Why Your Generator Won’t Start

If the power goes out for more than a couple of hours, or you’re in an emergency situation where a generator will be essential for survival, finding a solution can take some time. But don’t worry! We’re here to help.
In this article, we’re going to go through the most common reasons your generator won’t start, and try to find a way of solving them. Hopefully by the end of this guide you’ll have found a solution that suits your problem, although if not please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help you in any way possible.

Top Reasons Your Generator Won’t Starts

    1. Fuel is low
    2. Fuel may be contaminated
    3. Fuel line is clogged
    4. Faulty spark plug
    5. Dirty air filter
    6. Faulty fuel pump or carburetor
    7. Faulty ignition coil or flywheel magneto
    8. Fuse is blown or circuit breaker tripped
    9. Engine is flooded/carburetor flooded/bad fuel mixture/bad spark plug(s)
    10. Water in fuel (usually due to overfilling gas can)
    11. Choke is on, choke plate is damaged, or improperly adjusted (leaking, rusted shut, etc.

Check The Fuel

When you’ve got your generator all set up, make sure that the fuel is flowing into the tank properly. The easiest way to test this is to get a piece of wood, and place it on the side of the fuel float. If there’s fuel in the tank, it won’t sink too far into the wood, but if there’s no fuel in the tank it will sink all the way through.
If you’re not sure whether there’s fuel in your generator or not, feel free to contact us and we will help you out as quickly as we can!

Use Fresh Fuel

Old fuel can clog things up, and cause your generator to stop working. You should try to get your generator fueled up as quickly as possible, especially if you’re planning on using it for a long time. We recommend that you change the fuel once a month, or whenever the generator is used for more than an hour or two.

Check The Spark Plug

A lot of times a spark plug failure will cause your generator to stop working. The easiest way to fix this is to change the spark plug. We recommend that you buy an exact replacement for the old spark plug, but if you can’t find one then you should try using a spark plug from another generator. Try and get one with an identical cylinder and tip size, or even better, use a new one!

Check The Fuses And Circuit Breakers

Depending on where you buy your generator from, they may come with them already installed or they might not. It’s important that you check that all of the fuses and circuit breakers are working, as if they aren’t then the generator isn’t going to be able to start. You should also check for any loose connections or corrosion on the contacts of the fuses and circuit breakers.

Check The Gas Line

Make sure to check your gas line for any leaks. If you’re not sure when you first start up, feel free to use a flashlight to check it and see if there are any leaks. If you do find one, don’t panic! Just get a new hose and put it on properly, and then try getting your generator running again.

Check The Carburetor

If you’re running a generator with gasoline, then it’s important to check to see if the carburetor is working properly. If there are any holes or cracks in it then that will cause a leak and your engine won’t be able to run properly. Make sure that all of the float bowls are filled with fuel, and that the float is setting correctly in them. There should also be a clean air filter in every carburetor, and one on top as well.

It’s Out Of Gas

Make sure that the gas is flowing into the tank correctly. You can do this by dipping a stick into the tank, and then blowing down it. The stick should float on top of the surface for a couple of seconds, and then begin to sink. If there’s fuel in the tank, when it sinks it will sink to the bottom of your stick instead of floating on top as if there wasn’t any fuel in there.

Check The Air Filter

If there’s a lot of dust in the air, it’s important that you check the air filter on your generator very often. If there’s dirt and dust getting into the filter, then it can clog up and cause your generator to stop running. Make sure that you clean out any dust around the air filter area, and then check to make sure that it’s clear from any debris or dirt.

Check The Fuel Line And Filter

The fuel line and filter are essential to the running of a generator, and if they’re clogged up then your generator isn’t going to be able to run properly. Check the fuel line for any leaks and for any loose connections or corrosion. If you find anything that could be damaging your engine, make sure that you replace it as soon as possible. If there’s a lot of dirt in the fuel, then it’s recommended that you change the filter too. You can do this by unscrewing the old filter and putting a new one on properly.

The Carburetor Is Clogged Or Air Locked

If there’s a lot of dust in the air, make sure that you check the carburetor very often. If the dust gets into the carburetor and clogs it up then your generator won’t be able to run properly. With gasoline based generators it’s very important that you try and keep them clean at all times. You should check the entire carburetor for any cracks or holes, and if you find anything then you should get it fixed as soon as possible!

Check For Loose Wiring

If wires are loose then they can cause a generator to stop working properly. You can check this by tapping the wires with a screwdriver to see if there’s any loose wiring. If they are loose, then you should tighten them as soon as possible.

Check The Oil Level

If you’re running a gasoline based generator, then it’s very important that you check the oil level in the crankcase at least once per week. If you don’t do this then your engine will start leaking and cause your generator to stop running. To check the oil level all you need to do is unscrew the dipstick and wipe it off with a cloth or paper towel.

Clean The Carburetor

If you want to check the carburetor then you’ll need to clean it out as well. To do this, remove the air filter and any exhaust hose, and then pour gasoline into the opening. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then turn on the fuel. The gasoline will start to drain through the carburetor and into a container. You’ll need to empty the container without spilling any of the dirty gas that’s left in there! Now that all of that crap has been drained from your tank, you can now change your air filter.

Check If The Battery Is Dead

If you don’t have a full charge on the battery, then the generator will not run at all. The first thing you need to do is buy some new batteries. You can start with two new batteries, and then when they’re fully charged buy another two! The batteries are also recommended that you check them at least once per month. If you don’t do this then your generator could have issues in the future.

How To Avoid These Problems

To avoid these problems from happening, it’s a good idea to have your generator looked regularly. Not only will you be able to avoid major problems, but you’ll also be informed of possible issues that are coming! Regularly change the fuel. The fuel for the generator is important. It’s recommended that you change it out once a month, but you can do this as often as you’d like!

Clean the unit regularly. Keeping the unit clean will help to avoid problems in the future! When it rains, keep an eye on where your generator is. This will ensure that it doesn’t get wet and rust! Keep the area around your unit clear. You’ll have an easier time working on your generator if you keep it free of clutter. This could save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to maintenance.

In some cases you are able to have the generator keep running in case the power goes out. You can use it to run a few item that you need like refrigerators and freezers, or even some washing machines, which is great if you need a bit more power now and then. But this could be expensive depending on what your needs are. There are several parts of the generator that should be checked regularly so that you do not have issues with them. The fuel tank tank has to be cleaned at least once a month, along with the air intake screen in the open position and working properly as well as other vital parts of the unit such as the oil filter screen for example.

Conclusion

There are a lot of ways to avoid the problems that can occur when it comes to your generator not running. No matter what the problem is, it’s possible for you to fix it and get your generator running again. It’s always recommended that you try and maintain your generator as often as possible. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid issues that could otherwise occur down the road. I hope one of the reasons mentioned above preventing your generators from starting. Let me know what you think by commenting bellow.

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