Published 19 Jul 2023
What is Generator Maintenance?
Generator maintenance is the process of sustaining a commercial or industrial generator’s peak condition through regular inspections, repairs, and monitoring. Maintaining generators are typically done by in-house engineers and generator dealers to ensure a unit’s reliability, efficiency, and lower operating costs, more specifically:
- Reliability – ensure that the battery and engine are in peak working condition at all times
- Efficiency – maintain optimum performance
- Lower operating costs – early detection of defects and damage before they worsen
In this article
- Why Perform Generator Maintenance Inspections?
- Using Generator Maintenance Checklist
- DIY Diesel Generator Maintenance Tips
- FAQs About Generator Maintenance
- Mobile App for Efficient Generator Maintenance Inspections
- Featured Maintenance Checklists for Commercial and Industrial Generators
Why Perform Generator Maintenance Inspections?
The NFPA standard for emergency and standby power systems require businesses to provide an alternate source of electricity when unplanned power outages occur. Depending on the nature of the establishment, an unexpected power outage could range from a simple inconvenience (a shopping mall) to downright fatalities (intensive care units). It is important that generator maintenance inspections are regularly performed in order to avoid such problems from occurring.
Using Generator Maintenance Checklist
A generator maintenance checklist typically includes:
- Physical and visual checks of the diesel generator;
- Leakage checks of engine, exhaust, cooling, fuel, and DC electrical systems;
- Oil and lubrication services;
- Battery testing;
- Overall condition assessment; and
- Signature, date, and time of inspection.
DIY Diesel Generator Maintenance Tips
In-house engineers and professionals may not always be available to perform generator maintenance tasks. Here are some easy diesel generator maintenance tips for non-experts:
- Run the generator every 3 to 6 months – Diesel fuel degrades if it sits idle, which is why it’s ideal to run the generator for a few minutes every 3 to 6 months to keep it from corroding. This also gives assurance that the generator is in good working condition.
- Check for signs of damage – Observe the case, fuel system, exhaust system, and engine for holes, cracks, and fuel or oil leaks. It is essential that leaks are spotted immediately before they turn into a fire hazard.
- Clean the generator regularly – Remove visible dirt, mud, dust, and other irregularities from your generator on a regular basis. This can help ensure that external elements do not affect the generator’s operation.
FAQs About Generator Maintenance
Some of the essential maintenance required for generators includes regular visual inspections, fluid and filter changes, load capacity testing, battery and cooling system maintenance, proper lubrication, fuel system maintenance, and electrical system inspection. However, it’s still best to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the best maintenance process for the equipment.
As a general rule, most manufacturers recommend that generators be serviced at least once a year or after every 100-200 hours of operation. If the generator is used heavily or in harsh conditions, more frequent servicing may be required.
For load testing, generators should be run at their maximum load capacity for a set amount of time, typically around 30 minutes. Meanwhile, for oil changes, the equipment should be turned on for a few minutes to warm up the oil and then allowed to cool for at least 15 minutes after shutting down the generator and before draining the oil. The duration of these maintenance processes will depend on the type of maintenance being performed.
Mobile App for Efficient Generator Maintenance Inspections
Missing audit reports and documentation logs are just some of the issues you’re susceptible to by relying on paper-based inspections. Losing a generator’s history of readings, parameters and damages can be problematic, leading to double the work. Replacing your paper checklist with a reliable mobile inspection app like SafetyCulture can maximize your diesel generator’s usability.
SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) can replace your entire paper trail with one online platform. Perform paperless generator maintenance inspections, take photo evidence of damaged items or equipment, and automatically secure all records via unlimited cloud-storage.
SafetyCulture can also help you schedule your generator maintenance and send reminders so you’ll never miss another inspection again. To save you time, we have built sample Generator Maintenance Checklist Templates that are 100% customizable and you can download for free!
Featured Maintenance Checklists for Commercial and Industrial Generators
A diesel generator maintenance and testing checklist is used to ensure that the generator is in good working condition and that power supply tests are conducted. It is used by engineers to log defects and record electricity tests. Perform the following when completing the form:
- Collect general Information provided by the manufacturer of the diesel generator
- Check the condition of equipment, engine, and control system
- Perform electrical testing
- Record findings and provide recommendations
- Affix engineer/operator digital signature to validate the test
A generator inspection checklist is used to evaluate engineers/operators performance when conducting generator maintenance. This template can be used by supervisors to ensure maintenance procedures are followed. Perform these steps when completing the form:
- Check the working condition of the diesel generator before and after starting it
- Record recommendations and overall condition assessment
- Capture electronic signature of engineer/operator and countersigned by the supervisor