Diesel fuel in a generator fuel tank can, in theory, last the whole lifetime of a generator – which is often up to 20 to 30 years. It comes down to the maintenance and care taken of the generator and fuel to answer the question ‘is my stored diesel fuel ready for an emergency?’ This is a question that you need to ask yourself as ensuring your power supply is reliable and on hand for when you need it is paramount.
It all comes down to fuel contamination, contaminated fuel is the major cause of premature shutdown on standby power solutions. This is due to the fact that the longer the period of time in which the fuel is stored, the likelihood of clogged filters or excessive water entrainment increases, which in turn causes premature engine shutdown.
Fuel contamination occurs when the fuel is exposed to something in the environment which will accelerate the natural process which will attack its quality. All fuel types whether it be gasoline, petroleum, or diesel is made up of a mixture of molecules which are of different length and sizes. Fuel starts with a number of the molecules, that are unstable (referred to as the ‘precursors’) over time these unstable molecules will begin to react with others and start a chain reaction which over time will cause fuel to form gums, varnish, and sludge. This can be identified visually as it will become dark and stratified.
In short, the only way to ensure that your generator is ready to power up when you need it is to be strict with your generator maintenance. Your generator and fuel tank should be serviced at least twice a year to ensure that any issues are dealt with and that all components (including fuel!) are in working condition. It only takes one hiccup in the system to cause your backup power supply to stop being reliable, and as we all know lost power is lost money.
For more information or to purchase the service parts you need to keep your generator reliable contact us today or check out our range of parts here.