Common Generator Problems and Solutions

common generator problemsWhen it comes to common generator problems and solutions, it’s important to have some basic knowledge. Knowing common problems that can occur with generators will ensure you know what to keep an eye out for. Having information about solutions to these common problems will mean you’re prepared to problem-solve if and when any issues arise. Preparedness for generator problems is a great way to make sure you face as little downtime as possible should an issue arise.

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List of Common Generator Problems and Solutions

Familiarize yourself with the brief descriptions of common generator problems and solutions listed below in order to have a basic understanding of problems that can arise with any generator:

  • Batteries: Battery failure is the most common failure when it comes to generators. Always make sure the batteries, chargers, and all cables and connections leading to and from are in good condition.
  • Failure to Start: If a generator fails to start, one cause could be the controls not being set to auto. If the main control switch has been placed in the “off/reset” position, the generator will not automatically kick in when needed.
  • Generator Leaks: Oil, fuel or coolant leaks can often be prevented by performing regular maintenance on a unit. The most common coolant leaks are caused by block heater hoses’ failing; these hoses can wear out relatively quickly due to the extreme temperatures given off by the block heaters. Wet stacking is an occurrence that appears as a leak as well, and can be prevented in a variety of ways such as generator paralleling.
  • Running Out of Fuel: Fuel gauges can sometimes fail to properly indicate fuel levels, resulting in generators running out of fuel. Mechanical gauges may become stuck, failing to indicate depleting fuel levels. It’s a good idea to manually check fuel levels and be prepared with onsite-storage or other means of securing fuel for when refueling is necessary.
  • High Fuel Level Alarm:  This alarm is designed to activate when fuel levels are too high in an effort to avoid the overfilling of a fuel tank. It is possible, although rare, that as fuel undergoes natural thermal expansion (such as on a day with extremely high temperatures), the high fuel level alarm will activate. If this occurs, the alarm may go off on its own once the fuel level returns to its allowed level. It is also possible to manually reset the alarm.

By understanding the most common generator problems, prevention is also easier. Regular inspections and routine maintenance will help to prevent many of the common issues from happening.

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