The benefits of standby generators over portable ones are many, including more power, a lack of extension cords and how easy they are to start and run. However, because standby generators are hardwired into the home (which is why you can do away with the extension cords), they are structurally more complex. This also means they have to be repaired onsite if anything goes wrong. When it comes to home standby generator repair, you’re better off calling a professional rather than attempting any repairs on your own.
If you know very little about generator repair and maintenance, it makes sense to let the experts do the work. One way to simplify the process is to install a Remote Cellular Generator Monitor or RCGM. The RCGM connects to your standby generator and allows our company to monitor the functioning of your generator directly from our offices. The monitor sends “messages” every time the generator starts and stops, as well as when there are changes in the power level of your home. If the generator fails to start or stop or if you notice any other abnormality, call out a technician to deal with it immediately.
It’s hard to say what you can expect once the technician arrives, because much of it depends on what’s wrong with the generator. Chances are the technician will first do a quick inspection to see if there are any obvious problems, such as cracks on the outside of the box or anything else that might appear obviously broken.
The next step a technician might take is to check that the generator hasn’t tripped or is off. This could be caused by something as simple as a blown fuse or a problem with cable or where the generator connects to the main house network. If all that seems in order, the next step is to check if there’s any voltage coming out of the generator.
When the generator is off, you shouldn’t be able to detect any residual voltage. If there’s any (even as little as 5 Volts AC) residual voltage, this could signal a number of problems. The most obvious problem could be that the voltage regulator is not working properly. It could also be an issue with the rotor or the control board. A technician might need to open up the generator and check each issue separately to find out which one is causing the generator to malfunction.
Fixing the Problem
Once the issue has been detected, generator repair might take place right then and there or it could take a day or two. This depends on whether parts need to be replaced (and might need to be ordered) or how extensive the problem is. Sometimes the issue is simple, such as a tripped circuit, and can be fixed right away. In other cases, it might require a second visit with additional equipment. Or the service person might need to take a part away and return once it has been fixed.
Keep in mind that if you don’t have a Remote Cellular Generator Monitor, you will have to keep an eye on your generator and inform the repair service yourself if you notice any issues running it. Regular generator maintenance will help keep your unit in good running condition and prevent costly repairs.