Diesel generators are reliable sources of power in many fields, including mining, hospitals, military zones, construction sites, commercial industries, and transportation. They’re also vital sources of electrical power in residential properties.
Over the years, the diesel engine has undergone further improvements to find use in many applications. Diesel engines are known for their power, reliability, and durability. But they’re highly vulnerable to complications like overheating and wet stacking.
Wet stacking refers to the accumulation of unburned fuel, carbon particles, or moisture in the exhaust system of a diesel engine. In this blog post, you’ll learn the causes of wet stacking, its effects on the machine, why it should be avoided, and how best to address this problem.
What Causes Wet Stacking?
Wet stacking usually happens when a diesel generator runs on a light load for extended periods. Hence, there is improperly burned fuel during combustion. Just like all other internal combustion engines, a diesel engine should maintain an exact air-to-fuel ratio to function at maximum efficiency. Again, it should sustain a designated operational temperature for a complete fuel burn.
When a diesel engine is operated on light loads, it can’t attain its set operational temperature. Running below its recommended operational temperature for a long time brings about wet stacking – this can be identified as a dark, thick liquid substance oozing from the engine’s exhaust.
The Bad Effects of Wet Stacking
During wet stacking, the unburned fuel released from the combustion chamber begins to build up in the engine’s exhaust system, causing fouled injectors and carbon buildup on the exhaust valves, turbocharger, and exhaust pipes. An accumulation of carbon deposits in the fuel injector nozzles causes them to deliver larger fuel droplets to the combustion cylinders than they should. As a result, most of this fuel remains unburned and moves to the exhaust system. Thus, wet stacking tends to cause more wet stacking.
Excessive deposits will ultimately diminish the engine’s performance as exhaust buildup produces backpressure, gasses bypass valve seatings, and the turbo charger’s efficiency is reduced. You may not experience permanent damage almost immediately, but with time, the deposits will erode and scare key engine components.
Additionally, when the engine runs below its designed operational temperature, the piston rings don’t expand enough to seal the space between the pistons and cylinder walls. This allows unburned fuel and gasses to get into the oil pan and dilute the oil, causing the engine to wear down prematurely.
Wet stacking will have several effects on a diesel generator’s engine, especially if not checked in time. It can lead to reduced engine performance or even impair the engine permanently, requiring a replacement that can be another costly expense on your part. To avoid this, partner with a licensed generator repair service near you for regular generator maintenance.
How to Prevent Wet Stacking
The most practical solution is always to operate your diesel generator set with a load that reaches the suboptimal temperatures of the fuel. Suppose wet stacking hasn’t reached a level where an engine replacement is the only solution to remove the carbon buildup. In that case, the engine’s accumulated carbon and fuel deposits can be eliminated by running the generator at the required temperature for several hours.
Also, have your unit regularly inspected by a generator maintenance expert. During the routine tune-ups, the technician can conduct load testing to establish whether the engine is still functional or needs an overhaul.
Professional generator repair service contractors can offer the following load bank solutions to prevent the recurrence of wet stacking in diesel generators:
- Automatic Auxiliary Loading
This solution applies only where a diesel generator set is the primary power source. The auxiliary load bank is switched into the system only when there are lighter electrical loads; when a larger load is connected, it’s switched out.
- Facility Manual Load Bank
Although operated like an automatic load bank, the facility manual load bank is usually used with light loads and when the larger load is initiated manually.
- Portable Load Bank
A diesel generator set supplier is often the most qualified for performing generator maintenance. Nowadays, it’s common for standby generator owners to have a scheduled maintenance contract with a full-service generator set distributor. During a regular maintenance call, your generator repair service provider will use a portable load bank to run your generator at an electrical load that maintains the unit’s required optimal temperature.
Why Avoiding Wet Stacking Is Crucial?
Besides the adverse engine effect, a user of a diesel generator system has to consider the following:
- Power: Even before your generator engine gets damaged, the deposits will significantly reduce the unit’s power. Premature engine wear will result in a lower maximum power output than the engine was designed for.
- Expense: Too much-wet stacking will reduce the engine’s lifespan by many years before the planned replacement.
- Maintenance: Undeniably, an engine with wet stacking problems will require more maintenance than one adequately loaded.
- Pollution: Wet stacking results in increased pollution, and many cities and municipalities restrict smoke emissions from wet stacking.
Choose Mister Sparky Generators for Reliable Solutions
You have now learned what causes wet stacking in diesel generators and how to avoid it. Preventive maintenance is essential to efficiently tackling this problem. Have you noticed a black ooze or continuous black smoke around the exhaust pipe?
Or does your generator stay for long periods without use? Feel free to contact the technicians at Mister Sparky Generators for reliable services. We boast quality artistry and outstanding customer service, which have earned us a name in the industry. Give us a ring and see us there now!
Wet stacking is an issue you want to avoid to get the most out of your standby diesel generator. Undertaking proactive maintenance steps, such as running your generator for a few minutes weekly if you don’t regularly use it and scheduling load bank testing. It’s advisable to operate your generator with at least a 60 percent load. Also, schedule for planned maintenance by a generator repair service specialist to improve the system’s efficiency and longevity.
See our previous blog on this topic here.
Find out our service area here.
Photo By Lex20 at istock
Seasonal Backup Generator Maintenance Service Requirements For Guaranteed Peak Performance
Most homes depend on backup generators as a secondary source of power in case of an outage. People experience blackouts during winter due to strong winds and severe winter storms, such as snow and ice storms.
The sudden power outages require a standby generator to ensure your electrical appliances receive a steady power supply to continue operating at peak performance.
A backup generator in your home keeps your foods and vegetables fresh and prevents an abrupt interruption of entertainment and other tasks that need a power supply. The system requires periodic maintenance to be in perfect working condition for the longest time.
Professionals in charge of the tune-ups also ensure the process complies with regulatory requirements for enhanced safety and efficiency. They also perform maintenance of the generator for efficiency during and after winter.
Below are some maintenance requirements performed by generator technicians.
Thorough System Inspections
First and foremost, generator servicing requires inspections. Generator experts offering maintenance services check internal and external parts of the unit. They inspect each component, including the fixed and operable ones.
The professionals also check the fuel system to ensure the filters and the fuel are clean to prevent contamination.
They also inspect the battery cables and terminals, controls, electrical parts, transfer switch, and engine for functionality. Checking the entire system during backup generator maintenance service is vital in identifying potential issues for urgent repairs.
The inspections are also helpful in pinpointing parts that require replacements or thorough cleaning and tune-ups.
Generator Battery Maintenance
Without regular servicing and tune-ups, the battery of your backup generator is highly susceptible to failure. Technicians use a battery tester to know the functionality of the generator battery for optimal performance.
After inspecting and testing the battery system, the hired professionals use advanced tools such as a battery cleaner to clean the battery terminals to remove accumulated dirt.
Cleaning also stops potential corrosion to facilitate electrical contact, making the system run smoothly. The contractors use a load tester to test if the available load can power the generator during the wintry season. They also charge the battery according to recommended procedures. If the battery is faulty and the load test shows it is inefficient, replacing it is the best option for high performance.
Keeping your generator in perfect working condition requires regular engine maintenance, especially before the winter season, to have an adequate power supply during an outage. Each generator has specific tune-up requirements depending on the model or brand. The engine requires backup generator maintenance service that entails changing oil filters and oil to prevent problems that arise due to contamination.
Most standby generators operate on different fuels, including gas, diesel, and propane. They have an oil reservoir with oil that lubricates all the moving parts to prevent them from becoming stuck.
Gas, diesel, or propane generators use diverse oils recommended by manufacturers, such as mineral, synthetic blend, high mileage, and synthetic oil. The oils can be efficient in both cold and warm seasons to prevent damage to the longevity of the generators.
These oils should be clean hence the need to change them after an accumulated 100 hours. Changing the oil is not an option, even if you have not used the unit for a long time. The fuel system also requires quality inspections for cracks and leaks for prompt repairs. Additionally, technicians replace the air and fuel filters, worn-out belts, spark plugs, and the coolant in the fuel unit.
Servicing Electrical Components
Another maintenance requirement for your standby generator is ensuring the electrical parts are efficient and safe. The procedure entails checking the safety and functionality of the wiring, breakers, and other connections. The hired contractor tests the control panel, switches, and controls for optimal efficiency.
Electricians also test the voltage output, frequency, and load bank, during routine tune-ups to ensure the appliance is at its peak. Circuit breakers also need testing and servicing to protect your home’s standby generators from electrical accidents.
Transfer Switch Maintenance
You can also hire an electrician to maintain the transfer switch that ensures a steady power supply to the generator during an outage. The device can fail due to loose connections and faulty or worn-out parts.
While offering regular backup generator maintenance service, the professionals clean the sections around the switch and test the device. They also keep the place dry at all times for safety purposes. Any pinpointed damages require prompt repairs that help in the transfer switch from electrical to generator use to provide backup power.
In a Nutshell
Maintaining home backup generators is an essential activity that homeowners should undertake severally in a year, depending on the system. The process guarantees you peace of mind with a steady power distribution during a blackout that will operate your electronics. Regular tune-ups, including inspections of components, repairs, replacement of worn-out parts, and cleaning, ensure optimal performance the longest.
It also entails ensuring the electrical and engine components are safe to boost safety from electrical accidents. Replacing the oil and fuel protects you and your loved ones from poisonous gasses from contaminated oil. The experts providing the service ensure compliance with manufacturers’ requirements in the manual.
Additionally, maintenance reduces the risk of sudden system failure that might require costly repair services. Technicians performing the task should have a comprehensive checklist that ensures each component in the unit is well-maintained.
Do You Need Quality Maintenance Services?
Power disruption is never a pleasant experience. Homeowners should invest in backup generators to avoid incomplete work, discomfort, and rotting foods. Keeping the system well-maintained is essential with the help of professionals from Mister Sparky Generators.
We are among the best generator and electrical companies that meet the needs of residential and commercial customers. Our technicians are qualified to evaluate your generator concerns and provide the right solution using the correct tools.
At Mister Sparky Generators, we offer quality and exceptional customer service. You can easily schedule an appointment for unmatched backup generator maintenance service for the best results the first time. We handle generators from different brands, including GE, Generac, and Briggs and Stratton.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
Photo By Castleski at Shutterstock
How A Professional Generator Installation Company Secures Your Power Supply
Power outages are common occurrences that can happen at any time and cause inconveniences to businesses and households. Various factors, including natural disasters, equipment failure, and power surges, can cause power outages. Regardless of the cause, power outages can lead to significant losses in productivity and revenue. Installing a generator is the best solution to avoid frustrations during such situations.
Benefits of Installing a Generator
Installing a generator provides a reliable source of backup power and other benefits, including:
Uninterrupted Power Supply
A generator ensures your home or business has a continuous power supply during blackouts or emergencies. This prevents disruptions to daily activities and maintains the functionality of essential appliances, such as refrigerators, heating systems, and medical equipment.
Safety and Security
Generators provide lighting and power to security systems during power outages, reducing the risk of accidents and deterring potential intruders. This added layer of protection is especially important for businesses and homes in areas prone to frequent power outages.
Protection for Sensitive Electronics
Power outages can cause voltage fluctuations that may damage sensitive electronic devices. A generator with an automatic voltage regulator can help protect these devices by providing a stable power supply, preventing costly repairs or replacements.
Increased Property Value
Installing a generator can increase the value of your property, as potential buyers may view it as a valuable asset. This investment can particularly appeal to those looking to purchase a home or commercial property in areas with a history of power outages.
For businesses, a generator ensures that operations can continue during power outages, preventing loss of revenue and productivity. This is particularly important for businesses that rely on critical systems, such as data centers, manufacturing facilities, and hospitals.
Comfort and Convenience
A generator allows you to maintain a comfortable living environment during power outages by powering heating and cooling systems and essential appliances. This can be especially beneficial during extreme weather conditions.
Generators are available in different fuel types, including diesel, gasoline, natural gas and propane. This flexibility allows you to choose the most suitable and cost-effective fuel for your needs, ensuring efficient and reliable power generation.
Remote Monitoring and Control
Modern generators often come with remote monitoring and control features, allowing you to monitor their performance and receive alerts in case of any issues. This can help you address potential problems promptly, ensuring the generator’s reliability and longevity. Ask your generator installation company whether they offer emergency services if something goes wrong with your generator.
Reduced Dependence on the Grid
Installing a generator reduces your reliance on the electrical grid, providing an alternative power source during outages. This can be particularly beneficial in areas with an aging or unreliable power infrastructure.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Generator
Selecting the right generator for your needs is crucial to ensure a reliable and efficient power supply during emergencies or off-grid situations. By considering various factors, you can make an informed decision that will provide you with the best solution for your specific requirements.
You must consider the power output needed to run your essential appliances and equipment. Calculate the combined wattage of all devices you plan to use simultaneously and choose a generator with a power output that meets or exceeds this demand. Remember to account for starting wattages, which can be significantly higher than running wattages for some appliances. Mister Sparky Generators will help you decide how powerful your generator should be and charge a professional with the responsibility of installation.
Generators can run on various fuel types, including gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas. Every fuel type has advantages and disadvantages regarding availability, cost, and environmental impact. Consider the fuel type that best suits your needs, taking into account factors such as storage, accessibility, and long-term usage.
A generator’s run time refers to how long it can function on one fuel tank. Long run times are generally more desirable, requiring less frequent refueling. Consider your intended usage and the duration of potential power outages when selecting a generator with an appropriate run time.
Generators can produce noise, which may be a concern in residential areas or other noise-sensitive environments. Look for generators with lower decibel ratings or built-in noise reduction features to minimize disturbance to neighbors and maintain a comfortable environment.
Depending on your needs, you may require a portable generator that can be easily transported and set up in various locations. Consider factors such as weight, size, and the presence of wheels or handles when evaluating the portability of different generator models. Mister Sparky Generators transports the generator to your home or business and begins the installation.
A transfer switch is a crucial safety feature that prevents the back-feeding of electricity into the utility grid, which can be dangerous for utility workers and damage your generator. Choose a generator that is compatible with a transfer switch, and ensure that a qualified electrician correctly installs it.
Regular maintenance is essential for the longevity and reliability of your generator. Consider the ease of maintenance, availability of replacement parts, and the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule when selecting a generator. Look for a reputable generator installation company to maintain your generator.
Generators can vary significantly in price, depending on factors such as power output, fuel type, and additional features. Establish a budget and compare the features and benefits of different models within your price range to find the best value for your needs. Ask your generator installation company for a written estimate to see what you’re being charged for.
It’s essential to consider the reputation of the generator manufacturer. Research customer reviews and industry ratings to ensure that you choose a reliable and well-regarded brand known for producing high-quality, durable generators. Mister Sparky Generators provides reputable brands suitable for your home or business needs.
If you’re looking for a generator installation company, Mister Sparky Generators is the company for you. We offer various types of generators and top-notch installation services. If you need a generator, visit us today or call us.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
Photo By borchee at istock
How Our Generator Hookup Service Installs Worry-Free Power
Backup power makes a big difference in your family’s life when brief or days-long power outages occur. Even a simple portable generator, properly installed, can illuminate your home and provide many basic functions. Employing technology-rich modern transfer switches and generator systems, our generator hookup service can make an amazing leap. We’ll take you from simple backup power, to worry-free power that’s tested and monitored by technology. When your family’s asleep, it’s there for you, and for seniors living independently who rely on power for many daily needs it’s ready to serve. Even when your home is unattended while you’re on vacation, worry-free power kicks in. It keeps pipes from freezing, sump pumps ready to operate, even your internet connection, smart home features, and security system are covered by reliable, automatic backup power.
Our Experience Is the Key to a Trustworthy Generator Installation
From the fuel supply to the automatic transfer switch, generator capacity to a solid pedestal for mounting, permits, power connections, and more, we’ve got it covered. Our generator hookup service has brought reliable backup power to families, businesses, and others who depend on us to get it right. We make sure that your system quietly serves your family from a convenient location on your property. Our team may already have worked with your HOA, we’re skilled at making sure your installation fits in beautifully.
Start with the Right Generator System
If you’re still deciding on a generator and guessing at your capacity needs, we can help make the calculations and recommend the right model. You’ll probably want features that residential customers love, such as smartphones or monitoring panel information so you can check on operation even in the worst storms. Units that self-test basic operation automatically are popular as well, and then we’ll make the trip and check full operation regularly to make sure the generator is always ready.
The Transfer Switch Is Key
There are many ways to transfer generator power in the event of a power failure. The simplest ones work with portable generators, requiring manual operation and usually removing the generator from where it’s stored to keep exhaust safely outdoors. Manual changeover is also available for installed generator systems, but for worry-free operation, a smooth changeover performed by an automatic transfer switch, or ATS, is your best choice. We’ll install a trusted one, which will be tested regularly along with the generator using a simulated power failure so we know everything’s perfect. You might see a brief flicker of the lights during the switch, and we can make sure your network and other computer equipment has a smooth transition. It’s all part of our careful generator hookup service planning.
Whole or Partial Household Load Coverage
Some families decide to switch everything over to generator power, even HVAC and other high power consumption equipment. We can do that, in fact our commercial generators handle significantly more than home systems. It’s also possible to select the essential parts of your home’s circuits and keep your kitchen, bedrooms, and lighting, or whatever is vital for you, operating during power outages. We’ll cover a list of “what ifs” if you like, to help you identify anything you need to have power that you didn’t realize. Sump pumps are a common concern, deep freezers as well, perhaps a home office. Thanks to our extensive experience, you don’t have to worry about missing a key power need, our list of common concerns covers pretty much everything.
Fuel and Maintenance for Long-Running Generator Power
Regular maintenance checks everything from the starter battery charging power to belts, hoses, coolant, lubricants, power regulation circuits, and operation under load for a period of time. Some are performed more often, others periodically to be sure. Your fuel supply can be selected from several sources, with supplies like diesel monitored for quality and condition, and natural gas supplies verified for flow. A natural gas supply can power your generator for days, according to generator ratings. Our generator hookup service makes sure it’s designed and installed to fulfill its potential.
What If Repairs Are Needed? Our Plan Is to Catch Them Early
Our repair team is ready to make it out to your place and perform repairs during tough conditions, but we plan ahead to avoid that possibility. Regular testing and maintenance are a big part of that, and generator self-tests keep exercising your system with automatic reporting of any trouble found. Once you’re alerted to potential issues, you can get our team out right away or schedule an appointment to address them. With internet communications installed by our hookup service, a worry-free operation is even easier to achieve, and our expert team makes it happen.
Needing Upgraded Power Capacity or a More Modern System?
We’re prepared to inspect and service your existing generator system, upgrade it to a new unit with advanced features, or increase the power capacity to meet your increased needs. Perhaps you’ve decided to include heating and cooling systems in the power load, or you’ve installed an EV charging system. Tankless hot water uses quite a bit of power when operating, which requires a higher peak generator capacity in some cases. Our experienced hookup service team can make the changes, recommend any updates to support new equipment and take good care of you on an ongoing basis. If you’ve inherited a generator system with the home you just bought, let our experts check it and get it ready.
You already know how backup power can make a big difference when storms or other unexpected events cut your home’s power for a few hours, a day, or more. Now you know how convenient and worry-free that backup power can be with generator care from Mister Sparky Generators. Let us provide the equipment, maintenance, and timely repairs you need to make your life simple at home even when outside, it’s complicated. Call today!
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
Photo By Richard Stephen at istock
10 Reasons To Buy A Backup Generator
We rely on electricity to power most aspects of our private and professional lives. However, outages can interrupt your activities and impact your productivity. Whether caused by extreme weather conditions or electrical faults, power outages are unavoidable problems that most homes and businesses deal with. When considering electricity stability for your home, it is crucial to consider a home backup generator. This blog discusses the top benefits of a backup generator.
Delivers power automatically
Whenever there is an outage, a standby generator provides power to your home spontaneously and within seconds. You don’t have to be home or in the office to power on the generator and keep your home appliances, such as a sump pump, security systems, ACs, and refrigerators, running. The generator is designed to sense power supply interruptions and will power on automatically a few seconds after an outage.
Uninterrupted productivity and comfort
If you are a business, you understand the importance of a stable power supply for optimal productivity and performance of your workforce. Outages that extend for several hours or even days can cost your business productivity, sales, and profits. Likewise, having outages in your home can impact your comfort and cause losses from spoiled refrigerated foods. When you invest in a standby generator, you are guaranteed of uninterrupted power supply in case of main electricity outages.
Prevent damage to the home
Some home appliances need to be in operation 24/7 to prevent elements from damaging your home. For example, your air conditioner works constantly to reduce temperatures and humidity in your spaces. If they stop working because of an interrupted power supply, your home is exposed to mold and mildew damage. Likewise, your sump pump works constantly to prevent or reduce water damage in your home or office. A standby generator keeps these appliances working optimally to create a conducive home environment and keep harmful weather elements at bay.
Saves electronic data
There is a likelihood your company relies heavily on electronic data processing to run. Electronic devices and systems, such as computers, software, and cash registers, use networks to communicate with each other and complete assigned tasks. They also store crucial historical data and customer information that you may reference in the future. When this equipment is subjected to a sudden power loss or surges, it could be damaged, resulting in data loss.
Enhances home value
A standby generator can help you sell your home faster for a higher price. Most homeowners look for home standby generators when looking for an ideal home to purchase. Even those that don’t prioritize backup power will be incentivized to buy your property over your competitor’s. Studies reveal home generators can increase property value from 3% to 5%, which significantly increases your investment.
Power surge protection
Power surges can cause extensive damage to properties. The surges are mostly caused by a loss of electricity supply. When the power returns, instability in the current can severely damage valuable electrical components and electronics in your home. Investing in an automatic generator effectively prevents these hazards from destroying your equipment, computers, phones, and other valuable devices. The generator is designed to automatically sense when power fails and promptly reroute power to the generator to prevent severe spikes in electric currents.
Prevent food damage and losses
Food refrigerators and freezers require constant supply to maintain the ideal quality and taste of the frozen or refrigerated food supply. Homes, restaurants, corporate canteens, and catering businesses could suffer massive economic losses when the food in the refrigerator gets spoiled due to power outages. Typically a refrigerator can only keep food cold for about 4 hours during a power outage. However, power outages can last up to 48 hours, meaning refrigerated food will get spoilt without backup power.
Lower insurance rates
Having a standby generator could result in reduced insurance rates. Standby generators make the home or business safer by protecting electrical and security systems. For example, during power outages, your home lighting and security systems, such as CCTVs, will keep running to guarantee optimal security. Since you are less high-risk, the insurance company may consider lowering your rates.
A standby generator can operate in any weather condition to give you peace of mind of an uninterrupted power supply regardless of changing weather. Rainstorms, snow, hail, and other extreme weather events can shut down the primary power grid without warning. When power fails, an automatic generator will start and run regardless of outdoor weather conditions. This ensures you enjoy your activities and maintain home comfort while waiting for the power to be restored.
Provided there is an uninterrupted supply of fuel, commercial generators can provide the continuous power you need to power your home or run your business. Some standby generators run off natural gas, and since the gas comes directly from the pipeline, you won’t likely need any refueling to keep your system running.
Types of standby generators
There are two types of standby generators:
- Whole-house generators: A whole-house generator or standby generator is directly connected to your home’s electrical system. The device is designed to supply power seamlessly to your home or business whenever there is a power outage. These generators are designed to sense current instability and will start automatically as soon as the power goes out. In this regard, they keep essential elements of your home running smoothly.
- Portable backup generators: Portable generators can supply adequate electricity to power a few small appliances, TVs, fans, or radios. These units are not as efficient and may require additional safety measures during operation.
Contact Mister Sparky Generators for quality standby generator installation
Whenever the power goes out, we all know the outage can last for days or hours. Unfortunately, even a few hours without power can cause pipes to freeze, food to spoil, and sump pumps to overflow. If you are running a business, lost power could impact business operations and productivity. Investing in a power backup generator effectively prevents outages from impacting your home comfort and business operations. Mister Sparky Generators provide high-quality generator replacement and installation services to help homes or businesses enjoy a stable power supply regardless of outages. If you want to replace or install a generator in your home, contact us today.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.