3 Simple Maintenance Tips For Your Diesel Generator
Diesel generators are some of the most dependable and durable power generation machines you can ever own. These machines, with the right amount of care, can last you for years, even decades. However, just like any machine with lots of moving parts, a generator can suddenly go offline without any warning. People go on diets and enrol in expensive gym memberships to maintain their bodies. In a similar vein, diesel generators need constant care and maintenance to keep it in working shape. The better level of care it receives, the longer the generator can last. Failure to do basic preventive maintenance can cause your generator to fail before its time, requiring expensive repairs and parts replacements. You might even have to buy a new generator set outright.
Generators may seem complicated machines but the basic concept behind its function is quite simple. The engine along with the alternator generates electrical energy. Depending on the type of generator, engines are often designed to use heavy oil, but can also be adapted to utilise petrol, natural gas and other liquid fuel. Commercial and industrial business tend to favour diesel generator due to its proven track record of durability and reliability. Diesel fuel is also cheaper compared to petrol and natural gas, making running these generators more affordable.
Diesel generators are a staple sight in huge plants, regardless of industry. These companies often utilise generators as a primary and backup source of power. Economies of scale may make internal power generation more economical than sourcing the power from the commercial grid. Companies also often situate plants in locations away from the grid, necessitating the construction of an in-house power generation facility. The generators they use are often of high calibre, with output rivalling those of small power stations. These facilities also require an in-house team of engineers to maintain and repair the generators. However, diesel generators are not limited to industrial use only.
Many homeowners have relied on generators for backup power, and if located far from the national grid, for primary power. These people, however, are not able to call an engineer on demand to maintain and repair their generators. Most of the time they have to perform the repairs themselves or face certain darkness.
Anyone looking to own a generator must equip themselves with the requisite knowledge to maintain a generator. Here are a few maintenance tips so you won't be left scratching your head when your generator conks out.
1. Perform regular inspections
Diesel generators are constructed to last a long time. These machines can take a beating and still produce power. However, it is important to perform regular inspections of the generator set.
The generator should be checked at least twice a year. Once before the summer season and once again before the onset of winter. Most adverse weather events occur during the summer and winter and inspecting the generator set before a hurricane or a thunderstorm will allow you to make the necessary repairs and adjustments ahead of time.
The majority of the generator's maintenance will happen during the inspection as well. Some of the things you have to check include the fuel, oil and coolant levels. You also have to see whether the air filter requires cleaning or replacement, depending on the frequency of use.
2. Always repair and replace
Generators tend to be exposed to adverse weather conditions such as heat, rain and snow. Eventually, these elements can damage the generator set. When performing inspections, see to it that there are no outward signs of corrosion. Check if all connections are in place. Remove any dirt that you find. Repair and replace as you encounter problems. A simple clean up or replacement today can save you from expensive repairs down the road.
3. Keep a detailed record
Don't rely on your memory when it comes to generator maintenance. Leave nothing to chance and make sure that you maintain a detailed record of all observations and any repairs or replacements done during a specific inspection cycle. Six months is a huge chunk of time and you are bound to forget something. Having a detailed record is also helpful for the technician when major repairs have to be done.
You might think you have a good memory, but it's better to leave nothing to chance and keep a record of observations and repairs or replacements carried out every maintenance cycle. Six months is a long time between checks and you are bound to forget something. Keeping an accurate record also simplifies things when the repairman or generator manufacturer asks for a proof of maintenance.