Generator Won't Start? Try These 8 Things

When you depend on an alternative energy source to power your off the grid home, chances are you have a backup system in addition to your main off grid electricity system with solar panels, windmill or water power. And if you’re like many families off the grid – including us, your backup system involves one or more generators.

1. GOT FUEL? 2. CHECK FOR CLOGGED CARBURETOR 3. TEST THE BATTERY 4. CHECK THE FUEL FILTER/WATER SEPARATOR 5. TRY YOUR PREHEAT AGAIN 6. BLOCKAGE IN THE FUEL TANK OR LINE 7. TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR GLOW/PLUGS SPARK PLUGS 8. CLEAN THE AIR FILTER

Thick Brush Stroke

WHAT DO I DO WHEN MY GENERATOR WON'T START?

1. GOT FUEL?

Whether it's a diesel or a gasoline home generator, one of the simplest reasons it might not start is if lack of fuel. So check your tank first thing.

2. CHECK FOR CLOGGED CARBURETOR

Old fuel gets thick and sticky if it’s old. And if like us, you don't run your generator very often in the summer, thick sticky fuel could clog your carburetor.

3. TEST THE BATTERY

Check your generator's battery with a multimeter. If your battery is dead, try jumping it.

4. CHECK THE FUEL FILTER/WATER SEPARATOR

Sometimes, fuel filters get clogged. And that's what they're there for - to prevent debris and from travelling from the fuel line into the generator.

It's hard to get equipment going when the temperatures drop down to the -30 Celsius range.  And that include generators. Sometimes a generator won't start because we haven't given it enough preheat time.

5. TRY YOUR PREHEAT AGAIN

If there's some kind of blockage in your fuel tank or line (like ice or dirt), the fuel might not even make it to your generator. And then it won't start.

6. BLOCKAGE IN THE FUEL TANK OR LINE