Industrial Spark Plugs - Selecting the right plug

Industrial Spark Plugs - Selecting the right plug

Posted by Shane Irwin on 21st Jun 2018

When it comes to spark plug selection in the industrial sector there are more and more options becoming available. But do they work.....Well yes usually they do but the real question is will they achieve the desired run time and are they the right plug for your engines operating conditions?

In general your OE recommendations should be followed however due to cost saving measures often we see extended service intervals and introduction of aftermarket ignition products as a cost saving measure.

Quite often no issue will arise from doing so, but more and more we find that the spark plugs being offered are in fact not an equivalent of the OEM recommendations and whilst the initial cost of the spark plug may be seen as a cost saving, the lost time due to engine shut down and plug changes in between scheduled maintenance will actually cost more, we've even seen Ignition coils fail early due to inferior performing Spark plugs.

We had a great example of spark plug selection not being appropriate recently where aftermarket Sparks plugs were being used in a particular series of engines that run at a very high BMEP.

The aftermarket plugs in use were utilising an Iridium center electrode and platinum ground electrode and the equipment owner was not achieving the desired run time from the spark plugs, interestingly enough these aftermarket spark plugs were being sold as a direct replacement for the OEM Plug.

But the OEM obsoleted the use of the Iridium/Platinum plugs on this series of engines over 15 years ago in favor of an Iridium/Iridium plugs for improved performance and extended spark plug life, so if the OEM recommended spark plug was an iridium/iridium plug, then a Iridium/Platinum plug can not be considered a direct replacement to the OEM, just because it fits and the plug manufacturer mentions it will work in your engine doesn't mean that the spark plug properties are designed to suit your operating conditions.

In the OE & Aftermarket spark plug ranges their are usually multiple selections for the same style plug with different materials, electrode designs, technology and cost. At Wasco we have trained personnel who know Gas Engine Technologies and we won't just offer a cross referenced spark plug that will fit, we will talk with you about your equipment and your requirements so that we can ensure we are offering the best solution to suit your needs.

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