Man's hand plugging an extension cord into an emergency generator.

Ten Steps to Breaking in Your Generator

Generators are a vital part of any power system. They provide backup power in the event of a blackout by supplying electricity to essential systems such as ventilation and medical equipment until the grid is restored. However, generators need to be properly broken in before they can be used for this purpose.

Why Break In a Generator?

The process of breaking in a generator is crucial to ensure it will work properly and efficiently. Breaking in a generator is not difficult, but the process must be done correctly and with patience. If you don’t break in your new generator, you run the risk of having it stop working before its time or overworking itself due to improper use. There are several steps to break in a generator properly, and each should be done carefully.

Steps to Break in a Generator

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re breaking in an older or newer generator model or which fuel it runs on; all types need to be fully broken in before being used regularly. The time it takes will vary based on the age of your machine, but sticking to these ten steps will ensure your generator is ready to go when it counts.

Step One: Get Your Generator Ready

Ensure the area in which you are breaking in your new generator has been adequately prepared and that all safety features have been implemented. You’ll need to make sure the area has been adequately ventilated and that there are no open flames.

Step Two: Check and Load Your Fuel

It’s essential to make sure your generator runs on the right kind of fuel. This means checking for compatibility issues between gasoline, diesel, or propane-powered generators before you begin. You’ll also need to make sure that the fuel you are using is fresh. Old fuel can cause problems for generators, so it’s essential to take steps before breaking in your new generator to ensure this won’t be an issue.

Step Three: Prime Your New Generator

Generators are simple machines with a few moving parts, but they rely on a complex series of switches and valves to run properly. Before running your generator, you should take steps to ensure these parts have been primed correctly. This will give you a better chance of having your generator work first, reducing wear and tear on key components.

Step Four: Make Sure Your Generator Is Properly Balanced

Once all of these steps have been completed, run your generator for five minutes at low speed so that it can warm up properly. This will help prime the engine, but it will also ensure that your generator is properly balanced. If you are breaking in a new gasoline-powered machine, remember not to rev up or overwork the unit during this time.

Step Five: Increase Your Generator’s Speed Gradually

Once your new generator has warmed up, you can begin increasing its speed gradually. Moving too quickly or increasing the load immediately before it is ready will cause damage to your unit. After five minutes of warming up at low speeds, increase the power slowly until you have reached your generator’s maximum safe speed. This will take several minutes to a few hours, so be patient and careful as you work during this step of breaking in your new generator.

Step Six: Let it Run for Another Hour

Once your new generator has been broken in, continue to run it at medium speeds for another couple of hours. You can then turn the unit back down and let it idle until you are ready to start using it again. During this time, monitor your new machine’s performance carefully so that you know where its strengths and weaknesses lie before working with it in a real-world situation.

Step Seven: Change the Fuel/Oil

After running for an hour to two, it’s important to change the fuel/oil mixture. This simple process involves draining off half of the oil and filling up your tank with fresh gasoline or diesel.

Step Eight: Run Your Generator for Three Hours at Half Power

Before using your newly broken-in generator, the next step is to run it at half power for two to three hours. This helps work out any engine problems and ensures that your new machine has enough fuel in its tank to last through an extended outage.

Step Nine: Let Your New Generator Cool Before Storing It

Once you’ve finished breaking in a new generator, it’s important to let the machine cool down before storing or transporting it. This helps prevent damage to internal components and ensures that your generator will be ready for use when you need it most.

Step Ten: Record Important Details

Finally, make sure to take notes about which steps your new generator went through during breaking in so that you can refer back to them in the future. It’s important to note that each new generator is different, so you may have steps one through nine on your list, while someone else will only need three or four of these tasks before they are ready for use.

After following all of these steps, you can use your generator for hours at a time without worrying about causing damage to the generator itself. Keep in mind that these steps only apply if you’re breaking in a new machine, but if you are considering purchasing a used model, it too can benefit from proper care and maintenance before being used regularly.

Final Thoughts

There are many benefits to having a properly broken-in diesel or gasoline-powered generator on hand when the power goes out. Knowing how to break one in can mean not wasting time troubleshooting problems during an emergency and focusing on getting the power back up as quickly as possible.