Extending the Life of Your Industrial Generator
When taken care of properly, your industrial generator can last for many years, maximizing your initial investment. Industrial generator maintenance should be carried out at regular intervals by a professional technician. These maintenance services will save you money in the long run by helping to identify repair needs before they become too extensive. The older your equipment grows, the more important routine maintenance is to protect the generator from additional wear and tear.
How Often Should You Service a Generator?
Generally, the manufacturer will recommend a specific maintenance schedule after so many service hours. However, there are certain instances where you may need to service it sooner, such as after extreme weather changes. Excessive dust and moisture can wreak havoc on a generator and should be addressed right away. Along with regular maintenance, investing in a generator enclosure is another great way to keep the elements at bay.
In between maintenance, it’s also recommended to run the generator at least once a week for approximately five minutes to make sure your power system is functioning properly. If you discover a problem, you will be able to resolve it quickly before it has a chance to progress. When a power outage happens, the last thing you’ll want to be worrying about is whether or not your generator will operate when you need it.
What Your Industrial Generator Maintenance Should Cover
There are several tasks that need to be completed during a maintenance inspection. At a minimum, these should include:
- Filter Inspection
Your filters can get dirty and clogged with dust, dirt, and other small particles found in the environment around your generator. This debris can cause significant damage to your engine, so you should inspect and clean filters regularly. If they still appear dirty after cleaning, it’s best to put in a new filter altogether to ensure your engine will be able to breathe and steer clear of any harmful pollutants.
- Oil Change
Oil is what keeps your engine clean and lubricated, helping all its internal parts work together smoothly. As oil deteriorates, it begins to lose its overall effectiveness, which increases wear on the engine. A fresh oil change should be included in any maintenance plan.
- Fuel Level Check
Filling your generator with high-quality fuel is essential. The bottom of the fuel tank is contaminated with extra water and sediment that will need to be filtered through the filter if you’re constantly running the generator down to empty. This can clog the fuel filter faster than usual, which could result in unfiltered debris damaging your engine. Careful, though—you don’t want to overfill the fuel tank and cause fuel to spill over onto a hot engine.
- Cooling System Check
A well-maintained cooling system will help keep your generator engine from overheating, which could damage it beyond repair. Check the coolant level and refill as needed. You’ll also want to flush the cooling system entirely at the manufacturer’s recommendation. This will help maintain coolant quality so that your generator gets the maximum benefit.
- Belt Inspection
The belts that run the alternator, fan and other parts of your engine can start to wear down over time. This can cause them to warp and crack. You might even notice strange squealing sounds coming from the belts. These are signs that the belts need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
- Battery Check
Your battery’s connections should be cleaned and tightened to help prevent battery failure. Also, make sure to run the battery for a few minutes to check its operation. If your generator doesn’t start up, it could be a simple battery malfunction or a larger issue with the system, so you should have a qualified technician look it over to determine the root cause of the power failure.
- Replacement of Worn Parts
Cracked hoses, corroded connections, and other worn-out parts should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Left unaddressed, your generator can become less efficient and experience additional wear and tear, eventually causing a breakdown of your power system.
Performing regular maintenance will ensure your industrial generator will operate reliably, helping your business avoid the financial losses associated with a shutdown.
How Long Can an Industrial Generator Last?
A standby generator can potentially last for a few decades if you care for it well. The lifespan of your specific machine will depend on a variety of factors. In general, performing preventative maintenance, using high-quality fuel and oil, and not exceeding the power capacity will help maximize the usable lifespan.
However, there might be circumstances when you might need to replace your older generator. For example:
- Your generator has needed frequent repairs recently. Older generators are more prone to breaking down than newer models, and these repair costs can add up fast. It might make more financial sense to replace it when a brand-new unit that you’ll be able to rely on for years to come.
- The generator is more than a decade old. This can make finding repair parts more challenging and expensive.
- Your generator isn’t running as efficiently as it once did. This is because parts and components begin to wear down over time. A newer unit can improve efficiency and reduce your energy costs.
- The needs of your business have exceeded your generator’s power capacity. Continually overloading the generator will negatively affect its overall performance and lifespan. Investing in a new larger generator can help you keep up with demand and provide room for your business to grow.
- You want peace of mind that your generator will work when you need it most. Every time an older generator breaks down, you risk losing production during a power failure. This can cost your company a lot of money in the long run. With a new generator, you won’t have to worry so much about experiencing a sudden breakdown.
Call Valley Power Systems Today
Need industrial generator maintenance? Valley Power Systems partners with businesses across California for all their power-related needs. Call one of our offices today to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff.