10 Reasons Your Generator Won’t Start

We know how frustrating it can be when trying to start your generator, but it doesn’t seem to work. Going through a power outage can prove difficult, especially during extreme weather. Your generator not starting is the last thing you need.

There can be different reasons why your generator won’t start. Below, we have identified several reasons for these problems and have provided you with a solution to help you overcome the issue.

1. Low Fuel in the Tank

The fuel is one of the first things you need to look out for if your generator is not starting. Usually, the reason your generator is not starting is that it doesn’t have enough fuel. Depending on the type of fuel you use, it is important to ensure that there is sufficient fuel.

If you have a gasoline generator, then you need to keep the stale gas in mind. If the gas is a few months old, it can greatly affect the functionality of the generator engine. You will need to drain the old gas from the generator and fuel the tank with new gasoline to overcome the problem.

2. The Fuel Valve is Closed or Clogged

If your gas tank is full but isn’t starting, your fuel valve could be the problem. These valves control the fuel and allow it to pass through the carburetor to the engine. You need to make sure that the valve is open to allow a steady fuel flow throughout the generator.

If the valve is open, but there is still no sign of fuel, then there are two different methods that you can adopt. You may notice a vacuum relief valve on the top of your generator; make sure to turn it on too.

The second step that you can take is unplugging the hose to check whether the gasoline is moving freely or not. If it is clogged, then you may need to replace it with a new one.

3. Dead Battery

Similar to your car, generators have a battery that helps them start. If the battery is dead or weak, pulling the cord won’t do you any good. A poor or dead battery is one of the most common problems that prevent the generator from starting. It can occur when you forget to charge your battery, and it dries out eventually.

You will need to simply charge it with the 12-volt outlet to overcome this problem. Apart from that, you can also use the jumper cables from your car to start the generator. However, if both of these methods fail, then the battery may not be the problem.

4. Clogged Carburetor

Over time, the carburetors can get clogged and prevent the generator from starting. Usually, the problem occurs when you don’t use a generator for a long time. The gas left in the generator might become solid and begin clogging the carburetor. These clogs prevent the generator from effectively passing the fuel throughout its various components.

If you notice that our carburetor is blocked, you will first need to close the fuel valve. After that, you can displace the bowl from underneath the carburetor. Now you can remove the clog with the help of different tools such as towels, brushes, and needles. Turn on the fuel valve before starting the generator again.

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5. Unadjusted Choke

Another common reason for the generator not starting properly is that the choke is adjusted at the wrong angle. It can either be too open or too closed. The choke’s positioning is important since it determines the amount of air that will be allowed to be adjusted with the fuel. In case the level of exposure is extreme, then the generator may not start.

If the generator has not run for a few hours, you will need to fully close the choke. But in case you did not run your generator for quite some time, you will need to adjust the choke at the starting position. Open the choke halfway and start the generator when the engine is still warm.

6. Spark Plugs Problems

Spark plugs are often one of the main culprits preventing the generator from starting. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that the spark plugs are properly plugged in. If you see that the spark plugs have debris and dust all over them, you must clean them first.

For spark plugs to work effectively, they need to have a solid connection. Check for damage such as corrosion in these plugs and replace the old ones with new ones.

7. Low Oil Levels in Engine

Optimum oil levels are vital to keeping the generator running smoothly. You may have seen that most generators have sensors that show you the level of oil in the engine.

But in case your generator does not offer this feature. You can use a dipstick to properly measure. Make sure to refill the oil in the engine to ensure that your generator starts without an issue.

8. Cables Plugged in

In some cases, you may have cables still plugged into the generator. Most generators do not start with cables plugged into them. You will need to unplug the cables and start it again. Once it starts running, you can plug in the electronics cables to keep the appliances running.

9. Clogged Air Filter

A clogged air filter can also be a major factor that stops your generator from running. It is easy to determine a clogged air filter since it will appear dirty. You can replace it with a new one to get the engine started.

10. Damaged or Old Generator

Like other electronic appliances, the generators are prone to damage and repairs. When the engine or the motor wears out, it stops working altogether. Perhaps, it might be time to buy a new generator.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, plenty of factors can be why your generator is not starting. You can adopt the mentioned solutions above to overcome the starting issues.

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