Why Won’t My Generator Start?

If you’re new to using generators, a generator that won’t start is certainly a cause for concern. Especially if you notice a storm brewing in the distance and the nearest generator repairman is at least an hour away. Before you start panicking, there are a few things you can try to get your generator to start. 

Here are three reasons why your generator might fail to start and what you can do.

3 Reasons Your Generator Won’t Start 

You’re Out of Fuel 

We know this seems like an apparent reason, but it’s one of the most common reasons generators fail to start. Begin by checking the fuel tank for gasoline. If the tank is full, the problem lies somewhere else. For generators fueled by propane, make sure that the tank has enough gas and that all the valves and tubing in the tank are opened. 

It’s important to remember that stale gasoline can negatively affect your generator’s engine. If stale gas has been in the tank for a while, empty the fuel tank and carburetor. Once it’s empty, refill with fresh gas. 

The Carburetor is Clogged 

Old gasoline can cause clogs in your carburetor. If you failed to drain out the carburetor before putting your generator away in storage, old gasoline would clog the carburetor, making it incredibly difficult for new fuel to get through. 

To fix this, start by closing the fuel valve and remove the bowl found at the bottom of the carburetor. Use a gentle brush along with some towels to clean up any stale fuel and fuel debris left behind. Carefully clean out the brass jet nozzle with a safety pin or needle. To avoid this problem in the future, try to run your generator once a month and remember to drain the gas before storing it for extended periods. 

The Battery is Dead 

For generators with electric starters, a generator that fails to start could mean that the battery is dead. To check the battery, begin by inspecting the auxiliary recoil starter if your generator has one. If that still works, you can charge up the electric starter battery with the 12 volt-DC outlet on your generator when it starts to run.

If your generator doesn’t have an auxiliary recoil starter, you’ll need to recharge the battery. You can charge this battery through a 12 volt-DC outlet similar to the one in your car. Or you can choose to use a converter with a home AC outlet. 

If it’s more convenient, you can use jumper cables to jump-start your generator battery from your car battery. You can follow the same process as jump-starting another car’s battery.

Contact Midwest Generator Solutions for Generator Maintenance 

Midwest Generator Solutions encourages all generator owners to perform regular maintenance on their generators.  We will help you replace oil filters, air filters, spark plugs, batteries, and more! 

Visit our maintenance page to find out more about our generator maintenance, and contact us to get a free quote today!


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