Despite all your best efforts, you may need to purchase a new generator to maintain efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness at your company. The question is, when’s the right time to get your replacement?
While you don’t want to wait until you’re already facing an outage problem, a new generator is a substantial purchase which shouldn’t be made needlessly. With that in mind, we’ve put together this helpful guide of questions to ask yourself if you’re unsure about when to invest in a new generator.
Is Your Generator Performing Properly?
Perhaps the most obvious sign that you need a generator replacement is when your current machinery simply isn’t working as it should be. Your generator should be able to start up quickly when it’s needed. If it doesn’t, it could be time to look into a replacement – and start becoming more efficient.
In some circumstances, generators include an automatic transfer switch, which prompts the generator to begin running as soon as the power fails. This switch should automatically transfer power from the main source into the generator when you face an outage. Sometimes, you’ll find that problems with performance are due to a small error with this switch that can be repaired by a certified technician. In other circumstances, you’ll need to invest in a full replacement.
Are You Using Too Much Fuel and Power?
Have you noticed that every time you use your generator, your fuel bills are inexplicably high? This could be a sign that your machine is heading towards failure. When generators get older and begin to malfunction, they will need to expend more energy to produce the same level of electrical power. Producing more energy means consuming more fuel, leading to higher bills for you.
If you’re using the same number of appliances, but find yourself using additional fuel, this is an indication that your generator is becoming less efficient. While you might be able to get by for a short amount of time, you will eventually need to do major engine repairs or upgrade to a new generator.
Are You Constantly Paying for Repairs?
Mechanical equipment and generators tend to suffer more minor breakdowns in the months and years before they finally break down for good. If you’re constantly paying for repairs and increased maintenance to the system, then there’s a good chance your generator is approaching its final days and needs replacing.
A generator might begin to fail more quickly simply because it hasn’t had the right level of preventative maintenance over the years. Just like any other mechanical element, generator systems need to be cleaned, components must be changed, and the machine has to be inspected to ensure that it’s performing properly. When maintenance is neglected, your generator can lose efficiency faster, prompting quicker breakdowns.
Is Your Generator Getting Older?
You don’t always have to wait for signs of inconsistency and inefficiency to realize that you may soon need to replace your generator. The older anything gets, the more likely it will be to fail. But the failure of a generator isn’t always determined by its physical age or how long you’ve owned it. Instead, you’ll need to think about how many hours you’ve used your generator for.
The average standby generator will last for between 10,000 and 30,000 hours of use. If you find that the lights are flickering on and off, or there’s an inconsistency in your power supply, this could be a sign that the system is too old to continue managing your electrical load. If you frequently use your generator, there’s a chance you’ll need to replace it much faster than someone who only uses theirs very rarely.
Choosing the Right Generator
Although it can be tempting to hold onto your generator until it finally loses power, it’s often a better decision to bite the bullet and purchase a replacement sooner rather than later.
Not only will replacing your generator as soon as you notice problems save you money by giving you a more efficient power supply, but it could ensure your safety, too. That’s because engine driven generators produce more carbon monoxide emissions when they start to break down.
Contact Sloan Electric today and speak to our expert team about choosing and installing a new generator for improved efficiency and safety at your company.