By: Bill Henderson

T&T Power Group picks up new generator services daily, and there is an increasingly common theme in reviewing the records of a new generator service account: The quinquennial (5 year) generator service has never been done.

Many maintenance and property managers don't think about the emergency standby generator until the utility power fails and the lights go out. Then everyone stops in their tracks and holds their breath, hoping the generator kicks in.

The manager who has taken the time to ensure the standby generator is properly serviced knows they will only need to wait a few seconds. On the other hand, new managers, managers who often change portfolios or those who rely on staff/the generator service provider to notify them when services should be done, need to educate themselves.

The quinquennial generator inspection is important because it detects and resolves issues that would not be found on the routine annual inspection - thereby ensuring years of continued generator service.

The following five steps from the Canadian Standards Association 282 Emergency electrical supply for buildings are required to complete the Quinquennial service:

  1. The vented plate of the alternator or generator end must be removed to access the windings. The insulation of the windings are inspected first visually, and then with a meggar meter to make sure the insulation is not breaking down, which would lead to a catastrophic failure by cross winding arcing.
  2. The cooling jacket is drained, new thermostats installed and the cooling jacket and radiator are refilled with fresh coolant. The radiator fins are cleaned to improve cooling efficiency, and the engine valve clearance is adjusted to factory specifications.
  3. While conducting the load test, perform a thermal imaging survey of all electrical connections, contacts and energized components on the generator and transfer switch.
  4. Correct all minor and potential generator non-start deficiencies during inspection and quote any work that can be done at a later date.
  5. Record all inspections, tests and corrective action taken in the log. It is important to keep a log book near the generator to record all work done on that generator and by whom. This will enable anyone working on that generator to quickly review the history of this important emergency asset.


CHP generator sales


the quinquennial (5 year) generator service is often forgotten.

If you have a burning generator service or power supply question, or, for a free copy of the CSA 282-15 Emergency electrical power supply for buildings, contact us now!