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5 Common Generator Problems to Watch Out For

What are the five most common generator problems?


  1. Battery Problems
  2. Start Up Failure
  3. Leaks
  4. Mechanical Gauges
  5. Pest Infestations


What if power outages are common in your area? What if there’s a storm? Is your standby generator working properly? Is it properly maintained and serviced by professionals? When you first got your generator, you had a specific mindset for getting it. It may be a backup power system or an essential part of your daily business. If not properly maintained and serviced, you may encounter some common generator problems. When you have any piece of equipment, preventative maintenance is very important. Here’s what you need to watch out for in your generator.


Battery Problems

This could be the most obvious and common problem in your generator. This commonly occurs when the generator is not in good condition. Properly serviced generators function better. Having it checked by a professional ensures that your investment is working. They’re also able to spot problems with their expertise. However, if you don’t have access to a licensed professional at the moment, you can try a do it yourself route. When checking your generator, always be safe. Avoid plugging it in while checking the different parts. Avoid wet and damp areas when you’re checking it as well. Look at the condition of the chargers, cables, and connections. If they show signs of wear, this could be the reason why your generator is not working. If the batteries are obviously corroded, it’s time to have them replaced. Don’t risk a faulty battery because you’re saving money.


Start Up Failure

Start Up Failure

Have you messed around with the switches of the generator lately? Are your settings in check? Are the dials in the correct position? Consult the manual for your generator first. The problem could be with the settings you accidentally made and it can be easily fixed by setting it back to normal. Look at your machine and see if it shows that it’s switched to off/reset. Simply turn off the alarm to physically reset your generator.

However, if it still doesn’t kick in no matter what you try. Call your technician immediately to get to the bottom of the problem.



Leaks are preventable if you’re performing regular maintenance. Oil, fuel, and coolant leaks can be prevented by this. The most common type of leak you’ll encounter is your coolant leak. These leaks are caused by the failure of block hoses. Unfortunately, these block hoses get a lot of wear and tear due to extreme temperatures. Make a routine to check if there are worn parts and rusted areas that could be causing the problem. If your generator is an old model it could be time for an upgrade. If you’re saving money, replacing parts of the generator would be advisable as long as it doesn’t go over your budget. But if the repairs are more costly than a system replacement, it’s best to just invest in a better generator that’ll give you more power for money.

Another leak problem you might encounter is the fuel leaking back into the tank. This is commonly caused by the lack of usage for your generator. Running your generator a few minutes per week or month can do a lot to prevent the fuel from leaking back.


Mechanical Gauges

Mechanical Gauges

Lack of fuel is one of the reasons why your generator won’t turn on. That should be the first thing you should check when your generator won’t start. Low fuel can also be a sign that there’s a fuel leak. It could be from human error or the pump system. However, it may be caused by your fuel gauges. There’s a possibility that your gauge is not reading the gas level properly.

Fuel gauges can malfunction, and they may not properly indicate proper fuel levels. This can lead to your generators running out of fuel when you least expect it. Over time, mechanical gauges can become stuck. It will fail to indicate if your fuel levels are depleting. A preventative measure to try is to manually check fuel levels. As a precaution, it’s good to be prepared with extra fuel. Safely placing the extra fuel in storage will help in times of need.


Pest Infestation

Placing your generator in the correct area is key to maintaining it properly. If left outdoors in damp areas, you could have a pest infestation soon. There are telltale signs to watch out for. Check the area of your generator for signs of debris, chewing, animal feces, and more. You can look at guides online to identify pest infestations for more information.


Key Takeaway

Common generator problems can be easily identified if you know what to watch out for. Generators are important for any home or business that needs backup power. If not properly maintained and serviced, the problems listed above can become a common occurrence. Be mindful of how you treat your generator and you’ll be able to avoid these problems.

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