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Generator Overhauling vs. Replacement: Which Is Better?

Generator Overhauling vs. Replacement: Which Is Better?

When it comes to power generation, the reliability and efficiency of generators are paramount. Businesses and facilities heavily depend on these machines for continuous and uninterrupted power supply. However, over time, generators, like all mechanical systems, experience wear and tear, leading to decreased performance and potential failures. When faced with a malfunctioning or inefficient generator, facility managers are often confronted with a critical decision: should they overhaul the existing generator or replace it entirely?

Read on as we explore the pros and cons of both approaches to help you make an informed decision.

Generator overhauling

Generator overhauling involves disassembling the generator, inspecting all parts, cleaning, repairing or replacing worn-out components, and reassembling it to restore its original functionality. This process is thorough and ensures that all potential issues are addressed.

Advantages of generator overhauling

1. Cost-effectiveness: Overhauling is generally less expensive than purchasing a new generator. By repairing and replacing only the worn-out parts, you can extend the lifespan of your generator at a fraction of the cost of a new unit.

2. Less downtime: Overhauling can be quicker than the procurement and installation of a new generator, especially if the replacement involves significant lead times for delivery and setup, helping to minimise downtime.

3. Sustainability: By overhauling, you reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable operation. Reusing components where possible is environmentally friendly compared to scrapping an entire unit.

4. Preservation of existing infrastructure: Overhauling allows you to keep your current setup and infrastructure intact. There’s no need for modifications or additional adjustments to accommodate a new generator.

Disadvantages of generator overhauling

1. Limited lifespan extension: While overhauling can significantly extend the life of a generator, it may not be as long-lasting as a new unit. The extent of the overhaul’s effectiveness depends on the generator’s age and the wear level.

2. Potential for recurring issues: If the generator has fundamental design flaws or systemic issues, overhauling might not completely resolve these problems, leading to recurring maintenance needs.

3. Downtime during overhaul: Although generally quicker than a full replacement, overhauling still requires the generator to be taken offline, which can impact operations if a backup generator is not available.

Generator replacement

Replacing a generator means completely removing the old unit and installing a new one. This option is often considered when the existing generator is beyond repair or when advancements in technology make newer models significantly more efficient and reliable.

Advantages of generator replacement

1. Enhanced reliability and efficiency: New generators come with the latest technology, offering improved efficiency, reliability, and features. This can result in better performance and lower operating costs.

2. Longer lifespan: A new generator will have a longer service life compared to an overhauled one, providing a more long-term solution.

3. Manufacturer’s warranty: New generators come with a warranty, offering peace of mind and financial protection against early failures or defects.

4. Compliance with new standards: Replacing your generator ensures that you comply with the latest industry standards and regulations, which can be crucial for safety and legal compliance.

Disadvantages of generator replacement

1. Higher initial cost: Purchasing a new generator is a significant investment, often much higher than the cost of overhauling an existing unit.

2. Longer lead time: The process of selecting, purchasing, and installing a new generator can be time-consuming. Lead times can be particularly long if custom specifications are required.


When deciding between generator overhauling and replacement, the best choice depends on several factors, including the age and condition of your existing generator, budget constraints, downtime tolerance, and long-term operational needs. Overhauling offers a cost-effective, quicker solution for extending the life of an ageing generator, making it a viable option for businesses looking to minimise immediate expenditures and downtime. On the other hand, replacing a generator provides a longer-term solution with the benefits of the latest technology, enhanced efficiency, and compliance with new standards, albeit at a higher initial cost and longer lead time.

For businesses in Singapore requiring expert advice and services for their power generation needs, MES offers comprehensive solutions for both generator overhauling and replacement. With our specialised services in generator rewinding, electrical motor rewinds, and transformer maintenance, MES ensures that your power systems operate reliably and efficiently, minimising downtime and maximising performance. Contact MES to discuss the best strategy for your power generation needs and ensure continuous, uninterrupted power for your operations.