Recommended Service: Generator Battery Maintenance

Two Year Battery Replacement

Generator won’t start? It could be a dead battery.

When standby power is necessary, the unreliability of aging and weakening batteries is not acceptable. While dead batteries can be the result of many generator illnesses, both large and small, the manufacturer’s stated battery lifespan is simply an estimate. Generators that exercise infrequently may allow the battery to die from sitting uncharged for too long. Additionally, unclean environments and pests can damage battery connections, resulting in generator startup failure. Environmental hazards such as heat, salt, and humidity can also play a role in expediting battery failure. For reasons such as these, professionals in the backup power industry recommend that batteries in standby generators be replaced every two years. 

When investigating power pain points, a multitude of possibilities can arise. A dead battery can be the result of a faulty, disconnected, or missing charging system. This can cause the generator to display a variety of error codes on the control panel, confusing the engine computer. This can impede troubleshooting as the unit must at least power on to conduct an accurate diagnostic. To mitigate this common problem, MegaWattage’s policy is to always have a spare battery on hand during every service call, ensuring our work goes uninterrupted by such occurrences.

MW Battery Maintenance Must’s:

  1. The terminals and battery connections must remain secure. Everything in South Florida is subject to rust and erosion from moisture and salt in the air. MegaWattage technicians regularly treat battery terminals with cleaner and rust protection. We tighten down connections when we can and replace parts as needed. If a good battery is failing, checking the terminals is the best first response.
  2. It is important to keep the battery and battery cables clean, as well as the inside of the generator enclosure. Unfortunately, the same enclosure that keeps your generator protected from the elements can become a haven for bugs and rodents who will nest in the dark, dry, warm cables. MegaWattage technicians regularly clean out enclosures during the process of inspecting and cleaning terminal cables and connections. We also recommend changing out battery cables as needed, per hazards of heat and waste that inadvertently occur in the outside environment.
  3. Consistent generator exercise not only recharges the battery but also alerts of any no-start failures promptly, allowing ample time for repairs. The alternative, of course, is not realizing that the battery is dead or the generator has otherwise failed until there is an actual power outage emergency. That situation must be avoided. During quarterly inspections, MegaWattage technicians will confirm that the generator is being regularly and correctly ran, and we inspect the charging system to ensure that the battery is being properly maintained. When appropriate, we recommend solar or plug-in chargers according to a client’s specific needs.

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