4 Reasons Your Generator Might Fail When You Need It Most

Electric generators

The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping, and nasty seasonal storms are on the horizon. These conditions mean that you may have a real need for your electric generators in the near future. But if you fail to perform regular generator preventative maintenance, you may be faced with a dire situation: your residential or commercial generators may not work when you need them most. Be sure to perform generator preventative maintenance to avoid these four problems from occurring:

  • Battery failure
    One of the most common issues for commercial and residential generators alike is battery failure. The majority of battery-related problems are caused by sulfate buildup. If you replace the batteries regularly, you can eliminate the risk of unexpected shortages. Sometimes, these failures a tripped charger breaker, loose connections, or the unit itself. In all cases, it’s critical to have generator preventative maintenance performed to ensure cable connections are efficient. Checking your unit regularly — as well as getting expert generator installation and professional maintenance — will help prevent problems.
  • Leaks
    An internal or external leak can lead to any number of problems. Coolant leaks can cause your unit to have low coolant levels. You may have an oil leak or what’s referred to as “wet stacking” — which isn’t technically a leak but is what happens during excessive no-load run time. Engines can start to over-fuel (which can cause engine damage) when your generator operates below the rated level of output. You should avoid using rubber hoses for block heaters, as doing so can also lead to leaking. More than anything else, regular generator preventative maintenance can help to prevent leaks. A professional generator services technician can advise you about when it’s time to replace hoses or coolant. He or she can also assess any damages your generator has sustained and can help to repair the problem before it becomes significant.
  • Breaker issue
    If you’ve verified that a remote emergency power switch has not been pushed but your generator won’t start, it’s possible that the breaker has been tripped after the automatic transfer switch. During a power outage, this switch needs to be checked. However, you should never attempt top operate an automatic transfer switch if you aren’t properly instructed about how to do so. Improper operation can be highly hazardous and can result in injury or even death. It’s important to contact your technician to help you if you think the ATS may be the problem.
  • No fuel
    Unlike the fuel gauge in your car, your generator fuel level gauge may not be accurate. It’s possible for fuel to become stagnant or for gauges to stick due to a lack of vibration. Some generators shut down when they have low fuel in order to prevent the system from drawing in air. Because air extraction can be a difficult task and can be harmful to the generator, it’s in your best interest that this happens. If you perform regular maintenance, the chance you’ll run out of fuel is much less. But even with regular service, it’s possible that your generator may run out of fuel. It’s best to consult with a trained professional to get a definitive cause and solution.

Don’t take a chance that your family or business could be left in the dark or the cold. In order to keep your generator in tip-top shape, regular maintenance is a must.

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