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How Much Should Generator Maintenance Cost You?
At Pleavin Power, we offer a cost-effective generator servicing repair service all across the UK. Many different companies are offering many different levels of Generator Servicing and Maintenance throughout the UK. However, Generator Maintenance is a mindful process and requires exceptional service. If all you are looking to have done is the engine filters changed, then this is something that you can potentially do yourself.
A common misconception in the Generator Industry is about what should and should not be done during a visit. The truth is, nearly all manufacturers recommend the following as a minimum:
- Control panel is tested to ensure all operations are running smoothly.
- Fluid levels are checked & sampled.
- Fluids are replaced every 500 hours of operation or every three years whichever occurs first.
- Engine Valve Lash Adjustment at initial 250 Hours of operation and then every 500 hours.
- Replacement Fuel, Oil, Air and auxiliary system filters at least every six months.
- Adjustment or Replacement of Drive, Auxiliary and Fan Belts Every three years.
- Replacement of engine Thermostats and seals every three years.
- Testing of battery CCA, Charge rate and capacity.
- Integrity Check of the auxiliary fuel system, fuel storage, and operation.
- Integrity check of Engine and alternator heaters.
- Control system inspection, connection check and functional operation.
- Connection Torque check in the generator terminal box & on the generator output breaker.
- Mechanical guards, fixings and systems check.
- Load-bank test to achieve at least 80% of the rated load for four hours.
As part of the Generator Servicing we also complete the following:
- Megger test of windings to measure insulation resistance and track deterioration.
- Regular Fluid Sampling provides you with a clear image of system health and fuel quality.
- Firmware updates and software updates for primary and auxiliary control systems.
- Tripping battery testing and switchgear maintenance.
- System functionality testing to ensure correct operation, not just an offload test.
- Black-building simulation, Supply isolation or Emergency Situation Simulation.
Standby Generator Servicing
Historically, the industry standard for ‘servicing’ Standby equipment is to complete what is classified as one ‘Major’ and one ‘Minor’ a year. The issues with this are that Standby Systems and Critical Power Systems must always remain available. It must maintain certain set points and levels of readiness to support outages and loss of supply events.
Inspecting and hardly completing any relevant Generator Servicing tasks twice annually is simply not enough. Older systems may fail and go undetected, whereas newer systems will alarm and highlight faults much sooner. As industry specialists, we see this poor servicing approach too often. In this case, clients are looking at replacements because of a poor maintenance regime. Failed chargers, batteries, glycol levels, and generator issues are avoidable by employing competent specialists and delivering the correct levels of preventative maintenance.
The Pleavin Power approach:
Pleavin Power takes a very disruptive approach and offers a Maintenance Service that is very detailed. With our regular servicing, we ensure that we assess your systems before offering support and identify areas of concern. In addition to that, highlight any existing issues, and provide suggestions for improvements.
The next stage is to complete what we call benchmarking, a major service visit:
- Replacing all engine fluids.
- Replacing components as per OEM recommendations.
- Testing cranking batteries and fuel systems.
- Checking alternator winding insulation and main rotor condition.
Afterwards, we completed a functional system test, mains failure and load test. The equipment will then be ‘benchmarked’ at our standard and ready to enter one of our industry-leading SLA agreements.
Our SLAs don’t offer ‘twice-yearly visits’, ‘major’, ‘minor’ or ‘A’ & ‘B’. We begin with quarterly site visits, inspections, periodic sampling and functional testing. In some of the most critical applications, our engineers support clients on a weekly and monthly basis.
The only question left to ask is how thorough is your maintenance regime?
For any engine operating application, there are certain levels of maintenance. Those levels are required to be met to maintain performance and efficiency. OEMs specify the correct levels of service and intervention, while failure to comply often leads to premature failure.
Pleavin Power can work with you to develop a bespoke planned maintenance regime and sampling process during our service agreement. This allows for monitoring engine wear and predicting overhaul intervals, minimising downtime and premature failures. As a minimum, engines that operate for continuous operation should have the following completed (every 450 Hours):
- Replacement Fuel, Oil, Fuel Water and Primary filters
- Replacement air filter when required often completed at 1000hr intervals
- Valve lash adjustment
- Injector height/clearance adjusted
- DC drive belt adjusted
- Fan drive belt adjusted and bearings greased
- Generator Bearings Greased
- Electrical Connections inspected
In addition to our generator servicing, we also offer generators for sale as well as for hire.
How Else Can Pleavin Power Assist You?
In addition to the quality generator servicing that we offer, we provide a wide range of other services that can greatly extend the lifespan of your generator. One such is our generator repairs service. Generator servicing repair is a generally common issue given the array of issues that can occur such as battery failures, a fuel filter that is blocked, and sensor malfunctions among many others.
In addition, we also serve as an emergency power supply source. This is especially important as you would hope for a reactive response. A reactive response is something that we pride ourselves in as we offer a 24/7 response to all clients in the Critical Power, Standby Power & Prime Power Sectors.
Should you be looking to migrate to a different location – we also offer diesel generator relocation that will remove any of the hassles of transporting your generator(s) whilst you are preparing to move.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are key steps you need to follow to ensure that your generator will stay in the best condition possible. Firstly, you need to assess your generator for any potential leaks. If so, this will require maintenance from professionals.
Additionally, we recommend that you review your oil levels frequently. Reviewing your oils will give you an indication that you may need to change the oils. It is also worth noting that this should be changed after the first 5 hours of use.
With this, you should also review the oil filters and air filters of your generator. The fuel filter is also an important component to take notice of.
Spark plugs are also a key element when servicing your generator, coupled with your battery and fuel stabiliser. This will ensure that the key components of your generator are operational and running as well as new.
Ideally, you should aim to have your generator serviced every six months, or following 400 hours of use. If you estimate that you will be using your generator for 400 hours before reaching the initial six months, then we suggest that you use the metric of counting your hours used.
However, if you use your generator less frequently, then we suggest that you mark every six months to get your generator serviced. We suggest using these times as a rule of thumb for how often should a generator be serviced. This applies regardless of the generator that you have. For generator owners who have a standby generator, portable generators or diesel generators.
In short, servicing a generator comes down to one of the following metrics; how often you use your generator and how long you leave it.
Should you use your generator for a long time, we suggest that you get your generator serviced after every 400 hours of use. Whereas if you estimate that you use your generator less than 400 hours, then you should service your generator every 6 months. These metrics will be enough for your generator(s) to be serviced regularly.
Generator servicing is a vital component regarding the overall performance of your generator. Regardless of what generator you have, whether it be a portable, standby or diesel generator – servicing a generator ensures your generator will operate to its full potential a lot longer than if you were to neglect it.
Effectively servicing a generator also ensures the longevity of your generator is greatly expanded. This is something that can be achieved by yourself or with the help of a professional. You must understand what is needed regarding how to service a generator, as well as how often should a generator be serviced.
For instance, upon your inspection, you may find there are leaks (depending on the condition), should this occur then we recommend that you call a professional to assist you.
Regarding what are the most common issues in generators, this ultimately refers to the condition of your overall generator and how well your generator runs. For instance, if your generator is having issues with its coolant levels, this will likely cause the generator to overheat which can lead to other components breaking down.
It is common to see older generators experience wear and tear which can affect things such as the fuel levels, air filters or even the fuel system or level gauges. As a result, regular maintenance on your generator(s) is highly advised. This is also applicable for newer generators as we suggest that a routine maintenance check for your oils should be taken place roughly after the first 5 hours of use.