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Backup Home Generator Won't Kick On? Here's What to Check


In a world driven by electricity, a power outage can disrupt our daily lives, leaving us feeling helpless and inconvenienced. This is where home generators come to the rescue, providing a reliable backup power source when the grid fails. But what do you do when your trusty home generator refuses to kick on during an outage?

 

In this guide, we'll explore the potential reasons for this issue and explain how our professionals at Boothe's Heating, Air, Plumbing, Drains & Electrical can help you get your generator back up and running.

 

Why Your Standby Generator Won't Start

In our quest for uninterrupted power, home generators stand as invaluable guardians against the inconvenience of power outages. However, there are times when these dependable sources of backup electricity seem to let us down by refusing to start when the grid goes dark.

 

From fuel supply problems to battery issues, faulty starter motors, low oil levels, and even the nuances of manual transfer switches, we'll explore these common stumbling blocks and guide you on how our professionals at Boothe's Heating, Air, Plumbing, Drains & Electrical can help with the troubleshooting process and correct these generator hiccups efficiently.

 

Fuel Supply Problems

One of the most common reasons your home generator may not start during an outage is fuel supply issues. Generators typically run on natural gas or propane, and if there's a problem with the fuel supply or stale fuel in the fuel tank, your generator won't function properly.

 

Our expert technicians will inspect the fuel line, fuel tank, fuel filter, and fuel valve, checking for any leaks, blockages, or damaged components. They'll also verify that your fuel source is sufficient and of good quality. If necessary, they can clean or repair the fuel line system or replace a clogged fuel filter to ensure your generator has the fresh fuel it needs to start and run smoothly.

 

Dead Battery

Just like your car, a home generator relies on a battery to start. If the battery is dead or not functioning correctly, your generator won't kick on when you need it the most. Our technicians will test your generator's battery to determine its condition. If the battery is dead or malfunctioning, they'll replace it with a new, fully charged one. Regular maintenance and testing of the battery can also be scheduled to prevent future issues.

 

Faulty Starter Motor

The starter motor in your generator is responsible for initiating the engine's crank. If it's faulty or you have a dirty spark plug, your generator may not start. Our skilled technicians will diagnose the starter motor to determine if the motor itself, loose connections, or a spark plug problem is the cause of your generator's failure to start. If they find any issues, they'll repair or replace the components as needed, ensuring that your generator starts reliably.

 

Low Oil Level

Generators, like any other engine, require adequate oil levels to operate smoothly. If your generator's oil level is too low, it can prevent it from starting.

 

Our experts will check the oil level in your generator and, if it's low, they'll top it up with the appropriate oil type. They'll also inspect for any leaks that might lead to low oil levels, and check the oil sensor to ensure it is reading the generator's oil levels properly.

 

Overloaded Generator

Sometimes, a generator may not start because it's overloaded with too many appliances or devices connected to it. Generators have a specified wattage capacity, and exceeding this can cause it to trip and not start.

 

Our professionals will help you determine your generator's maximum capacity and educate you on how to distribute the load effectively during an outage. This will prevent overloading and ensure your generator can start and run without any issues.

 

Blocked Air Filter

A blocked or clogged air filter can impede the airflow to your generator's engine, making it difficult to start and run efficiently. Our technicians will inspect the generator's air filter and, if it's clogged or dirty, they'll replace it with a clean, new filter. This simple maintenance task can significantly improve your generator's performance and ensure it starts reliably.

 

Electrical Faults

Sometimes, the issue may be related to electrical problems, such as damaged wiring or faulty circuit breakers, which can prevent your generator from starting. Our skilled electricians will thoroughly inspect the electrical components of your generator and address any faults or issues they discover. This may involve repairing or replacing damaged wiring or resetting circuit breakers to ensure your generator can start and function as intended.

 

Lack of Regular Maintenance

Generators, like any mechanical equipment, require regular maintenance to stay in optimal condition. Neglecting maintenance can lead to various issues, including failure to start during an outage. Our team offers comprehensive generator maintenance services, including regular check-ups, oil changes, filter replacements, and more. By scheduling routine maintenance with us, you can ensure that your generator is always ready to kick on when you need it.

 

Faulty Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS)

The Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) is responsible for detecting a power outage and switching your generator on automatically. If the ATS is malfunctioning, your generator won't start when it should. Our experts will assess the ATS to identify any faults or malfunctions. They'll repair or replace the ATS as necessary to ensure that it can seamlessly transition your home to generator power during an outage.

 

Manual Transfer Switch in Place

Some homes are equipped with a manual transfer switch (MTS) instead of an automatic transfer switch (ATS) to control their backup generator. While an ATS detects a power outage and switches your generator on automatically, a manual transfer switch requires human intervention to activate the generator when the need arises.

 

If you have an MTS in place and your home generator won't kick on during an outage, you will need to activate it before your standby generator will operate. Our electricians can replace your old manual transfer switch with an automatic transfer switch so you don't have to worry about doing so in the event of a power outage.

 

Schedule Professional Standby Generator Repairs

When your standby generator refuses to kick on during a power outage, there can be various potential reasons behind the issue. From fuel supply problems to dead batteries and faulty starter motors, our professionals at Boothe's are well-equipped to diagnose and perform generator repair services that fix the problem.

 

Don't let generator issues leave you in the dark; contact our team to keep your generator running smoothly and your home well-lit, even in the darkest of times.