Is Fuel Polishing Worth the Investment?
Generator fuel maintenance is something every business needs to do regularly. The longer your fuel sits, the more likely it is that you will need to apply a good polishing before you operate your generator again. Fuel polishing is typically done on an hourly basis, and, naturally, you may fear that the costs will add up. However, the fact is that failing to polish the fuel and running bad fuel through your generator can cause significant, potentially catastrophic damage to your system. So, on that basis alone, fuel polishing on an annual basis is worth every penny.
Signs You Need a Fuel Polishing
Your generator and fuel systems will give you warnings that the fuel isn’t up to par. If the fuel is dark, or you notice an unusual odor, it’s likely because of micro bacterial growth and sediment build-up. You may also see diminished generator output, sputters, halts, and strange noises that indicate the fouling of the fuel system.
Other symptoms of fuel that needs polishing include dark exhaust fumes, clogged filters, clogged fuel lines, and injectors that have corroded. These all point to problems with the fuel and warrant an in-depth investigation of your fuel tanks. There are many causes of fuel contamination. These include rust and dirt, solvents and wax, soot, mold, bacteria, yeast, and water that seeps into the tanks. Fuel polishing helps identify the problem and allows you to apply the appropriate repairs to prevent the problem from recurring.
How Fuel Is Polished
Fuel is pumped through a filtration system that removes contaminants through a multi-stage process. Depending on the size of the system, it’s possible to polish anywhere from 10 to 100 gallons or more per minute. However, when polishing fuel, it’s important to remember that the slower you go, the more contamination you will remove. Thus, even if a filtration system is capable of polishing a high rate of fuel per minute, it’s not advisable to run the system at max capacity.
While marine applications require fuel polishing about once every two years, and backup generators should undergo polishing about once per year, healthcare facilities, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure facilities should have their fuel polished twice per year. This helps ensure regulatory compliance and guarantees that when an emergency arises, bad fuel won’t cause a problem with service delivery. At Gen-Tech, our technicians can help you develop a generator fuel maintenance plan that will take your specific requirements and any regulatory guidelines into account.
Contact Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists at (800) 625-8324 for more information about generator fuel maintenance. Our EGSA certified technicians will answer your questions and help you determine the most effective maintenance solutions for your specific needs.