How to operate a diesel generator

With any diesel generator, they will operate the same no matter what engine and alternator has been used in the generator. In this article, we will run through the basic principals to keep in mind when operating a diesel generator.


  • Circle the unit to make sure there are no obstructions, or any signs of fluids leaking. Next look at the ventilation system and ensure that the air can flow through freely and there’s no obstructions or any debris within the system.
  • The fuel cap, which is where you’d fill the generator with diesel, ensure this is filled to the manufacturers recommended level.
  • Going to the cabinet, check the oil intake. To check oil level, remove the dipstick, and ensure the oil level is between the high and low and high markers.
  • When inspecting the fan belt, look for any cracks or signs of deterioration and also check the tension of the belt to see if it is correct also.
  • Next look at the fuel lines and ensure there’s no cracks or splits or signs of deterioration. After which check the battery terminals ensuring they’re securely in position and aren’t damaged.
  • The coolant level is indicated inside of the generator on the right, but to fill this use the radiator cap located at the top of the generator, ensure the cap is securely in place once finished.
  • Before going into the start up procedure, some important info about the generator. The main electrical component is the control module, which is a DeepSea control module with a 2 wire remote start. There is also the ignition On/Off Switch, the main circuit breakers, and below the emergency stop button.
  • Above the battery there is the battery isolator, which can be in an on or off position. There is also the ATS Input which is located on the front of the generator behind a panel next to the Busbar with a diagram on how to connect to the generator.

Start Up Procedure

  • Before turning the generator on, ensure the wires are connected correctly with the earth to ground, and also ensure the cabinet which the cable protrude from is securely closed and bolted tight.
  • To turn the generator on, ensure that the circuit breakers are in the off position, after which turn the ignition into the on position.
  • After this, the screen next to the ignition will turn on, make sure the generator is in manual mode, and then press start. This will make sure that the solenoid is energised and after the preheat, the starter motor will crank the engine.
  • The Deep Sea Control modules LCD panel allows customer to scroll up and down to see the different statistics of the generator to help ensure that it is running at optimum levels, which should be about 415 Volts and around 50Hz.
  • Once the genset is operating at optimum levels, its safe to throw the circuit breakers up to your load, this should allow the generator to run nicely powering whatever is required up.

Turning off Generator.

  • Firstly, ensure the circuit breakers are turned off and allow the genset to cool down for a minute or two before pressing the stop button.
  • Once the engine has shut down, the ignition can then be turned to the off position and the Deep-Sea Control Module cabinet can be closed.
  • Finally, ensure that the battery isolator is turned to the off position.