The filter situation is handled…for a while.
Now, realize, that when I built the genset that I chose a very common filter. One that is used on about half the oil furnaces in the US and many larger oil fired portable heaters. Therefore it was a common filter….at the time….manufactured (or at least sold) by nearly every manufacturer…Baldwin, Fleetguard, Napa, Purolator, Wix, Donaldson, LuberFiner, etc. All the majors had a compatible filter. Therefore I thought that I would always have filters readily available from someone….
Approximately two years ago, according to the Tech folks at Wix (and also at Fleetguard) the filter was discontinued….at approximately the same time at both companies….Which the Fleetguard tech guy said indicated that it was likely only made by one company and simply labelled differently for different companies. He said that he had suddenly received a lot of calls in the past month or two by folks looking for this same part,….his theory was that the supply of filters on the shelf after they were discontinued had run out in the two years since discontinuance, and people (like me) had started calling all the manufacturers to find a replacement.
Now, Capitalism being what it is, there is a company that makes this filter still, which I found via help from commenter “D” (thanks again for finding that for me!) in the previous post….But as far as I can tell, there is but one single supplier for this part. The rest of the suppliers no longer carry it. Perhaps the market is such that it isn’t worth carrying for the bigger companies….It is possible that the usage of oil furnaces has declined such that the big boys no longer find it economical to keep these filters in their inventories.
But the supply chain is fragile, more fragile than I thought…..perhaps, this time, not because of Covid.
A filter is an important part of a machine….without it, the machine will stop operating eventually. Our reliance on technology is also a reliance on supplies and manufacturers. It isn’t just fuel for the generator, it is also belts, and hoses, and filters and lubricants…..all of which are made by someone else and which replacements cannot be manufactured easily by the average person. Without that supply chain of needed consumables, technology will grind to a halt….first slowly and then rapidly.
Can you make tires for your car? Yes, you can patch them, but at some point they will wear out and become useless. Same with hoses. Belts are made by other companies, and you or I cannot make replacements if they are not available to purchase. Same-same fuel and oil filters. Gaskets may or may not be able to be made by folks like myself, depending on their complexity. Bearings and other parts are impossible. Brake shoes /pads and such are outside of my ability to manufacture. I MIGHT be able to find substitutes, but maybe not. How long will our technology last without a ready supply of parts?
This episode is a lesson for me. Even a common filter can be an issue. Stocking a single replacement part or supply may not be enough for critical machinery…..
Critical parts may or may not be available in the future, despite your planning….if it ain’t on your shelf right now, then it might never be….
You might take this into account in your own preps,