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Can Fuel Affect Your Generator's Performance?


When you invest in a generator for your heavy equipment business, you realize what a large investment such a piece of equipment is. For many, a backup energy source is essential for business. If a generator suffers a problem, it may be because of poor fuel storage practices.

While you should always get your fuel from a reliable source, you also have to maintain the fuel inside the generator. Otherwise, your generator will not work in the event of an emergency. The following are some fuel issues which negatively affect generators.

Fuel Condensation

Over time, fuel storage tanks take in and lose heat with the fluctuation in outdoor temperatures. The regular temperature fluctuations have an impact on the interior of the tank when they cause condensation to form and drop water into the fuel tank.

When the water drops get into the fuel, the water produces a healthy environment for contaminant growths which causes blockages in the filters and injectors. Over time, the blockage prevents the generator’s normal amount of output.

Degraded Fuel Quality

Another common problem for generators is poor fuel quality. The quality is measured by the amount of impurities in the fuel, the cetane index, cloud point, the amount of sediment in the fuel, color, and distillation.

The quality of the fuel has a major impact on how well a generator works. Low-quality fuel has contaminants, such as microbes. When the microbes combine with water, either through condensation or other means, the microbes grow and overtake the engine. The generator will eventually quit operating and require significant repair.

Tank Corrosion

Fuel tank corrosion is another concern. Corrosion occurs when there is water, a suitable fuel for food, and the right temperature range. When these three conditions are met, microbial growth begins. As this microbial growth continues, it changes fuel color and consistency. This is referred to as microbial corrosion.

When you start the generator, the debris from a corroded fuel tank go through the filters and various components of the generator. This reduces the generator engine's rotation per minute. With a low rate, the generator cannot provide enough energy to operate, meaning you will not be able to use the generator.

Corrosion causes holes to form in the fuel tank. This not only reduces the amount of fuel you have in the tank, but it results in an environmental hazard. The fuel ultimately leaks onto the ground and pollutes the area. It is also a fire hazard and an overall liability. To prevent corrosion, you need to treat the tank with biocide to prevent any bacteria growth.

Fuel Gelling

When the temperatures get low, the oxygen levels in the fuel can decrease. This causes the fuel to become a gel substance. When you turn on the generator, the fuel flows from the storage tank to the engine. When the fuel turns to gel, the filters will clog and prevent air from getting to the combustion chamber. The engine cannot start under these conditions.

To keep this from happening, add an anti-gelling agent to your fuel tank when the temperatures get low. Anti-gelling agents prevent your fuel from solidifying so that it continues to function more or less as normal.

One of the most significant enemies to a generator's fuel is water and corrosion. Fuel quality is also crucial to the health of a generator. If you have any questions or need assistance with your generator maintenance or repair, please contact us at Anything On-Site Repair LLC. We are a mobile repair shop who can fix what other shops cannot. We specialize in machining and fabrication of heavy equipment.