Generators play an important role in running all your electronic devices during power outages. Typically, it produces electric power through an engine burning different types of energy sources such as fuel, diesel, gas, and rechargeable batteries. The engine of a backup generator actually works just like an automobile.
Although the engine runs on fuel, it needs a battery to start the generator when necessary. Unfortunately, the battery gets old over time and does not work properly. As a result, the generator may take longer to turn on or off when a power outage occurs. In that case, replacing the old battery with a new one will help ensure that your generator starts on time.
However, how often this battery needs to be replaced is the most common question among generator users. Most technicians recommend replacing a generator battery every 36 months. Keep reading in this context to get in-depth information in this regard.
Why Do Generators Need A Battery?
An emergency generator battery’s primary purpose is to supply electricity to the generator engine. It helps to start the generator when a power outage occurs. The battery can also be used to power a digital control panel, depending on the generator system setup. For that, most generators nowadays are equipped with a powerful battery that prevents the generator’s from starting manually.
The good thing is that the price of battery-equipped and non-battery generators is almost the same. However, you will also find battery-operated generators under 300 bucks that offer numerous useful features. These types of generators usually contain batteries that can be charged through an electric outlet.
How Often Should Generator Batteries Be Replaced
Typically, a generator battery needs to be changed every 24 to 36 months or every 2 to 3 years. Unfortunately, most users don’t stop using the generator until its battery is completely dead. That would be the worst thing they could possibly do. The generator battery should be replaced every 36 months for your own safety.
This will enable your generator to maintain its maximum performance. Additionally, you should replace the battery every two years for the best outcome. This will assure you that the generator will be ready to function properly as per your needs in a power emergency.
Why Is Generator Battery Replacement Important?
The battery is one of the most critical parts of a generator. It helps the generator run at the right time to supply electricity to your electronic devices. Below, we have discussed the importance of replacing the generator battery.
Peace Of Mind
Power outages are common issues nowadays that make your electronic device run off. Running a generator manually is irritating during power outages, especially if your generator is set up in the basement. In that case, the generator’s battery helps start the generator automatically during the power cut. As a result, you don’t have to hassle about turning on and off the generator.
Reduce Waiting Time
A poor generator battery leads to a longer time to start up the generator during power outages. This situation will be worse when a power outage occurs during the nighttime. This delay can cause your children to feel afraid and disrupt your important work.
Apart from starting a generator at the right time, the battery plays an important role in keeping the generator’s performance well. Once the battery becomes weak, the generator will not get the right signal about the blackout. Besides, when your power comes back, the generator will not stop at the right time. This will badly impact the generator’s performance.
The wiring and other components of the generator can be affected by a defective battery. If the battery is left unchecked, the generator may malfunction. Sometimes you may face the generator fume abnormally, which will not be ideal for the environment as well.
How To Replace The Generator Battery?
The simplest method to avoid unexpected complications in your generator is to replace a weak battery. That’s why here we have discussed a complete guideline about replacing a generator battery.
Step 1: Arrange Necessary Tools
Before starting the process of replacing the battery of a generator, you have to arrange some tools. Below we have made a list of required tools:
- Socket/ratchet set
- Wire brush
- Wrench set
- A new battery
- Gloves & Glasses
- Protective Gadgets
Step 2: Remove Back and Front Panel
Once you have arranged all the equipment, you can start the battery-replacing process. First, you have to unplug the bolts from your generator’s back and front panel using a wrench. Most generators contain four bolts in each panel and two at each end. Move the front panel back if all connections are inside, and let the panel hang down. You can also remove the panel completely as there is nothing inside.
Step 3: Remove The Gas Tank
After removing the front and back panels, you have to unplug the gas tank bolts using a ratchet wrench. Then, zip ties the gas tank to the frame of the generator to hold it. At this stage, you can zip the tie right through the location where the bolts stand.
Step 4: Remove The Bottom Panel
Once the gas tank is tied up, you need to unplug the bolts on the bottom panel of the generator using a wrench. Here you will find the heat shield. After removing the generator frame, you will see the battery. Now disconnect the battery cables using the ratchet, socket, and wrench. Unplug both the positive and negative ports of the battery.
Step 5: Lose The Battery Bracket
At this stage, you have to lose the bolts keeping the battery bracket in the right place. When the battery bracket is loose, you can take the old battery out and replace it with a new one. To install a new battery, you have to place it in the bracket and tighten the bolts to hold the bracket in position. After that, reconnect the battery terminal leads.
Step 6: Re-Install The Panels
Since the battery installation is finished, you can rotate the panel back into its position inside the generator frame. Ensure the heat shield is placed on top of the bottom of the panel. After joining all the connections, reinstall all the panels with their bolts individually. Once you have done the process, check whether the generator functions properly.
How Do I Know My Generator Battery Is Dead?
When the battery of your generator malfunctions, the generator will not start. You can check the battery corrosion with a multimeter. A battery is dead when its voltage readings are significantly lower than its rating. As a result, you may find the generator does not start at the right time when a power outage occurs. Besides, sometimes you will find the generator starts and turns off abnormally.
How To Maintain A Generator Battery
You can prolong a generator’s battery life with proper attention and care. Below, we have pointed out some maintenance tips for prolonging your generator’s battery.
- Change The Oil: Check your generator oil level at least once a month. This helps the engine to run more efficiently, reducing the battery pressure.
- Clean Generator Properly: When a generator works hard to produce energy, it accumulates dirt. So, you have to check the interior and exterior to prevent dust buildup and corrosion.
- Replace The Filters: Installing new filters frequently optimizes air circulation. This will help the battery preserve its life.
- Run Generator Occasionally: Keeping a generator in storage without running it can damage the battery. So, it would be best if you run your generator twice or thrice a week.
A generator with a poor battery won’t work properly easily when a power outage occurs. In such situations, replacing the old battery with a new one will be the right solution. This way, you can ensure that your generator will start and stop at the right time during the blackouts. Typically, the battery of a generator needs to be replaced every 36 months.
This time can be varied according to your generator’s conditions. However, we have provided a complete guideline about replacing the generator’s battery. Although there may be some differences between the generators depending on the models and brands, the procedure for battery replacement are pretty similar. Following the steps discussed above, you can easily replace your generator’s battery.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.