Common Problems with Industrial Generators and their Possible Solutions

Backup generators are a critical tool in the Lethbridge industrial sector to prevent any downtime when a natural disaster or blackout occurs. You depend on it to be operational immediately because, if it fails, downtime ultimately bleeds into your bottom line.


A generator is a sophisticated machine made up of thousands of moving parts. Just like any other machine, even when it sits dormant most of the time, it needs to be properly serviced and maintained.


5 Common causes of generator failure (and possible preventive solutions)


1. Dead batteries. Approximately 80% of all generator problems are related to battery failure. Monitoring the battery charge rates monthly will help avoid shorted batteries. Some experts recommend replacing batteries every three years. Cable connections need to be regularly cleaned and tightened.


2. Low coolant, no coolant or lack of oil. These issues can cause overheating, overcranking, cracked heads, broken pistons—even catastrophic engine failure. The most obvious cause is an external or internal leak, but sometimes it’s due to human error. Check for leaks and make sure the levels are topped up when needed.


3. Block heater wear and tear. Block heater pistons, typically made of aluminum, expand at a faster rate than the iron cylinder liners. This rapid expansion can lead to scuffing of the piston skirt. Block heaters avoid scuffing by maintaining the cooling system temperature and keeping the cylinder liners expanded. Check it regularly to ensure it’s maintaining a consistent temperature and the liners are working.


4. Normal wear and tear. Your backup generator has little reason to start-up in Lethbridge, but natural wear will occur over time. Check the generator for dry or cracked belts and damages caused by weather and pests. You may notice burnt components on the boards, electrical components, stepper motors, transfer coils, and ice cube relays. Replace any parts that are not in optimal condition.


5. Lack of fuel, bad fuel, air or sludge in the fuel tank. Fuel levels need to be monitored regularly to make sure the generator runs when you need it. Another problem is that newer fuel systems are more susceptible to air influx, affecting the ability of the generator to start up. However, older generators that experience this issue may have a leak in a line or the check valves.


Prevention and regular maintenance plan
Generators should be maintained and serviced at least twice a year. Depending on the make, model, and purpose of your generator, it may need servicing more often.


If your generator needs maintenance or repair, you can rely on the experts in Lethbridge at Southern Rewind Ltd for quick, efficient service. Contact us today to learn more.

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