When you come to realize your generator won’t start, instead of just scratching your head saying, “My generator won’t start” try these remedies.
There could be various reasons for a generator not starting, and troubleshooting the problem may depend on the type of generator you have. In general, follow these ideas to try to get your generator started up and running.
- Only run generators outdoors with lots of ventilation.
- If your starter rope is broken, or the recoil starter housing has been removed, DO NOT attempt to start the generator with a power drill on the starter nut. The kickback could break your thumb or wrist.
Maybe you generator won’t start because you are not following the necessary steps. Begin troubleshooting here, with the starting order…
How to Start a Generator
- First, you should ensure that nothing is plugged in to draw any power from the gene when it starts.
- Second, you will of course need to turn on the gas, enabling gas flow to the engine.
- Next, you will need to choke the engine because it has not been started in a while. Choke is a manual switch or dial that is used to reduce the amount of air in the fuel mixture when the engine is started.
- Fourth step is to turn on the ignition switch, if there is one.
- Now you can pull the starter string, a.k.a. recoil starter cord.
- If the generator starts, lessen the choke down to its completely disabled position. You may have to do this slowly to keep the engine from stopping.
If Your Generator Won’t Start Still
- Check the fuel level: Make sure there is enough fuel in the generator’s tank. If the fuel level is low, refill it with the appropriate type of fuel (gasoline, diesel, propane, etc.).
- Check the fuel quality: Old or contaminated fuel can cause starting problems. If the fuel has been sitting in the generator for a long time, consider draining it and adding fresh fuel.
- Inspect the spark plug: A fouled or faulty spark plug can prevent the generator from starting. Remove the spark plug and check for signs of damage or fouling. Clean or replace the spark plug if necessary.
- Check the air filter: A clogged air filter can restrict air intake and affect the generator’s performance. Inspect the air filter and clean or replace it as needed.
- Review the oil level: Some generators have a low-oil shutdown feature that prevents starting if the oil level is too low. Check the oil level and add oil if needed.
- Verify the battery: If your generator has an electric starter, ensure that the battery is charged. If the battery is weak or dead, try jump-starting it or charging it.
- Prime the generator (if applicable): Some generators, especially those with carburetors, may require priming before starting. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to prime the generator properly.
- Check for a tripped circuit breaker: If the generator has a circuit breaker, make sure it’s in the “ON” position. A tripped breaker will prevent the generator from starting.
- Inspect the fuel line and fuel shut-off valve: Ensure that the fuel line is not clogged or kinked, and if there’s a fuel shut-off valve, make sure it’s open.
- Look for any visible damage or loose connections: Check for any obvious physical damage to the generator or loose connections that could be affecting its operation.
Why does all this matter? Because Bob Villa says you should have a working generator.
If you’ve tried the above steps and still the generator won’t start, it may require a professional generator repair service. In that case, it’s best to contact Daytona Outdoor Power soon, for further assistance. In many local cases, we offer pick up and delivery.