As a homeowner in Dillon, SC, having a functioning generator is essential for ensuring power continuity during outages. However, when your generator doesn’t start, it can be a frustrating and worrying experience. While the problem may have a simple fix, there are certain situations where it is necessary to call a professional for generator repair service. In this blog, we will explore the common reasons why your generator won’t start and provide expert guidance on when it is time to call a professional for repair.
Top Reasons Your Generator Won’t Start
Your Generator Does Not Have Enough Fuel
When the generator doesn’t start, the first thing you should do is check fuel levels. If you have a gasoline-powered generator, check the fuel levels in the tank and add more gas if the levels are low. If your backup generator runs on propane, you’ll need to ensure there’s plenty of fuel and that the valves and piping leading from the tank to the generator are open.
It’s important to remember that using old gas (over two months old) in a gasoline-powered generator might cause engine damage. Empty the carburetor and fuel tank of any old gas, and add fresh gasoline. If the generator doesn’t start after adding fuel, you’ll need to call a generator repair service in Dillon, SC.
The Oil Level Is Too Low
If the generator does not have sufficient oil levels, it will shut off. Generators can still be started with low oil, but newer models feature a “low oil shutoff sensor” that disables the engine if it detects the oil level is too low. When an engine is allowed to run with insufficient or no oil, it can lead to severe wear and tear of engine components.
To fix a low oil problem, check the oil levels with a dipstick. If the oil is clear, but the container is almost empty, fill it up. However, an oil change may be warranted if the oil is unclean and the levels are low. Occasionally, your generator’s low oil pressure warning light may come on even though the oil pressure is fine. In such a case, you need to call a generator repair service to replace the oil pressure sensor.
The Battery Is Dead
If your backup generator doesn’t turn on, it could be faulty connections or a dead battery. You can try charging it from a 12-volt direct current (DC) outlet or jump-starting it using your car’s battery. If that doesn’t work, the problem is likely not the battery.
The Choke Is Not in the Right Position
The choke regulates how much air goes into the carburetor during the startup process. If your generator’s engine doesn’t turn over during startup, it could be because too much or too little air is being introduced to the fuel during ignition.
If you’re starting a generator that hasn’t been on for several hours, days, or months, close the choke completely before turning it on. As the generator heats up during operation, you can gradually open the choke until it is completely open or in the “run” position.
However, if you had been using the generator and shut it off temporarily, the engine would still be warm. If you want to restart the generator, you’ll need to open the choke to its midway or full position. If you do this and the generator still won’t start, call a generator repair service to take a look at it.
The carburetor combines the air and fuel for the generator’s internal combustion process, which generates electricity that can be fed to household devices and appliances. If you didn’t drain the carburetor before storing your generator for over a month, then a clogged carburetor is most likely why your generator won’t start. Clogs formed by old gas prevent fresh fuel from getting through.
If you want to clean out your carburetor, turn off the gasoline supply and remove the bowl from the base of the carburetor. You can remove any leftover fuel debris with a brush and some paper towels, and you can use a sewing needle or a safety pin to clean the brass jet nozzle. Do not try to restart the generator until you have reopened the fuel valve. If the generator still doesn’t start, consider calling a generator repair service to diagnose and fix the problem.
Faulty Spark Plug
To inspect a spark plug, remove it with a spark plug socket. The spark plug will need to be replaced if:
- Some deposits can’t be removed with a brush
- There are worn out electrodes or broken porcelain
If the debris can be removed, clean the spark plug thoroughly and set the electrode gap per the generator’s user manual. Pull the recoil starter on the generator while holding the spark plug up to the engine’s crankcase. Blue sparks indicate a properly functioning spark plug. You can try to restart the generator once you’ve reinstalled the spark plug. If the generator still refuses to start, call a generator repair service.
Clogged Fuel Line or Valve
If the carburetor is blocked, the fuel valve likely is as well. Check if the vacuum and fuel relief valves on the top of the gas tank are open. If you’ve already done that and your generator still won’t turn on, you can remove the fuel hose to see if gas can flow freely. When you try this, ensure a bucket is nearby to catch the fuel. Also, ensure the filter between the carburetor and the fuel valve is clear. If you do this and the generator still doesn’t start, call a generator repair service to diagnose and repair it.
Contact Mister Sparky Generators for Generator Repair
Mister Sparky Generators is the go-to generator repair service provider. If you are experiencing a problem with your generator or need general service to ensure everything is working properly, we can come to you. We’ll diagnose the problem and determine the best course of action to remedy it. Then, we’ll take care of everything and restore power to your house.
Call Mister Sparky Generators at 843-582-0671 or contact us online if you need a generator repair service provider in Dillon, SC.