Home / Insights / How Frequently Should Your Commercial Generator be Exercised?

How Frequently Should Your Commercial Generator be Exercised?

Electric power generator located outside of a warehouse

If your facility has been hit by a sudden power outage, leaving you scrambling to find that the backup generator won’t kick in or breaks down halfway through the outage? If you have then you know that productivity loss, sudden hazards, panic, and expensive repairs or replacements soon follow! That’s why having a reliable backup or emergency power source is absolutely critical. In addition, exercising generators regularly can ensure you are ready for the unexpected.

In this article we want to emphasis the importance of regularly exercising your generator. So when an emergency situation does strike, you can mitigate power supply faults and overall downtime.

Exercise Industrial Generators?

Running the generator on regular schedule weekly or even monthly allows for testing components to verify the engine as well as oil pressure. You can also test the generator under load to see how it performs in real blackout situations or adverse weather conditions.

Exercise electrical generators like this portable commercial backup generator
Portable commercial backup generator

Exercising Generators: Why is it important?

For starters, regularly exercising your generator ensures that it functions effectively, prevents damage and wear and tear, and extends its lifespan. It also helps you plan for unexpected events and keeps your business or facility running smoothly by minimizing disruptions and downtime.

Without proper testing, a generator’s condition can deteriorate over time, leading to potential breakdowns when you need it most. Exercising your commercial generator also helps prevent damage, such as wet-stacking caused by low fuel levels, which can compromise its function. It’s a chance to check for fuel buildup, oil degradation, and other issues and perform scheduled maintenance to reduce the risk of breakdowns.

Extreme Weather Can Cause Emergency Conditions

Not surprisingly, extreme weather conditions like hot summers or cold winters can cause generators to work overtime while keeping your production line running. Regular testing ensures that your generator is up to the task when you need it most. If it sits idle for too long, it can almost certainly develop hidden faults and technical issues. This may lead to sudden failures or even fire hazards. Regular testing allows you to identify and fix these faults ahead of time and plan for emergencies accordingly.

A standby power system may include a standby generator, batteries and other apparatus. It's important to exercise electrical generators
A standby power system may include a standby generator, batteries and other apparatus.

Extend the Life of Your Generator

Exercising your generator can help extend its lifespan and avoid major repairs or costly replacements down the line. Commercial generator voltage capacity depends on your facility’s production and size. While these generators are built with more capable engines and components, they can be costly and require proper maintenance to prevent major repairs or even an entire replacement.

Maintenance Standards

Depending on the type of manufacturing you’re doing and facility type, you may also need to comply with state inspection standards for backup generators. Regular testing ensures that your facility has a reliable emergency backup power supply to keep you compliant with code. So, when should you exercise your commercial generator? The best practice is to do it weekly, with a minimum of 30 minutes each month. You can also run load or performance tests on a monthly basis to ensure everything is in working order.

Tank of diesel generator systems for backup electric power in combined-cycle co-generation power plant. Exercise generators of all types
Tank of diesel generator systems for backup electric power in combined-cycle co-generation power plant

Inspect for Wear and Tear

Be sure to inspect all components for wear and tear while exercising the generator and perform scheduled maintenance as needed. Test it under different load conditions to assess performance in various scenarios. Remember to comply with local air quality standards and run times when exercising generators. Diesel generator testing, for example, requires a minimum run time of 30 minutes per month, as per NFPA’s standards.

We’re Here to Help!

At Diamond Bar Electric, we understand the importance of regular generator exercising to ensure optimal performance and to prevent breakdowns. That’s why we offer industrial and commercial generator testing along with preventative maintenance services to help you prevent hazards and plan for emergencies. Our services include load bank testing, system repair and servicing, automatic switch maintenance, and certified facility retrofits. And with our 24-hour emergency service, you can rest assured that we’ll be there when you need us. Contact DBE today to learn more about our services and keep your power supply running smoothly.

Ask an expert for free

Please enter a message.