3 Years After the Halloween Nor'Easter: The Importance of Winterizing Your Diesel Generator

3 Years After the Halloween Nor’Easter: The Importance of Winterizing Your Diesel Generator

Posted in: Business Continuity Diesel Generators Power Outages
Between October 28th and November 1st of 2011 a storm nicknamed “Storm Alfred” or “Snowtober” affected the East Coast of the United States. Trees and branches that collapsed caused considerable damage, particularly to power lines, with estimates of storm costs ranging between $1 billion and $3 billion. In all, 3.2 million U.S. residences and businesses in 12 states experienced power outages, with the storm also impacting three Canadian provinces. Some areas had their power restored within hours, but parts or New York, New Jersey and Connecticut where left powerless for up to eleven days. When residing in an area prone to storms and blizzards, winterizing your power generator can be a crucial element that can significantly impact the longevity of the backup generator and its parts, as well as your family’s or business’ safety during extreme conditions.  Ensuring the proper amount and mixture of fluids can keep the generator from freezing up during the frigid months. Water in the coolant can freeze up and crack the lines and even slit the filters. Extremely cold locations require a 50-50 concentration of coolant to prevent this freezing from occurring. Triton Power ships each backup generator with the proper mixture of fluids, but this can’t take place during international shipping since the generators must by transported “dry” – meaning all fluids must be drained prior to shipment. Each user must fill the proper fluids during the commissioning phase to ensure a proper startup.  “When water freezes it’s one of the most powerful forces on earth,” said Brian Tienhaara, the Generator Doctor and technical expert at Triton Power. “In warmer climates you can get away with using a smaller concentration of anti-freeze, but it’s critical in colder climates to keep the mixture proper to make sure the engine doesn’t freeze. Starting up the backup generator is hard on the engine so it’s important to have a properly sized Jacket water heater installed in your generator. This will ensure the viscosity of your engine fluids is at the proper temperature to allow for rapid starts. Starting the engine quickly extends the life of the generator. It will prolong the life of the starter and batteries as well.” It is important to commission your backup generator as quickly as possible upon delivery. This will help to ensure that items like the Jacket water heater and battery charger are properly connected to the utility power which in turn assists you with starting, operating, and cold weather storage.  If you are unsure about which generator is right for you, we suggest you try our Electrical Power Calculator, this easy-to-use tool will help you estimate the right size by entering a few pieces of information regarding your power needs. You can also contact one of Americas Generators associates and they will gladly help you find the Triton diesel generator set best suited for your application.
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