Signs Your Generator Needs Maintenance

If you’re operating a business in South Africa, you’ve more than likely been affected by the periodic load shedding that Eskom implements as and when required. Chances are you’ve even invested in a diesel generator to keep your business operations going when the power goes out. This blog article takes a look at seven signs your generator might need generator specialists to take a look – so that it functions when you need it most…

How to Tell If Your Generator Needs Repairs

1. Excessive Leaks

The first sign of a faulty backup generator is the easiest to spot. If you notice puddles of diesel or other fluids underneath your generator, there’s a serious problem. If the liquid is diesel (or whatever fuel your generator runs on) you run the risk of using up a lot of fuel in a short period of time, which will cost you. If the fluid is coolant, you run the risk of your generator overheating after a while of operation. Be sure to call a generator maintenance team as soon as your generator seems to have sprung a leak.

2. Issues when Starting

So, the lights have gone out and Eskom says you’re experiencing stage 3 load shedding. You go outside to get the backup generator started, but it’s spluttering and spitting before eventually starting up. This could be due to it not being started for a while, and might not be an issue at all. However, if your generator is slugging to get going every time you switch it on, this is a sign of something more serious.

3. Damaged Components

Before starting up your generator, take a walk around it and visually inspect the components. When the lights stay on for weeks and months at a time, a generator is forgotten. However, this neglect as it were often leads to components becoming caked in dust or sun damaged. Be sure to inspect your generator’s wires and cables for wear, and feel each nut and bolt to make sure they’re as tight as can be. If you notice a component that is clearly damaged, rather call in a generator specialist to take a look before activating it.

4. Excessive Smoke

Been a long while since you had to use your backup generator? Chances are there’ll be a few puffs of smoke coming out of the exhaust for the first few seconds of start-up. However, if the smoke doesn’t dissipate after a minute or two, there could be a serious underlying issue. If the smoke is black, it’s almost certainly a problem that will require attention from a professional. When smoking excessively, turn of your generator immediately to avoid causing any further damage.

5. Strange Noises

Most generators are extremely loud, and it might be hard to distinguish between the normal noises a generator makes and other uncommon sounds that could indicate issues. We always recommend listening carefully to your generator when it’s in operation, and if you hear any metal-on-metal noises, or rattles that seem to be getting louder, get the number of a generator professional and let them take a look.

6. High Fuel Usage

When purchasing your backup generator, you should be given an indication of how much fuel your generator can take – and how many hours of operation a full tank should offer. However, if you notice during times of power outages that your generator’s fuel consumption is increasing dramatically, this could be indicative of an issue. If you’re unsure as to how long your generator should be able to operate given your generator’s fuel capacity – and the load it is required to power, contact generator experts and let them assess your situation.

7. It’s Really Old

Has your generator been sitting there since your building was built back in the early 1980s? It might be an obvious one, but the older your generator is – the greater the chance it might need generator maintenance. If your generator is a golden oldie, find out from management when last it was serviced – if ever – and be sure to book a generator service before next starting it up.

Get 24/7 Generator Maintenance in KwaZulu-Natal

S&A Generators has over 25 years of experience in the generator and backup power industry. We’re skilled generator professionals specialising in generator installations, generator repairs, managed generator maintenance, and generator support. We’re also able to relocate generators – regardless of size – when moving premises. Contact us today for any and all of your generator-related needs in KwaZulu-Natal!