When the power goes out, a generator can be a lifesaver. But generators are machines and sometimes they have problems too. Here are four of the most common generator problems and how to fix them so that you can keep your family safe in case of an emergency.
1 – THE GENERATOR WON’T TURN ON
If your generator won’t turn on, the first thing to do is make sure that you flipped the right breaker to power it up. Then check the generator’s circuit breakers. You can reset them by pushing them all the way in, one at a time. If the breaker won’t stay in, it might need to be replaced. If it is a gas-powered generator, it is important to check the fuel level. If it is low, fill it up with gasoline and restart the generator. Another thing to do is to always invest in a generator that has a manual start. When you manually start a generator, you can make sure that everything is connected properly. Manual start generators are a really great option in the case of an emergency. If you continue to experience issues it is best to call a professional for qualified assistance. They can talk you through various trouble-start issues, or come to look at your unit and fix the issue (if it’s safe). If the generator is a battery-operated model, make sure that it is charged and working properly. It might have needed a fresh charge before the power outage. If you have a wood-burning generator, make sure that there is enough kindling and firewood to keep the flames going. It is also a good idea to check the flue damper and chimney. If it is open, close it and try restarting the generator.
2 – THE GENERATOR RUNS, BUT THE POWER IS FAULTY
If the power is faulty, you have a problem with your generator’s power cord or outlet. Make sure that it is plugged in all the way, and that it is in the correct outlet. Test the cord by plugging it into another outlet to make sure that there isn’t an issue with the cord itself. Unplug it and check for damage, frayed cords, or loose wiring. Make sure that there aren’t any exposed live wires or plugs that have been damaged. If you are attempting to use the generator for a power tool, make sure that the tool has the correct wattage. If it is too high, it can blow out the generator. For example, if a gas-powered generator starts up but the power from it is sporadic, make sure that you are running it on the correct voltage. You can find this number on the generator’s power panel or by looking at the nameplate. Another thing to check is for any worn cables or wires that might be causing the power to stop working. If you have a manual start generator, make sure that you are following the correct sequence of buttons. You can do this by referring to the generator’s instruction manual, which is very easy to follow.
3 – THE GENERATOR IS LEAKING
A propane tank that is leaking must be repaired or refilled immediately. A gasoline tank with a leak should also be refilled. If it’s a diesel or oil-powered generator, the fuel tank might need to be drained and refilled if there is too much water inside. If the generator is a manual start model, make sure to add oil after every ten hours of use.
4 – THE GENERATOR WON’T TURN OFF
If your generator won’t turn off, it might be overheating. Press the stop button and wait for 30 seconds before you try again. If this doesn’t work, turn it off at the circuit breaker. If you can’t get it to turn off, make sure that there is nothing touching the blades or the engine. If it is a gas-powered generator, it might have a faulty circuit that needs to be replaced. You can also just let the generator run out of gas and then turn it off.
Generators can be a lifesaver during a power outage, but they can sometimes experience problems. The four most common generator problems are outlined in this article, along with a few tips and tricks on how to fix them. Keep in mind that these are not the only issues that you can incur with a generator. If you continue to experience issues, it is best to call a professional for qualified assistance. They will be able to sort it out in no time.