MAINTAIN YOUR GENERATOR FOR SMOOTH OPERATION
To keep your portable generator running smoothly, you need to perform regular maintenance on the machine. Here are the basics of what we recommend for A-iPower portable generators. Remember you should always read your owner’s manual first, and if you are not comfortable with any of the maintenance steps, take your generator to a service center or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t skip on this or your generator will not operate properly.
Keep it clean
General maintenance consists of keeping the unit clean and dry. Operate and store the unit in a environment where it will not be exposed to excessive dust, dirt, moisture or any corrosive vapors. Cooling air slots in the generator must not become clogged with snow, leaves, or any other foreign material. Check the cleanliness of the generator frequently and clean when dust, dirt, oil, moisture or other foreign substances are visible on its exterior surface.
When cleaning, do not use a garden hose as water can enter the engine fuel system, cooling air slots, or other internal workings, causing damage to the generator. Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe exterior surfaces clean. A soft, bristle brush may be used to loosen caked on dirt, oil, etc. and a vacuum cleaner may be used to pick up loose dirt and debris. Low pressure air (not to exceed 25 psi) may be used to blow away dirt.
As part of the cleaning routine, inspect cooling air slots and openings. These openings must be kept clean and unobstructed.
Changing the oil
Change the oil after the first five hours of operation, then every 50 hours thereafter. If running the unit under dirty or dusty conditions, or in extremely hot weather, change the oil more often.
Replace the spark plug
Replace the spark plug once each year. This will help the engine start easier and run better.
When replacing the plug, stop the engine and pull the spark plug wire off of the spark plug. Clean the area around the spark plug and remove it from the cylinder head. Set the spark plug’s gap to 0.70-0.80 mm (0.028-0.031 in.) Install the correctly gapped spark plug into the cylinder and torque to 15 ft./lbs.
Clean the spark arrester
Shut off the generator and allow the engine and muffler to cool completely.
Remove the clamp and spark arrestor screen. Clean the spark arrester screen with a small wire brush. Replace the spark arrester if it is damaged. Installation of the spark arrester screen is the reverse of the removal.
Clean or replace the air filter
The engine will not run properly and may be damaged if using a dirty air filter. Replace the air filter once a year. Clean or replace more often if operating under dusty conditions.
To clean: Remove air filter cover and remove the filter. Wash in soapy water. Squeeze the filter dry in a clean cloth – do not twist. Clean the air filter cover before re-installing it.
Check and adjust valve clearance
After the first 50 hours of operation, check the valve clearance in the engine and adjust if necessary.
Intake valve clearance: should be 0.10-1.15 mm (0.004-0.006 in)
Exhaust clearance: 0.15-0.20 mm (0.006-0.008 in.)
If you are not sure on this procedure, take the generator to a service center to have the valve clearance adjusted or contact us at email@example.com. This is a very important step to ensure longest life for the engine.
Tips for when not in use
The generator should be started at least once every seven days and be allowed to run at least 30 minutes. If the unit must be stored for more than 30 days, then the fuel system should be emptied. Start and run the engine until the engine stops from lack of fuel. While the engine is still warm, drain oil from the crankcase, then refill with recommended grade oil.
Remove spark plugs and put about a half ounce of engine oil into the cylinders. Cover spark plug hole with rag. Pull the recoil starter a couple times to lubricate the piston rings and cylinder bore.
If it is not possible to empty the fuel tank and the unit is to be stored for some time, use a commercially available fuel stabilizer added to the gasoline to increase the life of the gasoline.
Install and tighten spark plug. Do not connect spark plug wires.
Cover the unit with a suitable protective cover that does not retain moisture.
|First 5 Hours|
|Change engine oil|
|Every 8 hours or daily|
|Check engine oil level|
|Every 25 hours or Yearly|
|Clean engine air filter|
|Every 50 hours or yearly|
|Change engine oil|
|Replace engine air filter|
|Service fuel valve|
|Service spark plug|
|Inspect muffler and spark arrester|
|Clean cooling system|
WHEN CHOOSING A PORTABLE GENERATOR, LOOK FOR THESE FEATURES
When severe weather strikes and the power goes off for extended periods, a portable generator can keep the lights on, the food cold, water running, and electronics powered. When choosing a portable generator, look for these features.
Enough power: Choose a generator with enough wattage output to power the appliances you’ll need in an emergency. Look for continuous running watts rather than surge wattage ratings when determining the correct generator to buy.
Sufficient electrical outlets: A portable generator should have enough receptacles for the devices a homeowner wants to run. Models that include a multi-outlet cord offer greater convenience.
Long enough run time on a full tank of gas: Look for a generator that will run through the night without refilling.
Portability: Choosing a generator equipped with wheels and handles makes it a lot easier on the user.
CHOOSING A PORTABLE GENERATOR FOR YOUR RV
If you’re traveling in an RV, you are traveling with some of the comforts of home – air conditioning, fridge, microwave, television, and other appliances. To enjoy those amenities, you will need a power source. Portable generators provide an effective and economical solution to your power needs.
But what size generator to buy? First you need to understand that generator models are classified by watts – starting watts and running watts.
The more watts your generator has, the more items you can power at the same time. To know how much you will need, calculate all the wattage requirements of all the accessories you plan to operate on generator power. Typically, wattage is listed on the device, on the back or on the bottom. If not, a simple formula for determining watts is multiplying volts x amps. The total will tell you the model of generator you need.
One thing to remember is that some devices have starting wattage requirements that are larger than running watts, like the air-conditioner, which is the biggest power user. So to calculate the minimum number of watts you need, use the starting watts of the air conditioner plus the running watts for all other devices. This is the minimum wattage you will need from a generator.
Let’s make this a bit clearer with this example:
A 13,500 btu air conditioner will take about 2,800 starting watts. After it has powered up, it will run at about 1,800 watts. That leaves you 1,000 watts to power other items. So, if you plan to run more items that will exceed 1,000 watts, you will need a larger generator.
The chart below will give you a better idea of approximate running wattage of some common items used in an RV.
Please note: This is just a guide. Individual appliances may have varying wattages.
|APPLIANCE||RUNNING WATTS (approximate)
|Air-Conditioner 15,000 btu||2,000||3,300-3,500|
|Air Conditioner 13,500 btu||1,800||2,800|
|Keurig Coffee Maker||300||1,500|
|Electric Fry Pan||1,300||0|
|Microwave (650 watts)||1,000||1,000|
|Outdoor Light String||250||0|
|Cell Phone Battery Charger||25||0|
Another important factor to consider is how long you will be running your generator. The generator run time is found on the generator spec sheet and owner’s manual. Run time is determined at 50% load levels and the power used directly impacts the run time. The more power used, the shorter the run time and the sooner you will have to refuel.
Always be aware of safety and the danger of carbon monoxide. Keep the generator in an outside space, far from occupied areas, with its exhaust pointing away from campsites. Never transport your generator in the back of your RV or your SUV if you are towing a camper. The best way to transport your generator is to have a platform built on the back of your RV.
- Many campers and outdoor enthusiasts like to use inverter generators, which are compact, lightweight, and run quieter than portable models. A-iPower inverter generators come equipped with a built-in parallel kit, allowing two generators to connect for nearly double the power. We’ll discuss how to parallel inverters in a future blog.
Welcome to the A-iPower Blog
If you are clicking on our website for the first time, you’ll notice that we have completely redesigned it with improved navigation and content. We hope you like the new A-iPower site and the resources it offers you.
With this new site, we’ve decided to venture into blogging, where we will share A-iPower news, product information, and ideas and tips on using your portable generator inverters, inverter pressure washer, water pump, and gasoline engine.
We are not serial posters, so you won’t see a new blog here every day or even every week, but we will be adding news you can use on a regular basis.
We’ll be blogging about weather safety and disaster preparedness, what to do when you have water in the basement, and sprucing up your curb appeal with a pressure washer. You can expect to read some fun things too, like party planning tips, unique camping and RV destinations, and maybe even a recipe or two that you can add to your tailgating must-haves.
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