Generator Repair Service: 10 Common Generator Problems | Marion, SC

Generator Repair Service: 10 Common Generator Problems | Marion, SC

Photo By By Sebestyen Balint at Shutterstock

When a disaster strikes, the last thing you need to have is a malfunctioning generator. The latest statistics revealed that South Carolina residents experienced 5.44 hours without electricity in 2019, which was 0.74 more than the 4.7 hours, the national average reported in 2019.

With this in mind, business owners prefer to avoid power outage’s adverse effects by purchasing a generator. However, your generator will not perform at peak performance throughout its life span as it is supposed to. At some point, it will encounter some issues; therefore, as a business person, you should be aware of the common problems discussed below to prevent expensive generator repair services.

Improper Sizing And Load

Most individuals in Marion, SC, may not realize it, but operating a generator with a very light load can damage it. This happens because business owners buy a bigger generator than needed for their power equipment to handle future needs as their company grows. As a result, wasteful inefficiencies occur whenever the generator is running, and it may not use at least 35 percent of the load capabilities as required.

Wet stacking is the most common issue that occurs when your generator isn’t operating with a sufficient load. When the generator is not fully utilized, the engine’s operating temperature will not be hot as required for the exhaust system’s expansion joints to seal up properly. Therefore, incomplete combustion occurs when running light loads causing wet fuel to collect in the engine stack. Eventually, this wet fuel will leak via the exhaust leading to major problems, such as destructive fires. To avoid costly generator repair services, it’s advisable to carefully plan and conduct an audit of the generator to determine the best value options.

Neglected Maintenance

Almost all generator problems can be traced to neglected maintenance. Like car engines, a generator will encounter problems if you neglect to check its engine’s components frequently for wear and tear and performing preventative maintenance.

To keep your engine in tip-top condition, it’s important to perform regular proper engine maintenance. A maintenance plan in line with the manufacturer and distributor’s warranty includes routine, semi-annual, and annual generator services. Common parts of the generator that need regular maintenance include lube oil, fuel, cooling, and the starting system, air induction and exhaust, and automatic transfer switch. It’s important to have generator repair service experts check the engine monitors, control panel, and safety controls, change oil and fuel filters, and inspect the water separators.

It’s recommended to have a proper maintenance plan that involves an annual load bank test to remove wet stacking in generators by burning off unburnt fuel, oil, and carbon in the cylinders and exhaust system. The technicians also test the unit’s fuel and cooling systems and evaporate moisture from inside the generator and engine.

Fuel Supply

Sufficient fuel is needed to operate the generator. When there is not enough fuel, the generator will shut down because there is nothing to generate power, and there may be air intake into the fuel system. Also, the air in the fuel system can result from not running the generator regularly. In most cases, this can cause the diesel generator to shut down.

Businesses in Marion, SC, that fail to adopt regular maintenance plans or use their generators frequently are prone to experience stagnant fuel in the tank. Still, fuel causes water to condensate, causing an acceleration of microbiological growth. In the long run, this damages fuel filters, creates clogs, and causes leaks, leading to expensive generator repairs.

Battery Failure

Most generators fail to start because of battery problems. Your generator battery may fail because of sulfation buildup, where lead sulfates collect on the batteries’ plates, hence the battery fails to produce sufficient current. If your battery fails because of sulfation, you’ll need to replace the battery.

If the sedimentary trays of the battery get filled up with lead debris, don’t be surprised if your generator fails to start. Generator repair service experts advise having the batteries replaced after every three years to avoid such situations.

It has been noted that some batteries may fail because of open cells. An overcurrent causes open-cell problems. Also, most individuals don’t take the initiative of double-checking to ensure the charger was turned back on and that the generator is functioning correctly after service or maintenance. It’s a good idea to double-check because battery failure happens if the charger breaker is open or tripped.

To be on the safe side, it’s important to have generator repair service experts address loose or dirty connections to prevent battery problems. They will clean and tighten the cable connections and monitor the charge rates from month to month to identify potential failures and save you from costly repairs.

Controls Not in Auto

“Not In Auto” is a more generic and not a technical term for the unit being unable to shut off and may not have to be the main control switch. Portable generators have a control panel that controls all aspects of the portable generator, such as settings, running, and shutdown. The panels display information about the critical engine and alternator and show any “faults” that have caused the generator to shut down. Most of the service calls received for generator controls “Not in Auto” are caused by human error.

The main control is usually in an “Off/Reset” position. It may have several positions such as “Cool Down,” and “Off/Reset”, hence preventing generators not to start when there is a power outage.

Common examples of “not in auto” failures include open breakers, alarms not reset, switchgear not reset, and activated emergency stop buttons. During an emergency fault shutdown, most generators are set up to short trip the main circuit breaker. Therefore, when the generator shuts itself down, you must physically reset the control panel to clear the alarm. If the problem persists, you can always call a generator repair service company to check the system.

Mister Sparky Generators: A Generator Repair Service Company You Can Depend On

You don’t have to panic when your generator fails to start. You just need some basic techniques to restart your machine. However, it’s important to seek a certified technician to get the job done. Don’t sweat it, Mister Sparky GeneratorsMarion, SC, offers generator repair services.

Our technicians offer comprehensive generator repair services for various parts, including spark plugs, air filters, and carburetor. We can audit your application and determine your power generator requirements. Request a consultation today to speak with one of our generator experts.