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Your Generator Checklist for When Your Generator Doesn’t Start

You are a pre-planner, you have your generator maintenance schedule, you are up-to-date on your Genstar monitoring service, you stay informed when the maintenance tests are run on your standby power system, and most importantly, you feel at the top of your game for keeping your family safe, comfortable and secure….even so…a power outage is the worst time to discover that your generator will not start.

No one wants their backup plan to malfunction when it’s needed most. Luckily, there are common issues to check for when it comes to generator problems. There are also preventative measures you can take to ensure your generator is always ready for the next storm.

Don’t get left in the dark with a generator that does not start. The experts at Assurance Power Systems offer generator repair and maintenance to customers in South Florida. Contact Assurance Power Systems  at 561.944.8589 about your generator. 

Here’s that checklist to keep handy when you need it most:

Check the Fuel System
Does your generator have enough fuel to run? Many generators will not start if they are low on fuel. Further, many models have an automatic shutdown feature if they detect low fuel levels. This is for protection – to help protect your fuel system and generator.

How about quality fuel? As with any vehicle, you should be knowledgeable on the fuel you purchase for your genset! Make sure to check that you’re using a good quality fuel, otherwise it could cause your generator not to start. Diesel fuel is especially vulnerable to water, so if you are storing your fuel for long periods of time without fuel stabilizers, condensation and moisture could ruin gallons of fuel.

Check the Battery
The battery system is the top reason that a generator does not start. If your generator cannot store the energy it makes, it will either run poorly, or not at all. Check the battery’s connection to the unit, as there could be lead sulfate buildup around the connection points. You should also check fluid levels in battery cells. Keep a toothbrush-sized wire brush on hand to remove and clean battery terminals, making those connection points well-maintained. That crystalline buildup is part of the battery use, but it needs to be looked at from time-to-time. Also, make sure your connections are cleaned and tightened or your generator will not start.  The way a generator keeps a constant charge on the battery, it is recommended to be replaced every two years.

Check the Cooling System
There are two main trouble spots to examine if you find your generator does not start. Your cooling system should be cleaned approximately every 2 years, with its coolant flushed and replaced.

***Many generators have coolant level sensors, which will cause a generator not to start for low coolant.
Hoses and Belts:
Your generator relies on hoses and belts to work, so examine all connections for any signs of deterioration, holes or leaks. Especially check the hoses that provide your generator engine with coolant, which can cause your generator to fail and potentially create a toxic mess.

Plugged Radiator Core:
A generator will not start if its radiator is choking on dust, oil, or debris. This can cause your generator’s engine to overheat and fail. Inspect your radiator core for any signs of corrosion, dirty coolant or other signs of filth or lawn debris up into coils.

Check the System Settings
Unfortunately, a simple common reason a generator does not start is that the generator’s buttons are wrongly pushed. For instance, make sure when you are starting your generator, you are not inadvertently also pressing the Emergency Stop Push button. One action would cancel out the other. Also, double check that you are setting your generator into “Auto” operation. If your generator’s control panel is digital, check to make sure the system’s secondary battery is working.

Check for Lubrication Problems
Lubricating oil is what keeps your generator running smoothly, as it helps keep parts from wearing out. A build-up of carbon, moisture and other contaminates can cause a generator to fail. Be sure to perform an annual lubricating oil change, along with swapping in new oil and fuel filters. If there is not enough lubrication oil, your generator may not start or run.

Bigger Problems?
After checking all the failure points, cleaning your generator of dirt and topping off the fuel, your generator should be ready to run. If you are still finding that your generator does not start, speak with our experts by phone, 561.944.8589. A service technician can provide the proper maintenance and replacement parts to ensure your generator is ready to keep you out of the dark. 

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Assurance Power Systems has provided excellent service to South Florida residents and businesses since 2005. We continue to uphold our high standards, whether we’re offering repairs, maintenance, or installations. Our services are provided by our employees, and we do not subcontract out our work.

When you need assistance, count on Assurance Power Systems to provide reliable service with a personal touch.

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