Why Your Portable Generator Won’t Start

If you’re having issues starting up your portable generator, it could be for a number of reasons. Here are some of the most common:

The first thing to check is the amount of fuel in your generator. Make sure to check it regularly and add more if necessary.

Check the Fuel

If your generator is not starting, one of the first things you should do is check its fuel level. Your generator needs both gasoline and motor oil to run, so you should make sure it has enough of each to function properly.

If the fuel level is too low, then you should fill up the tank with fresh gasoline. However, you should never use stale gas as this can damage the engine and cause clogs that will prevent it from working.

Next, you should check the fuel line to ensure that it isn’t cracked or clogged. If the line is damaged, you’ll need to replace it, but it’s usually pretty easy to do.

Another thing you can do is check your air filter for clogs or other issues. A clean filter allows air into the carburetor so it can burn efficiently and produce a good spark.

Check the Oil

If you have a portable generator, it’s important to keep it properly lubricated so that it can function properly. This will help it run smoothly and prevent problems like oil pressure issues, which can cause damage to the engine and require expensive repairs down the road.

Many modern generators now have an oil level sensor that will let you know if your engine oil is too low. However, you can also check it manually using a dipstick.

To do this, insert the dipstick into the filler neck without screwing it in. Then, check to see if the oil is above the upper mark on the dipstick.

Some generators don’t have a dipstick, instead they use what are called sight plugs. These are removable threaded caps that sit at the base of the engine.

Once you’ve checked the oil level, fill it with the recommended amount of engine oil from your generator’s owner’s manual. Then, refill as needed to maintain the proper level.

Check the Spark Plug

A spark plug is a part of your generator that performs an important role in helping you to start it. Its main job is to help transfer the electrical signal from your ignition coil to the combustion chamber, so that it can fire and burn fuel and air in the engine to create electricity.

The tip of the spark plug contains a small gap where high-voltage electricity can jump from the insulated center electrode to the air space. This creates a visible spark that ignites the fuel and air mixture to turn your generator into electricity.

If your generator won’t start, the first thing you should do is check the spark plug. Remove it from the cylinder and clean it with carb cleaner to ensure that no debris is blocking it from producing a spark.

Next, you should look at the insulator on top of the spark plug to see if it is damaged. A melted electrode or blistered insulator indicates that your spark plug is running too hot, shortening its lifespan.

Check the Connections

When a portable generator won’t start, it usually means there’s something wrong with one of the electrical connections. These can be a faulty circuit breaker, a switch that’s not working properly or a solenoid or relay.

The first step is to check the breaker. They’re designed to trip when they sense that there isn’t enough power going through a specific route.

Next, check the breaker switch that’s in the control panel of your portable generator. It will have a switch that says “on,” “off” or “automatic.” If this switch is in the automatic position, it will turn the generator on when there’s a significant change in the amount of power going into your home or business.

Another common reason for a portable generator that won’t start is that the battery is dead or not charging. This could be caused by corrosion or a problem with the voltage regulator, which sends power from the alternator to the battery.