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Don’t Get Caught Off Guard Again - Think Ahead! 0

Last year (2017) was one of the worst years for hurricanes and natural disasters in the USA and the Caribbean. It appears millions of people got caught off guard and then the desperation kicked in... “We need a generator NOW” was a very popular line when hundreds of people flooded our phone lines requesting a generator that they wanted to be shipped “Today.”

Of course the stock we had on hand quickly depleted and then the long lead times came into play. Not what anyone wanted to hear.

Every manufacturer can only produce so many units at any given time and many people were told they would need to wait up to 6 weeks to get a generator. The storms continued to hit Florida, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and many other islands in the Caribbean. Some parts of Puerto Rico are still without power, four months after the storms.

You can imagine what we were dealing with as every other generator manufacturer was.

We began working overtime to get orders out within a reasonable time but we must admit, we were flooded with orders.

Why?

Why do people wait for a catastrophe to happen before they seek help?  Most people feel it will never happen to them. However, those people living in very vulnerable places such as the state of Florida, the east coast and eastern seaboard and the Caribbean already know that hurricanes happen every summer/fall.

Think Ahead!

Why not be proactive and think ahead. Plan now for what will come in the future.

This is the best time of the year to order a generator. Although we are still producing generators for Puerto Rico and other affected areas, our lead times have dropped significantly. We can have a generator at your door much sooner, so when the next storm hits, you will be prepared and worry-free. Think about your family, your business, your peace of mind.

Call Us Now!

We encourage you to call us today at 1-877-510-6807. We have sales reps ready and eager to help you size a generator that will suit your home, cottage or place of business.

We hope to hear from you soon.


Sincerely,

The Aurora Sales Team

https://www.auroragenerators.com

1-877-510-6807

  • Aurora Generators
Do You Require A Single or Three Phase Generator?

Do You Require A Single or Three Phase Generator? 0

There are two types of systems available in electric circuit:

  •  Single Phase - Normally for residential use  
  • Three Phase - Primarily for Industrial use
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    Single-phase and three-phase generators provide power differently. The most obvious evidence of this is seen in power delivery. Both types provide AC power, but a three-phase system produces three separate waves of power, delivered in sequence. This ensures a continuous uninterrupted flow of power that never drops to zero and makes three-phase generators more powerful than single-phase generators.

    Single-phase generators deliver one constant wave of power however, the power level varies with the electrical current coming in. That means power levels can drop to zero during the cycle. This happens very quickly and is undetected by humans and rarely has an effect on whatever device is being powered. In fact, residential power is single phase and there’s never a problem powering devices in our homes. But for very large and demanding power applications, this dip can cause harm which is why three-phase systems exist.


    The easiest way to visualize these power differences is to imagine a wave. One single wave (i.e. a single phase system) starts at zero, goes up to the peak, and goes back down to zero before the next wave starts. In a three-wave system, the three waves in sequence each individually look and act the same as the single wave, but since they arrive in sequence, their total power overlaps a bit providing more power than the single phase circuit, keeping that power always above zero, and distributing the total load over three phases/waves so there is less draw on one single wave.

    It All Comes Down To Power Needs
    If you’re questioning whether you need a single-phase or a three-phase generator, you need to think about your power needs and your budget. Single-phase systems are less complex and less costly. They are more common in residential or rural applications where the loads are relatively small. Unsurprisingly, 3-phase systems are more costly to install and maintain, but depending on your power needs, they may be a necessity.


    3-phase systems are ideal for high-capacity settings which is why you usually only see them in industrial and commercial areas. Data centers, in particular, benefit from 3-phase backup generators due to the increased distribution capacity. 3-phase systems can power multiple racks whereas single-phase systems cannot.

    If your generator system will power air-conditioning units, pumps, heat pumps, well pumps, a welder’s shop, or irrigation pumps and you need assistance calculating your service size, please let us know. We will make sure you get the right size. Aurora Generators will provide this service free of charge of course. We will ensure that when your generator is built, the voltage is set. All generators are tested and load tested before leaving our factory.

    Our reps are trained to recommend only what's best for you, the valued customer. We will never try to upsell you on something you do not need. We prefer, to be honest, and gain your trust since word of mouth advertising is the best source of advertising. Call us today to discuss your generator needs at 1-877-510-6807.

     

     

    • Aurora Generators
    The Most Important Things To Consider When Purchasing A Home Standby Generator

    The Most Important Things To Consider When Purchasing A Home Standby Generator 0

    A home standby generator is a major purchase and should be amortized over its expected life. A diesel generator can last 15 to 20 years. For most residential applications a high quality diesel generator will last a lifetime. For this reason, we recommend the purchase of a high quality Aurora diesel generator with suitable features for your application. A cheap or bargain priced generator will become an expensive lesson when they fail, or can greatly effect the safety and well being of your family.

    If you are thinking about buying a ‘Made In China’ generator or from another foreign country, do yourself a favor and consider the following:

    Many foreign country generators do not have North American required EPA approval and or fake phony environment certificates. It is difficult to verify their certificates authenticity and the foreign manufacturers know that, so they claim they have EPA approval but most do not.

    Most foreign made non-EPA compliant generators have terrible fuel economy, produce excessive emissions and consume excessive amounts of fuel. Many of the countries that make these generators are the biggest polluters on the planet and do not have, or enforce any environmental controls.

    Buying foreign generators hurts the economy here. Buying their generators not only pollutes our environment but it puts North Americans out of work, contributes to the trade deficit and devalues the US dollar

    Most foreign made generators do not carry North American electrical approval or a warranty so you will be “ON YOUR OWN” if an issue arises. All Aurora Generators are manufactured and assembled with North American approved electrical components,  and carry of the best warranties in the business. We strongly stand behind our products! 

    The DYNAGEN Controller we install on all our generators is the brain of your generator system. This state of the art controller is easy to use and will provide all the information you will need. The controller monitors all of the generators engine and alternator parameters. Including speed for hertz, engine oil pressure and coolant temperature as well as a variety of other generator functions. Engine shut down occurs if one of the threshold settings is not within parameters , or fails. Additional auto start/stop for automatic transfer switch grid tied home standby, or off grid home standby coupled with battery banks and auto start/stop inverters.    

    A generator is a mechanical and electrical device that over time will need some service and parts. We offer parts that you can order with your generator so that you will have them handy when they are required. Just ask one of our reps to include filters at the time of your order.

    Make sure you are purchasing a generator system that will be supported in the future from a company that will be there to support you. Aurora Generators has been in business since 2005 and our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always here to help when it is needed  

    Know what you intend to run with your generator and make sure the generator you purchase will handle your load. Our staff can help you size the correct size generator for your home or application.

    We look forward to talking to you and remember, you will never be pressured into buying anything from us. We will offer you knowledgeable information which will allow you to decide what generator is right for you. No one enjoys being pressured into buying anything and we would never do that. Call us today at 1-877-510-6807.

    TIPS FOR WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT THIS WINTER

    TIPS FOR WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT THIS WINTER 1

    TIPS FOR WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT THIS WINTER 

     

    When the power goes out in the summer months, it is easy to just go outside or hang out with neighbors and friends; having drinks and laughs before the power is restored. In the winter month's, it is not as easy especially if you have small children; pets or a newborn to deal with.Here are some tips to help you stay warm and safe:

    1) Dress in layers. Putting on multiple layers of clothing may seem obvious when the cold starts, but it's a must when your power is out. Hypothermia usually kicks in fast depending on the temperature outside. Be sure to wear hats, gloves and scarves, as well as insulated socks and shoes, to keep your body warm at all times. Since you never know just how long you will be going without any power, keeping each item of clothing on for as long as possible is highly recommended.

    2) Stock up on food and water. Your body also needs plenty of energy to keep your temperature at an acceptable level. In addition to drinking plenty of water, eating foods that have high calorie and sugar levels will provide your body with the energy it needs to stay warm when the temperatures drop down. If you have pets, be sure to have extra food on hand for them as well. Always have a supply of canned food, bottled water, batteries and pet food if you have pets. Keep your pets dressed through the cold winter months. You should keep enough food and water to last up to four weeks. 

    3) Any small openings in your house doors, garage door or window framing can quickly get that cold air into your home fast. Use packaging tape, old rags or bubble wrap to block any cracks or openings Insulate windows with plastic shrink wrap or install secondary storm windows to keep cooler air from entering your house. You can conduct a test to see if you have drafts coming into your house or trailer. Use a lighter or a candle and maneuver around your doors and windows to see if the flame blows out. Make sure you use caution when doing this and only conduct such a test when your lights are working. 

    MONEY SAVINGS TIPS

    1) Here is a ceiling fan trick you may not know about. Turn your ceiling fan on and set it to a clockwise rotation. It will redirect warmer air back down keeping you and your family below warmer. This is done of course when power is on unless you have a generator during a power outage

    2) If you have not done so already, change all your light bulbs to LED bulbs as this will save you plenty of money in your hydro bills. The price of LED bulbs have dropped a lot over the last serval months as more and more consumers switch over. It costs about 80% less to light up your home with LED bulbs instead of traditional light bulbs. The savings are incredible in return for a small investment in new LED bulbs 

    • Aurora Generators

    Shipping delays to several areas due to hurricane Matthew - October 6, 2016 0

    Evacuations in the southeast due to Hurricane Matthew are resulting in multiple road closures. The storm is expected to deliver heavy amounts of rain, strong winds and the potential for severe flooding. Your Aurora Generator may be delayed in reaching you.

    Freight scheduled for delivery today or that is traveling through these areas may be delayed.

    The following locations are closed today. Delivery operations are suspended and freight destined for these locations will be held until conditions improve:

    • Florida - Miami, Pompano Beach, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando
    • Georgia - Savannah
    • South Carolina - Charleston, Myrtle Beach

    We will be closely monitoring the storm and will make adjustments with our freight carriers as needed.

    All generators that have already been shipped and going to these locations will be held in freight warehouses until it is safe to have trucks proceed to these areas.

    If you are waiting for your generator to arrive, you can call us and we will get an update from the carrier who is shipping your generator.

    All shipments carry insurance. If your freight was shipped via FedEx Freight and it arrives damaged, simply call FedEx at 1-800-Go-FedEx and they will assist you with your claim. If you have any questions regarding insurance please call us at 1-877-510-6807.

     

    • Aurora Generators
    Hurricane Matthew Image Looks Like an evil Skull

    Hurricane Matthew Image Looks Like an evil Skull 0

    An interesting satellite image of hurricane Matthew has been circulating through the media. It just goes to show what the Caribbean and several states in the USA are up against. 

     

    • Aurora Generators

    How Much Will It Cost To Install A Whole House Generator? 0

    Whole house generators are becoming more popular year after year because of higher demand for electricity.

    Automatic standby generator systems can be found on almost everywhere including homes, businesses, schools, data centers, public works buildings, hospitals, gas stations, government buildings etc. Simply, if you have electricity service, you've probably experienced a power outage sometime in your lifetime. You can protect yourself from power outages by getting an automatic standby generator installed that runs automatically and hands-free. The question is, how much does a generator system cost to install?

     

     

    Generator installations are dependent on many variables such as region, equipment costs, electrical installation and on the electrical company you hire to do the work. However, the average price for an automatic standby generator system has reduced greatly over the past few years thanks to technology and manufacturing advances. In most areas across the USA an automatic standby generator system can cost anywhere from $2,500.00 to $4,000.00 on average plus the cost of the generator itself. Most systems installed are in the $3,000.00 range for the average sized 2,500 square foot home and includes whole house coverage, even your air conditioning. 

    It is very important that a licensed electrician does your installation for obvious reasons but the most important; it will be covered under warranty only if a licensed electrician does your install.  

    There are several generator system setups, options, and scenarios available which allows for generator system costs to vary greatly. 

    The first question to ask yourself is, what is your goal for backup power needs? Most systems installed cover all of the essentials in your house such as your furnace, refrigerator, sump pumps, well pump, water heater, garage door, kitchen, bathroom, and perhaps a family room. These systems are typically in the $3,000.00 to $4,000.00 range plus the cost of the generator. As you add more circuits to be covered, the bigger the generator that is required. Generators are sized based on the power demand. The more power consumption existing, the bigger the generator is required. At Aurora Generators it is our goal to make sure you have or find the right company to install your generator. If you do not have an electrician already, we will help find an electrical contractor through our dealer program or we will help search for an installer for you. 

    It is very important for us to make sure you are well taken care of when you make your purchase for one of our home standby generator models. It is service after the sale that sets us apart from our competition. Remember, we never pressure you into buying anything. That is not how we operate here. We are here to inform you on our product line and to help you decide what the best size generator is for you.  We leave the final decision up to you. That is why more and more people trust and call us first when they are looking for a generator. We leave the high pressure sales tactics up to our competitors. Call us today at 1-877-510-6807 to speak with a knowledgeable staff member who is looking out for your best interest.

    • Aurora Generators

    Power Outage Safety Tips 0

    Here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe when the power goes out.

     

     

     

    • Avoid downed power lines - always assume they are energized and therefore dangerous. Call 911 to report downed power lines. If you are driving and you have wires fall on your car, stop but DO NOT get out of your car. The second you touch the ground, you could be electrocuted. If you have a cell phone, call 911 and let them know exactly where you are. Help will arrive shortly. The power must be cut off before you can step outside. If you have children or a baby with you, let the 911 operator know this when you call. Always give as much information as possible but don't panic. professionals will come to your rescue soon. If you do not have a cell phone, open your window and let someone know to call 911.    
    • Reduce the risk of fire - Use flashlights instead of candles as a light source. Make sure to stock your emergency kit with flashlights and fresh batteries.Keep that kit in a place that everyone in your household will know. If you move that kit, let everyone else know where you are storing it. Power outages happen unexpectedly and therefore the least confusion that follows the better.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning - Only use items like generators and BBQs outdoors.Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide detector. It could save your life. Many states and provinces now have laws making it mandatory to have at least one unit in your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas and you cannot see it so it could kill you and you would not even know it. Just like smoke detectors are mandatory in homes, the same importance should be given to carbon monoxide detectors. You can buy these at your local hardware box store or online.
    • Drinking water - Check with your municipality to ensure your water is safe to drink. If you're unsure, use the water in your emergency kit. You should always have bottled water at home in the event of an emergency.
    • Keep your eye on the weather - If the weather is hot, stay cool and hydrated. If the weather is cold, layer up clothing and blankets to keep body heat in.
    • Food safety - Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A full freezer will keep food safe for up to 48 hours. That number drops to 24 hours if the freezer is half full. Remember: If in doubt, throw it out.Bacteria can start to form on thawed out food and food poisoning starts to kick in at that point. its better to get rid of it than to eat it and get sick.
    For information on equipping your home with a standby generator, connect with the experts at Aurora Generators toll free at 1-877-510-6807 or visit our website at http://www.auroragenerators.com
    • Aurora Generators

    Preparing For A Storm Is Just As Important As Surviving It 1

    By Aurora Generators Staff

     

     

    We spend more time preparing for Halloween than we do for a storm that is just about to hit us. We need to get our priorities straight and think ahead before disaster strikes. We watch other parts of the country getting hit never really thinking about being caught up in that situation ourselves.

    Instead of spending all of our resources on the recovery and cleanup after a storm, we need to spend more time on preparing for a storm. How you survive and recover from a storm directly relates to how prepared you are.

    As part of being prepared, experts say that people need to take proactive measures to be their own first responder. A storm can sometimes effect hundreds or thousands of people all at once. Phone calls to 911 jam the lines with volume callers all seeking help. Most people get scared and have no idea what to do thus calling 911 and asking for assistance when really they can take care of themselves. Let the help go to the elderly, families with small children or the disabled. They will need the help a lot more than the average person.  

    During a disaster, it’s going to take time for emergency help to get to you and your family. You need to take steps now before the storm hits. You need to protect you and your loved ones and you must do whatever it takes to make sure everybody is safe, with food, clean drinking water and shelter. If a major disaster strikes such as Katrina, it may take days or weeks for the first people to arrive and assist you.

    To get prepared for an upcoming storm, addressing the following questions is key: 

    1) Do you live along the coastline or a flood prone area? 

    2) Do you have people in your home with special needs...small children, babies, the elderly or disabled? 

    3) Do you operate a home-based business? 

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, storm preparedness should be a top priority today not tomorrow as that may be too late. Natural and man-made disasters can strike anytime, anywhere in the country, so it’s important for everyone to be prepared. Here are some things to consider:

     

    • Create an early evacuation plan that includes the route you plan to take and where you plan to meet family members if you become separated. You may need to drive away so keep that in mind.
    • Store 3-7 days worth of water and non-perishable food for everyone in your family in a dry, easy-to-access area in your home. Canned food ready to open and eat such as cans of tuna are great.

     

    • Create a storm kit and fill it with the following items: flashlight(s), weather radio, batteries, medications, money, water, non-perishable food, emergency contact numbers, etc. (the internet or cell phone service may be down so keep that in mind).
    • Install a standby generator at the side of your home in the event that you have to shelter in place during the storm.Most people would pay 10 times what a generator costs just to have one during a storm when they are stranded. This is so easy to prevent.

    The number one problem people face in the aftermath of a storm is electrical power. When you lose power, it sets society back at least 50 years. It cuts off our communication; it prevents our access to safe food and water; it impacts our comfort (no heat or air conditioning depending on where you live and the time of year); and creates sanitation issues. The fastest way to recovery is when people have access to safe, reliable power. Electricity is by far a major concern especially if the power is out for extended periods of time.

     

    Its no wonder how we at Aurora Generators get a huge spike in calls and generator sales immediately following a storm or tornado. Our customers are angry that they did not consider a generator earlier, they blame everyone for not thinking about it. Some even get upset at us for not contacting them beforehand believe it or not.

    Education is key and we at Aurora Generators do everything to get the word out about the importance of having our "OWN" power when we are taken off the grid by a storm, hurricane, tornado, earthquake or other natural disaster.  

    When you have your own power, you can take care of yourself and your family during a disaster. It’s much easier and comfortable to shelter at home versus evacuating to a relative’s house, hotel or disaster relief government sponsored community center or building situated away from the disaster zone. This is when you will be able to assist your neighbors, friends or even saving someones life perhaps. 

    About a quarter of our population consists of the elderly, disabled or the poor and homeless which means they can’t prepare for emergencies on their own. We need to be less selfish and do everything we can for those in need.

    An aging electrical grid should be of great concern to many however few even think about this. This alone puts a huge portion of the population at risk and this isn't even a disaster created by mother nature. Something to think about very seriously. 

    Despite so many recent disasters like the one ongoing in Louisiana, people feel like it just can’t happen to them. We have to create a system and an action plan and that starts with you.

    Whenever your ready to take action, call us at 1-877-510-6807 and we will help assist you with your generator needs.

    • Aurora Generators

    Why A Diesel Generator Is So Much Better 0

    When disaster strikes, the supply of natural gas and propane is often disrupted and shut off right away. Diesel fuel can be obtained at your local gas station without any problem or concern. If you have a diesel powered generator such as an Aurora Generator, you are in good hands.

    We have had countless customers call us to convert from a natural gas powered or propane generator to one of our diesel generators after tornadoes sweep through their areas and the natural gas lines are shut down leaving their natural gas powered generator useless.       

    It's something most people don't think about when they are out looking for a generator. They will look at the price and base their decision on that alone without thinking about how useless their unit will be when natural gas lines are shut down. Don't let this happen to you. It would be considered a very expensive mistake to make.

    Diesel engines are very reliable and built tough. Perkins powers all our generators with their super reliable and tough engines. Should you every experience a problem, help is just a phone call away. A rep from Perkins will come and see you usually within 24 hours and they will solve the problem on the spot.

    Our generators can operate non-stop for weeks at a time if required. No other type of generator can compare to the reliability and low operating costs of a diesel powered generator.

    With easy financing available, the decision should be very easy for you if you are in the market for a home standby generator.

    Our knowledgeable staff and tech support are a phone call or email away. Should you have a question or a concern, we will help you in any way we can. Call us during regular business hours or email us 24/7 and a rep will assist you.

    To all our customers who have purchased a diesel generator from us in the past, Thank you for your business and trust. We are here today because of you and we will never forget that. 

     

    • Aurora Generators
    Troubleshooting Diesel Generators

    Troubleshooting Diesel Generators 1

    COLD WEATHER DIESEL

    When temperatures drop, several things happen that can make a diesel hard to start. First, the oil in the crankcase thickens. At the same time, battery output drops, reducing the number of amps available to crank the engine. The 15W-40 multi-viscosity motor oil, a popular warm weather choice with many diesel owners these days may become too thick when temperatures go below freezing or plunge to zero or below. Straight 30- or 40-weight oils would definitely be too thick. The increased drag created by the cold oil can reduce cranking speed to the point where the engine may not generate enough cranking compression and/or fuel pressure to light the fire.

    One of the first things you should check when diagnosing a "hard to start" complaint is the dipstick. If the oil is thick, it may not be the correct viscosity for winter use. Switching to a lighter oil such as a 10W-30 (never anything lighter in a conventional oil) may be all that's needed to improve cold cranking. Just make sure it is oil rated for diesel engines. An even better oil would be a synthetic motor oil.

    The next thing that needs to be checked is minimum cranking speed. The RPM needed to light the fire will vary according to the engine brand. If the engine isn't cranking fast enough, check the battery charge and condition, as well as the cable connections and the starter amp draw. Problems in any of these areas can make any engine hard to start. If the battery is low, recharge it and check the output of the charging system, too.

    GLOW PLUGS & DIESEL STARTING PROBLEMS

    If slow cranking isn't the problem, perhaps there's something wrong with the glow plug system. Most diesels have glow plugs to assist cold starts. The glow plugs are powered by a relay and timer that routes voltage to the plugs for the prescribed number of seconds. When the timer runs out, the relay is supposed to turn off the voltage. But relays sometime stick and continue to feed voltage to the glow plugs causing them to burn out. Many people use them manually and end up burning them out by keeping them on too long.

    One bad glow plug on a small diesel engine might not cause a noticeable starting problem during warm weather, however it can when temperatures drop.

    Glow plugs can be checked by measuring their resistance or continuity. Excessive resistance or a lack of continuity would tell you the plug is bad.

    If one or more glow plugs have burned out, are heavily coated with carbon or are not receiving their usual dose of start-up voltage, the engine will become progressively harder to start as temperatures drop and will idle roughly and produce white smoke in the exhaust for several minutes once it finally starts. If all the glow plugs are burned at the end, it would be better to check the injection timing since it is probably over advanced.

    To see if the glow plug module is providing power to the glow plugs, use a voltmeter to check each plug for the specified voltage when the ignition key is turned on. No voltage? Check the glow plug control module connections as well as the ground and wiring harness. The glow plugs themselves can be checked by measuring their resistance. Replace any plugs that are not suitable for your specifications.

    Hard starting can sometimes be caused by a glow plug module or relay that fails to turn the glow plugs on or doesn't keep the plugs on long enough when the weather is cold. The on-time is sufficient for warm weather but not cold weather. Most generator controllers will let you program the preheating time. The time should be increased for colder weather starting.

    DIESEL FUEL PROBLEMS

    Unlike gasoline, diesel oil is adversely affected by cold temperatures. Diesel is made of heavier hydrocarbons that turn to wax when temperatures drop. The "cloud point" or point at which wax starts to form for ordinary summer-grade No. 2 diesel fuel can range from 10 to 40 degrees. If the fuel tank contains summer grade fuel and temperatures drop, wax crystals can form in the water/fuel separator, causing a blockage.

    The cure here is to pull the generator into a warm garage so it can thaw out, replace the water/fuel separator as needed, then add an approved "fuel conditioner" additive to the tank (some manufacturers do not approve any additives or prohibit the use of specific ingredients such as alcohol that are found in some additives), or drain the tank and refill it with No. 1 diesel fuel. To prevent the same thing from happening again, you might recommend the installation of an after market fuel heater.

    Water in the fuel is another problem that can cause starting and performance problems. Condensation that forms during cold weather is the primary source of contamination. Water that gets into the fuel tank usually settles to the bottom because water and oil don't mix. The water is sucked into the fuel line and goes to the filter or water/fuel separator (if the generator has one). Here it can freeze, causing a blockage that stops the flow of fuel to the engine. So if the filter or separator is iced up, the fuel tank needs to be drained to get rid of the water.

    DIESEL FUEL CONTAMINATION

    Another difference with diesel fuel is that it tastes good to certain microbes, especially if there's water in the tank. Certain bacteria can actually thrive inside a diesel fuel tank, forming slime, acids and other creepy stuff that can gum up the fuel lines, filters, injection pumps and injectors. Infected fuel often has a "rotten egg" odor, and leaves a black or green coating on the inside of fuel system components. The growth rate of most organisms increases with warmer temperatures, but some can thrive down to freezing temperatures.

    To get rid of a bug infestation, the fuel tank needs to be drained and cleaned. A biocide approved for this type of use should also be used to kill the organisms and to prevent their reappearance. The cleaning process should be followed by a fresh tank of fuel treated with a preventative dose of biocide. If the fuel lines and injection pump have also been contaminated, they will also have to be cleaned.

    DIESEL FUEL DELIVERY PROBLEMS

    To start and run properly, injector timing has to be accurate. A quick visual inspection will tell you if the timing marks are lined up. Refer to the generator engine  manufacturer's timing procedure if you suspect timing is off or the pump has been replaced recently. On most diesel generators the timing is fixed and should never go out of adjustment unless the fuel pump has been serviced or removed.

    Air in the fuel can also cause a hard starting or a no start condition. Air can make the engine die after it starts and make restarting difficult. Air can enter the system through any break in the fuel line or via a bleed back condition. Air will also enter the system when you run out of fuel. The pump ends up sucking up air into the fuel injection pump assembly.

    To determine if air is the problem, install a clear return hose on the return side of the injection pump. Crank the engine and observe the line. Air bubbles in the fuel would tell you air is entering the inlet side of the pump. The injection pump itself is usually not the source of the air leak so check the fuel lines and pump.

    A worn or clogged pump can also make an engine hard to start. If the condition has been getting steadily worse accompanied by a loss of power and the engine has a lot of hours on it, the underlying cause may be a pump that needs to be replaced.

    Before condemning the pump, check the fuel filters. Clogged filters can cause fuel restrictions that prevent the pump from doing its job properly. Newer fuel systems with a single filter usually require service about once every 500 hours. If the filter has been neglected, chances are it may be restricted or plugged.

    DIESEL ENGINE WON'T START

    A diesel engine that cranks normally but won't start regardless of the outside temperature either has low compression or a fuel delivery problem. If compression is okay, check the fuel gauge (are you out of fuel?). Then check the fuel filters and lines for obstructions.

    If the injection pump isn't pushing fuel through the lines to the injectors, it may have a faulty solenoid. Listen for a "click" inside the pump when the ignition switch is turned on. No click indicates the solenoid and/or pump need to be replaced. If it clicks but there's no fuel coming through the injector lines (and the filter and lines are not obstructed), the pump is probably bad and needs to be replaced. Many larger generators now use a solenoid or motor and cable to pull a fuel valve open and closed. If this valve is not opened all the way it will also restrict fuel from getting to the fuel pump and the generator will not start.

    DIESEL INJECTOR PROBLEMS

    Diesel injectors can suffer from the same kinds of ailments as gasoline injectors, including varnish deposits, clogging, wear and leakage. Today's low sulfur diesel fuels are more likely to leave varnish and gum deposits on injectors, and also provide less lubrication so you might recommend an additive to keep things flowing smoothly.

    Diesel injectors operate at much higher pressures than gasoline injectors. Over time, their opening pressure can drop. Up to 300 PSI is considered acceptable on older mechanical injectors, but more than 300 PSI means the injectors should be replaced or reset back to their original operating specs. On newer diesels, the opening pressure of the injectors will depend on the injection system. On a Ford PowerStroke, for example, the minimum line pressure needed to open the injectors is 500 PSI. On a late model Dodge truck with a Cummins diesel and common rail fuel injection system, 5,000 PSI is the required opening pressure.

    Dirty injectors will clean out the air/fuel mixture, causing a loss of power, rough idle and sometimes white smoke in the exhaust. Leaky injectors will enrich the air/fuel mixture and cause black smoke.

    There are a couple of ways to find a bad injector on a diesel engine. One is to use a digital pyrometer to check the operating temperature of each cylinder. A temperature reading that's lower than the rest would indicate a weak cylinder. If compression is okay, the problem is restricted fuel delivery. Another quick check is to use an ohmmeter that reads tenths of ohms to measure the resistance of the glow plugs while the engine is running. The resistance of the plug goes up with temperature, so if one or two cylinders read low, you've found the problem. For example, if a glow plug normally reads 1.8 to 3.4 ohms on a hot, running engine, a reading of 1.2 to 1.3 ohms on a glow plug would tell you that cylinder isn't producing any heat.

    DIESEL TROUBLESHOOTING BLACK SMOKE

    Black smoke is usually a signal that there's too much fuel, not enough air or the injector pump timing is off. One of the most common causes of this condition is an air inlet restriction. The cause may be a dirty air filter, a collapsed intake hose or even an exhaust restriction. Diesels are unthrottled so there is no intake vacuum to measure.

    DIESEL TROUBLESHOOTING WHITE SMOKE

    White smoke usually occurs when there is not enough heat to burn the fuel. The unburned fuel particles go out the tailpipe and typically produce a rich fuel smell. It's not unusual to see white smoke in the exhaust during cold weather until the engine warms up.

    As mentioned earlier, bad glow plugs or a faulty glow plug control module can cause white smoke on engine start up. Low engine cranking speed may also produce white smoke.

    If white smoke is still visible after the engine has warmed up, the engine may have one or more bad injectors, retarded injection timing or a worn injection pump. Low compression can also be a source of white smoke. Air in the fuel system can also cause white smoke.

    DIESEL STALLING PROBLEMS

    If a diesel stalls when decelerating, it may indicate a lubrication problem in the injector pump. The first thing that should be checked is the idle speed. If it is low, it could prevent the pump governor from recovering quickly enough during deceleration to prevent the engine from stalling.

    Water in the fuel can also cause stalling by making the metering valve or plungers inside the pump stick. Use of a lubricating additive may help cure this condition. If an additive doesn't help, the pump may have to be cleaned or replaced.

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    Starting A Diesel Generator In Cold Weather

    Starting A Diesel Generator In Cold Weather 0

    In cold weather fuel does not vaporize very well in the combustion chamber and this makes starting difficult.

    Modern diesel engines designed for cold weather use a pre-heater or glow plugs. Glow plugs are heating elements that warm up the air that enters the engine. They work on a timed circuit or are manually activated just before the engine is started. The colder it gets, the longer those glow plugs need to stay on to preheat the combustion chamber for a smooth start.

    Using the decompression lever on a diesel engine will open up the exhaust valve and keep it open so you can crank faster. Seconds later you release the valve and the momentum of the engine often results in higher compression and speed necessary for starting under difficult conditions.

    Gasoline engines that use a carburetor also suffer from difficult starting on cold weather. The cold air and cold cylinder walls prevent the fuel from vaporizing correctly to permit combustion.

    Using engine starting fluid is a very effective method to starting both gas and diesel engines in sub zero temperature.

    Starting fluids are made from Ether and petroleum distillates blended together. This starting fluid has a low freezing point and easily ignites even at temperatures as low as -65 F. Many starting fluids have added lubricant and anti corrosive additives. You can buy a spray can at most gas stations and automotive stores. Use caution as it does not require much and over use often causes engine damage. It will void your warranty 100% and is easy to detect if it has been used.

    Diesel fuel thickens in cold weather and has a tendency to gel. Diesel fuel has some naturally occurring paraffin (wax) and as the temperature drops, this paraffin crystallizes and affects the fluidity of the fuel and may cause hard starting and eventually lead to filter plugging. You can use a fuel additive to prevent this and is recommended year round.

    Cold Weather – Batteries

    Batteries that are weak may not crank the starter motor fast enough to start a cold engine. As the temperature goes down, so does battery capacity. A battery that has all of its power available at 80 degrees Fahrenheit will have only about 46% available power at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, the engine will be 2.5 times harder to start at 0 degrees due to thicker oil and resistance to movement of internal moving parts. In effect, an engine is about five times harder to start at 0 degrees Fahrenheit than at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Test weak or suspicious batteries under load before cold weather to help eliminate potential problems during busy times. If batteries need replacement, always replace with a battery equal to or more powerful than the original battery.

    Keep your battery stored indoors to prevent it from freezing. Consider buying a small battery charger / maintainer to keep the battery topped up so it is always ready to use.

    Cold Weather – Oil

    The warmer the engine oil is, the thinner it will be and have less resistance to moving engine parts. Make sure you are using the proper viscosity oil recommended for your engine for cold temperatures. If you cannot store engines inside or in a heated area, consider installing a block heater on the engine. To save time and electricity, put the block heater on an electrical timer set to come on a couple of hours before you plan to start the generator.

    After starting the generator on a cold day, allow the engine to warm up a few minutes before putting it under load. Proper engine operation temperatures assure more efficient fuel combustion and may prevent damage to cold engine parts. Engine oil flows more readily at operating temperatures and allows proper lubrication of engine parts and areas.

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