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8 Basic Steps For Proper Maintenance Of Diesel Generators

Oct. 11, 2021

The correct maintenance of diesel generators is the key to ensuring that your equipment keeps running in the coming years. These 8 points are crucial:


1. Routine inspection of diesel generators.

During the operation of diesel generators, the exhaust system, fuel system, DC electrical system and engine need to be closely monitored for any leaks that may cause dangerous events. As with any internal combustion engine, proper maintenance is essential. According to Scott Constant Power Solutions of Georgia, as one of the leading manufacturers of generators and electrical equipment in the UK, the standard maintenance and oil change time is recommended to be 500 hours, but some applications may require a shorter maintenance time. After-sales service should be the first-class reason.


2. Lubrication Service.

When using the dipstick to regularly shut down the generator, the engine oil must be checked. Let the oil from the upper part of the engine flow back to the crankcase, and follow the engine manufacturer’s recommendations on the American Petroleum Institute oil classification and oil viscosity. By adding engine oil of the same quality and brand, make the oil level as close as possible to the full scale on the dipstick.


The oil and filter must also be replaced at regular intervals. Consult the engine manufacturer for oil draining and replacement of oil filters, and handle them appropriately to avoid environmental damage or liability. However, it is worthwhile to use the most reliable and high-quality oil, lubricant and coolant to keep the engine running.


3. Cooling system.

During shutdown, check the coolant level at specified intervals. After cooling the engine, remove the cover of the radiator. if necessary, add coolant until the liquid level reaches about 3/4 inch. Heavy-duty diesel engines require a balanced coolant mixture of water, antifreeze and coolant additives. Pay attention to whether there are obstacles on the surface of the radiator, and wipe all dust and foreign objects with a soft brush or cloth to avoid damage to the radiator. If possible, clean the radiator with low-pressure compressed air or a water flow that is opposite to the normal air flow.

diesel generator


4. Fuel system.

Diesel will be polluted and corroded within a year, so it is strongly recommended to conduct regular generator set drills in order to use up the stored fuel before the fuel degrades. Due to the accumulated and condensed water vapor in the fuel tank, the fuel filter should be emptied within the specified time interval.


If the fuel is not used and replaced within three to six months, periodic testing and fuel polishing may be required. Preventive maintenance should include regular and comprehensive inspections, including checking the coolant level, oil level, fuel system and starting system. The charge air cooler pipes and hoses should be checked regularly for leaks, holes, cracks, dirt and debris, which may block the heat sink or loose connections.


Some engines used in backup generator set applications have some problems related to diesel fuel. For example, although the engine maintains its mechanical properties, it can cause problems related to diesel quality. The chemical composition of diesel has changed in recent years, a certain proportion of biodiesel releases impurities at low or high temperatures, and a certain proportion of biodiesel mixed with water (condensed) at warm temperatures will become the cradle of bacterial proliferation. In addition, the reduction in sulfur reduces lubrication, which eventually clogs the fuel injection pump. In addition, by purchasing a generator set, it is important to know that there are a large number of optional accessories to choose from, which can extend maintenance intervals and ensure that quality power is provided throughout the life of the generator set. For example, in the mobile field, some diesel generator manufacturers provide fuel-water separator filters to provide customers with required guarantees when engine failures are not within the scope of the option or the fuel tank checkpoint is not available. Due to the poor fuel quality in most countries, some units have installed water separator fuel filters and additional filtering systems to protect sensitive fuel injection systems, customers are advised to replace components in time to avoid such failures.


5. Test the battery.

Insufficient or insufficient start-up battery power is a common cause of backup power system failure. The battery must be kept fully charged and well maintained to avoid reducing the power by regularly testing and checking to understand the current state of the battery and avoid any start-up failure of the generator. They must also be cleaned, and the specific gravity and electrolyte level of the battery must be checked frequently.


Test batteries: Just checking the output voltage of the batteries does not indicate that they are capable of providing sufficient starting power. As batteries age, their internal resistance to current increases, and the only accurate measurement of terminal voltage must be performed under load. On some generators, this indicative test is automatically performed every time the generator starts. On other generator sets, use a manual battery load tester to verify the condition of each starting battery.


Clean the battery: Whenever there is too much dust, wipe the battery with a damp cloth to keep the battery clean. If there is corrosion around the terminals, remove the battery cable and clean the terminals with a solution of baking soda and water (1 quart of water to 1 pound of baking soda). Take care to avoid the solution from entering the battery pack, and wash it with clean water after completion. After replacing the connector, coat the terminal with a small amount of petroleum jelly.


Check the specific gravity: In an open lead-acid battery, use a battery hydrometer to check the specific gravity of the electrolyte in each battery cell. The specific gravity of a fully charged battery is 1.260. If the concentration value is lower than 1.215, it needs to be charged.


Check the electrolyte level: In an open lead-acid battery, check the electrolyte level at least once every 200 hours of operation. If the battery is low, fill the battery to the bottom of the filling pipe with distilled water.


6. Routine engine exercises.

Regular exercise can keep engine parts lubricated, prevent oxidation of electrical contacts, run out of fuel before it deteriorates, and help provide reliable engine starting. It is recommended to perform engine exercises at least once a month for at least 30 minutes. The load is not less than one-third of the rating on the nameplate.


Most importantly, according to Jiangsu Starlight Electricity Equipments Co.,Ltd. as a professional diesel generator manufacturer for more than 40 years, regular inspections are recommended because preventive maintenance is better than reactive maintenance. However, it is critical to follow the specified maintenance procedures and time intervals.


7. Keep the diesel generator clean.

When the engine is well cleaned, oil droplets and other problems are easy to detect and deal with. Visual inspection can ensure that the hose and belt are in good condition. Frequent inspections can prevent wasps and other harmful organisms from building nests in your equipment.


The more generators are used and relied on, the more they need to be taken care of. However, rarely used generator sets may not require much maintenance.


8. Exhaust system inspection.

If there is a leak in the exhaust line, it usually occurs at the joints, welds and gaskets. It should be repaired by qualified technicians immediately. Starlight Power's professional technical engineer mentioned that when the diesel generator is put into use, you must ensure that your equipment is repaired. Especially 24 hours before using the generator. “For example, for a backup generator, you need an average of 150 hours to repair your unit. However, if the generator is used continuously, the time will increase faster and more regularly," he added. In addition, according to Starlight Power engineers, Jiangsu Starlight Electricity Equipments Co.,Ltd., as a domestic manufacturer of professional diesel generators, is very advantageous to use maintenance tools when using different maintenance intervals.


For more details, please contact us with sales@dieselgeneratortech.com

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