Loadshedding has become a frustrating reality that’s here to stay for the foreseeable future. But it’s not just a matter of being without power – it can also be incredibly disruptive and pose risks to our electronic devices and appliances. Without a backup power solution, load shedding can mean hours of inconvenience, including cold meals and no Wi-Fi for work or leisure. And that first cup of coffee to start the day? Well, that might be out of the question too.
As stage 6 loadshedding continues to plague South Africa, generators can provide reliable backup power to avoid frustration, disruption, and potential damage. But can a generator be run continuously to provide uninterrupted power? Let’s find out.
Firstly, it’s critical to understand that generators are not designed to run continuously. The Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa (ECASA) recommends running a generator for a maximum of 12 hours at a time and then allowing it to rest for at least 30 minutes. Doing this will give the generator a chance to cool down and prevent it from overheating.
The type of generator you have will also affect how long it can run continuously. The runtime of a generator is influenced by its fuel type, capacity, and load. Diesel generators tend to have longer runtimes than petrol generators. Additionally, the generator’s capacity, or the amount of power it can produce, will affect how long it can run before refuelling. The load on the generator, or how much energy it is being asked to generate, will also affect its runtime. A generator running at full capacity will burn more fuel and run out faster than one that only provides power to a few critical appliances.
Continuously running a generator for long periods can cause it to overheat, resulting in damage to the engine, and could ultimately lead to the generator breaking down. Overloading a generator can also harm the engine and could result in a fire hazard. It’s crucial to ensure the generator is not overloaded and provides power to appliances within its capacity.
Additionally, the weather conditions in South Africa can impact a generator’s performance. Running a generator in extremely hot or cold temperatures can affect its efficiency and lifespan. Generators are designed to operate within specific temperature ranges. Always ensure that the generator is kept in a well-ventilated area and is not exposed to extreme temperatures.
Regular maintenance and servicing of a generator are crucial to its performance and lifespan. Generators should be serviced at least once a year. However, oil levels, air filters, and spark plugs should be checked more often. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to decreased performance and even permanent damage to the generator.
Generators can be a lifesaver during loadshedding, but it’s essential to understand how to use them safely and effectively. So, how do you know if your generator is being overstrained? Keep an eye out for warning signs such as a burning smell, unusual noises, or the engine shutting down unexpectedly. If your generator is producing less power than usual, it may also be a sign that it’s overstrained. Another warning sign is increased fuel consumption: If your generator is burning through fuel more quickly than usual, it may be a sign that it is working harder than it should be.
If you notice any of these signs, take action immediately! Switch off the generator and seek the assistance of a qualified technician.
At S&A Generators, we offer a range of generator solutions to suit the needs of homeowners and property owners. Our services include generator sales, installations, and maintenance, ensuring that our clients have reliable backup power during loadshedding. We pride ourselves on providing high-quality products and services and are committed to ensuring our clients’ satisfaction. Contact us today to find out how we can assist you with your backup power needs.