit in top condition. 

Practice Proper Storage

You want to keep your generator safe and ready for next use, so store it in a cool, dry place. Dust and dampness are the main enemies of electric components. You also want to drain all the fuel from the system and lubricate the engine's internals. 

Pro tip: Pour oil into the spark plug opening to lubricate the engine. 

There you have it—follow these simple steps and turn generator maintenance into a breeze to ensure your generator lasts for years of camping fun or reliable home backup power source. Of course, generator quality is also a must, so invest in a premium quality one, preferably with a pure sine wave output.

If you’re yet to buy yours, here’s a tip: go for a Gentrax portable inverter generator. Producing a line of pure sine wave inverter generators at affordable price tags, Gentrax has emerged as one of the top choices of Aussies with models that have won awards over the years. Shop now and see what the rave is about!

Last Updated on April 5, 2024

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