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Once, the only place to spot a generator was on a building site or road. Today, thousands of local home and business owners depend on generators for emergency power. Eskom’s lack of funding and difficulty maintaining and upgrading its power-generation infrastructure have resulted in local power shortages, but load-shedding is not an exclusively South African problem.

The consumer demand for electricity has grown globally and continues to do so, year after year. Like us, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Australia, the United Kingdom, and even the United States have all been forced to adopt power-conservation measures, while people in many other countries must merely accept their regular unplanned blackouts.

While power outages are an inconvenience to households, their economic impact is relatively minor. However, when they affect a business, they can spell disaster. The latest estimate by the South African Reserve Bank suggests that, during 2023, load-shedding reduced the nation’s economic growth by as much as 1,8 percentage points. Is it any wonder that so many now rely on a backup power source?

These units may appear to perform miracles, but they are only machines, and, as such, they are prone to underperform or break down without the correct care and attention.


Some Helpful Tips on How to Look After Your Generator


Before even considering how best to look after a unit, the first requirement is to ensure you choose one that will adequately meet your power demands. Fortunately, this won’t require rocket science; it just entails a relatively simple calculation.

First, calculate the maximum load requirement by summing the wattages of every device that will be used simultaneously. Next, divide by 1 000 to convert to Kilowatts and then by 0,8 to get kilo-volt amperes (kVA). Finally, add 25% as a safety margin. You should now purchase a generator with an output equal to that figure or slightly above.

Once your new unit is operational, your next step should be to read the user manual, noting any recommended precautions, suggested maintenance intervals, and any other information relevant to its long-term care. When properly maintained, a high-quality diesel generator, for example, could operate efficiently from 10 000 to 30 000 hours, meeting your home or business power needs during outages for several decades.

The following are the main areas to address to keep your unit operating as specified.



Cleanliness is a commonly neglected requirement, yet allowing dust to accumulate can block air and fuel filters and increase friction on moving parts. Fitting a cover to protect it is a good idea and be sure to keep the surrounding area clean too.



Few things will speed the demise of your generator faster than overheating. Oil levels should be checked before and after operating your unit and replenished whenever necessary. Be sure not to deviate from the lubricant grade recommended by the manufacturer as doing so could significantly reduce your unit’s lifespan.


Air Filter:

Despite efforts to maintain a clean environment, airborne dust is inevitable and an air filter is essential to prevent debris from entering the combustion chamber, leading to machine failure or costly replacements of damaged parts.


Battery and Wiring:

Corroded battery terminals and worn or loose wiring are frequent sources of machine malfunction and should be inspected regularly to ensure they are dealt with promptly.



Given the current frequency of load-shedding, long periods of disuse are unlikely, but it’s good practice to power up a unit every three months or so.


Professional Care for Your Generator


Among other things, we at CCI Technologies are acknowledged specialists in supplying, installing, and maintaining auxiliary power equipment. Why not get in touch to learn more about our products and the potential benefits to your business of a preventative maintenance contract?

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