Genset quiz
Genset quiz


Test your diesel standby generator set maintenance knowledge

Perkins powered generators provide reliable standby power in thousands of applications ranging from individual homes and small businesses to mission-critical hospitals, data centres, apartment buildings, government offices and emergency services facilities. When grid power fails the standby generator has to be ready to kick-in flawlessly and proper maintenance is a key element in ensuring that happens.



In places where grid power usually is reliable, it can be tempting to skip regular services for a generator that isn’t needed frequently, but it could lead to problems later. There are a number of potential issues that may keep the engine from starting when it’s needed or running properly if it does start including:

  • Fuel contaminated with water or bacterial growth.
  • Oil contaminated with condensation that can cause corrosion.
  • A weak or discharged battery.
  • Dust clogged or otherwise blocked air filters and covers.

Routine inspections and maintenance services can help identify these and other issues so they can be addressed before they impact the performance and availability of a standby generator.

We have created a short True or False quiz designed to help people who depend on standby generator sets understand their unique maintenance issues.


True or False?

False: Perkins recommends that the engine be run under at least 1/3rd load and long enough to reach full operating temperature on a regular schedule as recommended in its operating manual. This ensures that the engine not only starts, but also operates properly under load and bringing the engine and lubricants up to operating temperature helps eliminate condensation.

False: This generally is a mistake. Changes in temperature and humidity can create condensation inside an engine which can contaminate lubricating oil and even cause corrosion. Changing oil and filters on a regular calendar-based schedule if the recommended number of operating hours has not been reached will help prevent condensation damage.

True: Even clean diesel fuel can support the growth of bacteria and other organisms that can clog filters and injectors. Contamination with dust and dirt as well as condensation are all possible when fuel sits in a tank for long periods of time. As a rule of thumb, fuel that has been in the tank longer than three to six months should be tested and replaced as necessary.

True: Because standby generator sets tend to sit idle for long periods, leaving biodiesel in the fuel system can attract moisture, bacteria and fungi that can lead to issues when the engine is restarted. Whenever biodiesel is used it’s also very important to drain the tank and replace the fuel filters before filling the tank with clean petroleum diesel. Then run the engine for 10 to 15 minutes to remove all of the biodiesel from the fuel system.

False: The air filter protects the engine from potential damage caused by airborne dirt and dust particles. A clean air system also ensures that adequate amounts of combustion air are available to support a clean burn and minimise emissions. The air filter should be checked regularly and any dust or blockages that have accumulated on the covers or ducts should be removed.

False: A weak or undercharged battery may start the engine once, but that is no guarantee it will start the engine again. In fact, an insufficiently charged battery is one of the leading reasons back-up generators don’t start when needed. Follow the battery manufacturers maintenance and testing recommendations will help ensure that this does not occur.


Many of the world’s leading manufacturers of standby generator sets have chosen to power their products with Perkins engines because of their reputation for quality and reliability plus the support offered by the global Perkins distributor network. Perkins understands the special circumstances under which these engines are used and the special maintenance requirements they create.

More information on standby generator engine maintenance can be found here.


Features library

Genset maintenance
Genset maintenance
Genset maintenance