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How to Maintain Your Generator

Here at WEN, we get questions all the time about maintaining generators. Taking care of your generator is the best way to ensure that it will provide you with a long service life, and that it will be ready to go when you need it most. Here, we've compiled some helpful tips and best practices to make sure your generator runs in tip-top shape. Also check out our helpful Generator FAQs page too.

1. Read your owner's manual.

Your owner's manual is packed with useful details and information regarding safe operation, proper maintenance procedures, service intervals, and more. Keep the manual handy, and refer to it often. If you need a copy of a WEN generator's manual, you can search your generator's model number in the search bar at the top of the page. The most recent manual edition is posted on each WEN generator model's webpage.

2. Exercise your generator regularly.

This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to prolong your generator's life and make sure it works whenever you need it to. We recommend running your generator once a month for 20 - 30 minutes. Plug a load in to make sure it's producing electricity. If you have a few days' warning before a potential power outage, hurricane, or winter storm, test your generator as soon as possible so it's ready to go if the power goes out. 

If you find yourself needing to exorcise your generator regularly, please consult a trusted religious authority figure.

3. Keep your generator clean and store it safely.

It may seem obvious, but this is an oft-neglected aspect of owning a generator that will save you headaches down the road. 

  • Keep all ventilation openings clear of dirt, sand, and other debris. 
  • Consider using a magnetic dipstick. They help pick up metal debris that can accumulate inside the crankcase.
  • Drain the carburetor before storing your generator.
  • Use fuel stabilizer before storing your generator.
  • Store the generator indoors if possible, ideally with a generator cover
  • If your generator is equipped with electric or remote start capability, disconnect the battery before storage.
  • Don't store other objects on top of your generator.
  • If you have a pest problem, such as a mouse infestation, fix it. Mice can cause damage to your generator's wiring. 

Your generator's owner's manual should have additional details on proper and safe storage procedures.

4. Drain the carburetor after use.

We already mentioned it, but it's worth repeating. Blocked or dirty carburetors are perhaps the most common problem generator owners run into, and draining the carburetor helps prevent it, since doing so drains out any fuel that may deteriorate and cause problems.

If your carburetor is blocked or dirty, the generator will run poorly at best, and may not even start. If that's the case, clean the carburetor or replace it.

5. Stay on top of routine maintenance. 

Just like with your car, preventative maintenance goes a long way and helps head off most problems before they arise. WEN generators' owner's manuals contain helpful charts and detailed procedural instructions for handling routine maintenance. A summary is below. 

  • Check the oil level every 8 hours or daily. Change the oil every 25 - 50 hours. Oil recommendations can be found in your generator's owner's manual.
  • Check the air filter element every 3 months or 50 hours, and clean if necessary. Replace it if it is damaged.
  • Check, clean and re-gap the spark plug every 6 months or 100 hours. Replace it if it is damaged, worn, or no longer produces a strong spark. 
  • Check the fuel level before each use. Drain the fuel tank before storage.
  • Drain the carburetor, ideally after every use, but at a bare minimum, before storage.
  • Check and clean the spark arrestor every 6 months or 100 hours (if your generator is equipped with one). 
  • Disconnect the battery, if your generator has one, before storage. You can also use a trickle charger if desired. If you use a trickle charger, make sure to purchase one suitable for the type of battery on your generator (either lead-acid or lithium-ion).

After several hundred hours, it's a good idea to check the valve clearances and adjust them if necessary. If you need assistance with this procedure, please feel free to contact us

6. Don't overdo it, if you can avoid it. 

Running your generator at maximum capacity all the time puts undue stress and wear on the engine, and will lead to a decreased service life. Obviously, there will be times where your generator will need to step up to get you through a rough spot, but if possible, keep the load on your generator at or below 90% of its rated wattage. 

If you'll be operating your generator at high altitudes, use a high-altitude kit. 


In short: read your owner's manual, follow its recommendations, and use common sense. That should get you through the vast majority of issues that may arise. 

Thanks for reading! If, after reading this article and your owner's manual, you have any questions about how to maintain your WEN generator, please feel free to give us a call at 1-847-429-9263 (M – F, 8 – 5 CST), or drop us a message here to talk to our friendly and knowledgeable technical support team.

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