BS5410 Oil Tank

Risk Management for Critical Standby Generators – Fuel and Equipment

BS 5410

The British Standards Institution has recognised the importance of fuel quality and cleanliness in their 2016 update of BS5410-3: 1976, now withdrawn and superseded with the May 31st, 2016 release.

Concerns surround critical application standby generators whereby failure of a critical application generator could result in loss of life, a high cost of failure of applications such as emergency lighting or other “non-critical” applications. Such standby generators are typically used in hospitals, banks and other communication centres.

Filters are addressed in the update with guidance notes:

Note 1 since the introduction of Biofuel (FAME) into the fuels the quality and life expectancy of fuels has been adversely affected as FAME is hygroscopic so any water in the fuel goes into suspension. This water can lead to injector pump damage and facilitate the growth of bacteria which blocks conventional filters.

Note 2 removing as much water as possible preserves the quality of fuel and for critical standby generators only filters conforming to SAE J1488 2010_10 are to be used.

Filters should be duplicated or be of a type that permits maintenance with-out shut-down

Fuels for emergency generators should be tested every six months for quality and suitability if fitted with a fuel polishing system, if there is no polishing system the fuel should be tested every three months

Filters for “non-critical” generators should conform to OFS E104

OTS and solutions for UK/Europe

  1. Widespread deployment of DieselPure systems
  2. Advocating 3 monthly fuel sampling and testing
  3. Upgrading 80mesh duplex basket filters for SAE J1488 2010_10 compliant elements
  4. Mobile fuel filtration rigs used to clean fuel to meet SAE J1488 2010_10

What does this mean, what should I do

  1. Establish if standby generator is “critical or non-critical”
  2. If “critical” establish fuel testing regime – six or three months (verifiable by UKAS Accredited Laboratory)
  3. Has a fuel polishing system been installed, has it been tested and certified to meet SAE: J1488 2010_10 for removal of suspended water?
  4. Review fuel system maintenance schedule for standby generators with particular reference to fuel filters and SAE J1488 2010_10
  5. Identify fitment of inline “basket” filters, typically these are fitted with 80mesh filters, these will be ineffective if used with FAME based fuels, should be upgraded/replaced with SAE J1488 2010_10 certified filters.
  6. Mobile fuel polishing systems used for ad-hoc maintenance, verify system deployed meets SAE J1488_10 criteria

Possible Locations

  1. NHS – hospitals
  2. Emergency Services
  3. Facility Management Businesses – Highways, Shopping Centres
  4. Banks
  5. Data Centres
  6. Petrol Forecourts – standby generators for firefighting equipment

What is the solution?

A Canadian-designed and built filtration system that has been tested and certified to meet and exceed SAE J1488 2010_10 test criteria – DIESELPURE

Still unsure, then please contact one of our fuel experts at OTS on 01386 853409 or

Click here to read how FAME based fuel is advancing internal corrosion of fuel storage tanks and associated downstream equipment.

Key recommendations and guidance introduce principle changes to:

  • Bio-fuels
  • Coal tar fuels have been deleted
  • Standby generators included