Steps to Breaking In Your New Portable Generator

Steps to Breaking In Your New Portable Generator

So your new portable generator has just been delivered. Yay! But before you start planning your next camping or caravanning trip and backyard barbecue, you need to know the basics of how to break in a generator to ensure you start without any operational issues. 

Yep - you read that right. In fact, the first few hours of using your portable generator will greatly impact its lifespan and performance. Generators can be expensive, so you want to ensure you do this correctly to avoid damaging your brand-new unit.

So, what do we mean by "breaking in my portable generator"? Is it the same as the first time you use it? Absolutely not. Think of it as a warm-up before actually putting the generator to work. Breaking in a generator means letting it run a cycle for a certain amount of time and changing the oil after every cycle.

This allows the oil to run through all the moving parts in the engine, clean it, and get it ready for future use. Also, prepping your generator is important because when engines are new and have never been used, there is a good chance that tiny pieces of metal will break off. This can cause significant damage to your engine over time and shorten the overall service life of your unit.

Which brings us to the next question: How do I break in a generator properly? 

No worries; we'll take you through it step-by-step and equip you with a comprehensive explanation of each procedure. Read on and be extra prepared when you finally buy that generator!

How Do I Break In My Portable Generator Properly?

The initial process of a generator break in usually takes around 25 hours. Still, it is fairly easy, especially for those who have done it. If you're a first-timer and don't have much experience handling a camping generator, here are the most important steps to properly break in your spanking-new outdoor gear.

Step 1: Read the Operator’s Manual

You might think that little piece of paper can be skipped, but it's actually filled with helpful information on the steps you will need, including additional instructions on changing the oil, usage, and more.

Step 2: Shop For Supplies To Lubricate Your Generator 

Buy fuel, oil, and a funnel. Choose which oil and fuel the manufacturer recommends and use the funnel for mess-free pouring (do not use the same funnel for both the fuel and oil to avoid contamination.)

Step 3: Add Oil And Fuel To the Reservoirs 

Fill the reservoir to the recommended level and avoid overfilling. Wait for the oil to flow in every intended area, then top off as needed. After this, fill the fuel tank using a clean, authorised fuel can. For Gentrax portable generators for camping, we recommend using either 9IRON or regular unleaded fuel, whichever is more accessible to you.

Step 4: Start the Generator 

Start up your petrol generator after the fuel has been added. Remember, it is normal if the generator does not start up right away after the first or second pull. Just keep trying until the engine starts.

Step 5: Run the Generator

Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for the minimum time your generator should run initially. If there's no recommendation, run it for a full hour. Keep in mind: You can connect a load to your unit during the generator break in period as long as it does not exceed 75% of the generator's capacity.

Step 6: Second Start (Optional)

Allowing your engine to run for a second time will ensure that all remaining metal bits collect in the oil. After this, drain the oil and refill the engine before running it for the first time on your next adventure.

Generator Maintenance Intervals

So your generator has warmed up and is ready for use? Great, now it's time to learn what you need to check daily, monthly, or yearly.Yes, it doesn't stop with the break-in process alone. These constant checks will ensure your generator stays in optimal condition for reliable performance with every use. 

Pre-operational Daily Checks

    Check your engine oil level.
    Check choke operation. 
    Check the fuel hose for cracks or damage. Replace if necessary. 
    Check for leakage. Retighten or replace the gasket if necessary. 
    Check the muffler screen. Clean or replace if necessary.
    Check your starting system. 
    Check if the pilot light comes on. 

Initial 1 Month or 20 Hours

    Replace your engine oil.

Every 3 Months or 50 Hours

    Check the spark plug condition. Adjust in case of gaps and clean. Replace if necessary. 
    Clean or replace your air filter.

Every 6 Months or 100 Hours

    Replace your engine oil.
    Clean the oil filter.
    Clean the fuel cock filter. 
    Check all fittings and fasteners. 

Every 12 Months or 300 Hours

    Check and adjust your valve clearance when the engine is cold. 
    Check your exhaust system and see if some parts need replacement. 
    Check for damages within your cooling system. 
    Check and adjust engine idle speed. 
    Check the breather hose for cracks or damage. Replace if necessary. 

A Few More Things To Remember

We’re almost done. Here are a few more reminders to keep your generator in excellent condition.

  • Do not exceed 75% of the generator’s rated capacity during the break-in period. 
  • Place the generator on firm-level ground away from buildings or other structures and ensure the exhaust is not obstructed.
  • Never operate the generator in wet(rain) or snow conditions.
  • Make it a habit to clean the exterior of your generator and apply a rust inhibitor. 
  • When not in use, cover the generator and store it in a dry, well-ventilated area. 
And that is it. Pat yourself on the back. Your generator break in is a success! Now, you can start planning for that weekend campout or road trip!

First things first, though—before learning how to break in a generator, have you bought your unit yet? If you haven't decided where to buy yours, no need to look further. Outbax is your best online shop for camping gear, especially portable inverter generators.

Our generator range has been considered one of the finest in the market for several years. In fact, our famous 3.5kW Inverter Generator has even been voted the best generator in the country multiple times now! Visit our website today and start hunting for quality portable generators for camping/backup online.

Last Updated on April 5, 2024

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