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Ask Assurance - Surges and EMPs

Some very interesting questions came in to the offices of Assurance Power Systems this past week so we have decided to answer one general generator frequently asked question, and one that will be sure to make the preppers smile but leave the rest of our customers scratching their heads a bit. Let’s tackle the easier of the two generator questions first.

Why Does My Generator Surge?

Nothing drives a person crazier than a generator that refuses to stop surging! Although this is not a common issue with most well-built generators such as Generac, it does occasionally occur and should be addressed by expert Assurance Power Systems technicians. LP and Natural Gas generators would have much less reason to surge than their diesel and gasoline counterparts. Inconsistent fuel pressure could be a possible cause of fluctuating RPM’s and the fuel delivery system may need adjustment. The spark plugs that ignite the fuel may also be gapped improperly causing fluctuation of RPM’s. Spark plugs that are used with LP and Natural gas generators do not foul with unignited fuel as do some diesel and gas generators do but there may be a build-up of an oily substance in the regulator. Improper gapping of the spark plugs can also cause uneven RPMs.
Another potential issue that may solve the question of why your generator might surge is due to load placed on the generator. Larger appliances may have a great effect on the generator and when more such appliances are turned on the RPMs of the generator are affected.

Will My Generator Survive an EMP?

First let’s better understand What an EMP actually is.  An EMP or Electromagnetic Pulse is in essence a quick burst of energy that can be natural in origin such as a solar flare or man-made, perhaps accompanying a nuclear blast. An EMP can disrupt electric power grids and therefore interrupt power to your homes and businesses. Those who have an emergency back-up or standby generator will have a much greater chance of survival in an extreme situation or greater comfort until the grid is repaired.


Although your back-up generator is limited by your fuel supply there are some other issues that can affect your generator after an EMP. Natural Gas Generators receive fuel from underground pipes and can be stored in large tanks, you are thereby limited only to the supply of natural gas in your tanks. Generally, the simpler the electronic device the more likely that it will survive an Electromagnetic Pulse. If asking “will my generator survive and EMP? The best answer is maybe, depending on the complexity of any microprocessor that it uses. You may consider having several spare circuit boards that run some of your more essential devices or appliances, and learn how to replace them.

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