An industrial generator (a.k.a. genset) can last for decades, but only if it is properly maintained. Although a generator has few moving parts, it contains sensitive components that need regular attention. Complete genset maintenance requires different measures to be performed on different schedules. If you need a schedule for performing these measures, below is a basic checklist for diesel generator maintenance on a daily, monthly, semiannual, and annual basis.
Diesel generators should receive the following measures on a daily basis:
- General inspection – Check the genset for loose parts, signs of corrosion on parts, traces of carbon, and dust build up.
- Coolant heater check – Make sure the coolant heater is securely in place and inspect it for signs of wear.
- Oil check – check the oil level and add oil as necessary.
- Fuel check – check the fuel level and add fuel as necessary.
- Charge-air piping check – be sure the charge-air piping is connected securely to the radiator and inspect it for signs of wear.
Maintenance personnel commonly perform the measures above. Generator technicians can also perform them as part of a scheduled service agreement.
Diesel generators should receive the following measures on a weekly basis:
- Air cleaner check – Check the air cleaner for debris and clean it as necessary.
- Battery charger check – Check the float voltage reading on the battery charger and adjust the voltage as necessary.
- Fuel Filter Drain – Drain the water from the bottom of the fuel filter housing.
- Fuel Tank Drain – Drain the water from the bottom of the fuel tank until the diesel fuel appears.
Many facilities have generator technicians perform the weekly measures on a generator maintenance checklist. If building maintenance personnel perform them, they should have training in generator maintenance.
Diesel generators should have the following measures performed on a monthly basis:
- Coolant concentration check – Take a sample of the coolant with a hydrometer and check its concentration by referring to the service manual from the manufacturer.
- Drive belt tension check – Check the belt for proper tension and inspect it for signs of wear.
- Exhaust condensate drain – Drain the condensate from the condensate trap.
- Battery check – Check the charge on the starting battery and examine the connections for looseness and corrosion.
Because the correct concentration of coolant in an outdoor generator may be influenced by climate, a generator technician that specializes in emergency power equipment in the Carolinas should perform the coolant concentration check.
Diesel generators should have the following measures performed on a semiannual basis:
- Oil and filter change – Replace the oil and oil filter, regardless of whether the genset has been used in a non-simulated power outage.
- Coolant filter change – Replace the coolant filter, regardless of whether the genset has been used in a non-simulated power outage.
- Crankcase breather cleaning – Clean the crankcase breather according to the service manual from the manufacturer.
- Air cleaner element change – Replace the air cleaner element, regardless of the level of debris accumulation.
- Radiator hose check – Check the connection of the radiator hoses and inspect them for signs of wear.
- Fuel filter change – Change the fuel filter, regardless of the level of sediment accumulation.
Generator technicians should perform the measures above.
The genset should have a thorough annual cleaning of its cooling system.
The measures above are required for a diesel generator to stay in excellent condition. By incorporating them into a generator maintenance checklist, you can prepare the generator in your facility for the next power outage.
Although building maintenance personnel can perform some maintenance measures, many of them deal with components and types of inspection that are specific to diesel generators. Unless maintenance personnel are trained in these measures, they should be performed by a power service that maintains emergency power equipment in the Carolinas.