Why Does Your Emergency Generator Need Fuel Sampling?

An emergency generator needs to be ready to go in to service when you need it. For many businesses, such as a construction site or hospital, a power failure if there’s a problem with the grid is simply not an option. However, if your emergency generator hasn’t had the proper maintenance done, it might not be ready to perform in your moment of need.

In order to keep you compliant with regulatory guidelines, local building codes, and personal safety standards, we conduct maintenance to ensure that everything from your ATS to your coolant is prepared for an emergency. For generators that utilize diesel fuel, one of the most important maintenance measures is fuel sampling and testing.

Why Is Fuel Sampling Necessary?

Fuel naturally degrades over time. According to Exxon, diesel fuel can be stored for 6-12 months and no more, even in ideal conditions. Diesel fuel is a hydrocarbon, which means that water is naturally integrated into its chemical makeup. Over time, the water separates. Additionally, condensation and debris can get into your tank from outside. Water in your fuel tank contributes to oxidation of metal components, as well as bacterial and fungal growth. As fuel breaks down, there can also be solid byproducts which lead to sediment and particulates within the fuel tank.

When we sample fuel, we test for three major dangers:

  • Water
  • Sediment and particulates
  • Microorganisms

All of these factors may not seem very problematic to the casual observer. However, water contributes to further microbial growth. Microbes and particulates can clog filters, corrode engine parts, and damage fuel pumps, as well as other vital components of your emergency generator.

How Often Should Fuel Checks & Tests Be Conducted?

Here at Gen-Tech, we offer monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual maintenance checks on your backup generator. In addition to our regular checks, we also conduct fuel samplings (as well as coolant and oil samplings) to guard against fuel deterioration that may harm the overall function of your generator. How often these tests need to be done will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Temperature fluctuations in your area, particularly where your backup generator is housed
  • The size of your tank
  • Quality and type of fuel used
  • Additives in the fuel
  • Frequency of use

To learn more about how often you should have your emergency generator’s fuel sampled and tested, check your user manual, or call up the generator professionals at Gen-Tech. Our technicians are highly experienced, and utilize state of the art testing equipment and tools, all so that we can keep your emergency generator in great shape.

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