In 2020, American electricity customers had an average of eight hours of power interruptions. With more people working from home, sudden power outages are a massive concern.
Generators are one of the go-to power stations for emergencies. They allow electricity-related tasks during outages from hurricanes and line failures. Despite that, generators are still prone to damage.
Do you have an idea of how to fix a generator? Continue reading this guide to learn about generator repair now.
The Most Common Generator Problems
Depending on your usage and maintenance, the issues you can face will vary. Sometimes, these generator problems only become noticeable when they get severe. Because of that, many generator owners often overlook them.
There are six common generator issues you can face, and each one can have several causes. Pay attention to any unusual sounds or smells from your power station. It may be one of the signs for you to fix your generator soon.
- Battery failure
- Low fuel levels
- Coolant leakage
- Dirty air filter
- Low oil levels
- Locked shutoff valves
Locked or closed valves are easy to repair since you only need to open them for your generator to work. When people store their generators for a long time, they forget that they closed the valves. To avoid this, you can put labels on your generator.
But how to fix a generator and keep them in peak condition? Following these tips will give your portable generator a longer life span. It also helps you save money from repairs.
Inspect Generator Fuel
One common portable generator failure reason is its lack of fuel. Unlike other machines, generators are not for daily use. Insufficient fuel levels are possible issues if you haven’t used the generator in the past year.
Not only that, but the quality of fuel can degrade when you store them for long periods. There are cases where it can also clog your engine. When this happens, call your trusted mechanic to check it.
Some generators have a small plastic fuel filter inside. They keep dust, debris, and dirt often found in gasoline from damaging the fuel system.
During storage, these filters can catch all the debris and clog up. When it happens, your fuel system receives little to no fuel, causing low fuel levels. It also prevents your generator from running or even starting.
To fix a generator with this problem, separate the fuel line from the carburetor. Start running your generator and observe if the fuel seeps through the filter.
When it does not, replace your filter. You can try to clean it, but generator filters are affordable.
Check Your Generator’s Load
Most generators often experience overloading, which prevents them from producing power. A portable generator can only handle a specific electrical load. For example, the Jackery portable power only has 1002Wh.
Exceeding your generator’s load can only damage it. Certain appliances draw more power when starting up than when they operate. Generators can handle the operating load, but the start-up loads can be five times higher.
One way to fix this issue is to remove some items first. Wait for each device to settle into operating mode and make gradual additions.
Change Circuit Breakers and Fuses
When your generator is running but is not providing power, you may have blown a fuse. It can also be a cause of a tripped circuit breaker.
The easiest way is to reset your breaker and replace all the blown fuses. But you can try to solve the causes of these trips and blows before restarting your generator. Doing this will also prevent these problems from arising next time.
Clean the Gas Vent
All generators have a gas cap with a valve or hole that works like a vent. These gas vents allow gasoline to flow from the storage area to the fuel system. It ensures that your system is ready for use.
When you have a clog in your gas vent, all essential airflow stops reaching the gas. Because of that, it will have problems going to the carburetor.
There are also cases where the vent experiences plugging. While you have a working generator, it will have a poor performance.
Always clear out your gas vents by poking the valve with a thin wire. You can also give it a quick shot of compressed air.
When it comes to portable generators, you may be experiencing low oil levels. Most have automatic oil check features and shut down when you have insufficient oil levels.
Check the oil level of your generator using a dipstick and add oil until it reaches the line. You can also consider an oil change. Many product manuals have recommendations on oil change frequency.
Do a Routine Generator Maintenance and Service Checks
Damaged or poor-performing generator power outages are troublesome to any home. Because of that, generator owners need to make routine maintenance checks. It helps you avoid running into frustrating scenarios when preparing for a storm.
One of the best ways to fix a generator is by ensuring it stays in peak condition. They can function for years if you give them proper maintenance and servicing. While it may not stop generator problems, it lessens the severity.
Run your generator every few months to check its fuel and lines. Make sure to clean the air filters and other parts to stop dust and debris from accumulating.
Field Flash Your Portable Generator
Field flashing is a method of jumpstarting your portable generator. Long periods of storage can cause the magnetism of generator rotors to weaken. Because of that, its electricity-producing ability is reduced.
When you field flash, use a battery and connect the generator wires. Take out the spark plug from your generator and pull the starter cord. A small current will flow from the battery and wake up your emergency power system.
Your Ultimate Guide on How to Fix a Generator
Many people often have difficulties in finding how to fix a generator. Despite that, generators are simple power machines. To fix them, you need to know the signs of damage.
Not only that, but you also need to be more aware of the causes of generator problems. It will help you find the best repair solutions and preventions.
Did you find this guide helpful? Discover other relevant tech-related content by reading our blog posts today.