There could be several reasons why your generator won’t start. Fixing the problem is usually quite easy if you know what to do. Follow this guide to get your generator running again. 


How a Generator Works 

Generators supply electrical power in case of a power outage to prevent the discontinuity of business operations and household activities. These appliances are available in various electrical and physical configurations according to their use in different applications. To deal with a technical problem in your generator, you must know how it works to find the best solution. 

An electric generator receives mechanical energy from an external source and converts it into electrical energy. A generator doesn’t create electrical energy but uses mechanical energy to move electrical charges. Your generator’s engine is the main source of input mechanical energy, so the maximum power output depends on its size. 

When trying to identify the problem in your generator, check the type of fuel used. Generator engines run on various fuels such as propane, gasoline, diesel or natural gas. Smaller engines generally use gasoline, whereas larger engines consume diesel or natural gas. For instance, if your generator doesn’t start, consider using an alternate option.   


Look for Leaks 

The most common problem that prevents generators from starting is the presence of leaks in the fuel tank. However, the problem can be avoided with regular maintenance checks. Fuel leaks often occur when the tank’s base is overfilled. This usually happens when the fuel pump malfunctions. Consult with a qualified maintenance professional to refuel your generator.


Low Coolant 

Based on your unit, your generator is likely to give off an alarm or shut down due to low coolant. If you’re adding coolant frequently, consider inspecting the generator for leaks. Low coolant causes engine overheating that damages other components. Since the rotor bearings, alternator, exhaust valves, and head gasket are all prone to damage, you may end up making many repairs or replacements.


No Fuel 

If your generator doesn’t start, check its fuel. If it’s using more fuel than usual, look out for leaks and have it repaired immediately. 

At times the system suddenly runs out of fuel, but the level gauges show there’s plenty. That’s because of malfunctioning gauges. It could get stuck in a position that indicates enough fuel in the tank though it may be empty.   

Check the Spark Plug  

The first step to fixing a generator that won’t start is checking the spark plug. If your spark plug has gunk, clean it using a wire brush. For more resistant dirt, consider replacing it. Spark plug replacement is relatively inexpensive and can be done easily. Make sure that you buy the right one.   

Look out for Battery Failure 

Battery failure is one of the most common signs that a generator won’t start. Look for any loose connections or a build-up of lead sulphate crystals on the batteries. This build-up may not allow the battery to provide enough current to run the generator. 

An inoperable charger breaker can also lead to a battery failure. This often happens within the battery charger unit or when a tripped circuit breaker disconnects the AC supply. To ensure that the circuit breaker is in the correct position, check the generator system after a repair service or maintenance.   


Test The Generator With an External Load Bank 

Your generator’s engine is likely to overheat without a coolant radiator, causing a mechanical breakdown or engine failure. It’s crucial to check the coolant levels regularly by looking for any puddles of the coolant. 

The generator may also undergo low coolant level shutdowns due to internally plugged radiator cores. You can test the machine using an external load bank with enough load to reach the temperature value required to open the thermostats.


Clean The Air Filter 

Small floating particles such as pollen can build up in the air filter and limit the airflow to your generator’s combustion chamber. You can remove the air filter to check whether it’s dirty. Consider washing it or using a can of compressed air to blow away the dirt. Before you reinstall the filter, make sure it’s completely dry. Water in your generator may cause the problem to get worse. 


By following the guidelines in this blog, your generator can work efficiently for years to come. Since generator problems can be complicated, it’s best to hire professional electricians who can do the job more efficiently. In addition to making the necessary repairs, they will also ensure that the generator is installed properly.  

If you have any questions or would like more information on our services, contact our professional team. From heat pump installation to backup generator installations in Topsham, we provide all commercial and residential electrical services in Topsham.