Don’t be left in the cold – why generator maintenance is essential for winter
As winter draws nearer and the nights close in, the British weather becomes increasingly unpredictable. Regardless of whether you are a small business, home owner or a giant corporation, in the cold, icy months, you can never be too prepared for an unexpected power cut.
Stephen Peal, Director of PPSPower, said: “Maintenance of generators is absolutely essential if you want to get the best out of your system. Downtime can be a costly inconvenience, and in extreme cases, even dangerous. There are a number of excellent measures that can be taken to prevent unwanted disruptions, and at PPSPower we have put together a fool-proof maintenance program to ensure your pre-winter preparation is fully covered.”
PPSPower’s top tips for a downtime-free winter:
Don’t leave your generator sitting idle
Much like any power equipment, generators require routine maintenance to ensure they can perform to their highest specification. An idle generator can face a number of critical issues, so ensuring your standby generator unit is ready to perform when needed can save costly repercussions later down the line.
Fuel for thought
The leading cause of generator failure? Stale fuel. When fuel is left for long periods of time, particles can separate and an unsightly thick gunge can build up within the engine’s fuel filters, injectors and fuel pump. This can be prevented by running your generator every few weeks, especially over the winter season. It is also important to conduct regular fuel testing to make sure there is no water build-up from condensation in the fuel tank which can lead to bacteria. Running the unit for just 10-20 minutes on a regular basis is the most effective way of keeping fuel moving around the engine.
Fresh fuel is critically important to maintaining a healthy generator, and adding a stabilizer to the fuel that has been sat for more than six months can help prolong the lifespan, making it much safer to use.
Oil checks should be carried out regularly (at least once per week) and levels should be topped up when required. It is recommended that oil is replaced and maintained regularly, to avoid clogging and build-ups inside the generator. Oil and oil filters come hand in hand, so when replacing your oil, you should be changing your filters, otherwise you are passing new oil through the grime built up by the previous batch. Just like fuel it is best to have a good supply of oil and filters in advance, always being prepared for the worst-case scenario!
Using antifreeze-coolant will prevent your generator from overheating whilst in operation so monitoring the condition of your coolant is critical. In the winter it is essential to check the mix of the coolant solution (inhibitor to water) as it has the potential to freeze, that can result in the splitting of the radiator and or cylinder block in extremely low temperatures.
Check your batteries
Batteries need to be checked for a clean and tight connection on all terminals, ensuring that there are no loose, dirty or corroded terminals that can cause a problem when power is required. Some older generators may still have the older style of vented batteries that need regular checking and topping up with distilled water.
Something in the air?
Air filters are crucial to the overall condition of generators, as they regulate the air quality throughout the whole unit. We advise that air filters are changed regularly to prevent the engine overcompensating for a blocked filter. When changing your filter, it is best to consult the manual as filters vary greatly from engine to engine.
PPSPower offers first-class professional generator services, with over 60 years’ combined experience and a 24/7 call out facility from engineers based throughout the UK. All service packages come with a dedicated account manager to ensure requirements are understood and dealt with effectively, and a bi-annual generator service visit with relevant system checks. To schedule a professional generator service or discuss available packages, call us on 0345 200 9888 or email Sales@PPSPower.com