Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power?

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Written By John Gibbs




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Power outages happen at the most inopportune moment, so in order not to be left without electricity, it is worth buying a generator. This device is indispensable in a country house, camping or enterprise. It is enough to connect an electrical appliance of any type to it, and it will be able to provide it with electricity. Why is my generator running but not producing power? This is the question many owners of gasoline and diesel generators ask themselves. It is important to know how to use a gasoline generator or a similar device of another type and always take precautions.

Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power?
The most common reasons are that the generator is not getting enough fuel, the generator is not properly grounded, or there is something wrong with the generator’s alternator. If you have ruled out these possibilities, then it is likely that there is something wrong with the generator’s engine.

Working With The Device

To start the generator, it needs to be turned on and started, this process is performed using a manual starter, the rope of which needs to be pulled. If there are problems with the engine or low-quality oil, the device will not start the first time, in this case, you need to pull the starter several times. The best option is generators with electric starters, the motor of which starts immediately and connects an additional load. They can be switched on automatically or semi-automatically.

The device is able to start independently when there is a power outage on the territory of its connection, providing electricity to the whole house. When the electricity supply resumes, the generator will turn itself off. If the device is semi-automatic, it needs to be turned on and off using the buttons. When buying a generator for home use, you need to pay attention to its power. And check if the generator has stopped producing electricity while running. For its proper operation, choose oils suitable for a specific type of device.

the red generator stands at the entrance to the building


To prevent possible troubles, you need to know how to use a gasoline generator or a similar device of another type. Devices that will be integrated into the general electrical network should be configured only by specialists with appropriate qualifications. Therefore, when choosing a gasoline generator, it is necessary to take into account its parameters and compatibility with other devices of the common network.

Any error during connection can cause damage to the power supply circuit throughout the house. For those who have no experience in working with such devices and high-voltage electricity, it is better to hire a specialist. When choosing a generator for operation, it must be configured according to the requirements of the network. A properly connected device will work properly for a long time.

man carries a generator

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What Should I Do Before Starting Work?

A portable generator is capable of giving access to electricity to several devices at once. This is convenient in areas where electricity is often cut off, for example, in the country. To ensure that the generator does not cause problems, the following rules must be taken into account before turning it on:

  • Select the devices that need to be connected to a backup source of additional power, it can be a refrigerator or medical equipment. Next, determine the total power of the devices in watts used simultaneously.
  • It is necessary to place the device in open spaces with good ventilation away from doors and windows so that carbon monoxide does not penetrate into the house. The installation site should not be exposed to moisture, and it is also better to place the generator under a canopy.
  • When choosing oil for the generator and fuel, follow the recommendations of the appliance manufacturer. For example, a gas inverter generator with a capacity of 2 kW can work up to 13 hours with a tank volume of 1.3 gallons.
  • The equipment for the device is connected using a strong extension cord with grounding, it is better to use a network splitter indoors.

Fuel for the device is stored only in closed containers, choosing the power of the generator, you need to remember that during startup it acquires much more energy than in standard operation. Before refueling, the engine is turned off and allowed to cool down. To ensure safety, it is worth consulting with an electrician if the owner of the premises is not sure which type of generator and with what power level to choose.

electrician tuning the generator

The Main Causes of Malfunctions of Gasoline Generators

Like any equipment, power plants also break down. Below are the most common generator malfunctions and recommendations for their elimination.

Problems with the internal combustion engine

The reasons:

  • Absence of elements necessary for engine operation – fuel, oil, unpolluted air filter. The presence of these components is the key to the good operation of the gasoline generator, in their absence, a protective mechanism is triggered and the device stalls.
  • There is no spark ignition. You can fix the problem as follows: unscrew the candle with a special key, then, using sandpaper and an iron brush, clean off the resulting carbon deposits that appear when using low-quality fuel. Then you need to wipe the candle with gasoline or alcohol, and let it dry. After that, you should check again for the presence of an ignition spark and try to start the generator.
  • Insufficiently adjusted carburetor, the occurrence of soot when the generator is not in full force. An additional adjustment of the carburetor will help solve the problem.
  • Other serious generator failures.

Problems in the operation of an electric generator usually arise due to the lack of voltage, which occurs for a number of reasons. This may be a lack of contact, a malfunction of brushes, burnout of capacitors, PWM blocks, etc. If voltage surges are observed at constant motor speed, then most likely it is a malfunction of the excitation regulators. It is necessary to disassemble the device to find out the exact reason for its failure to work.

A difficult start of the engine usually indicates its malfunctions. The sooner the cause is identified, the sooner the negative effects will disappear.

Often the cause of the malfunction is several interrelated factors at once. In this case, the problems must be solved in stages.

Circumstances preventing normal engine starting

The ignition system is not working properly
The following options are possible here:

  • Problems with the spark plug: the distance between the electrodes is too large or too small (it is necessary to place the electrodes at an optimal distance), insulation failure (replacing the spark plug with a new one will help), the formation of heavy carbon (careful cleaning of the spark plug is necessary);
  • Problems with the ignition coil: insulation failure or winding rupture (replacement is necessary), the incorrect connection of circuit elements, or interruptions in its operation (if it is impossible to eliminate the malfunction of the chip, it must be replaced).

Poorly functioning fuel system

Causes and methods of elimination:

  • Lack of fuel in the tank (it is necessary to fill the tank);
  • Clogging or clamping of the fuel hose (thorough cleaning or complete replacement of the hose is required);
  • Air trapped in the fuel hose (check the strength of the connections, tighten if necessary);
  • Low-quality gasoline or diluted with water (pour more high-quality fuel);

Problems with the carburetor: breakage, fuel, or debris getting into it, as a result, the generator does not produce electricity. The problem will be solved by disassembling and cleaning the carburetor. Also, the reason may be an incorrectly installed throttle valve, which is solved by careful adjustment of this part.

Problems in the main engine components

Causes and methods of elimination:

  • Poorly tightened cylinder head mounting bolts (tighten tighter)
  • The piston, piston rings, or cylinder has worn out (repair or complete replacement is needed)
  • Poor contact between the working chamfers and the seats (repair is needed)
  • A jamming valve (repair is needed)
  • A gap between the valves, the value of which differs from the gap value provided for this model (careful adjustment of the gap value is necessary);
  • The intake manifold gasket does not prevent the passage of air (tighten the bolts; if the air continues to pass, replacement of the gasket is necessary)
  • Poorly tightened spark plug (tighten the spark plug harder)

The engine does not gain the power declared by the manufacturer

Worker works with a hammer connected to a generator

Causes and methods of elimination:

Lack of compression

  • Insufficiently tightened spark plugs (it is necessary to tighten or replace the spark plug gasket);
  • Loosely fitting cylinder head (tighten the mounting bolts more tightly or replace the gasket);
  • Piston rings are jammed or worn out (rings need to be replaced)
  • The piston or cylinder has worn out (repair or replacement is needed)
  • Poor contact between the working chamfers of the valve and the seat (repair or replacement is needed)
  • The piston rod is stuck (repair or replacement is needed)
  • The gap between the valves differs from the gap provided for this model (adjustment of the gap is required)

Problems in the ignition system

  • Candle malfunction (candle replacement is required)
  • Ignition coil malfunction (coil replacement is required)
  • The size of the air gap between the ignition coil and the flywheel differs from the size of the gap provided for this model (it is necessary to adjust the size of the gap)
  • Demagnetized magneto (replacement of magneto is necessary)

A child maintains a generator

Poor operation of the fuel system

  • The carburetor is clogged (the carburetor needs to be disassembled and cleaned)
  • The filter or hose is clogged (the hose needs to be cleaned or replaced)
  • Air enters the fuel hose (checking and adjusting connections)
  • Low-quality gasoline or gasoline diluted with water (replace gasoline with no higher quality)

Weakness of air inflow

  • The air filter is clogged (cleaning or replacement is necessary)
  • The fuel damper is broken (repair or replacement is necessary)


Why is my generator not producing enough power?

The generator may not be producing enough power because the engine is not running at the correct speed, the generator is not big enough for the load, or the generator may be old and not working as well as it used to.

What to do if the generator lost its magnetic field?

If the generator has lost its magnetic field, it will need to be replaced.

blue generator powered the house

What is the common cause of generators’ failure to produce electricity?

The common cause of generators failing to produce electricity is a loss of power from the main source. If your generator stopped producing electricity while running аirst of all, you need to open his instructions and follow all the advice.

Why is my Husky generator not producing power?

There are a few possible reasons why your Husky generator is not producing power. It could be that the generator is not receiving enough fuel, the spark plugs are not firing, or the engine is not running at the correct speed. If you are not sure what the problem is, it is best to take it to a qualified technician for diagnosis and repair.

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In principle, there can be no other possible malfunctions other than those indicated. The device of the gas generator is quite simple, and it is not difficult to find the reason for the lack of voltage if there is an electrical installation diagram and a multimeter at hand.


About John Gibbs

Hello everyone! My name is John Gibbs. I am 60 years old and have been in the family construction business all my adult life. Construction is not only my profession but also my passion. I know everything about building and repair materials, tools, advanced methods, techniques, and approaches. I will share the same knowledge with you in my articles.

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