Better a Filter today than an Injector tomorrow. Do maintenance and save your generator!

What are the engine filters for?

Why do the engine filters get dirty?

A generator should be subject to regular and precise maintenance, based on the hours of operation and on the time elapsed since the previous maintenance.

Formerly we talked about how it is essential not to mix up with the maintenance of a generating set and the replacement of the filters only.

fuel filter.JPG

When we mention the filters, we usually refer to the most common ones, in fact the generator’s engine, usually has four types of filters:

1. Oil Filter

2. Oil Filter

3. Air filter

4. Water filter, also called separator filter

To these you can also add pre-filters that are installed depending on the case and the different applications.

Why is it so important to replace engine filters?

This question has an intuitive answer, in fact it is known that in general maintaining something preserves its functionality, therefore the maintenance of an engine, including the replacement of all filtering elements, serves to keep the engine running and therefore the whole machine.

What some users, and also some technicians, still fail to accept, is the need to perform maintenance of the generator installed for emergency service which is also called "stand-by":  that type of generator that starts only in case of mains failure.

The commonplace is to check the number of total hours of operation and to assess based on whether the time has come to do maintenance.

The common place is to check the number of total hours of operation and to assess based on whether the time has come to do maintenance.

The generators in emergency service based on the hours totalled would not reach maintenance time even after 5 years, in fact it is rare to find an emergency generator that has worked for hundreds of hours!

Maintenance is to be carried out following the instructions of the manufacturer who usually prescribes the same at "n" hours of operation or every year, whichever comes first.

Why should the engine of a switched-off generator need to have filters and lubricating oil replaced?

To answer this question, let us take as an example the Human Body, an extraordinary machine that uses a very complex system of transporting oxygen and other vital elements to operate, such as "the blood".

When in carrying out its work, the Blood needs to be filtered, which is regularly  done by the "Kidneys".

Do the kidneys stop working when we sleep? No.

Is there any reason why we can voluntarily afford the luxury of "deactivating" our kidneys? Not even for a dream, we know that it would lead to death in a short time.

Even the engine, whether  it is diesel, petrol or gas, cannot work or simply be ready to run without a proper maintenance, even when it is "sleeping", that’s to say when it is off!

Even the best synthetic oil must be replaced. The engine lubricant does its job of adjusting the friction between the moving parts of the engine and preventing overheating of one or more parts. The functioning of the oil depends on its chemical properties, therefore an oil of a proven quality, which respects the specifications of the engine, can withstand maintenance intervals higher than a lower quality lubricant, but this does not drastically limit the need to replace it.

Paradoxically, a generator in an emergency network service may need to replace the engine oil in an equal way  or even greater than that of a generator set in "prime" operation, that is, it works continuously.

The emergency generators are (depending on the application) equipped with an engine preheater. Preheater is installed on the coolant circuit or under the oil sump. In both cases the preheating systems keep the engine warm and ready to start in any season.

Pre-heating operation is regulated by a thermostat that activates and deactivates the system based on the temperature reached. The result is a continuous, albeit slight, thermal excursion of the oil which, being preheated, manages to maintain the optimum viscosity in the event of start-up. All this has a price from a technical point of view, that is the need to replace the lubricant regularly so that it does not lose its lubricating properties.

What about the fuel filter?

It is advisable to make a brief reference to the type of fuel that we take into consideration in this article: Diesel fuel for motor vehicles.

Gas oil is basically born as a resultant fuel during oil refining, so we can say that diesel is a refining by-product. Obviously today diesel is a much cleaner fuel than before, but still maintains high concentrations of impurities. Often the fuel is contaminated by the water that creeps into the storage tanks.

How the water get inside the tanks is not a mystery, but even worse the situation is aggravated by the microorganisms that are formed in the contaminated fuel.

Given that many injection pumps are naturally lubricated by the fuel itself, the only way to avoid damage to the injection system is the Filters.

So the diesel filter serves to prevent water, solids, and other substances from entering the injection pump and reaching the injectors.

The average value of a diesel filter is € 30!

The average value of an injector or pump ... Well, forget it!

Better a filter today than an injector tomorrow.What are the engine filters for?

•  Why do the engine filters get dirty?

A generator should be subject to regular and precise maintenance, based on the hours of operation and on the time elapsed since the previous maintenance.

Formerly we talked about how it is essential not to mix up with the maintenance of a generating set and the replacement of the filters only.

When we mention the filters, we usually refer to the most common ones, in fact the generator’s engine, usually has four types of filters:

1. Oil Filter

2. Oil Filter

3. Air filter

4. Water filter, also called separator filter

To these you can also add pre-filters that are installed depending on the case and the different applications.

Why is it so important to replace engine filters?

This question has an intuitive answer, in fact it is known that in general maintaining something preserves its functionality, therefore the maintenance of an engine, including the replacement of all filtering elements, serves to keep the engine running and therefore the whole machine.

What some users, and also some technicians, still fail to accept, is the need to perform maintenance of the generator installed for emergency service which is also called "stand-by":  that type of generator that starts only in case of mains failure.

The commonplace is to check the number of total hours of operation and to assess based on whether the time has come to do maintenance.

The common place is to check the number of total hours of operation and to assess based on whether the time has come to do maintenance.

The generators in emergency service based on the hours totalled would not reach maintenance time even after 5 years, in fact it is rare to find an emergency generator that has worked for hundreds of hours!

Maintenance is to be carried out following the instructions of the manufacturer who usually prescribes the same at "n" hours of operation or every year, whichever comes first.

Why should the engine of a switched-off generator need to have filters and lubricating oil replaced?

To answer this question, let us take as an example the Human Body, an extraordinary machine that uses a very complex system of transporting oxygen and other vital elements to operate, such as "the blood".

When in carrying out its work, the Blood needs to be filtered, which is regularly  done by the "Kidneys".

Do the kidneys stop working when we sleep? No.

Is there any reason why we can voluntarily afford the luxury of "deactivating" our kidneys? Not even for a dream, we know that it would lead to death in a short time.

Even the engine, whether  it is diesel, petrol or gas, cannot work or simply be ready to run without a proper maintenance, even when it is "sleeping", that’s to say when it is off!

Even the best synthetic oil must be replaced. The engine lubricant does its job of adjusting the friction between the moving parts of the engine and preventing overheating of one or more parts. The functioning of the oil depends on its chemical properties, therefore an oil of a proven quality, which respects the specifications of the engine, can withstand maintenance intervals higher than a lower quality lubricant, but this does not drastically limit the need to replace it.

Paradoxically, a generator in an emergency network service may need to replace the engine oil in an equal way  or even greater than that of a generator set in "prime" operation, that is, it works continuously.

The emergency generators are (depending on the application) equipped with an engine preheater. Preheater is installed on the coolant circuit or under the oil sump. In both cases the preheating systems keep the engine warm and ready to start in any season.

Pre-heating operation is regulated by a thermostat that activates and deactivates the system based on the temperature reached. The result is a continuous, albeit slight, thermal excursion of the oil which, being preheated, manages to maintain the optimum viscosity in the event of start-up. All this has a price from a technical point of view, that is the need to replace the lubricant regularly so that it does not lose its lubricating properties.

filters engine.JPG

What about the fuel filter?

It is advisable to make a brief reference to the type of fuel that we take into consideration in this article: Diesel fuel for motor vehicles.

Gas oil is basically born as a resultant fuel during oil refining, so we can say that diesel is a refining by-product. Obviously today diesel is a much cleaner fuel than before, but still maintains high concentrations of impurities. Often the fuel is contaminated by the water that creeps into the storage tanks.

How the water get inside the tanks is not a mystery, but even worse the situation is aggravated by the microorganisms that are formed in the contaminated fuel.

Given that many injection pumps are naturally lubricated by the fuel itself, the only way to avoid damage to the injection system is the Filters.

So the diesel filter serves to prevent water, solids, and other substances from entering the injection pump and reaching the injectors.

The average value of a diesel filter is € 30!

The average value of an injector or pump ... Well, forget it!

Better a filter today than an injector tomorrow.