Common Reasons a Power System Fails
Whether you have a diesel or gas power system at your facility, it will eventually fail to operate. After so many years, generators become subject to increased wear and tear, which decreases their efficiency and, if repairs aren’t handled in a timely manner, can also reduce the overall lifespan of a unit. You can minimize the risk for a power system failure by ensuring proper usage and routine maintenance.
If your generator isn’t performing at its best, it’s a good idea to have a qualified technician perform an inspection. There are several reasons it could be failing, and in many cases, only a trained generator professional will be able to identify the cause. Here are some of the most common reasons that a power system fails.
It Has Low Coolant
One of the main reasons a generator engine overheats is due to a low coolant level. If the engine consistently runs at very high temperatures, it can damage internal parts and components beyond repair. Coolant should be checked at least at every maintenance inspection. You should also be on the lookout for any leaks in the cooling system as these can result in excess wear to your genset. If you see any unexplained puddles around your power system, call a generator technician right away.
The Battery Has Failed
A power system will shutdown if the battery malfunctions in some way. For optimal performance, it’s important to check the battery and its connections regularly. You should tighten loose connections and replace any that appear extremely worn or corroded. This can help you avoid a power failure in the future. Over time, your battery may also experience an accumulation of lead sulfates. This can keep the battery from being able to provide enough electrical current to operate the system. Replacing the battery should get your generator running again, but if it doesn’t, don’t hesitate to reach out to a generator professional at Valley Power Systems for a more thorough inspection.
The Unit Needs an Oil and Filter Change
Periodic oil and filter changes are needed to keep your generator performing reliably. Oil deteriorates over time, so if it’s not changed regularly, it can reduce efficiency and significantly increase wear on the generator, eventually causing it to fail. Fresh oil will keep the important parts of the engine lubricated, making it easier for them to work together. Filters should also be checked every time you have the oil changed. Clean filters will keep dirt and debris particles from entering the engine and causing major performance problems. If you clean the filter and it still appears dirty, you should have it replaced altogether to ensure the maximum benefit for the power system.
It’s Out of Fuel
If your generator fails to power on by diesel and fails to turn on, it could be out of fuel. You should check the fuel level to ensure the unit will power on when you need it most. When filling the tank, remember not to top it off. The fuel will expand once it is heated up by the engine, and you wouldn’t want any to spill over and potentially cause severe burns for anyone nearby the unit.
There Are Leaks in the System
The most common leaks that you’ll encounter are fuel, coolant, and oil leaks. If these go unaddressed, it can cause major issues for your power system, ultimately leading to generator failure.
Fuel leaks will generally occur within the pump system. If there are any cracks along the fuel lines, fuel will leak out and eventually keep your generator from starting up. Coolant leaks often happen when the block heater hoses become worn out. To minimize risk, swap the old hoses with new hoses at the first sign of deterioration. People often confuse oil leaks with something known as wet stacking. This is the accumulation of oil, unburned fuel, carbon particles, and acid that ultimately forms a dark, thick liquid that looks similar to engine oil. To address wet stacking, you should run the genset at 75% to 100% capacity for several hours, giving the generator time to vaporize the unburned fuel.
If you notice any leaks in your power system, contact a generator professional from Valley Power Systems right away to keep the problem from worsening.
The Unit Has Had Irregular Maintenance
A generator with irregular maintainance will fail sooner or later—and probably sooner. Your generator was a big investment, so it’s essential to protect that investment with preventative care. This means having your generator on a regular schedule as set by the specific manufacturer. Depending on the model and size of the generator, it could need maintenance after as few as 25-50 continuous service hours. If your power system is seeing heavy use, you may need to increase maintenance intervals to keep the generator in prime condition.
Along with regular maintenance tasks (e.g. oil and filter change, coolant and fuel refill, etc.), you will also want to exercise the engine. Allow the engine to run for at least 30 minutes once a month. This will keep the battery charged and help you identify any performance problems early on. You’ll be able to complete the repairs in a timely manner and ensure you have a properly functioning generator when you need it most.
Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure your generator reaches its expected lifespan. Valley Power Systems has custom maintenance contracts available for California business owners. Our highly trained technicians are ready to help you maximize the investment you’ve made in your power system.
Ask About Our Reliable Power Systems
If you’re in the market for a new generator, Valley Power Systems has a wide selection available from top brands like Atlas Copco and Blue Star Power Systems. We take pride in partnering with the best manufacturers in the industry to bring our clients products they can trust for a long time. To learn more about our power systems, contact our office today!