How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac Generator

Over time, dirty or unkempt slip rings can cause all kinds of issues, including errant sparks and short circuits to your generator.

While it might seem like a relatively simple piece of machinery, slip rings are pretty demanding. When their function is compromised by dirt or wear, they need immediate attention. Moreover, even small debris caught in a wire coating can cause significant problems with its electrical flow.

To prevent a disaster and increase your generator’s efficiency, it’s essential to clean them up regularly.

In this article, we’ll show you how to clean slip rings on your Generac generator so that it runs smoothly and safely again.


Materials and Tools Needed

  • Two pairs of needle-nose pliers

How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac Generator

  • A screwdriver

How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac Generator

  • Two pairs of wrenches

How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac Generator

  • A clean towel

How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac Generator

  • Denatured alcohol

How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac Generator

  • Grease
  • Sandpaper (medium grit number 80 or above)

How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac Generator

8 Steps on How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac Generator

1. Open the Control Panel Cover

Using two wrenches, turn off your generator and disconnect its gas source. Then, using a screwdriver, remove any screws securing the cover to your generator’s control panel. Slide the covering back and away from one end, then flip it over with both hands.

2. Remove Wires from Slip Rings

Examine your slip rings to determine which wires are connected, then label each wire accordingly. Begin by removing any disconnected wires, and loose wire ends.

Also, if any excess wires are lying on top of your slip rings, pull them away with a pair of needle-nose pliers.

3. Flip Your Ring Upside Down with care.

Use two pairs of needle-nose pliers to grip each side of your generator’s slip ring between its ridges (the rough pieces found at either end).

Lift straight upward until you feel resistance. And as it begins to lift more efficiently, carefully set down one pair of pliers while holding up the other. You should now have access to under said ridge.

4. Brush Away Dirt

Once you’ve lifted the ridge, brush away dirt build-up and other debris surrounding each terminal using compressed air. Using mid-grit sandpaper, scrub down each section of your slip rings until it’s free of dirt, grime, and other contaminants.

Ensure that you don’t touch any metal areas on your slip rings at this point; you don’t want dust transferring onto electrical components.

5. Clean Out Any Residue

With paper towels dampened with denatured alcohol, wipe down the slip ring and each wire connection for good measure. This should eliminate stray gunk preventing proper circuit connections.

6. Grease Your Slip Rings

Apply grease to the slip rings to help restore conductivity lost due to friction. After this, your slip rings should spin much smoother.

7. Lubricate Unused Contacts

When reattaching the control wires (detached earlier), lightly lubricate their unused contact points as well as exposed parts on your generator’s controller board. If any part of your slip ring is visibly bent, torn, or otherwise damaged, you should replace it.

8. Close the Control Panel

Completely reattach your control panel cover and secure it with all necessary screws. Be sure to attach any wires that you disconnected during this process.

You can check if everything is in place by turning on your generator and manually spinning its slip rings by hand. If it doesn’t appear to work right away, give it a few minutes to heat up and make sure nothing’s binding before trying again.

Now that you know how to clean slip rings and grease your generator’s controller board, you can start it up and enjoy even better power quality in your home.

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Frequently Asked Questions On How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac Generator

How do you clean electrical slip rings?

To clean a slip ring, use copper cleaner on a soft cloth and wipe it down carefully. Make sure no liquid gets in contact with the rubber seals. If there’s still some residue left after wiping, use a soft cloth dipped into denatured alcohol to remove any excess grime.

How do I clean the slip rings on my alternator?

First, open up your generator control panel cover and locate your slip rings. Secondly, remove any dirt and debris from your slip rings using a soft-bristled brush or compressed air. Then wipe down with a rag that’s been lightly dipped in cleaning solvent. Allow time for everything to dry.

Thirdly, reinstall into position the cover and secure tightly. Finally, test the slip springs by rotating them with your hands. No resistance means you’re ready to go.

Do generators have slip rings?

Yes, generators have slip rings. They are located at either end of a generator’s rotor.

What do slip rings do in a generator?

The most crucial function of slip rings is transferring electrical energy between stationary and rotating parts.

They work as part of an electrical generator (alternator) on a power generator. The alternator’s spinning rotor passes electricity through a stationary ring, transforming high-voltage AC power into low-voltage DC. This keeps charge levels balanced so the alternator can continue working maximum.

How do you clean a generator brush?

Spray a minimal amount of rubbing alcohol onto your lint-free cloth, and then wipe it over your generator brush. Also, make sure you have disconnected your generator from its power source when doing so as a precaution.

What are alternator slip rings?

Alternator slip rings transmit electrical current from an alternator or power generator to a battery. The transmission is done via friction-created electrons.

How do you clean copper slip rings?

Use a sanding sponge or electric wire brush to clean copper slip rings. First, turn off and unplug your generator. Using circular motions, gently remove any dirt or build-up from your generator’s slip rings. If necessary, spray a light lubricant over your brass contacts before you turn it back on.

How do slip rings and brushes work?

A generator slip ring is a device that aids in transferring electrical current between two objects, typically a machine and an external source of power.

On machines like generators, slip rings are used to transfer electricity from one set of brushes (or brushes) to another, which in turn conduct it through wires leading into and out of your home or office.

What is the use of carbon brushes?

How to Clean Slip Rings on Generac GeneratorCarbon brushes help transfer electrical current from a power source to an electrical load such as a motor.

Can you clean carbon brushes?

Yes. Cleaning your generator carbon brushes is an easy, cost-effective way to extend its lifespan. Ideally, it would be best if you cleaned them every other month or after you’ve put in a lot of hours.

Closing Thoughts

More and more homeowners are discovering all of Generac generators’ benefits. By choosing this type of brand, you can improve the efficiency of your home, enhance its protection against outages, and save money on your utility bills every month.

However, just like other generators, they require regular maintenance to operate at their full potential. This means routine cleaning of your generator’s vital components, such a slip rings.

So, make sure to follow the above guide the next time you clean out your Generac generator slip rings.

About Steve Stuart

Steve Stuart is an electrical engineer who developed interest on generators during his school years. After school, he became a generator enthusiast. This is after encountering power supply problems at the area of residence where he lived. Power would be on and off and so food would go bad and the room heater would go off especially during winter. After trying the different generator brands for several years, Steve now provides information on the available brands and products in the market today. Based on his experience, he gives the do’s and the don’ts when it comes to generator use.

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