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How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Diesel Generator
by Guest on Oct 6, 2020
Diesel generators are expensive, but they're also invaluable pieces of equipment. They may provide power to a construction site off the power grid, or they may provide backup power for your flagship facility. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your next diesel generator.
It is easy to find new diesel generators. But you can find used diesel generators as well as new ones.. You pay a fraction of the price for a new generator. Good dealers like Bellwood Rewinds make sure the used generators you get are in like-new condition, and they aren't going to fail as soon as you start them up. Have a spare generator, if you often use your current one, so that you're never without power. If you buy units that are parallel-friendly, have the cables on hand to connect them in parallel to meet peak load.
Treat maintenance as an investment. Too many companies treat maintenance as a waste of time and money instead of an essential task to be done. Failing to change out air filters leaves the generator starved for air. You'll wear out the mechanical components faster. That's on top of the risk of it overheating, potentially damaging the electronics. If you don't replace the oil, metal particles build up in the increasingly sludge-like oil. This causes things to wear out faster. Eventually, the unit will seize and be unusable. Change out the oil filter when you change the oil, so that you catch most of the fine metal debris in the oil so it doesn't damage the moving parts. Check for leaks periodically. Add oil if it is low, but don't leave oil or fuel that has spilled on the ground.
Some generators have an attached cooling system. This could be a radiator fin or water cooling system. If the generator has this, make sure it is clean and contains the right level of coolant. If the generator is air-cooled, make sure the unit has good air flow. Don't let people surround the generator with boxes or put it in a cargo container.
If the generator isn't regularly used, start it up and run it for thirty minutes. This helps prevent sludge from accumulating and clogging the hoses. If the generator has a button start, test the battery. These may go dead and often need to be replaced. Depending on the unit, it may be recharged when you run the generator for a while.
If the unit is connected to a transfer switch, make sure the generator can handle the load that could be relayed to it. And verify that the transfer switch and all electrical wiring are in good working condition. If your equipment has a heavy starting load, consider investing in inverter generators or inverters instead of hoping your diesel generator can handle the initial load of everything starting up.
Diesel generators often have large external fuel tanks. You may need to add fuel additives to the fuel tank to keep it viable. For example, you may need to add stabilizer to a fuel tank when the generator isn't used very often. And you may need to add stabilizers that will prevent the fuel from freezing, too. Some units rely on engine block heaters. Periodically inspect the block heaters to make sure they're in working order.
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