One of our blog readers, who teaches at CLR seminar, emailed asking- my Generac generator won’t start, what can I do? To keep it simple and straightforward for you, we’re going to look at some of the reasons why your Generac generator won’t start.
Generac Generator Won’t Start
For most people, a portable generator is a tool that’s needed, not on a daily basis. But when its needs arise, the unit must start at all costs. This is primarily during emergency power losses in the event of natural disasters.
What can you do when your Generac generator won’t start in an emergency? When your portable genset doesn’t start when it’s needed the most, there are things to try.
In most cases, these simple troubleshooting will solve the problem and your unit will be back to normal functioning.
1. Inspect the basics
Before getting “serious” with troubleshooting, first, make sure that all the basics required to start a generator are present.
- Does the unit have enough gas and oil
- Is the unit choke engaged?
- Is the unit’s fuel valve on?
Some generators have low oil automatic shutdown feature, which will shut down the unit when the oil levels go below the recommended levels.
In this case, most people only check for fuel and will argue that the gas tank is full, and the unit won’t start.
Damn it, it happens all the time, especially when I’m away, and my wife has to get the generator started. She always done that countless times now and every time I have to remind her to check if the generator has enough fuel.
2. Inspect the Air Filter
For your Generac generator to start, it needs some airflow. A clogged air filter will prevent it from starting at all costs.
Remove the filter and inspect it for any clogging.
Even if the filter doesn’t look that bad, you can always try to clean it to be sure. Whack it against the floor or countertop to get rid of dust and any other dirt.
If the filter looks too tough to clean or worn out, you will have to replace it. Air filters are dirty cheap and my recommendation is to always have a spare in your garage.
3. Check the Spark Plug
Plug out the spark plug and inspect its condition. If it looks too dirt, use this Berryman Chem-Dip Carburetor to clean it up. Also spray some of the cleaner directly to the cylinder while the spark plug is pulled.
If your Generac generator doesn’t start even after all the steps, you may have to consider replacing the spark plug.
The plug may go bad even when they look like they’re fine. Like filters, they are dirt cheap. It’s always recommended to have a spare plug at hand.
4. Use Fresh Fuel
One of the common causes your Generac generator won’t start because the gasoline is old. Gasoline tends to degrade over time. If the fuel looks cloudy or looks like there’s been some separation, you should consider replacing it with fresh fuel.
Siphon the gas and fill the tank with fresh gas. To prevent this from happening in the future, try to run your generator dry or use some fuel stabilizer. A fuel stabilizer is a must-have accessory for anyone with a portable generator.
5. Clean the Carburetor
Old gasoline that passes through the carburetor can mess things up for your Generac generator.
You can use carb cleaner to clean the carburetor. Spray this cleaner to the orifices without removing the carburetor.
In some other instances, you may be forced to remove the carburetor for thorough cleaning. Before removing the carburetors, it’s important to know that these small gadgets are very sensitive.
Watch out not to scratch it when removing and keep track of all the screws as you don’t want to lose any of them.
If you’ve never cleaned a carburetor before, I highly recommend you to watch the below simple DIY video on how to clean your generator carburetor.
6. Check the fuel filter and the fuel line
If your Generac won’t start even after trying all the tips above, then it’s time to inspect the fuel line and make sure that there are not any clogs, pinches, leaks or cracks there.
You may be able to repair the fuel line, but it’d save you some time just to replace the fuel line.
Fuel line problems are rare, and there’s no need to have a spare with you. But if you want to be sure that your generator is up and running every time there’s a blackout, it won’t hurt to have a spare fuel line ready.
Additionally, not all generators have fuel lines- so this is a hack for those who have units that do have filters.
Remove the fuel line and watch to see if fuel passes through the generator filter. If no fuel drains through, it’s likely the filter is clogged and needs replacement.
Special Considerations for Generac Generators with Electric Start
For Generac gensets with electric start systems, it’s important to make sure that the battery is not dead.
I use this multimeter to see if the generator is dead. You’ll have to replace it if it’s dead.
However, if the battery is fine, you have to make sure there are no blown fuses. Also, make sure that there’s no corrosion on the terminals and the terminal connection is tight.
Even when everything looks good, remove the terminals and clean them using a wire brush- to be sure.
What to Do To Prevent Generac Generator Won’t Start Scenario
If you want to avoid such a scenario where your generator won’t start, I’d recommend regular maintenance.
You should follow the maintenance schedule, as indicated on the user manual that came with your generator.
Changing oil after several uses is as important as inspecting the spark plugs and the air filter. Regular maintenance will ensure that your portable genset is in good working condition.
If you only use the generator in the event of an emergency, I’d advise you to run it dry before storing it. Alternatively, you can use a fuel stabilizer in this case.
Additionally, you can always run your generator after a couple of weeks or months to make sure it’s functioning properly. This way, you won’t caught in the darkness when the lights go out.
On Generac Generator Won’t Start
If your portable Generac genset won’t start, there’s no need to panic. In most cases, you can fix this issue in less than 30 minutes by applying the above simple troubleshooting hacks.
If your generator won’t start after trying all the above tips, I’d recommend you to consult a certified maintenance specialist.
If the unit is still under warranty, it’s important to send it back to the manufacturer for repairs.
Have you ever experienced this problem before? What did you do? Please let me know down below.