Will your generator be ready if Ernesto approaches?

August 3, 2012 5:23:56 PM PDT
We still don't know if Tropical Storm Ernesto will come our way, but now is the time to get ready.

And if you have not started your generator in a while, it may not work when you need it. So what can you do about it?

"What usually happens is the gas started to turn bad, and gas starts to deteriorate 30 days after it gets bought and then it goes downhill," said Kevin Habegger with Southwest Motor Services.

Habegger says once gas deteriorates, it leaves behind deposits that clog up carburetors making generators nearly impossible to start.

Habegger says if you did not drain the gasoline out of the generator carburetor the last time you used it, the machine is not going to start.

Elvis Bolivar with University Lawnmower says he's seeing a steady stream of generator owners looking to get their back up power units running again.

"We have been seeing them from the last storm a little bit at a time," he said. "They flow in slowly but surely."

If your generator only needs to be cleaned to get it running again, it can cost around $50 and take a week or more. If new parts are needed, the price goes up and the wait time stretches out.

"You'd be looking at two to three weeks," said Bolivar. Most people in the city are behind right now. It has been such a wet year that we have not been able to catch up."

If you have not had your generator looked at, now is the time to bring it in. But remember, depending on what it needs, it could be a week or two or more before it gets fixed.

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