Top 7 Reasons Commercial Generators Fail and How to Prevent it

Reasons Commercial Generators Fail

Commercial generators are essential for any business or organization that relies on a continuous power supply. When the power goes out, these generators are relied upon to provide the necessary electricity to keep things running smoothly. However, they can be prone to failure if not properly maintained. Preventative maintenance is crucial to ensure that a commercial generator is always ready to perform at full load when needed. In this article, we will look at the top 7 reasons why commercial generators fail and how to prevent them.

7 Reasons Commercial Generators Fail

  1. Fuel that has deteriorated: The fuel in a generator can deteriorate over time. This can cause issues with the fuel system, leading to clogged filters and injector problems. It is important to have fuel tested periodically to determine if fuel polishing may be required, to ensure that it is clean and free of contaminants.
  2. Hasn’t been load banked: A well-maintained commercial generator is essential to ensure it is dependable and operational when needed, capable of generating sufficient electricity. Generators that are not load banked regularly can become incapable of producing their rated power. Load banking is the process of testing the generator under load to ensure that it can produce its rated power capacity. This testing can also uncover other issues that may need attention. 
  3. Animals have nested in the generator: Generators that are not used frequently can become a prime spot for animals to nest. This can lead to wires being chewed, and other damage to the generator.
  4. Old batteries: Batteries that are not replaced regularly can cause problems with the generator starting up. It is important to replace the batteries when recommended so they are always ready.
  5. Low coolant: Low coolant can cause the engine to overheat, which can lead to damage to the engine or other components. You should check the coolant levels regularly and add more as needed.
  6. Low oil: Low oil can cause the engine to seize, which can lead to significant damage to the generator. It is important to check the oil levels and add more oil when needed.
  7. Problems related to tier 4 engine technology: Tier 4 engines are designed to reduce emissions, but they can fail if not properly maintained. Some of the common issues with tier 4 engines include:
  • The DPF can become clogged with particulates that would usually burn off. 
  • DEF, which is injected to reduce pollutants, can crystallize in the exhaust system if it doesn’t bind with the exhaust due to inconsistent flow. 
  • The EGR system may become clogged because it is not burned off correctly when it requests more fuel.

Preventative Maintenance on Your Commercial Generator Is Essential

To prevent these issues from occurring, it is essential to perform regular preventative maintenance on your commercial generator. Here are some of the key services that should be performed:

  • Quarterly or Semi-annual inspection: Inspections of your commercial generator can uncover any issues that may need attention. These inspections include a visual inspection of the generator, fuel system, and other critical components.
  • Annual service: Annual service includes the comprehensive inspections mentioned above, as well as oil and filter changes, fuel filter changes, and other essential maintenance tasks.
  • Fuel testing and polishing: Fuel testing helps determine if your diesel fuel contains contaminants that should be removed through polishing.
  • Load banking: Load banking ensures that the generator can handle its power capacity and uncovers any issues that need immediate attention.
  • Cleaning: Cleaning the generator regularly can prevent animals from nesting in it and damaging the wiring.
  • Battery replacement: Batteries should be replaced every 3 to 5 years to ensure that they are always ready to go.
  • Coolant and oil checks: Regular checks of the coolant and oil levels can prevent overheating and engine damage.
  • Tier 4 engine maintenance: Regular maintenance of tier 4 engines can prevent issues with the DPF, DEF system, and EGR system.
  • Above ground tank inspection: Above ground fuel tanks should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are in good condition and free of leaks. These inspections can prevent fuel contamination and help identify any issues before they become more significant problems.
  • Rupture basin sensor testing: Rupture basins are designed to capture fuel in the event of a tank leak or spill. Regular testing of the sensors in these basins ensures that they are functioning correctly and that any issues can be addressed promptly. This is a regulated compliance item that most Fire Inspectors will evaluate.
  • Automatic transfer switch inspection and testing: The automatic transfer switch is a critical component of the generator system, and regular inspections and testing ensure that it is functioning correctly. This includes testing the switch’s ability to transfer power from the utility to the generator and back again.

Power Up Your Business with CD & Power: The Premier Commercial Generator Resource in Northern California

If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced partner for your commercial generator needs, look no further than CD & Power. As the largest independently owned industrial generator service company in Northern California, we have a team of over 25 certified technicians who are factory-trained to perform preventative maintenance and repair services on virtually any brand of stationary or portable generator. 

With 24/7/365 emergency repair services and well-equipped trucks stocked with a deep inventory of parts, we are committed to getting your generator up and running quickly. Trust CD & Power for all your commercial generator needs and experience the peace of mind that comes with working with the best in the industry. 

Contact us today to schedule a service appointment or to learn more about our services.

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