Belts and Hoses Replacement

What is a belt and hose?

A belt is the loop of flexible material used to link two or more rotating shifts within a generator. These are used as a source of motion, to transmit power efficiently and track movement. There are two common types of generator engine belts. These types include:

• V-Belt: This style belt is standard in smaller or older units. The v-belt is designed in the shape of a triangle to reduce belt slipped, and generally one v-belt drives one component. For example, a v-belt may control the water pump or alternator.

• Serpentine Belt: The Serpentine belt is also known as Multi-V, Poly-V or Multi-Rib belt. These are often used in newer or bigger units, as one belt can drive multiple engine components. These systems often use automatic belt tensioners to maintain the correct belt tension.

A generator hose plays a fundamental role in the unit, as it carries vital liquids such as engine coolant, lubricating oil, fuel and exhaust gases. The efficient transmission of these solutions ensures the engine continues to work and allows the unit to withstand the demanding rigours of operation. The hoses are typically made of resistant materials which prevent premature ageing but still require routine checks.

How often should belts and hoses be replaced?

Belt inspection is required to determine when the device requires replacement. These checks must comply with the relevant engine and belt manufacturing guidelines. As a general guide for each style of belt:

• V-Belt: A V-belt should be discarded and replaced if any horizontal or vertical cracks are visible
• Serpentine Belt: Horizontal cracks on a serpentine belt rib are acceptable if the break does not extend into the belt backbone. It requires replacement if the crack does extend to the backbone. Vertical cracks between the ribs also require replacement.

The expected lifespan of a hose is dependent on the material, level of use and the type of generator. Some tubes may last up to 25-years, while others require replacement after around five years. A hose will require replacement when they begin to become thin and brittle or show signs of cracking.

How are belts and hoses tested?

Comprehensive belt and hose testing is part of a Reactive Generators inspection. Before checking the belt, it is fundamental to ensure the system is completely turned off and the ignition key is removed. This precaution is to reduce the likelihood of the engine inadvertently turning over and causing injury.

An initial check is conducted by looking and feeling around the inner face of the belt to identify any immediate issues. This inspection is then followed by a more thorough examination, which requires taking off the belt and bending it back one section at a time. This in-depth approach helps recognise any further cracks. The Vs of the pulley on which it runs is also examined to ensure they are not the cause of damage. The ideal tracks will be clean, smooth, free from distortion and perfectly aligned. If this process uncovers any concerns or issues, Reactive Generators can provide appropriate repairs and replacements.

A commercial generator hose is tested through a systematic exercise program. By running the fluids between hoses individually, the tubes can be tested for any leakages. The interior and exterior of the system are also checked to identify any leaking liquids. The hoses are then reviewed by sight and feel to identify any spots with excessive wear or signs of cracking.

Why is replacing belts and hoses important?

While hose and belt manufacturers issue recommended replacement intervals, the required replacements can vary significantly. This difference is due to diverse uses, sizes and generator locations. By adopting a proactive approach to belt and hose replacement, Reactive Generators often finds parts that require replacement well before the recommended date. Failure to identify these issues immediately can result in further damage to the system, costly repairs and sometimes requires a complete unit replacement. Ensuring the parts are replaced when needed will maximise the generator’s efficiency, ensure the system is operating at maximum capacity and increases the reliability of the unit. This process will also safeguard the expected lifespan, reducing the replacement costs.

Reactive Generators Hose and Belt Replacement

If you’re not sure if your generator requires any replacements, get in touch with the friendly team at Reactive Generators. Operating across Queensland, we have sites in Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Whether it is a one-off job or an ongoing maintenance regime, we’re committed to providing long-lasting and efficient solutions for every customer. We also carry an extensive range of generator spare parts on-site, to ensure we’re always equipped to service your unit.