A diesel generator is prone to have cooling system issues. Thus, it is important for people involved in diesel generator maintenance to conduct both daily and weekly checks of the cooling system and report any questionable conditions. Proper maintenance of the cooling system will prevent engine breakdowns, which could become costly in terms of repairs and effects on the power supply.
Before starting a diesel generator, inspect the following:
- Water – In addition to checking the water levels, look for the presence of oil in the water.
- Coolant – Coolant should be replaced when it is dirty.
- Radiator cap gasket – The gasket needs to be switched when it no longer fits or when it is damaged.
- Hoses and connections – Look for signs of weak or soft spots in the hoses and connections as they could give way at any time.
- Engine lubricating oil – When the oil level is too low or too high, there could be overheating and possible loss of coolant.
- Inspect the radiator – Look for bent core fins or accumulated debris.
When the coolant keeps running low, it could be a sign that there is an external leak. The source of the leak could be any of the following:
- A leak in the pipe plugs that seal off coolant passages.
- Loose clamps or faults in the pipes and hoses.
- A leaky radiator. Vibration and corrosion could loosen core hole plugs over time. Coolant can also cause the core seals to become soft and open up.
- Leaks in the surge tank or the de-aeration top tank of the radiator.
- Leaks in the gaskets due to improperly tightened cap screws or faulty gaskets.
- Leaks in the drain cocks.
- Leaks in the water pump due to bad or deteriorated seals.
- Leaks in the head gasket of the engine cylinder.
- Leaks at the counter bore of the upper cylinder liner.
- Leaks in the auxiliary oil cooler or in the engine itself.
- Leaks in the water manifold or connectors.
If the coolant loss cannot be traced to any of the sources on the above list, the diesel generator maintenance team should check to see if there is an overflow or if the diesel engine is overheating. These ancillary problems could be contributing to the compromised coolant system. Make sure get to the source of the coolant loss as soon as possible to prevent other major issues with your generator.