Generators are life savers in emergency situations and planned outages alike, but for them to be ready to go when you need them, they need to be kept in good condition – even through long periods of no use. Doing this is pretty straight forward but knowledge is power! These six pieces of information will help you keep your generator reliable and primed to run when the grid goes down.
Much like new shoelaces or spare car keys you might only think about your generator when you need it but it needs to be on your mind much more than that. Building in a regular maintenance schedule is the best way to do this and it should include both a twice monthly check and an annual service. The annual service should be done by qualified, experienced generator service provider who will ensure that of the components, parts and systems in your generator are in good working order. Service intervals for generators usually depend on how many hours of running time the generator has done, but they should do at least once a year. At TDE Generators we offer monthly maintenance contracts.
Generators are machine – they have moving parts, need fuel all of which means that they need to be checked regularly to make sure that no leaks or breakages have developed. Checking regularly will also make sure that your generator will start up first time.
Being systematic is the key to successfully maintaining a generator. A methodical visual inspection is fundamental part of the twice-monthly test and involves visually checking the generator’s surroundings, the fuel levels, batteries, oil, coolant, hoses and cables, damage, corrosion and dirt.
After wind or rain, or during extreme heat, debris such as twigs, leaves, litter, grass or sand may accumulate around the generator. It’s not unknown for snakes and rats to be attracted to nice warm generators in cold weather. For this reason, it’s important to check the generator itself and its immediate surroundings for debris and clear it way.
A healthy generator, like a healthy human body, requires a good balance of fluids. Diesel can be checked using the gauge on the machine or on the generator controller. When filling a generator, do not exceed 90% of the tanks capacity to allow for the natural expansion of fuel when the machine is in operation. Oil is also very important and should be checked regularly. If oil levels drop, the piston and cylinder in the generator will experience friction and become damaged – at which point repairs become very expensive. Oil levels should be checked using the dipstick when the generator is not running. It is also important to check coolant levels in the radiator. The coolant in the generator should be clear and bright, not muddy, cloudy or dark.
If there is one thing you don’t want when you need your generator, it’s a dead start battery. Check batteries every time you test the generator. The battery’s terminal should be securely attached, and not corroded; the battery itself should not be corroded, bulging or cracked. If any of these are present, you will need a new battery. Batteries should be replaced every three to five years.
Inspection and maintenance go hand in hand and it’s important to do them regularly and thoroughly to ensure that your generator gives you years of faithful service, light and warmth. If you need to book a generator service or need some advice on maintenance, contact our service division TDE Maintenance @ 010 040 8334 / firstname.lastname@example.org