If you own a diesel engine generator that is either purchased as brand new or fairly used, no doubt, you should be interested in maintaining it so that it can serve its purpose whenever it is called to duty. This is quite an investment as diesel engine generators never come cheap when compared to the cost of petrol engine generators. Hence, a good reason to have it well-maintained.
As you may already know, diesel engine generator requires less maintenance due to their durability, reliability and their sturdiness characteristic. They are considered cheaper to operate due to the low fuel costs as compared to the other types of fuels.
However, the best generator maintenance practice is following the maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer of the generator, to ensure maximum service time for the generator and proper operation when it is called upon to provide power. Having a well-designed and well-maintained standby power system is the best protection against utility power outages.
The preventive maintenance tips for the diesel generator that guarantees uninterrupted power supply that is safe and consistent for all the needs intended-for include the following aspects:
- Lubrication Service
The engine oil must be checked while the generator is in shut-down mode at regular intervals using a dipstick. Keep the oil level as near as possible to the full mark on the dipstick (never beyond the set gauge) by adding the same quality and brand of oil. The oil and filter must also be changed at acclaimed time intervals. Standby diesel generators, for example, need to be serviced at every 150hrs-200hrs on average. However, if the generator is used constantly, the hours go up much quicker and at more regular intervals. Hence, there exists a need to ensure your generator’s running hour counter is fully functional.
- Fuel System
The fuel filters should be drained at the designated intervals because of the water vapour that accumulates and condenses in the fuel tank. Preventive maintenance should include a regular general inspection that includes checking the coolant level, oil level, fuel system, and starting system. Since the fuel quality here in Nigeria cannot always be guaranteed, installing Fuel-Water Separator, Fuel Filters and additional filtration system to protect the sensitive fuel injection system; is a good investment to enhance the performance of your generator.
- Cooling System
Check the coolant level during shutdown periods at the specified interval. Remove the radiator cap after allowing the engine to cool, and, if necessary, add sufficient amount of coolant. Inspect the exterior of the radiator for obstructions, and remove all dirt or foreign material with a soft brush or cloth with caution to avoid damaging the fins. Occasionally, use low-pressure compressed air or a stream of water in the opposite direction of normal air flow to flush the radiator, thus reducing tendencies for generator overheating.
- Testing Battery
Weak or undercharged starting batteries are a common cause of standby power system failures. The battery must be kept fully charged and well-maintained to avoid dwindling by regular testing and inspection to know the current status of the battery and avoid any start-up hitches of the generator. They must also be cleaned, and terminal head properly tightened to avoid partial contact.
- Exhaust System
In case there are leaks along the exhaust line which usually occurs at the connection points – the welds and the gaskets; they should be repaired immediately by a qualified technician.
- Clean Diesel Generator
Oil drips and other issues are easy to spot and take care of when the engine is nice and clean. Visual inspection can guarantee that hoses and belts are in good condition. Frequent checks can keep plastics, cans, nylons and other nuisances from nesting in your equipment. So if your hired diesel generator technician does not usually tidy up your generator after each scheduled maintenance service to keep it sightly, you may consider a change. It’s part of his job.
While the do-it-yourself approach may not be out of place if you have a fair technical knowledge, it is usually best to contract an honest qualified technician for your routine maintenance service. There are not many such honest, qualified professionals around town, but they sure exist. Most of these tips can be appropriately performed qualitatively in no time by qualified technicians or maintenance service firms. Always be sure you get the best of any diesel generator service provider you hire.