Trinity Power Rentals BLOG
Relevant Articles; Specification & Application Videos; Company Developments & Much More

Visual Generator Inspection – The Initial Patient Assessment

We all hate the obvious. The simple. The easy. The blatant answer that practically screams with flashing lights and a howling siren.

“Naww, that can’t be it,” you hear yourself say, “it’s gotta be something else.”

And so you break out your tool kit and go to work. You ignore everything about the obvious answer in the hopes it isn't an elaborate hoax for a more complex issue. But, no matter what you do, you keep getting turned back to the big, simple problem. Exhausting all other possibility, though you've done your due diligence, you finally conclude that the growing fountain of oil on the ground is the reason your machine doesn't work.

Believe it or not, many small problems can and do get caught with the initial patient assessment – the visual inspection.

A visual generator inspection is not an in-depth analysis of each and every system that makes the machine function – that step comes a little later. Instead, what you’re looking for in this initial review are the signs that those systems are fully contained. You’re looking for leaks, cracks, fissures, corrosion, dampness, drips, smells, smoke, clangs and rattles – in short, anything that seems patently wrong in how a machine is functioning. In this process, approach the machine as a doctor would a patient: Observant and open-minded.

A generator will give off noises, smells and sights as signs of the state of its vitality within its chambers. Where those signs generally reveal themselves are the points of contact between systems and parts – where, say, the engine body meets the oil pan, where hoses feed engine coolant, or where wires connect to battery terminals.

  1. These are the most common points where problems arise due to the nature of transition from one material to another: generally from metal to rubber or metal to cork or plastic to copper. When everything is properly contained the outside of the engine is clean. There are no liquids escaping from where they belong, there’s no corrosion on the battery terminals, and no coolant escaping from around a hose clamp.

  2. The next targets to consider in your visual inspection are those parts requiring flexibility to operate as they should, such as hoses and belts. Their inherent flex allows them to reach into the small nooks and crannies where they deliver coolant or drive other systems. But with that flex comes vulnerability to elements both without and within. Thin-walled hoses transport coolant, hot and under pressure, to regulate the internal temperature of a motor, and belts whip around at rotations thousands of times per minute. The friction and force created in such operations will, eventually, cause the material to elongate and begin to break down.

  3. And finally, consider those points where the liquids are dispensed into the machine, including bendable metal hoses from diesel tank to carburetor. Or where the smooth lines of a tank are extended to spouts, and finally to a connection with a different material. These access points are the best places to look for a potential hazard.

As you can tell, a visual inspection is much more than taking a glance at a machine. It is keeping an open mind to the obvious. It is learning to interpret the sensory information a machine can provide - sight, sound and smell - to understand how well the machine is functioning.

In the next post we'll roll up our sleeves and dig into the more important functions of generator maintenance: the Generator Fuel System.

Get Prepared

Call Toll Free 1-888-758-4646 to speak with a power specialist about the next step in becoming emergency prepared.


Submit this form and a Trinity Power specialist will arrange an appointment to discuss further.

Explore Posts By Category

Facebook Feed

Congratulations Ho Chu! Winner of this year's M1 driver draw at the Global Petroleum Show. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago

View on Facebook

Trinity Power Rentals added 8 new photos to the album: ECABC Annual Golf Tournament 2017 — at Surrey Golf Club.

Trinity Power was at hole 12 for the ECABC golf tournament again this year. Frosty beverages were given and a draw for a beautiful Scotty Cameron putter took place. Thank you ECABC for hosting this awesome annual event.
... See MoreSee Less

4 weeks ago

Trinity Power was at hole 12 for the ECABC golf tournament again this year. Frosty beverages were given and a draw for a beautiful Scotty Cameron putter took place. Thank you ECABC for hosting this awesome annual event.

Konrad Sander, Nick Foster and 9 others like this

Deb Cahill-TraffordGreat day, thank you for your support!

3 weeks ago

Comment on Facebook


Join Trinity Power’s Monthly Newsletter

By checking this box you are giving Trinity Power Rentals express consent to send you commercial electronic messages. This includes:
  • > Relevant & Insightful Articles
  • > Equipment Line News & Videos
  • > Industry News & Reports
  • > Promotional Type Email
I consent

Most Popular Articles

  • Fuel Delivery System Construction Underway For YVR read more >
  • 4 Ways to Reduce Your Global Adjustment Costs read more >
  • Case Study: A Generator-Free Film Set read more >
From the Blog
Trinity Power & R.Stahl Partner to Rent Explosion Proof Equipment

Trinity Power Partners With R. STAHL to Provide Explosion Proof Temporary Power Equipment

Trinity Power is pleased to announce that we have partnered with R. STAHL, the world’s foremost innovator in explosion proof and explosion protected components and systems, to represent their TEMPEX explosion proof temporary power system in Weste...

An Emergency Power Checklist for Business

Is Your Business Prepared For a Power Outage?

Spring has arrived and, with it, unpredictable weather and the power outages that often follow. As recently as April 7th, a snow and wind storm caused a major outage in Ontario that affected 45,000 residents. Meanwhile, the spring melt in BC is see...

Gas Plant Case Study

Trinity Goes the Distance To Power A Gas Plant Project

What does it take to deliver a bid-winning temporary power solution? In the case of our recent project at a phase III gas plant, the answer is: 2 designs, 5 vendors including Trinity Power, and 8 equipment locations spread across North America. ...