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Maintenance for Standby Diesel Generators

by chris@pkwydigital.com 15. February 2018 04:07

Failures in the electrical grid cannot be avoided. Power companies do their best to ensure that the supply of electricity to consumers will not be interrupted, but things happen when least expected. An electric outage is very inconvenient for homeowners, but it could be life-threatening to healthcare facilities such as hospitals.

 

A well-designed and well-maintained standby power system is the best assurance against the negative impacts of a power failure. Standby generators are expected to automatically kick in and provide instant power when the regular grid fails. When standby generators don’t perform as expected, however, it is usually due to neglect or faulty maintenance procedures.

The diesel engine of a standby generator is very durable, but it requires regular attention to continue to operate as designed when needed. Here are some important steps for keeping your generator in tip-top condition:

  • General inspection – While the generator is running, check the exhaust system, fuel system, electrical system, and the engine to see if there are any leaks.
  • Lubrication service – The engine’s oil level should be checked periodically. The use of a dipstick will show you if the oil needs to be topped off. When you notice that the oil level is going down, you need to add brand new and quality oil. You should also change the oil and the oil filter at intervals as recommended by the manufacturer (usually every 100 hours of operation).
  • Cooling system service – While the engine is shut down, check the level of the coolant. Let the engine cool down, and then remove the radiator cap. If the coolant level is low, add new coolant. Inspect the exterior of the radiator for any foreign material or obstruction.
  • Fuel system service – Diesel fuel degrades after a period of time (usually one year). Use stored fuel before it expires. Fuel filters must be periodically drained to remove accumulated water vapor in the fuel tank.
  • Servicing and testing batteries – Undercharged or weak batteries are common reasons why a standby generator will not start when needed. Batteries must be well-maintained and fully charged at all times. They must be tested regularly to ensure that they have not deteriorated due to age.
  • Regular engine exercise – Even when there is no power outage, you should run your standby generator from time to time to prevent any parts from getting stuck and electrical contacts from getting oxidized and deteriorating. Generator engines must run at least once a month for at least 30 minutes, loaded.

Keep your generator clean at all times, whether it runs or not, and store it in a safe place. Taking good care of your standby generator will ensure a continuous supply of electricity, regardless of weather conditions or the performance of the electrical grid.

Tags:

Diesel Generator | Generator Maintenance

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