The Importance of Emergency Power Maintenance and Testing

The Importance of Emergency Power

A power outage is not the time to discover that your emergency generator requires maintenance. Your operation needs a reliable, functional, and efficient secondary power source so it can continue running despite an electricity failure. This need is why implementing a regular maintenance and testing program is so important.

Emergency power maintenance and testing are crucial to keeping your critical power generators performing in peak condition. Let’s explore some of the reasons why below.

The Importance of Plant Generator Maintenance

Regularly scheduled generator maintenance provides several benefits for your machinery and business:

1. Improves Efficiency

You want to be able to count on your generator to save the day when your operation loses power. An efficient generator can help you avoid a shutdown by seamlessly picking up the slack until you’re able to resolve your power problem.

Regular inspection and maintenance allow technicians to detect and deal with minor issues before they become major ones. Issues that start small can evolve into complex problems that require downtime to repair, which can decrease your business’s productivity.

Fine-tuning your generator during periodic maintenance sessions can help you avoid unexpected complications. Preventive maintenance will help keep it operating smoothly and in top condition, which is a win for you and your business, employees, and equipment.

2. Prevents Fuel Issues

Regular generator maintenance will ensure your machine is stocked with an efficient and viable fuel supply so that it has adequate stores to burn when needed.

Fuel can oxidize and deteriorate with time, especially if it sits in an unused generator for extended periods. Oxidation can lead to impurities and sediments, which can clog the fuel injectors, cause the machine to operate improperly, and potentially overheat. An overheated generator can break down the chemical structure of the battery, leading to leaks and battery failure.

You can avoid such fuel issues with regular generator maintenance. Maintenance technicians will test your generator to make sure it consumes fuel properly. They’ll also drain and refill the fuel system completely to ensure it has a fresh supply until its next scheduled service.

3. Increases Generator Lifespan

Generators are both an investment and an asset, so you want them to operate well for as long as possible. Generators can provide years of reliable service, especially when they receive regularly scheduled maintenance.

Generators that run poorly can develop damage that shortens their life span or even causes them to fail altogether. Preventive maintenance sessions, however, allow you to identify concerns and remedy them early. By addressing issues before they have a chance to do serious damage to the machine, you can increase the generator’s life span.

4. Saves Time and Money

While a routine preventive maintenance plan is an expense, the cost is merely a fraction of the downtime and repair expenses you’d incur by neglecting your machine.

Neglecting regular generator maintenance can eventually lead to additional avoidable costs. Undetected problems can escalate into serious issues that necessitate downtime and costly repairs. If the problem is too severe for a technician to repair, you’ll need to spend more time and money to purchase and set up a new generator.

Fortunately, routine maintenance helps keep problems minor and financially manageable. Regular maintenance appointments throughout its life cycle can help you save time and money by:

  • Avoiding shutdowns due to generator failure.
  • Dealing with minor issues before they escalate.
  • Prolonging the service life of the generator.

5. Increases Workplace Safety

Proper maintenance helps reduce generators’ safety risks, including:

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning: Generators produce carbon monoxide as they burn fuel. Breathing this colorless, odorless gas can poison or even kill people, which is why carbon monoxide detectors are crucial. These alarms promote safety by warning when they detect carbon monoxide in the area. Regularly scheduled maintenance is a great time to test and ensure the viability of your generator’s carbon monoxide detector.
  • Electrocution: Generators can shock or electrocute users without proper safety precautions, especially if the machine is in close contact with water or excess moisture. A certified maintenance technician can help ensure your generator is grounded and in the driest location possible to minimize electrocution risks. 
  • Fires: Fuel that leaks or spills onto other generator components can pose a fire hazard. Preventive generator maintenance provides an opportunity to detect and address fuel leaks before they become a major fire risk.

What happens during a regular power generator maintenance visit

What Happens During a Regular Power Generator Maintenance Visit?

During maintenance appointments, a certified technician will perform services such as:

  • Inspecting the generator enclosure.
  • Checking the battery connections.
  • Inspecting the belts.
  • Inspecting the coolant heater.
  • Checking for oil leaks.
  • Checking for fuel leaks.
  • Cleaning the air filter.
  • Inspecting the AC wiring.
  • Inspecting the DC electrical system.
  • Inspecting the exhaust system.
  • Changing the oil.
  • Replacing the oil, fuel, and air filters.
  • Changing the spark plugs.
  • Checking the coolant concentration.
  • Flushing the cooling system.
  • Removing water from the fuel tank.

We recommend scheduling major generator maintenance at least twice yearly. You should also schedule preventive maintenance visits throughout the year to ensure each machine component is fully functional.

How You Can Maintain Your Generator Between Technician Visits

Supplement your maintenance schedule with the following weekly and monthly interventions to get the most out of your critical power group of generators and further enhance longevity.

Perform the following tasks at least once a week:

  • Turn the generator on and let it run under minimal or no load using an automatic transfer switch exercise cycle.
  • Inspect the area surrounding the generator for any fluid leakage.
  • Check for any alarms or warnings that signal issues with the generator.
  • Ensure the generator has an adequate amount of the correct fuel.
  • Check that the circuit breaker is closed and secure.
  • Ensure the generator is primed for automatic power-up.

Perform the following tasks at least once a month:

  • Walk the perimeter of the generator area and remove any debris that may hinder its operation or become a hazard.
  • Check for animal intruders that may have taken up residence inside the unit.
  • Check that the generator’s oil supply is as full as possible without exceeding tank capacity.
  • Look at the generator’s overflow tank to determine whether the machine has the proper amount of coolant.
  • Inspect the battery to ensure it’s clean and corrosion-free.
  • Look around the machine for loose wires or clamps.

Trust the generator maintenance pros at Thompson Power Systems

Trust the Generator Maintenance Pros at Thompson Power Systems

At Thompson Power Systems, we offer generator sales, rentals, parts, repair, and maintenance services with a local, familiar feel you won’t find elsewhere. Contact Thompson Power Systems today to partner with our trustworthy, experienced, and knowledgeable team. We look forward to assisting you with all of your power generator needs!

Previous ArticleMaintaining Diesel Generators Next ArticleWhat Is an Automatic Transfer Switch