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Generators ... they need clean fuel!

The engine in your generator will run poorly--or not at all--with dirty fuel. To prevent dirty fuel, the PMCS in your TMs call for checking the fuel-water separator for water and other contaminants and to drain them.

Too often, this is not being done!

A small amount of contamination is normal, but it needs to be removed just the same. If contaminants are not removed, they'll accumulate in the bottom of your fuel tank. You won't know it right away because the fuel pick-up tube for your fuel system is a few inches above the tank bottom and the fuel will float on top of most contaminants.

The problem becomes noticeable when the contaminant level rises to the level of the pick-up tube. By then you have severely contaminated fuel!

In a diesel system, fuel transfer pumps, injection pumps and fuel injectors have parts that rely upon lubrication. Water and other contaminants can permanently damage these parts.

Most TMs don't tell you to check generator fuel tank contaminant levels. But anytime you find water or other contaminants in the fuel-water separator or fuel system filter sump, here's what to do:

* Open the fuel tank drain cock and drain a small amount of fuel into a container that will let you see the fuel.

* If the fuel is free of contaminants and water--water will appear as various-sized beads in the container bottom--close the drain cock. Your system is not contaminated. If contaminants and water appear, continue to drain the fuel until samples are not contaminated. Then, close the drain cock.

* In cases of severe contamination it will be necessary to de-fuel the system, replace all filters and clean all strainers. Follow the TM instructions for this job. Fuel filters may have to be replaced two or three times after severe contamination.

If you found contaminants in the fuel-water separator or fuel tank and you get rid of them, you're done, right?

Wrong! That contamination had to come from somewhere and you need to find out where. It could be a fuel truck or an external fuel tank or anything else in your fuel pumping chain. Get users to help you. It's in their interest to find the source of the contamination, too.
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Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Communications
Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Words:371
Previous Article:15- and 30-KW DED generators ... a little oil will do ya'.
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