As temperatures drop, so can generator system reliability. With a little understanding and increased diligence, combating the effects of cold weather on the emergency system you depend on, can go a long way. Below are just a few helpful tips to help you optimize system reliability.
Batteries: The #1 Cause for System Failure.
Like your car, if your battery is not properly maintained, charged, and cared for, you can find yourself in an easily preventable and unfortunate situation.
- Be sure to check your battery charger on a weekly basis
- Know what lights and gauges are “normal” for your system
- If you have maintainable batteries, ensure the water levels are well above the battery plates
- Make sure your battery date code does not exceed 36 months
Emergency calls have decreased dramatically since LionHeart adopted the 36 month battery replacement recommendation.
Jacket Water Heaters: The Key to Ensure Successful, Cold Weather Starts.
A typical heater installation is quite simple. The system consists of a heater (like your homes water heater) and a thermostat. As the heater works, the hot water will rise out of the upper hose and into the engine. The rise in hot water causes a vacuum in the heater that now sucks colder water (coolant) to enter the heater.
The thermostat is typically located at the heater inlet and is typically set to around 100°F. Once the inlet water temperature satisfies the thermostat, the heater will turn off. Most control systems have a low water temperature alarm which is typically set to 70°F. This alarm means one of two things:
- The heater has failed
- The heater cannot keep the water above 70°F in extreme cold weather
Be sure to become familiar with the normal operation of your system.
Fuel + Oil: Critical to the Operation of Generators in an Emergency.
- Diesel Fuel: make sure the fuel level in your main tank is above ½
- Natural Gas: keep snow away from the generator enclosure and all gas line components, specifically your gas regulator (the regulator has a small vent and if clogged with snow, the regulator will not operate properly)
- Get familiar with vent locations to ensure it is never blocked or clogged
- Be sure to check oil and coolant levels
Run + Monitor Generator Weekly.
LionHeart offers free training, virtual or on-site, to assist in the operation of your critical power system. We help establish the best operation protocols and safety standards for your team!