How Will I Know When My Generator Needs Maintenance?

As you will be entirely dependent on it in an emergency, your generator needs to be at least as well maintained as any other part of your infrastructure and probably even better. If you suffer a power outage from the national grid – and these are more common than many people realise – the last thing you expect is for your life-saver to let you down. The temptation is to take it for granted for as long as you don’t need to use it but if you do, then Murphy’s Law tells us that at the very time you need it, something will fail. Engineers with experience in generator maintenance in Essex understand the dangers of benign neglect as well as the positive action you can take to keep your generator in the best working order.

It’s advisable to establish a routine of powering up, running and checking your generator as this will make it much easier to identify both early and advanced signs of problems. We’ll run through the most common causes for concern.

Obvious Warning Signs

The first thing you’ll notice is whether your generator is powering up properly. If it doesn’t, this could be for a number of reasons. It may simply be out of fuel or the oil level may be too low. Should the tank need refilling, it is best done on dry days to avoid moisture getting into the machinery as this can cause degradation of the fuel and cause clogging of the filters. If the generator is not on level ground, the oil supply may have collected at one end so that the low-oil sensor is not picking it up.

A dead or weak battery is a frequent cause of generator failure. If it has been left unused for a significant period or is more than three years old, it may be necessary to have it replaced, but, in any case, you should take care with charging and discharging because both processes can shorten its life.

If the spark plugs are not producing strong sparks, they may need to be replaced. Watch out for signs of carbon build-up, cracks in the insulator and any evidence of burning to the electrode. Air filters can become clogged fairly quickly so keep them clean until they can be replaced.

Visual Assessment

A more general visual examination may yield useful information. Generators are complex pieces of machinery and with so many components, there is a lot of scope for wear and tear. If you see that any of the wirings is fraying or bare, this may lead to performance and safety issues. Equally, look for worn, cracked or missing controls and check that there are no loose connections.

Another common cause of failure or evidence of damage is leakage. Inspect the generator carefully for any signs of leaking oil, fuel or coolant. If the generator is relatively old, the most likely source of any leak will be from the hose line or the storage pan but for the untrained eye, it can be hard to tell for sure so you definitely need professional help.

Intermittent Performance

Even if your generator starts up without difficulty, it may not continue to function smoothly and you may even hear spluttering or popping noises. If the generator cuts out, it could be the result of a clogged carburettor or used fuel collecting in the float bowl. In either case, the bowl will need to be drained and the carburettor thoroughly cleaned. In extreme cases, the carburettor may need to be replaced. Another cause could be a clogged fuel cap which prevents air from getting into the tank. By forming a vapour or vacuum lock that inhibits or prevents the fuel flow. In which case the cap needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Generator Maintenance in Essex

Engineers with experience in this field have ample opportunities to encounter every one of these tell-tale signs and many more. Look for a leading firm providing generator maintenance in Essex for business customers of all kinds. While in some limited circumstances it may be possible to take interim measures to get a faulty generator working. Ultimately for both safety and peace of mind should you spot any of these indicators. It’s essential to call on professional expertise.

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