Uninterrupted access to power and electricity is one of the unspoken luxuries of our modern world. Most people do not truly appreciate the infrastructure that exists to make sure our homes and businesses are powered at all times. However, industry professionals and the forward-thinking among us know that electricity and power are not always guaranteed, especially in times of crisis.
Therefore, a backup generator is a critical investment for your home or business. These generators come in a variety of shapes and sizes but they all serve to provide backup power and a failsafe for your needs. In life or death situations such as in hospitals, there can be no concern about whether the electricity will shut off in the event of a disaster.
These pieces of machinery are vital and can be complicated. Generators require just as much care and maintenance as your building’s standard power grid. However, not every engineer or technician may know exactly what goes into the maintenance of these devices. At Buckeye Power Sales, our expertly trained, certified staff can help you and your business maintain your generators while educating you on what needs to happen to ensure you and your building are ready in the event of a disaster.
Generator Maintenance for Home and Business
Backup generators are almost always the same in theory. When the power grid fails or is interrupted, your generator kicks in automatically or manually to take over. They run off fuel such as diesel or natural gas and need to be checked regularly to make sure everything is operational. These principles apply to every kind of generator from ones powering a two-bedroom house to those that can maintain productivity for a 5,000-bed hospital.
There are many components to generators and all of them must be checked at various intervals to ensure safe operation should the device ever be needed. These checks range from daily visual inspections to annual and semi-annual testing with licensed technicians. All generators, regardless of size, need some maintenance and checking up along the way. Our guides below can help in making sure your commercial and residential generators are being properly maintained.
Maintaining Residential Generators
The tasks and checklist items on a maintenance checklist can be divided up by frequency. There are checks that should be performed every day or week and more in-depth checks that need to happen at longer intervals. Additionally, depending on what type of generator you have and where it is installed, your inspection needs may change.
Daily or Weekly
- Check fluid levels such as oil, coolant or fuel
- Check for debris and obvious damage if your generator is exposed to the elements
- Run the generator without a load to check for function and alerts
- Check battery and charging
- Check rubber hoses and belts for wear or damage from critters
- Remove water and any debris (dirt, mud, etc.)
Every Six Months
- Change the fuel or treat it to ensure it still works
- Check the ignition and plugs
- Run generator under load
- Change fuel, oil and air filters
- Retreat or replace the fuel
- Service the transfer switch and other electrical components
- Run the generator under load and ensure full function
Residential generators are less complicated and routine maintenance can be handled without outside assistance if desired. However, if you notice that a major component has failed during these checks, such as the alternator or transfer switch, our team can help repair your device and restore its full functionality.
Maintaining Commercial Generators
Commercial generators can range in size and complexity from large single units powering small businesses to entire complex ecosystems of backup power at places like hospitals, airports or telecommunications buildings. There are significantly more components that must be checked with a team using a similar interval schedule.
The major difference with commercial generators is that a warranty may strongly suggest or even require a full-fledged technician-led maintenance rundown on the device once or twice a year. However, there are still many checks you and your staff may make to ensure full functionality at all times. Additionally, it is important to write down these checks and keep a record of the maintenance done at all times.
- Check coolant heater and level
- Check and record oil and fuel level
- Check charge-air piping
- Drain water from fuel tank and filter
- Check air cleaner
- Check battery charger
- Check coolant concentration
- Exhaust water-trap
- Check drive belt for damage and tension
- Check starting batteries
- Check startup and run the generator without load
- Clean crankcase breather
- Examine radiator hoses
- Start generator and run with load
- Flush and clean cooling system
- Change fuel, oil and air filters
Licensed Technicians and Supervised Maintenance
Commercial generators are very complicated and their maintenance is no walk in the park either. Buckeye Power Sales recommends that licensed technicians inspect generators at least once a year. These technicians are not only highly trained in these specific models, but they also follow maintenance schedules and guidelines set forth by bodies such as NFPA, NEMA and EGSA. They inspect these machines to catch anything standard inspections might miss as well as certifying the generator for the next year.
Backup generators are a vital piece of infrastructure and must be maintained with the same amount of care and effort as any other critical piece of technology. At Buckeye Power Sales, our team of licensed and highly experienced technicians can help you find the right generator for your needs as well as give you the tools and information you need to maintain these devices for years.
If you are in need of a backup generator or have one already and need maintenance, contact us today at Buckeye Power Sales. We offer generator service and planned maintenance agreements to make sure your generator is kept in top shape.