Maintaining Your Mi-T-M Generator
When an emergency strikes or when setting up your work site, you want your Mi-T-M generator to be ready to go. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your generator will ensure a long life and have it ready when you need it. Regular generator maintenance ensures your familiarity with how it works and what needs to be done so you can have the power you need to keep working.
The main steps to generator maintenance include:
- Cleaning the Exterior
- Overall Inspection
- Changing Oil & Cleaning Air Filters
- Checking Spark Plug, Hoses, Etc.
- Preparing for Storage
For your safety, make sure you have the generator in a well-ventilated area for cleaning and maintenance. Be sure you read the manual, too—it’s your go-to guide for your specific Mi-T-M generator model! The manuals provide details on all of these tasks, including a periodic maintenance chart so you know how often everything needs checked and maintained. Following the maintenance guidelines and directions help you get the most out of your Mi-T-M generator for years to come.
For basic maintenance, gather all your supplies in advance. That includes rags, oil pan, fresh engine oil, warm soapy water for filter cleaning, your owner’s manual, and gloves to protect your hands.
Cleaning Your Generator’s Exterior
Step 1 for optimal operation is a good cleaning. You will want to keep your generator clean and free of dust, dirt and grime. The best way to clean it is with dry rags or shop towels. It just takes a few minutes to wipe off the casing and make it look nice. Remove surface dust and grime all over the generator, paying special attention to the intake area and gas cap. Cleaning your generator’s exterior also allows you to inspect all parts of the generator.
You may use low pressure air to clean off dust, but do not use a water hose, sprayer or power washer to clean your generator. This allows water into the air intake and other areas, and the water will damage your generator.
Inspect Hoses, Fittings & Fuel Cap
Inspection is something anyone can do to maintain a generator. You should inspect it daily when in use as well as before use and after sitting in storage.
After you clean the generator, inspect the fuel hoses and fittings as well as the fuel tank and fuel cap. Depending on what model you own, you may need to remove a side panel to access the inside of the generator unit. The carbon canister and mounting brackets should also get a close look. Tighten anything that is loose if you are able, such as the oil drain plug. Look for cracks, leaks or abnormal wear on the hoses and parts. To maintain your warranty and get qualified Mi-T-M generator service, call a service technician to replace any parts as needed.
Changing the Air Filter & Oil
As with any gas engine, one of the keys to generator maintenance involves regular oil changes and a clean air filter. These tasks are especially important if you run your generator in a dusty, dirty environment, such as a construction site or shop.
First, let’s review the oil change process. The oil should be changed after the first 20 hours of operation, then every 100 hours after that. You should make a regular practice of checking the oil level, always before starting the generator.
When you are ready to change the oil, do the same process of warming the oil. Stop the engine and get an oil pan ready. Drain the oil, then put the oil drain plug back. Following the instructions for your Mi-T-M generator model, refill the oil with the proper type of oil to the oil level indicated. Wipe up any oil spills around or on the generator, and recycle the old oil at your solid waste agency.
The air filter plays an important role in the efficiency of the generator. If it is especially dirty, that will make the generator work harder and use more fuel, so cleaning should happen when it has a heavy buildup of dust. To access the air filter, you’ll need to unscrew the air cleaner cover and pull out the foam filter. Foam air filters can be washed in warm, soapy water, rinsed and squeezed to help it dry. Let it air dry, then saturate with new engine oil, squeeze out excess oil and replace the filter.
Spark plugs and the spark arrestor should also be checked frequently for carbon buildup. If the spark plug is dirty, remove it using a plug cleaner or wire brush. Check the spark plug type and spark plug gap according to your generator model’s manual. Replace with a new spark plug as needed.
The spark arrestor should be looked at every 100 hours or so. It is close to the exhaust, so perform this check when the unit is cool. Once removed, you can brush off carbon deposits on the spark arrestor screen and inspect it for breaks or tears.
If you can’t make time in your workday to check and clean spark plugs, contact a Mi-T-M service center to schedule an appointment with a technician. It’s a good idea to have a professional check out anything you have a question about before you put your generator to use or put it in storage.
Prepare for Storage
Many Mi-T-M generator owners only use their generator when needed for emergencies or short-term use on a remote job site where utility access isn’t available. Be sure to prepare your generator for short-term storage (less than 6 months) or long-term storage. For both lengths of storage, the first step is to add gasoline stabilizer according to the directions.
For short-term storage
Run the unit two minutes to mix the fuel and stabilizer. Close the fuel valve and run your generator until it stops.
For long-term storage
Run the generator until the fuel is completely gone from the fuel tank and carburetor. As the engine begins to die, move the choke level to the CHOKE position.
Finally, clean and protect the exterior of the generator and store it in a dry, well-ventilated location. You might want to keep it off of the floor of a shop, garage or shed with a pallet, and keep an eye out for signs of pests living in or around it.
To sum up generator maintenance, it’s mostly about regularly ensuring your oil and filters get changed on a regular basis. Refer to your Mi-T-M generator manual for details about keeping your generator running when you need it the most.
Air compressors can be used for a wide range of applications in an automotive setting. Pneumatic tools make auto repair and body work easier when paired with the correct compressor, but how do you choose an air compressor best suited for your application?
Choosing an Air Compressor for an Automotive Shop:
Compressed air tools or pneumatic tools provide great power with less weight. When deciding on an air compressor for an automotive shop, you first need to define how the air compressor will be used. You want to match the specs of the air compressor to your needs. Taking the following questions into consideration will help guide you to your air compressor choice.
What air pressure and CFM do you need for your tools or sprayers?
Each tool is rated to use a specific amount of CFM at a certain PSI. For example, a paint spray gun may require 5 CFM at 70 PSI, where as a 9” grinder may use 17.5 CFM at 90 PSI. Doing an audit on tools each technician uses, in addition to the average amount of time the tools are used, will help determine the size of compressor needed. Mi-T-M offers both 80-gallon and 120-gallon simplex and duplex models at 5 to 15 horsepower; 18 to 96 CFM at 175 PSI.
What is your power source for the air compressor?
It’s important to know what phase and voltage power your location has. Do you have 230V 1Ø or 460V 3Ø? The air compressor you choose needs to match to work properly. Consult an electrician to verify.
How much space do you have allocated for the compressor?
It is important that air compressors are receiving a steady supply of air, so you want to make sure you have an open, ventilated space for your air compressor. Mi-T-M offers horizontal and vertical 80-gallon and 120-gallon compressor options.
Is there a need for multiple ports?
If you have several mechanics, you will benefit from a compressor with multiple outlets for connecting tools at separate work stations.
Want to learn more about auto shop air compressors? Be sure to visit our Air Compressor FAQ page. And, if you’re curious about the CFM and PSI requirements of a variety of tools, check out Mi-T-M’s Air Equipment Estimating Guide.
Remember that Mi-T-M provides a variety of equipment for use in auto shops, body shops, worksites, etc. In addition to a full line of portable and stationary air compressors, Mi-T-M carries a full line of pressure washers and wet/dry vacs for cleaning engines and auto shop spaces.