Backup Home Generator Not Working? Check These 3 Things First!

A home generator is an essential and important piece of equipment that most homeowners should simply not live without. In fact, a system that is capable of generating electricity independent of the electric company is well worth having by anyone’s standards. Whether it’s a hurricane or an earthquake or some other type of natural disaster, a backup home generator can save the day for homeowners and businesses when the unexpected occurs.

However, as dependable and reliable as a generator is they do on occasion fail or malfunction. Maintaining a backup generator in top condition and doing occasional inspections and tune-ups is the best way to reduce the chances of having issues with this all-important piece of home equipment.

Home Generator

An electrician or electrical professional can typically do an annual inspection on a household generator as a way to avoid potential problems down the road. Contacting a professional electrical contractor is always advised when home electrical generator problems do arise. Here are a few of the most obvious and most common types of home generator malfunctions that should be considered.

Is Your Home Generator Out Of Gas?

One of the most obvious and frequent generator failure related problem is that of simply running out of fuel.

It may seem too obvious but it does indeed occur more than most people would like to admit. While simply running out of fuel is an easy fix, there are other cases where a backup generator can be starved of fuel unexpectedly. For example, a clogged fuel filter is a sure way to experience home generator failure. A clogged fuel filter in essence causes an engine to run out of fuel because it is starved of gas. Regularly inspecting fuel tanks, fuel lines and fuel filters can help prevent this from ever happening. This is another case where regularly scheduled maintenance can greatly reduce the chances of this type of occurrence. As an added note, running out of gas is not always caused by absentmindedness and can actually be the result of a faulty or inoperative fuel gauge.

As with other components, the fuel gauge will be inspected and checked during the annual servicing inspection.

Periodically Inspect the Battery

Another common reason that a home generator will fail is because the battery has lost its charge or gone completely dead.

As with a car battery, the battery in a home generator system can (over time) accumulate excessive amounts of sulfate along the blades of the battery. When this buildup becomes excessive the battery loses power and the ability to even start a home generator. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to periodically inspect the battery in your home generator system to ensure that it is healthy, clean and adequately charged. Any time an accumulation of sulfate is detected in or around the battery it is best to clean the battery or simply exchange it for a new fully charged battery. The wrong time to find out that a home generator battery has failed is when some type of emergency has occurred. Even the best home generators on the market today will be of little use if they cannot be started because the battery is inoperative.

Call us today for assistance with your home generator.

Checking Coolant Levels

Finally, inadequate levels of coolant can be a sure way for a home generator to shut down unexpectedly or fail completely.

As with automobiles, coolant must mean maintained at the proper levels to ensure normal operation. Coolant is essential because if an engine becomes too hot and overheats it will simply seize-up or fail to operate. Not only can this cause inconveniences when a home generator is needed the most but it can also result in a home generator system becoming useless. Fortunately for homeowners, checking coolant levels is a very easy task that can be done at regular intervals. Any time the coolant level falls below the recommended amount needed it is easy to simply replenish it. However, there are cases where leaks occur in the system. If a generator requires frequent filling of the coolant there may indeed be some type of leak somewhere in the system. Do an inspection of the entire system and look for pooling of coolant in or around the base of the home generator system.

Consider these common problems associated with home generators and be ready for the unexpected anytime it happens. We are always here to help.

Your Southern Oregon Home Generator Installer, C. McCumber