5 Tips For Generator Maintenance
Like most types of heavy-duty equipment, a generator is expensive and requires regular maintenance. If you take care of it, it can serve you reliably for many years to come. However, it can be costly to run and even unsafe if you neglect it. Here are some top tips for maintaining your engine’s performance.
1. Service the Cooling System
The cooling system ensures that the engine is operating within safe heat limits. If the coolant and other components are not functioning, your generator could overwork and will eventually breakdown.
If you are using a heavy-duty generator, you will need a mix of coolant, water, and additive. The precise composition you will use will depend on the type of engine and the weather. Places with extreme temperatures will require specific formulas for the coolant to be effective.
Additionally, inadequate coolant levels can affect critical parts of the engine. It can damage the exhaust valve, head gasket, the rotors, and bearings. Your generator may trigger an alarm to notify you that the coolant temperatures are high or its levels are low.
Clearing the radiator and other parts of the cooling system can uphold the system’s efficiency. You may use compressed air at low pressure to remove dirt and grime and keep the radiator clean.
2. Perform Fuel Checks
Your diesel engine will generate substantial amounts of corrosion and impurities within 12 months. You should, therefore, use up the fuel before it accumulates contaminants.
Diesel designed for modern engines has lower levels of sulfur, and part of its composition also includes biofuel compounds. For that reason, it is more likely to generate impurities than diesel formulated in the past.
It can damage parts of the engine, such as the injector and the pump, if you do not use it within a year. Your filters may also start to clog.
Temperature can affect the quality of the diesel during storage as well. The bio-compounds are not resilient to change when subject to extremely low or high heat levels. It is advisable to carefully observe the handling and storage of the fuel to prevent costly damage to parts of your engine.
You also need to schedule regular checks on the starting system, injectors, and filters. It should be more often, especially if you do not use up your fuel within three months. Also, inspect the piping for loose joints, as they can allow bubbles to enter into the system.
Our staff can examine your generator to locate leaks, clogging, and other issues. Such problems can compromise the function of your generator during an emergency. [Company_name] can assist you with maintenance protocols to avoid unexpected breakdowns in Frederick.
Your generator may shut down due to weak connections. One way this happens is by allowing bubbles of air into the engine. In the process, it may change when the generator stops running due to a shortage of fuel. In other words, it could indicate low fuel levels, even when there is enough of it in the tank.
You can clean the engine with an air supply to blow off debris. A mix of dust and grease can damage part of your generator. Avoid using a pressure washer since it can degrade some engine parts. You can wipe off the dirt with a damp cloth and an appropriate degreasing solution.
Taking the time to examine the exhaust system can allow for quick detection of mechanical faults. The operator can check the connections, welds, and gadgets since they are the points where leaks are likely to occur. Note any signs of smoke, as it can mean your fuel has contaminants. Smoke could also indicate an issue with the quality of the surrounding air.
The operator should check the manifold and exhaust pipe. The exhaust system may be in contact with adjacent parts, which can produce smoke with foul smells. You should address loose connections and leaks immediately.
3. Conduct Oil Checks
You will want to test oil levels using a dipstick. You can refer to your generator manual for the kind of engine oil that is most suitable for your engine. Ensure that the oil is as close as possible to the mark on the dipstick.
If the engine has been running, give it at least 10 to 15 minutes before you check the oil. This will allow it to flow into the crankcase for more accurate measurements of lubricant levels. The manual will provide the operator with specific protocols on replacing and disposing of used filters.
If it is a new generator, it is advisable to change the oil after 20 hours. The change can remove traces of metallic parts debris that may accumulate during the first hours of use. If you are operating in a dusty environment, you will want to change the lubricant after approximately 150 hours.
4. Perform Engine Exercise Cycles
It is advisable to exercise your engine regularly to use up the fuel before it becomes contaminated. It also ensures that the machine will be ready when you have emergencies. This exercise is crucial for hospitals, senior homes, and other entities that are adversely affected by disruptions to the grid.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, you should test the engine once a month without a load. You can schedule another exercise of your engine at least four times a year with a load. Depending on your generator, you can set it to run the exercise manually or automatically.
5. Check the Batteries
The battery can stop the engine from starting during emergencies. It can develop internal resistance as it ages, too. It, therefore, will not provide an accurate measurement of its starting power. To prevent such eventualities, you need to keep your batteries in tip-top condition.
In order to ensure that the battery has adequate starting power, it is important to establish its specific gravity and electrolyte level. If the electrolyte is low, then the level is raised by adding distilled water.
A hydrometer may be necessary if you want to determine the specific gravity. Technicians from Wenbrooke Services can check your battery when performing maintenance on your generator in Frederick.
The operator should clean the battery terminals periodically to avoid starting issues. You can clean the terminals with a damp cloth and a degreaser to minimize corrosion. When the terminals have corrosion, it increases their resistance and can prevent the engine from starting.
All in all, regular engine checks are critical for businesses and organizations that require an emergency power supply. For hospitals, faults in the engine can be life-threatening. Companies that run data centers can lose thousands of dollars every time there is an outage. By having in place clear maintenance protocols, you can avoid accidents and huge losses for your business.
You should not wait until your system breaks down to seek help. As soon as you notice your generator is underperforming, you should reach out to the professionals. [Company_name] has been providing electrical services to commercial and residential customers in Frederick for many years. We are known for our craftsmanship and tailored approach to service delivery. For more information about our top-rated electrical, heating, and cooling services, contact us today.