A windmill is a very simple machine and requires very little maintenance. The best thing you can do for your windmill is listen to it. Any unusual sounds should be investigated right away. If a windmill makes noise, there is something wrong!
There is a great book that you will find very helpful if you have the Aermotor 702 style windmill. It is sold to help fund the windmill museum and it is a great resource.
THE 702 MODEL WINDMILL ITS ASSEMBLY, INSTALLATION AND USE by T. Lindsay Baker is a comprehensive how to on the assembly, installation and use of the Aermotor 702 water pumping windmill. You can call the museum at 806-747-8734 or order the book online.
The windmill should have a yearly inspection and oil change. An old windmiller once told me that an easy way to remember to change the oil is to send your wife up the tower each year on her birthday to service the windmill. Back in the “good old days,” the Aermotor Windmill company gave you a double-sided card to hang on your barn wall to record the oil changes.
Windmills use a very thin non-detergent oil. The non-detergent oil is critical as it allows dirt to settle to the bottom sump in the gearbox. Detergent oils carry the dirt and allows the dirt to build up and plug small passageways such as the oil collector. We only use 10 weight non-detergent oil.
On the front of the Aermotor style windmills you will find a letter code that tells you the size of the windmill.
|6 foot||X||1 Quart|
|8 foot||A||2 Quarts|
|10 foot||B||2 Quarts|
|12 foot||D||1 Gallon|
|14 foot||E||2 Gallons|
|16 foot||F||2 Gallons|
Make sure you have all the proper safety equipment and understand how to use that equipment before you climb the tower. You should never work on a windmill alone. Always have one or more people on the ground to assist you. Windmills and windmill towers can be very dangerous. Don’t risk death or injuries while working on or near a windmill.