When Should You Replace Your Generator?

Unfortunately, there is no simple rule for when you should replace your diesel generator. There are, however, a few key factors that will help you determine if you should have it evaluated by a generator sales and service professional.

Like any piece of equipment, there will come a time when it will need to be taken out of service. Review the factors below to learn more about how close your generator is to the end of its useful life.

How “Used” is Your Generator?

Opinions vary, but somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 run hours is considered to be the useful life of a diesel generator. While it depends upon usage, run hours of that amount will often mean the generator is 20 to 25 years old.

Is your generator over 20 years old? Is it nearing or over 10,000 run hours? If so, we recommend having it evaluated.

Are You Complying With Air Quality Regulations?

Diesel generator technology is constantly improving. A generator with a smaller diesel engine may be capable of producing the same amount of power as the one you’re currently using.

For example, many 30KW generators today are powered by small engines below 50hp that are not subject to air quality restrictions. If your current generators were manufactured before the year 2000 or your organization is concerned about your air quality footprint, it’s time to have your generators evaluated.

Does the Manufacturer Support It?

Your backup generator may be one of the most critical pieces of equipment your company owns. You would only know it, however, when an outage occurs. If your generator needs a replacement part or other support from the manufacturer, would it be available?

Check to see if your manufacturer or distributor still stocks replacement parts and offers emergency service for your generator brand and model. If not, contact us to learn about your options.

What is its General Condition & History?

Even if your generator is not very old, its operating conditions or history of issues may cause you to be concerned about its longevity. If your generator has required unexpected repairs or is exposed to extreme conditions, it may need to be replaced sooner than expected.

Is it Sized Properly for the Load?

A generator’s optimum longevity is achieved when it is properly sized for the expected load. When a generator is too big and powerful, running at a load well below its capability, it will build up carbon deposits over time. When it is too small, the additional strain will wear out components prematurely.

If you believe your generator may be under or over-powered for the load, it should be checked to see if it is experiencing excessive wear and needs to be replaced.

What to Do Next

As we mentioned at the beginning of this page, there is no hard and fast rule for when a generator has reached the end of its useful life. If your answers to one or more of the questions above indicate that it could be time, then your generator should be evaluated by a professional.

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