As the winds blow and your power suddenly goes out, your backup generator suddenly takes center stage — and you couldn’t be more thankful for it.
But when you try to use it, it doesn’t work, and you couldn’t be more frustrated. You need generator repair help ASAP.
But where do you start?
If you live in an area that is susceptible to storms, a generator is one of the most important investments you can make. Here’s a list of the top tips for generator repair so that you can get your generator back up and running in no time.
Let’s get started!
Common Generator Repair Issue Has to do with Fuel Delivery
If your generator has gone kaput, the problem may have to do with your machine’s fuel lines. So, take a close look at them to determine their condition.
If the fuel lines have become plugged with debris or are leaking or cracked, you’re better off replacing them than attempting to repair these lines. Any store that sells auto parts can tell you the right fuel line size to get, and they’re generally not expensive to buy.
If you’re still having issues with your generator, perhaps it’s because the carburetor is dirty. This is typically the result of allowing old and untreated gasoline to sit in your tank without starting your engine for an extended period of time.
So, for starters, try to drain all of your old gasoline and then pour fresh gasoline into your machine. Don’t forget to also drain your old gasoline from the machine’s float bowl, which is underneath the carburetor.
Still having startup trouble?
You’ll need to perform a carburetor cleaning.
A cleaning helps because old gas that has not been treated using fuel stabilizer will become a thick substance that clogs your carburetor’s small orifices. Getting rid of the substance should solve the startup problem for you.
But remember that carburetors are delicate instruments. Yours will never operate properly again if you deform an orifice’s shape or scratch the orifice. So, avoid using a wire or other metal tool to clean your orifices.
Also, while you’re performing your generator repair job, don’t turn your carburetor’s adjustment screws too loosely or tightly. If you don’t return the screws to their original positions, your generator will not run correctly, or it may not run at all.
Just like you need oxygen to breathe, your generator’s engine needs oxygen, too. So, if your generator is running rough, oxygen deprivation may be the culprit.
Your carburetor’s sole role is to combine air with your machine’s gas and then deliver this mixture to your engine as a flammable mist. However, all air that goes into your carburetor must first make its way through your air filter.
Your air filter is designed to prevent debris and dust from entering your engine’s combustion chamber or carburetor. A dirty, clogged air filter will keep air from getting into your carburetor.
As a result, the carburetor will spray too much gas into your combustion chamber, so your engine will run rough or will operate for a little while and suddenly stall due to being overwhelmed with gas.
In this case, you’ve got two options. The first is to tap the air filter against a solid surface to get rid of a bunch of the dust. Don’t blow out the dirt with compressed air, as you’ll end up ruining the filter.
Your second option? Simply replace the filter. Problem solved.
Low Oil Issues
If your generator is still giving you trouble, a low oil level may be the issue.
Many portable generator engines will shut off if the oil levels are not high enough to properly lubricate your moving parts.
So, if the engine will not start, or if it stalls quickly, make sure that you’ve got enough oil in the machine.
Gas Vent Hole
Check out your gas vent hole if your generator is still not working properly.
If you look at your gas cap, you’ll likely see a tiny valve. This hole allows fuel to move from your tank into your carburetor.
A completely plugged hole means your engine will not start. A partially plugged one means the engine might start and then stall quickly or run poorly.
The solution here? Clean out the vent hole with a little compressed air or a small wire piece, and your engine should be good to go.
Spark Plug Problems
Another common generator repair problem has to do with your spark plug. A simple glance at the plug will tell you how the generator is running.
For instance, if the electrode is covered with a thick sludge, the generator is likely not getting enough oxygen. Instead, it’s getting more fuel than it needs. In other words, it is “running rich.”
Meanwhile, your plug will look white or tan if your carburetor is delivering too much oxygen and not enough gas. In this case, the generator is “running lean.”
If you encounter this problem, it’s probably in your best interest to have a mechanic look at it. However, before you go that route, try installing a new spark plug. After all, your old plug may simply have a hairline crack in its insulator that is causing it to malfunction.
When performing a spark plug replacement, be sure to use a gapping tool to fix the gap located between your center electrode and your ground one according to the recommended settings of the manufacturer.
How We Can Help
We offer unbiased reviews on a wide range of today’s portable generators. However, we also offer useful information, advice, and guides.
Our goal is to help you to select the right generator for your household’s needs. We conveniently offer all of the information you need in one place. After all, a generator is a major investment, so you can’t afford to choose the wrong.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you to keep your power on and thus breathe easier the next time a storm rolls in.