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How can I prepare my diesel generator for winter?

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As with all mechanical things. Emergency generators don’t really like the cold.

Why should I winterise my diesel generator?

Cold and freezing temperatures can often cause your emergency power to fail. Just when you need it the most. These failures can be caused by several issues. But they are all easy to avoid when you know how.

What issues cause my back-up power to fail in the winter?

There are lots of things that don’t like the cold weather. Generators included.

Issues caused by cold weather mean your power could not be there when you need it the most. Some of these are:

  • Battery failure. Have you noticed how quickly your phone battery runs down in freezing temperatures? Or how much more likely your car battery is to fail in the cold? Well, your generator battery is the same.
  • Issues with oil. Everyone has used an ice pack at some point or another. The liquid in those acts the same way as the oil in your standby power. The colder it gets, the thicker it becomes. This makes the starter motor work harder to start the engine and sometimes stops it from starting at all.
  • Issues with the diesel. In colder temperatures. The paraffin wax contained in diesel can crystallise. This can block your fuel filters stopping your generator from being able to draw the fuel to where it’s needed.

How to winterise your diesel generator

Inspecting your emergency power source

You wouldn’t rely on a lifejacket being safe for use without inspecting it first would you? The same goes for your emergency power source. Before winter hits, give your equipment a regular service. Inspect all components and make notes of their condition. Make sure any cracked or broken hoses are replaced before the cold weather properly hits.

Checking the battery.

There isn’t a battery in existence that likes the cold. Therefore, it is important to properly check your battery health ready for the winter. Cold weather can reduce the lifespan of your current battery. If your battery is running low. Think about replacing it for a new one. Dead or depleted batteries are not suitable for use in the winter months.

Changing your stand-by generator oil.

If your generator is using old oil, get it replaced. Oil should be changed regularly to remove any particle build up. It also ensures that your generator oil is at optimum capacity to keep the parts running smoothly. Most generators have an inbuilt safety feature that shuts them down when the oil is running too low. This is to minimise any damage that it may cause. But you don’t want this happening when you are relying on it to keep your business running.

Regularly inspect all replaceable parts.

All engines contain perishable parts. Even your generator. Things such as the carburettor, spark plugs, filters and hoses all need to be checked. These are the parts that your generator needs to deliver the power when you need it.

Give us a call today and speak to an expert to make sure that these parts are replaced properly to your manufacturer’s standards.

Ensure that your generator is well ventilated.

Combustion engines need ventilation to work properly. It is important that your generator has plenty of space around it to ensure that it works when you need it. During the winter months it may get covered in leaves or snow. Make sure you check it regularly and clear any debris before it has a chance to build up.

Give it a workout.

Yes, you read that right. Just like cars and people. Your generator will need a regular workout to keep it running properly. Mechanical equipment does not like to be unused for long periods of time. Your emergency power may fail you when you need it most from lack of use.

To boost your generator during the winter. Try to run it for 5 minutes weekly. This will lubricate all moving parts and help keep your standby power there when you need it.

Contact the experts at Solent Power to give your power the once over.

Paul Phelps Solar Power Owner
Paul Phelps
Paul is the MD of Solent Power and specialises in emergency power solutions, helping to protect your facilities from power loss. Get in touch with us today to discuss the different power brands that we can offer and how they can suit your needs.
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