Nov 14

Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Standby Generator

image of a replacement standby generator

Increasingly extreme winter weather, such as heavy snowfall across the U.S., has resulted in a greatly increased demand for standby generators. Power generators can be life-saving during winter power outages. This makes it incredibly important to keep your standby generator in good shape so that you can always rely on it. However, like all machinery, power generators eventually reach the end of their lifespan, even with good standby generator maintenance. This article will discuss several ways to know when it’s time for a standby generator replacement.

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Several Signs That You Need A Standby Generator Replacement

Keep reading to explore the signs that you’re due for a whole-house generator replacement.

1. Your Backup Generator Has a Hard Time Starting Up

image of a homeowner during a power outage who requires a new backup generator

Whole-house generators are built to start right up during power outages. If your generator doesn’t start when a power outage occurs or if there’s a lengthy delay before it does, it may be time to have your generator replaced. However, before doing so, find out more about the possible problems that your generator is experiencing and learn more about why a replacement might be necessary.

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Related Article: What Is A Standby Generator?

2. Your Whole-House Generator Has Recurring Repair Issues

If your standby generator fails often or if the costs of ongoing repairs have become quite high, getting a replacement generator is the best idea. Buying a brand-new generator will limit your spending on major repairs and ensure reliable performance.

Performing preventative maintenance on the generator in your home is a great way to keep this important equipment running as it should, but if this unit continues to fail despite your best efforts to maintain it, buy a new one so that you’re guaranteed to have a working generator during emergencies.

3. Your Power Generator Uses Excessive Amounts of Fuel

image of a homeowner calculating higher fuel costs of whole house generator

Every generator model consumes fuel a bit differently than the others, given that each model is unique. After you’ve gauged your generator’s normal energy use, you’ll have a better idea of when fuel use starts becoming excessive.

Increasing high fuel use is a sign that your generator is wearing down, and you should think about upgrading the unit to one that’s more modern and efficient.

4. Your Backup Generator Is Getting Along in Age

The lifespan of standby generators is largely determined by their size and how well they’re maintained. Diesel-powered generators can last between 12,000 hours and 20,000 hours before major engine overhauls are required.

Regular power outages mean more running time for your generator, and thus, they can shorten its life expectancy. Replacing a standby generator that has enjoyed a long service life keeps you well-prepared for any emergencies that occur.

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5. The Energy Needs of Your Household Exceed Your Standby Generator’s Size & Capabilities

When your household or business grows or when you move to a new location where more electrical appliances are in use, your energy requirements grow. This causes standby generators to struggle, and it can result in excessive fuel use, increased wear, and a shorter lifespan.

Getting the correct generator size for your home, in this instance, will ensure that your generator is capable of meeting all of your needs without being subjected to any undue strain.


6. Your On-demand Generator Has Sustained Excessive Wear

All machines are subject to ongoing wear, but insufficient maintenance or absolutely no maintenance at all will cause a standby generator to wear down quickly. If the generator in your home is regularly exposed to extreme weather conditions or lots of dust and other debris, these things will decrease its lifespan.

When you notice corrosion on your generator, replace it right away, as its engine is likely rusted too. Rust decreases the reliability of standby generators by reducing their speed, and in some instances, rust may render a generator absolutely useless.

7. You’ve Got an Outdated Generator in Your Home

image of the word progress depicting backup generator technology

Technology is always moving forward, and this means that standby generators are constantly being upgraded. The standby generator that was considered cutting-edge just 10 years ago is likely outdated by today’s standards.

When generator models are upgraded, the production of their spare parts decreases and then stops, and the tools and techniques for maintaining these models change. Thus, the company that manufactured your home generator might not be able to help you with essential repairs.

To sidestep this problem altogether, you should change your generator to a new and more technologically advanced one as new innovations are introduced.

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8. Your Whole-Home Generator Provides an Inconsistent Supply of Power

You should get both adequate and consistent power from your whole-home generator. When generators have under or over-voltage, it can cause serious damage to the electrical appliances in your home. Some generators provide an unstable power supply when the output voltage is zero. If your generator isn’t doing its job even after being repaired, you need to replace it.

9. Problems With Carbon Monoxide (CO) Emissions

carbon monoxideThe Clean Air Act regulates all emissions from mobile and stationary sources, which is why you should stay abreast of all relevant regulations and laws so that you know what the expectations are.

One report states that non-fire and fatal CO exposure events from standby generators numbered 655 between just 2005 and 2016. 880 deaths were recorded during this same time.

To ensure that the generator in your home isn’t an environmental threat and isn’t dangerous to you or anyone else in your household, regularly measure and record CO levels. If you find that there’s an increase in carbon monoxide, now is probably a good time to pay for a generator replacement.

One of the best ways to stay protected from CO emissions is by investing in a generator with built-in carbon monoxide safety features.

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10. Your On-Demand Generator Is Leaking Fuel

Fuel leaks are another common problem among standby generators that must be taken care of, but if they’re constant, they can lead to explosions or fire. Before deciding whether you want to repair your generator or replace it, determine what the source of the leak is and if it can’t be fixed, definitely replace the unit. When checking for a leak, investigate these parts:

  • Cracked fuel lines due to age or fuel lines that have been damaged by wear and rain
  • Neglected and damaged fuel tanks or fuel tanks that have punctures or corrosion
  • Damaged or dry carburetor gaskets or bowls
  • Failing pipes due to manufacturing issues, insufficient maintenance at their connections, loose connections, or poor welding

Many of these components can be repaired depending upon how severely damaged they are. Generators should be replaced whenever leak repairs cannot be successfully performed.



Standby generators are essential home additions, particularly in regions with regular power outages.

By testing the load banks on your generator, you can ensure both its performance and a continuous supply of power, even during outages that last for hours. Be on the lookout for the signs mentioned above to determine whether it’s time to have your standby generator replaced.

Call Skylands Energy Service For All Of Your Standby Generator Needs

image of skylands energy service logoSkylands Energy Service is one of the leading generator installation service providers throughout central New Jersey. Aside from backup generator installation, we specialize in generator repair, maintenance, and replacement services. Our team is made up of the best service contractors who are highly trained in advanced methods of generator techniques. Do not hesitate to call or contact us online today to learn more about whole-house generator installation. Rest assured, industry experts will answer all your generator queries. We offer free, in-home estimates. Call Skylands Energy Service today!

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