There are many benefits you can expect to get from a low-hour used or pre-owned generator. Many companies both large and small are purchasing industrial parts that have been used because they will be spending less on high-quality equipment.
If you decide to do this, there are a couple of things you need to have in mind before purchasing the equipment. This article is going to help you know some of the things you need to put into consideration before purchasing the equipment.
The first step is to choose the right generator that has specific power requirements you need. You need to learn more about choosing the size of the generator because it is very important to make the right choice. Once you know the size you are going to need, you will move on to the other factors.
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Some of the factors to put into consideration when buying a generator (natural gas, diesel, propane, electric, gas, etc.) include;
Age, Usage, and Hours
How well the generator has been maintained
Manufacturer reputation and history
Performance in a Load Test
Wear and tear on the generator
Who you purchase from (distributor vs broker)
Age, Usage, and Hours:
When buying a reliable used generator, one of the most important things to do is checking the age, hours, and usage history of the generator. The first is finding out the number of hours the generator has.
You can easily know this because generators are just like cars and have odometer readings. You also need to know what is as being used for, and whether it was a standby machine or it was for ongoing generation of power (prime/continuous).
When a generator is used as a backup or standby power source, it will most likely be well maintained and has less wear and tear compared to the one used as the main source of power. There might be times when you cannot find usage information and the age of the generator.
Most dealers source the generators from things like auctions, foreclosure, and they sometimes don’t have any idea of what it was used for before. If this is the case, then the reputation and technical expertise of the seller is going to mean a lot. This is due to the fact they are the ones inspecting, tuning, rebuilding, testing, and fixing anything that might be faulty before selling the generator.
Reputation and History of Manufacturer
While the model and make of the generator are not a great deal, the reputation and history of the manufacturer are going to be very important when it comes to choosing a generator. You are looking to get a product you will be relying on for your electric power whether as the main source or the backup. Do not make the mistake of trying to go for the cheaper option which usually tends to be the unknown brands.
You need to choose a trusted manufacturer known for producing quality equipment that runs efficiently and lasts long. Going with a trusted and known manufacturer will make things easier for you when you need to service or find parts when needed.
Some manufacturers have a great reputation when it comes to industrial equipment. Some of the most common industry veterans include Cummins, Caterpillar, Onan, Detroit Diesel, John Deere, and Kohler. When you get generators from these brands, you can relax knowing you have gotten something that is going to last you many years.
How Well the Generator has been Maintained
This is one of those areas you might not get a lot of information about, but it is going to boil down to the experience and knowledge of the sellers repairing and maintaining power units, diesel engines, generator ends, and transfer switches.
One way of knowing whether the seller is good when it comes to their knowledge on maintenance is by asking them the procedures they use; if they have dyno-testing equipment on site, if they install and de-install, have electricians and certified staff of technicians, and so on. Doing this is important because a generator that has been properly maintained and/or rebuilt is going to last longer compared to one changing hands from one end-user to another or from a broker to end-user.
The next step is doing a visual inspection. A generator is going to suffer wear and tear just like any other mechanical device. You need to check the mechanical components of the generator to see if there is wear or fatigue. See whether there are any corrosion and cracks.
If you find a questionable part, it needs replacing, and the parts should be those recommended by the manufacturer. When buying used generators, you might come across one that comes with an engine from a different manufacturer. This is an obvious sign that the engine was replaced, but this doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker as long as it was done by a certified technician, tested, and the dealer offers a guarantee.
Replacing bearings and bushings
If the dealer has not already done this, you need to have the bearings and bushing replaced, whether they are functioning well or not. Doing this is a good idea because it ensures that these parts are not going to cause any damage when the generator set is running. Bearings and bushings get a lot of stress when the generator is operating, and it is very hard to know the amount of stress the parts have been subjected to when the generator was in operation. This is why the best thing to do is to replace all of the bearings and bushings. This is also the same case with fasteners and bolts.
Check the integrity of welds and wiring
You need to check the integrity of the welds. Have a close look at the electrical components and windings. Inspect wire insulation. You need to replace any parts that are no up to mark.
This is something that a dealer should have already done, but it is still a good idea to do it yourself just to be sure. A load test is important because it is going to help in determining the overall efficiency of the generator. A good indicator of efficiency in a generator is by subjecting it to varying loads, provided it is under the load limits specified. The output from the generator is going to give you more information on the state of the machine. The tests are going to look at the frequency and proper output. You may need to do this test up to three times because you need to be sure that there will be no unexpected power breakdowns.