Increasingly Poor Performance and Failure Due to Lack of Generator Maintenance

Residential standby generator on concrete slab located outside of homeStandby generators are life savers in emergencies. Their main purpose is to supply secondary power during outages. Because they are typically only used when needed, their infrequent operation makes them susceptible to potential issues that go undetected. Users should be aware of the common causes of generator failure to ensure their alternative power source will function when they need it the most.

Corbin Electrical Services, Inc. provides reliable and advanced residential and commercial generator repair services to clients throughout New Jersey. Here, we detail the common causes of generator failure and what you should be aware of.

Battery Failure

Battery failure is one of the most common issues a backup generator experiences. Several factors can contribute to this problem, including faulty wires, dirty connections, excessive age, or lead sulfate buildup on the generator’s battery plates. These issues impact the generator’s ability to provide sufficient electrical current to users.

To make certain your generator’s battery is working properly, it’s recommended to check it thoroughly during monthly, quarterly, and annual inspections. Even though a standard generator battery should last several years before needing to be replaced, regular maintenance will help extend its lifespan.

Fluid Leaks

Fluid leaks, such as oil, fuel, and coolant are another common culprit of generator failure. Because leaks often happen slowly over a period of time, they are particularly deceptive, resulting in many users not recognizing there’s an issue until it’s too late.

The consequences that can be a result of a fluid leak include:

  • Oil leak: Not enough oil can damage the generator’s engine components.
  • Fuel leak: A fuel leak will negatively impact the generator’s performance and potentially lead to malfunctions.
  • Coolant leak: Low coolant will lead to your generator overheating, which will result in the damage of other components, and ultimately generator failure.

To prevent leaks from occurring, owners should make sure the generator’s systems are inspected on a regular basis and promptly repaired.

Water Damage

Water can wreak havoc on your standby generator, and even contribute to its poor performance. Water accumulation can cause rust to form, which can lead to corroded wires and impede electrical connections. Water that makes its way inside the generator’s engine can corrode parts and promote bacteria growth. This can clog filters and cause engine damage.

Air Inside of Fuel System

If you’re having trouble starting your generator, it may be due to air in the fuel system. Oftentimes, air is found in the fuel system when the generator isn’t used regularly, which is most commonly the case with most emergency generators.

When air is found inside the fuel system, it blocks fuel from getting to the fuel injector. This is what prevents the engine from starting. Users can avoid this issue from happening by turning on the generator once a week for at least five minutes. Doing so enables air to clear from the fuel system.

Wrong Control Setting

In some cases, generator failure is the product of human error. Most standby generators rely on an automatic transfer switch (ATS) that enables the system to turn on during power outages. This setting is turned off during routine maintenance or testing. After the service is complete, the generator’s control switch should be returned to auto mode. If this step is not followed, the generator will fail to turn on as expected.

Limit the Risk of Generator Failure

When you purchase a standby generator, you are purchasing peace of mind. Users expect their generators to perform when they need backup power. Generator failure often stems from a lack of proper generator maintenance.

To ensure your generator always operates as expected, Corbin Electrical Services, Inc. supplies advanced maintenance and repair offerings. Trained technicians will perform all necessary generator checkups and any required repairs so your property has power even if there’s an outage. Residents throughout NJ wishing to learn more about our services can contact us today.

Corbin Electrical Services – We Generate Peace of Mind