Monday, September 25, 2023

What maintenance should an electric generator have?

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We have seen in previous articles what an electric generator consists of, its types, parts, utility and operation, in addition to other comparative characteristics. In this publication we will see in detail the correct way to maintain an electric generator.

We must bear in mind that regardless of the quality, brand or model of the Electric generator that we have, this requires specific maintenance that allows you to continue working without problems, and in turn extend the useful life of the device. Taking into account also, how to choose which is the Electric generator suitable for our use, the steps to follow would be those detailed below.

Preventive Maintenance

With this type of maintenance, what is sought is to detect possible failures or problems that the Electric generator, and correct them in a timely manner to avoid further damage, and reach a corrective maintenance.

Statistically, the failures that electrical machines present are exclusively due to poor or non-existent maintenance and upkeep of the equipment.

How to do preventive maintenance on an electric generator?

It is very common for maintenance to be performed using a checklist. This will allow you to inspect each and every one of the parts that you should check, without leaving any aside. Likewise, it will allow you to carry out maintenance in an orderly and timely manner, since each piece or component of the equipment requires constant review, and they have different check-up periods.

We will show an example that what could be a checklist for the maintenance of the Electric generator:

Checked Item to check Frequency Date
External cleaning of the equipment Before and after using the equipment
Check ventilation and heating Newspaper
Observe abnormal noises, vibrations, friction, etc. Newspaper
Observe state of bearings and lubrication level Monthly
Check load with measuring devices Monthly
Check general condition of the machine Quarterly
Observe collector aspects as well as brushes Monthly
Interior cleaning Annual
Look closely at the brushes (replace if necessary) Annual
Look closely at the brushes (replace if necessary) Annual
Check surface of the collector and its connections Annual
Check between irons and windings Annual
Test insulation resistance and grounding Annual
Check correct starting maneuver (internal combustion engine) Quarterly
Check lubrication, change and clean ventilation ducts Annual
Check rotor balance Annual

Other items that can be included in the checklist are the following:

  • Daily performance tasks: check the coolant fluid level (if applicable) check the oil and its level in the tank, and check the air filter.
  • Tasks of weekly execution: strain the water from the tank and its filters, and check the battery charger.
  • Monthly execution tasks: check the concentration of the cooler, and check the outlet water trap.
  • Semi-annual execution tasks: validate radiator hoses, change fuel, oil and air filters, clean respirator air duct.
  • Annual execution tasks: debugging the cooling system.

For each item on the list, the condition and proper functioning of each part of the device should be thoroughly inspected. Electric generator.

Engine maintenance

Each Electric generator It includes maintenance instructions, which we recommend reading carefully in the instructions manual or application for use. However, we will describe the most relevant aspects for the good maintenance of the engine of a Electric generator.

Check the oil level

To carry out this action, the motor of the appliance must be horizontally level. Then with the use of the dipstick, the oil level is measured, which must be between the MIN and MAX marks. It is recommended to perform the measurement with a cold engine.

Oil change and oil filters

  1. Change the oil and your filters at the same time.
  2. Use only the oil specified by the manufacturer.
  3. Support the Electric generator Leaning slightly on a prepared surface, and keep the oil drain plug down. Open the screw for oil filler.
  4. Open the oil drain plug and drain the engine oil into a container for this purpose.
  5. Once all the old oil has drained out, close the bleeder screw and replace the oil Electric generator in standard position.
  6. Add engine oil, up to the MAX mark on the dipstick. Dispose of used oil properly.
  7. The engine oil should be changed with the engine warm from running.
  1. Clean the filter holders so that no dirt gets inside when installing the new filter.
  2. Remove the filter (s).
  3. Fill the new filters with engine oil.
  4. Attach the filter (s).
  5. Start the engine, and check that there are no oil leaks around the filter.
  6. Add more oil if necessary.
  7. Run the engine at normal temperature.

Air filter inspection and replacement

This filter must be replaced, when indicated by the filter indicator. The level of dirt in the intake air filter depends on the size of the filter and the concentration of dust in the air. It is recommended to change them every six months, but if the concentration of dust and other external agents is high, they should be inspected and changed more frequently.

Electric Generator Maintenance – Air Filter Change

Verification and adjustment of auxiliary element belts

This check should be done after the engine has been running, with the belts still hot. Loosen the bolts and then tension the alternator belts. These should yield 10 mm. between the pulleys. Belts working in pair must be changed at the same time. For their part, the fan belts have an automatic tensioner and do not require adjustment, but must still be inspected.

Cooling system inspection

This system must be filled with a coolant that protects the engine against freezing (if applicable) and against internal corrosion. Because anti-corrosion additives weaken over time, the coolant must be changed. When replacing the coolant, the cooling system must be flushed.

Replace or clean the fuel filter

Check if the filter of the Electric generator requires cleaning or change. In both cases, you must loosen the filter fasteners, preventing any dirt agent from entering the injection system.
If you only need to clean the filter, remove it from the equipment and wash it with a non-abrasive detergent and allow it to dry.

When installing the filter, whether new or clean, lubricate the gasket with a little oil. Screw in the filter. Bleed the fuel system. Dispose of the old filter properly.

Alternator Maintenance

As part of daily maintenance, it is recommended to check the condition of the windings (especially if the generator has been idle for a long time), as well as the bearings. If the generator has brushes, it will be necessary to check the wear of the brushes and the cleanliness of the sliding rings.

Checking the windings

The condition of the windings can be verified by measuring the insulation resistance to earth of the machine casing, relative to earth. This resistance is disturbed when there is dirt or moisture in the windings, so the insulation measurement of the generator, will indicate the state of the winding.

The tool to measure insulation is the megger or Megger. To proceed with the measurement, the positive pole of the Megger is connected to one of the motor terminals, and the negative pole to the metal mass, then the insulation resistance is read directly. During measurement, the generator it must be completely separated from the installation, and disconnected from it. In case the insulation resistance is less than the winding resistance, the latter must dry immediately.

Bearing inspection

They should be checked for wear or oil leakage, and replaced if necessary. It must also be periodically validated if the bearings overheat or produce excessive noise during operation. In case of excessive vibrations, wear or loss of grease, they must be replaced.

For reference, the bearings should be changed after 40,000 hours of service, and in case of generators pulley driven, must be replaced after 25,000 hours of service.

Checking slip rings and brushes (if applicable)

The brushes must last the entire useful life of the equipment, although in case of intensive use of the equipment, it is possible that they will wear down a quarter of their length, in which case they must be replaced. Cyclic slip rings must be thoroughly cleaned, especially when the brushes are changed.

Spark Plug Maintenance

After the first 20 hours of service, check that the spark plug is clean, otherwise it should be cleaned with a copper wire brush. The spark plug should then be checked every 50 service hours.
To do this, you just need to remove the spark plug socket by turning it. The spark plug is removed using the appropriate wrench, and finally the assembly is carried out following the same order but in reverse.

Electric Generator Maintenance - Spark Plug Inspection

Electric Generator Maintenance – Spark Plug Inspection

Tips and Recommendations

  • Check the generator twice a year, even if it is not being used. Look for loose or frayed wires, corroded items, stuck buttons, etc.
  • Minimize dust and dirt on safety devices, vents and motor housing.
  • To clean the device, rub it with a clean cloth or blow it with compressed air using low pressure. It is recommended to clean the electric generator after each use.
  • When cleaning the appliance, do not use solvents or cleaning products as these can damage the plastic parts of the appliance.
  • Avoid getting water inside the appliance.
  • Change the spark plugs annually.
  • Regularly start the generatoreven if it is not used frequently. It is recommended to turn on every three months, to verify its proper functioning.
  • Check that the fuel pump, turbocharger, injectors and automatic voltage regulator are correctly calibrated. According to the use of the device, this review should be done every year or every two years.
  • Store the generator in a dry space protected from dust or dirt.
  • If you are not sure how to proceed during the maintenance of the equipment, you should seek help from a professional.


  • Always perform the generator in an area with good ventilation. This is because the exhaust gases that build up contain carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
  • Do not manipulate a generator in wet conditions. In case of need it should be covered with something to keep it protected.
  • Always consult a professional, especially if you do not know the subject well or do not have a direct relationship with the machine on a frequent level.

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