Whether you power your welding machine from a generator or use an engine-driven welding machine, a generator is an important piece of equipment for any welder. Chances are, you’ll want to make sure it lasts as long as possible, with strong performance and efficiency. Here are four pro tips to make sure you get the most out of your generator.
Gasoline Doesn’t Last Forever
It’s easy to believe gasoline stays good for a very long time. After all, it’s been sitting in the ground for millions of years, what's a few dozen months more? In reality, refined gasoline doesn’t have nearly the shelf life that most people expect. After a few months, gasoline can begin to sludgify, which can slowly start to gunk up your engine. Stabilizers will help, but if you’re leaving the same tank of gas in your generator for a year, you’re playing Russian Roulette with your equipment.
Another thing to keep in mind is that engines don’t do well being left unused. Most instruction manuals will have you run your generator for at least a few minutes every couple weeks. This will also help prevent the battery from dying.
While both of these issues are uncommon for welders who frequently use their generators, if you go a longer period of time without needing it, make sure you take these into account. Both factors can cause all sorts of issues if not handled properly.
Do the Math
Guessing at how much power your generator can provide is a great way to blow it up. Some generators and welder/generators have a built-in safety feature to shut the machine off if you surpass the limit, but it’s not something you want to rely on.
The best way to know how much your generator can handle is to calculate the numbers for yourself. We explain all about that in this easy-to-follow article. The methods shown in this article are also good for determining how much capacity you’ll need when purchasing a new generator. A smart man or woman might even bookmark the page so they have access to it when the time comes to get a new generator.
Beware the Dust
Do you know the number one killer of welding equipment? Of course you do, it was in the title above. For all the difficult conditions your welding machine has to endure, dust is the slow and deadly killer. It gets inside through the exhaust vents and coats your machine's electronics. This eventually causes your machine to get too hot, leading to malfunctions.
Unsurprisingly, dust can have a similar effect on a generator. If you own a welder/generator, you should absolutely make the small investment of buying a proper cover to protect your machine while not in use. Welding Supplies from IOC has a reliable line of machine covers. Many of them are designed for specific machines, so they fit perfectly. Check out our full selection here.
Read Your Instruction Manual
Can you imagine if everything in life came with an instruction manual? It would have saved us a lot of embarrassment during our high school years. And yet, so few people actually read these beautiful books of vast knowledge. They contain the exact details of everything you’ll need to make sure your machines run smoothly, from wattage limits to how often you should change the oil.
If you are one of the many people who lost their instruction manual only hours after opening the box, fear not. Most reputable brands put all their manuals online so you can access them through the company’s website.
With these tips, you’ll be able to significantly prolong the life of your generator or welder/generator and its usefulness. Right now, Welding Supplies from IOC has generators in stock. Check out the products below to learn more!