5 Reasons to Get an Emergency Generator Inspection
Power outages often have severe implications for businesses. For this reason, many purchase industrial-grade generators to ensure uninterrupted business operations during blackouts. However, you might occasionally find yourself in a situation where your generator isn’t working properly. Generator failure is usually a result of incorrect usage or poor maintenance. To avoid generator failure, units must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Operators should also learn the recommended maintenance routines and practice them regularly. Generator shutdowns can incur a lot of financial losses to a company. You should inspect your power system frequently to detect any problems that may result in generator failure. Additionally, complete an emergency generator inspection whenever your power system experiences any of the following situations:
1. Malfunctioning Battery
Get an inspection done right away if your battery doesn’t turn on. A malfunctioning battery is the most common cause of generator failure. Battery failure occurs when the electrolyte discharges large amounts of sulfur molecules. These molecules react with the battery’s lead plates to form lead sulfates, which can build up and obstruct the flow of the electrical current. In this case, you will likely need a new battery for the power system.
Low electrolyte levels can also result in battery failure. To prevent this, ensure that the battery plates are protected from air exposure. All connections must also be kept clean and tight at all times. Other causes of generator failure include open batteries and tripped or opened charger breakers.
2. Oil Leaks
Oil is what keeps the internal parts and components of your generator’s engine lubricated so that they can work together with minimal friction. It also helps to stabilize the engine temperature and protect it from wear. When leaks are present, your generator will have to work harder than normal, which can result in more repairs later down the line. It is essential to check for leaks periodically to keep your system in good working order. If you can’t find the source of the leak on your own, the professionals from Valley Power Systems can help.
One cause of oil leaks is what we call wet stacking. Wet stacking occurs when the engine is consistently operates below its standard operating temperature. Wet stacking is essentially the accumulation of unburned fuel, lubricating oil, acids, and carbon particles in the exhaust system. Loading the generator for a significant period of time can burn off the excess fuel and prevent wet stacking from occurring.
3. Insufficient Coolant
Low coolant levels are often a result of leaks in the system. During your inspection, you should check for any signs of internal or external leakage and color changes. Different coolants have varying colors depending on the manufacturer. It is essential to examine the coolant to check for any abnormalities in the shade and texture. Crust on the generator’s hoses usually indicate a leak. When extremely high temperatures are present, the rubber hoses of the block heaters become stiff, which causes coolant leaks. This is why many companies today opt to use silicone hoses, which are more resistant to heat.
Plugging the radiator cores internally can also cause the coolant level to drop. Thermostats open when the generator is loaded. This hinders the coolant movement through the core. The liquid then expels via the overflow line. After that, the engine cools, and thermostats close. This leads to a drop in coolant level, which causes the generator to shut down. Proper maintenance of the cooling system can prevent coolant leaks and prolong your engine’s overall lifespan.
4. Fuel Issues
There are two primary causes of fuel leaks: overfilling the fuel tank and pump system failures. Fuel expands when heat rises, so you shouldn’t fill the tank above the recommended level. We recommend to regularly inspect the tank pump to prevent fuel leaks. Examine fuel lines and replace those with any cracks immediately.
It is also essential to ensure that a generator does not run out of fuel. Water, dust, and debris can contaminate the bottom of the fuel tank. This can be detrimental to your power system. Water is especially dangerous for engines. As a preventative measure, it is a good idea to use a fuel stabilizer for a diesel engine. It will help absorb water and prevent sediment buildup in the fuel.
5. Control Settings Not Automated
Today, generators connect to automatic transfer switches to deliver an instant source of alternative power when disruption occurs in the main electrical service. These switches enable generators to automatically start immediately after a blackout. However, the generator may fail to start up on its own at times. This is often due to simple human error. When you press the emergency stop button, it disables the automatic functionality of the generator. In most cases, generators are also unable to run automatically after servicing. Make sure that the control settings are automated before utilizing the power system.
Benefits of Getting an Emergency Generator Inspection
There are many advantages to getting your generator inspected when it’s not performing the way it should. You will discover what is causing the current issue and also be able to identify potential problems that may affect your generator in the near future. Emergency inspections can also help you learn the circumstances that can lead to a generator failure and how to overcome them. Your inspector will also give you expert advice on how to operate and maintain your unit properly, and you can share this knowledge with other employees who will be trusted with the generator.
Contact Us Today
Valley Power Systems is a trusted resource for generators and related services. We specialize in providing power solutions to businesses in California. If your commercial generator needs servicing, our highly trained and experienced technicians can take care of the job for you professionally. We also offer a wide range of generator products and rentals to match your company’s individual needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our friendly staff.