Five reasons why your generator might break down

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Internal combustion generators are often used by businesses to provide a fallback in the event of mains failure. But it’s no good having a generator on standby if it doesn’t work when you need it to.

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Generators are vital to the continued operation of data centres https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/11/15/7×24-generators-are-key-to-improving-reliability/ that we rely on in today’s computer dominated world. But they are also used by hospitals and other key services, and increasingly to provide emergency backup to the grid. Here are some of the main reasons why they might fail.

Flat battery

As in your car, a generator needs energy from a battery to turn the starter to kick it into life. If there’s not enough charge in the battery then the generator won’t start. Make sure you check the battery regularly and replace it when it won’t hold sufficient charge any more.

Out of fuel

Your generator won’t run if there’s no fuel in the tank. You should check levels on a regular basis and make sure that the fuel is topped up before it runs out, diesels in particular should never be allowed to run dry.

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Mechanical breakdown

Breakdowns are mercifully rare, but when they do happen it’s important to be able to get spares. For popular generator makes like Briggs and Stratton parts are readily available. Having your generator serviced regularly helps cut the risk of breakdowns, but it’s still important to know where Briggs and Stratton parts and other generator spares are available if you need them.

Coolant levels

Generators will usually shut down if they are allowed to run too hot. If your generator starts but then shuts off again after a short time it may be due to overheating. It’s therefore important to keep the coolant levels topped up to the correct marks. Make sure that you also have the appropriate levels of anti-freeze added to protect your generator – this is important not just in the winter months as it helps to prevent corrosion all year round.

Check the oil

The oil level in your generator is vital for its smooth, reliable operation. As with the fuel and the coolant you should check the oil level regularly and top it up as required. While you are carrying out these checks have a good look around for any fluid leaks too.

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