We buy backup generators to provide power when we need it most, i.e. when it’s not available through the power grid. The last thing you want to discover at a time like this is that your generator isn’t working properly. Regular maintenance can help prevent problems, but even when a generator is properly maintained problems can arise. Here are some of the most common reasons why generators fail.
4 Reasons Why Generators Fail
- Dead Battery. A generator is an engine and it does have a battery, just like your car. In fact, a dead battery is the #1 most common reason why generators fail. You can help avoid a dead battery situation by making sure you install the proper size battery, replacing the battery every 2-3 years, and testing it during every maintenance check.
- The Fuel Gauge is Incorrect. A fuel gauge that reads incorrectly can lead to problems if you don’t know when fuel levels are getting too low. Most gensets have built-in alarms that will warn you when fuel is running low, but if you don’t have such a system, make sure your gauge is working correctly to ensure an adequate fuel supply at all times.
- You Have a Leak. Oil, fuel, or coolant leaks prevent a generator from starting or can cause it to conk out mid-cycle. Again, regular inspections should uncover any issues, but sometimes, backup generators register leaks even when they don’t have a leak. This is because they aren’t run frequently enough leading to a build-up of carbon, unburned fuel, oil, condensed water, and acids that can choke the system.
- There’s Air in the Fuel System. Air in fuel injectors can cause start-up problems. Too much air can prevent combustion and the engine doesn’t start. Sometimes excess air is caused by leaks in the line or build-up in the system. You can clear the air from the system by starting up the generator every week and letting it run for a few minutes.
Critical Power Products & Services Can Help With Your Generator Problems
If your generator isn’t performing like it should, contact Critical Power Products & Services. We can help troubleshoot common problems, set you up with a replacement generator, and install fuel polishing systems to keep your fuel and lines clean.