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Generator Fuel Quality Assurance
EMERGENCY BACK-UP GENERATOR FUEL QUALITY ASSURANCE GUIDE

HOW TO CHECK THE QUALITY OF YOUR FUEL

Fuel in your generator is the most overlooked item when maintaining a back up generator to ensure performance. Don’t let a decade old tank of diesel be your weak link. Be prepared and know your back up generator fuel quality is ready with these best practices.

Back up generators are everywhere when you start looking for them. Rarely needed, but when a storm or disaster strikes their failure to fire will be extremely conspicuous. In the Pacific Northwest, resilience planning around a major subduction zone earthquake is a monthly subject of talk. Back up diesel will be the only immediately power source after a quake.

For that reason, diesel generators are taking center stage for emergency preparedness. This places those who maintain them in high level policy discussions.

AVOID A DOUBLE EMERGENCY

WHEN THE BACK UP POWER ISN’T THERE FOR YOUR NEED BY FOCUSING ON THE DIESEL FUEL QUALITY.

The worst-case scenario for fuel quality is water getting into your diesel fuel reservoir. This can cause biological growth to occur in that water logged diesel. If water is present in diesel, and it is in a warm dark place, bacteria will start growing. So, first preventive step is watch for water.

The most likely problem you will see is the fuel aging and degrading after years of not being used. That can be addressed with your routine maintenance on the tank.

Note: To get a small amount of water or to ensure a dryer tank of fuel, CIM TEK makes a Tank Dryer which absorbs a small amount of water in a tank. Handy similar to adding a desiccant into a closet with a slight condensation issue.

Sampling and Onsite Testing of Generator Diesel Tank Fuel Guide

Getting started on back up generator fuel quality.

A best practice for generator maintenance is to test the generator by running it once a month. Prior to start up, see if the fuel filter has a visual transparent bottom where you can see the fuel. If it looks like dirty fuel take notice, this could be bacterial growth. Run the generator to use up fuel and order regular top offs when it gets below 3/4th of a tank. After cycling the fuel, take a peek, make sure the fuel being pulled in is bright (not dark and degraded). If you are seeing any water (even a small drop) that is an indication of real concerns.

The fuel quality will usually stay within specification if you are using up half a tank a year and adding to it. If you have worries the easiest way is to just start over. With older generators, sometimes it’s a good idea to just evacuate the tank (empty all the older diesel fuel). Replace it with fresh diesel, treated and stabilized for long term storage.

Most back up generators are seeing routine annual maintenance where the mechanical needs of the equipment are walked through. If this is occurring, ask for a bottom sample from the back up generators fuel tank. Also, ask to see what the fuel in the bottom of the fuel filter looks like(assuming they are changing that). This would give an indication if problems might exist deep in the fuel tank.

Give us a call for more support and a free fuel sample to ensure your fuel is high quality.

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