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Maintenance Tips for Industrial Generators in Cold Weather

Maintenance Tips for Industrial Generators in Cold Weather

Winter is right around the corner, bringing with it the possibility of severe storms and other catastrophic weather events. This means the potential loss of heat and power for both residential and commercial properties in regions where winters can be harsh. Diesel generators can help minimize the damage caused by winter storms, but they need to be properly maintained in order to function correctly. Keep reading to learn more about general generator care, as well as how you can level up your ability to take care of your generator in cold weather maintenance schedule to guarantee optimal performance when you need it most.

Basic Generator Care For All Makes And Models

Before we explore winter generator care, please remember that any maintenance that you do yourself or schedule with a professional power generator maintenance company will vary based on the specific equipment that you have purchased. Keep your owner’s manual handy, and consult it often! The manual contains the model-specific information you need to plan the routine generator care that will keep it operating smoothly.

The first thing you should do each fall is call a professional to have your system checked before the winter season begins. A tune-up service includes an inspection of important components, cleaning dirty parts, and refilling/changing fluids such as oil or coolant. Keeping these important resources clean and topped off is vital for a system that you depend on during power outages.

Next, check your generator battery. Generators have batteries that they use to start up in the event of an outage. These batteries often sit dormant for long periods of time, which greatly impacts their ability to function. Cold weather is particularly bad for batteries, especially if the generator is exposed to freezing conditions. It is a good idea to have your battery tested each year as part of a routine winter generator maintenance check. More importantly, follow your user manual’s recommendation for battery replacement. Commercial batteries generally should be replaced every three years to ensure optimal performance.

Six Key Tips To Ensure Your Generator Is Running Smoothly

Do you need to know how to take care of generators in cold weather? Following a rigorous maintenance schedule is the best way to ensure your generator will start right up when you need it most. Impending winter storms can be daunting, and the potential loss of heat and power can have a negative impact on your business or commercial property. Follow these six tips to keep the lights on and your employees warm during emergency situations.

  • Stabilize your fuel – if your generator is in storage for the winter, you will need to use a fuel stabilizer to keep your fuel fresh during storage. You’ll also want to rotate your fuel supply to maximize the life span of your generator. Stabilizers work to extend the life of your fuel so that you’ll have reliable power when you do turn your generator on again.
  • Change the oil – your generator needs clean oil to run, just like a car. And since oil can accumulate build-up, you will need to change it after you run your generator for 50 hours. It’s a good idea to change your oil filter frequently, too, but you can do that after 100 hours of run time.
  • Conduct regular maintenance checks – as mentioned above, the first rule of generator care is to conduct regular maintenance checks. Pay particular attention to the oil, fuel, and filters to ensure that your generator is well-lubricated and running as it should. If you don’t, you run the risk of your generator not working efficiently, or worse, not turning on at all.
  • Consider a transfer switch – a transfer switch is a device that allows you to safely connect a generator to your facility’s wiring, but prevents the utility power and generator power from sharing circuits at the same time. When in use, a transfer switch isolates the generator power from incoming utility lines and eliminates the need for extension cords to power the generator. However, a transfer switch should only be installed by a professional power generator maintenance company to guarantee that it meets local codes and ordinances.
  • Keep the area around your generator clear – your generator needs ventilation to work properly, so it is important to keep the area around your generator free from any debris (such as leaves) or snow that may build up during storms. Keep a path to your generator open, so that a technician has easy access to the unit should any repairs, maintenance, or emergency service need to be done.
  • Test your generator frequently – generators may not turn on or operate correctly in extreme temperatures, especially if they have been sitting for a long period of time. The best way to make sure your generator is functioning properly is to run it once a week, for 10 minutes, to lubricate all moving parts as part of a routine generator care maintenance plan.

Additional Tips To Guarantee Optimal Winter Operation

Proper winter generator care is essential to ensure that your unit is ready for the long, cold months ahead. Make sure to winterize your unit each year (as mentioned above) and if you live in an area where the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, consider investing in a cold weather kit for your winter generator. This kit helps the engine start in cold weather by keeping fluids and other components warm. And don’t forget to keep a supply of fuel on hand for use after a storm or other natural disaster. It’s not a bad idea to have the contact information for an emergency fuel vendor saved in your cell phone, either!

Remember, proper routine maintenance will keep your generator functioning properly. Still, emergencies are likely to pop up, so do your research and connect with a quality generator service company that offers 24/7 emergency response visits. Routine maintenance and a solid backup plan are both great ways to ensure your business keeps the lights (and heat) on no matter what Old Man Winter brings your way!

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