Businesses buy diesel generators so that they have backup power when they need it. But if the generator is rarely used or not maintained well, that backup system can fail, essentially negating your investment. In some cases this is mere inconvenience. In others, it can shut down the business or, in extreme cases, such as in a hospital environment, be life-threatening.
To avoid these types of situations, routine generator maintenance is a must. But most generator maintenance advice focuses on things like load bank testing, parts inspection and replacement, checking fluids and battery levels, and making sure the control panel readings are accurate. Rarely does fuel quality cross our minds, yet without adequate fuel, the system won’t work. That’s why fuel management should be added to every diesel generator maintenance checklist.
Diesel Fuel Management
Diesel fuel is a natural substance that degenerates over time. After 6-12 months, sitting fuel should be cleaned or replaced to ensure optimum performance of your generator. Fuel that sits too long can grow bacteria and generate sludge build up, neither of which is good for your engine. It’s not always possible to anticipate when fuel will go bad since it happens so gradually and is highly dependent on storage conditions. For that reason, fuel sampling and analysis should be done on a regular basis.
The good news is you don’t need to toss out unused fuel after 6-12 months of sitting. Diesel fuel can be cleaned. Called Fuel Polishing, the process involves a fuel analysis followed by necessary sterilization, a cleaning of particulates, bacteria, fungi, and rust. Cleaning is done using a combination of chemicals, filters, or algae-based solutions.
Spotting Problems with Your Generator’s Fuel
- Fuel problems can show up in both the fuel tank or in the generator itself. Common signs that you have a fuel problem include:
- Fuel appears dark in color.
- Fuel smells odd.
- Sediment has formed in the tank.
- Dark colored exhaust.
- Clogged fuel lines and/or filters.
- Damage to the starting system.
- Clogged or damaged fuel injection pumps or injectors.
- Generator performance issues.
Add Fuel Maintenance to Your Checklist and Protect Your Generator
To ensure an adequate power supply when you need it, you need more than a backup generator. You need a well-maintained generator and a supply of clean fuel on-site. Add fuel sampling and analysis to your generator maintenance checklist and you won’t have to worry that your power will fail when you need it most.
To learn more about generators and generator fuel management contact Critical Power Exchange at 877-315-4176 or visit us online at www.criticalpower.com.