Alert “06880” reader Bart Shuldman sends along this reminder:
If you are lucky enough to have a generator but are still without power, you need to know your generator needs oil. Depending on the size and type, it will need oil once a day, every other day, or every 3 days. Your generator will stop running if and when the oil pressure drops.
Here is what to do to change the oil:
Open the panels that surround the generator. Find the one where the electrical panel is. Turn off the unit first — NOT THE BREAKER. Your switch should have a middle position that is the “off” position. Do not turn off the breaker just yet. Once the unit is off, wait 30 seconds — then turn the breaker off.
Once everything is off, look for dipstick. Pull it out, wipe it clean, replace it and see if the oil shows up on the stick. There will be minimum and maximum marks. If below the minimum, add oil.
Find the oil turn cover on top of the unit. Open it up and add the oil (you may need a funnel). Add about a half a can, then use your dipstick and look again. Add until the oil is close to maximum level.
Once finished, replace the oil cover and put back the oil dipstick.
When starting generator again, turn on the unit first — NOT THE BREAKER. Wait a few seconds, then turn the breaker on. Then replace all covers. You’ve kept your generator working for at least another day.