How to Prepare Your Power System for Winter Temperatures
Power outages can happen at any time, but winter storms do make them more likely to occur. Strong winds, hail, or even snow can knock out power lines, leaving your business without the power it needs. A backup generator is the best way to ensure your business will still be able to sustain operations, but what if your system fails? Your business could experience substantial financial losses as a result of reduced productivity while you wait for the repair.
Low temperatures can take a toll on your industrial unit unless you take the proper measures to prepare your power systems for winter temperatures. At Valley Power Systems, we know that the business owners we work with in California want to get the most out of their expensive equipment. With the following tips, you can prepare your system for lower temps this winter and keep your unit functioning optimally.
1. Run the Generator
Running the generator allows oil to circulate through the engine, keeping each moving part lubricated. This minimizes friction and wear of the components, resulting in overall better engine performance and increased service life.
Testing your generator now will help you catch any performance problems before you actually need the unit. If the system hasn’t been turned on for a long time, it could have malfunctioning components that you would not know about until you go to turn on the generator during an outage. This could leave your company in the dark until power is restored.
If your generator doesn’t get a lot of use throughout the year, remember to load it at full capacity this winter. Operating it far below its rated output can eventually lead to wet stacking, or a buildup of unburned fuel that can cause irreversible engine damage.
2. Keep the Battery Charged
A battery that hasn’t been used in a long time may have issues starting up. The cold can cause it to lose power, and it may not have enough to operate the unit for an extended period of time. It’s critical to charge the battery regularly to keep it warm and ready to go in the event of a power outage.
3. Clean the Generator
During the fall and winter, wind and rain can rustle up leaves, dirt, and other nearby debris that can get into your generator’s air vents. For optimum performance, you should regularly inspect the unit to make sure nothing is blocking the vents. This debris can also make your filters clog faster, so you should check them weekly to ensure clear airflow.
The exterior of a generator can become quite dirty in its normal operation. Over time, you might notice a layer or dust or dirt. Wipe away any visible dirt, but you need to remember to avoid spraying any water directly on the system as excess moisture can cause a lot of problems for your unit.
4. Install an Engine Block Heater
An engine block heater can keep the oil warm even when the generator isn’t running. This can help you prevent some of those issues that come with cold winter temperatures. The engine block heater will make starting up the generator easier in the colder months, reducing the time it takes for the unit to reach its full power output and save you money on fuel costs.
5. Replace Worn Parts
You should do a quick visual inspection of the system to look for any signs of wear or corrosion. These can grow worse when subjected to extreme temperatures. Loose, cracked, or rusted parts or components should be replaced by a skilled technician to avoid mechanical issues later on.
6. Complete Maintenance
Winter is a great time to check generator maintenance off your to-do list. Make sure your generator is primed to go this season by having a professional generator specialist complete a thorough inspection of the unit. They will do an oil and filter change to keep the system running at its best. They can check the coolant quality, refill the fuel, fix leaks, and repair any broken components for you. The longer a unit goes without the repairs that it needs, the more likely major problems will develop. These can be quite costly and may even result in irreparable damage. Repairs should be handled sooner rather than later to keep costs under control and maximize the lifespan of your unit.
Problems With Generator Startup?
Sometimes, you can go to turn on your generator only to find that it won’t power up. There can be many reasons why a system fails. These include:
- Cold battery: Cold weather can make batteries weaker than usual. If the battery becomes too cold, it may not have enough charge to power up the system.
- Low coolant: Without enough coolant, your generator will grow too hot. An overheated generator can cause major problems for the system, including generator failure.
- Oil leaks: Wet stacking often appears like an oil leak. The unburned oil and fuel can accumulate in the exhaust system and cause mechanical problems for the unit.
- Fuel issues: When the fuel system is malfunctioning, the generator may not operate normally. There are several things that can cause fuel issues, such as a broken fuel line or malfunctioning fuel pump.
If your power system has any issues with startup, the professionals from Valley Power Systems can help. Our technicians are fully trained and qualified to handle a wide array of generator problems, including power issues, hose leaks, engine malfunctions, and more. We can take a look at your system, handle the repairs, and have you up and running in no time.
Need Help With Preparing Your Power System for Winter Temperatures?
As outside temperatures fall, you need to make sure that your generator is ready to withstand harsh weather conditions. Valley Power System provides all the repair and maintenance services you need to keep your unit running. Our highly experienced technicians are factory certified to work on most makes and models of power systems. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.