5 Fixes for Generator Start-Up Problems Explained

generator

Generators are an essential tool for many homeowners and businesses, especially during power outages. However, there are times when your generator might refuse to start, leaving you stranded without power. In this blog post, we will discuss the five most common reasons why generators won’t start and how to fix them.

Reason #1: Flooded Generator

A flooded generator is one of the most common reasons why generators won’t start. When too much fuel enters the generator’s engine, it can cause the spark plugs to become wet and prevent the generator from starting.

To fix this issue, turn off the fuel valve and wait for a few minutes to let the excess fuel evaporate. Then, restart the generator according to its manual instructions.

Reason #2: Empty Gas Tank

If your generator won’t start, the first thing you should check is the gas tank. If the generator has run out of gas, it won’t start. Simply refuel the generator and try starting it again.

Reason #3: Spark Plug Issues

A spark plug that’s fouled or dirty can prevent your generator from starting. To diagnose this issue, remove the spark plug and inspect it for damage or wear.

If the spark plug looks damaged, replace it with a new one. If it looks dirty, clean it with a wire brush and reinstall it.

Reason #4: Clogged Fuel Filter

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If your generator won’t start, a clogged fuel filter could be to blame. The fuel filter prevents dirt and debris from entering the generator’s engine.

Over time, the filter can become clogged and prevent the generator from starting. To fix this issue, replace the fuel filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Reason #5: Battery Issues

If your generator has an electric starter, a dead battery could prevent it from starting. Check the battery voltage with a multimeter to ensure that it’s charged. If the battery is dead, charge it using a battery charger or jumpstart it with your car battery.

Bonus Reason: Pull Start Problems

If your generator has a pull start, issues with the recoil starter mechanism could prevent it from starting. To diagnose this issue, remove the starter assembly and inspect it for damage or wear. If it’s damaged, replace it with a new one. If it’s just dirty, clean it with a wire brush and lubricate it with oil before reinstalling it.

What could cause a generator not to start?

A generator may fail to start due to various reasons such as a dead battery, fuel supply issues, a faulty ignition system, or a malfunctioning starter motor.

Why is my generator ticking over but won’t start?

If your generator is ticking over but not starting, it could be due to problems like insufficient fuel, clogged fuel filters, a faulty spark plug, or a malfunctioning carburetor.

How do I get my generator to work again?

To get your generator working again, you can try troubleshooting steps such as checking the fuel level and quality, ensuring proper oil levels, inspecting the spark plug, cleaning or replacing air filters, and verifying the electrical connections.

What makes a generator start?

Generators typically start when an external force initiates the combustion process. This force can be provided by a pull-start mechanism, an electric starter motor, or an automatic start system triggered by a power outage.

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.