Power Generators Maintenance

The generator set maintenance.

The generator set maintenance is often mistakenly exchanged with the engine service. It is true that engine service is one of the main activities of diesel generator maintenance. However, it should be noted that oil and filters’ replacement do not always correspond to true maintenance this being just one of the many activities that are part of "maintenance".

Obviously, a non-specialized workshop will have the interest to pass off as a checked generator that actually, after 5000 hours, it never had  an insulation test.

Far be it for us to demonize the so much sold engine service but rather to highlight an indisputable fact, which is that a diesel generator maintenance is incomplete if you don’t know how to do it.

Do you have a trusted maintenance man? Is it the same maintenance technician who provides assistance on your electrical system, on the Boiler or even on your car? Don’t confuse friendship and business relationship.

Does your technician check the maintenance plan before working on your generator? At each hours intervals corresponds a type of maintenance, in particular for the generating sets in continuous operation. Have such intervals been respected.

If you’re an entrepreneur don’t forget that the generator is a machine and therefore it exposes your personnel at risks deriving from use. That’s why it is important that it should be always efficient and secure.

Should I do the service even if I didn’t use the generator?

If you do not use the generator, you still have to perform a maintenance every twelve months.

Like yoghurt, Lubricants and filter elements, as indicated by their respective manufacturers, have a deadline. even if you do not consume it at some point you have to throw it away

Lubricants loses its lubricating properties after a certain period of time and are unable to insure their performance.

If you are a skilled maintenance man, you should read the below article.


Diesel generating set maintenance: How to perform it by a professional

“We have a problem with the generator that does not start, Could you intervene please? It’s urgent”

“of course we can. Meanwhile, could I know when you have performed the last maintenance what were the last maintenance activities?”

“Maintenance has always been done but we don’t know when or exactly what was done. Oil and filters change for sure”

How many times have I had a similar dialogue with a new customer!

From now on, if you go on reading it means you are a professional, so perfectly aware of how a generator is composed and you know how insufficient the above mentioned activities and controls are, to confirm that the machine is functional and a full scale maintenance is performed. If instead you will stop here then you will continue to make a generic service engine convinced that this is the key element of the generator.

From where to start? From the start up.

Some may disagree on this first step but I like starting from the premise that the gens et must be working otherwise it is easy to run into the inconvenience of having performed all the maintenance and then to find out that due to an anomaly the generating set will not be in service.

Then after checking the coolant and engine oil levels, it is advisable to carry out a few minutes lasting commissioning ensuring that no anomalies are evident and there are no gross problems (e.g. engine fluid leaks). Only then the generator can be shut down  in "OFF" position (if necessary disconnect the starter batteries) to proceed with the maintenance.

The best use and maintenance manuals don’t mention it but the best maintenance starts with a start-up test such as to establish that before the maintenance the generator was fully functional.

It is not difficult to imagine how difficult it can be to prove to complete maintenance that a defect was present even before our intervention

It’s not a stretch to imagine how difficult it can be to prove after maintenance is complete that a defect was present before our intervention.

In the next article we will talk about the engine.