Your generator is noisyAnd it burns fuel, but it doesn't do much.Even if the engine is running, your home still has no power.Why is your generator not producing electricity?This article provides a list of the 5 most likely problems and explains how to fix them in your own garage.
Sometimes the problem is as simple as acircuit breaker tripping.This could be becausean overload or a damaged cable.Another strong possibility isYour generator has lost residual magnetism. voltage regulator or capacitorit could also be faulty, or it could be too muchWear on carbon brushes.
If you know what's messing up your generator, you can often get it running again with just a few steps. So let's start!
The 5 Most Important Reasons Why a Generator Won't Produce Electricity
# 1: circuit breaker tripped
Like your home, yourGeneratorIt has a circuit breaker that trips if too much current flows. This will help prevent electrical damage and fire if something goes wrong.If the circuit breaker trips, no current can flow.from the generator.
Locate the circuit breakers on your device's control panel.When in the off position,You tripped your circuit breaker. The simplest reason is that you are trying to run many devices.with your generator. When the machine is suspended, the switch trips to prevent frying.
Shut down anything non-essential and restart your generator.Does it work this time? If yes, you have overloaded it.
Some generators also have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). This is an additional safety measure to turn off the power if a power loss occurs.If the "Reset" button appears on your generator, something has tripped the GFCI breaker.
This could mean that the switch itself is faulty.Disconnect everything from the generator, turn it on and press the "Reset" button.If it goes out and the button reappears, you'll need a replacement circuit breaker. You should also try running a few small devices from the GFCI outlet at the same time. If you can do that, the GFCI is not the problem.
One possibility is that the power cables you connect to the generator are damaged.Make sure there are no obvious signs of wear and tear, such as peeling insulation or frayed wires. If the wires are intact, plug them into the GFCI outlet one at a time and try running power through them.See if any of them hit the reset button. In this case, you've found the leak.
What if none of these measures prevent the circuit breaker from tripping? This means there is a problem with your home's wiring or the devices your generator was powering. You will have to use a bit of trial and error to find the bad section.
#2: Loss of residual magnetism
Your generator uses a rotating electromagnet to create the electricity that runs your lights and appliances. This coil of wire usually remains slightly magnetic when you turn the device off. The machine relies on that little magnetism to boost its power generation when you turn it back on.
The most common reason a generator stops producing electricityis that it has lost that residual magnetism.
This is basically done in three ways:
- You don't use your generator for a while and over time the magnetic field disappears.
- You leave something plugged in when you turn off the generator. When the machine is turned off, magnetism flows into the device that powered it.
- You operate your generator with no load. This allows the magnetism to dissipate.
It doesn't take much to recharge your generator's magnetism.
Here is a simple method:
- Find a bit and remove the bit so the chuck is empty.
- Plug the drill into your generator outlet. Set it in the "forward" direction.
- Start the generator.
- Hold the drill trigger while rotating the chuck in the "reverse" direction.Don't hold it too long or let your fingers get caught in the opening.
- Repeat this process until the drill turns on, indicating the generator is running. This should only require 2-3 turns of the chuck.
This weird but effective trick works because your drill has its own magnets. When you flip it back over, you push some of that magnetism towards the generator.
If you don't have a drill, you can try "flashing" your generator. No, this does not include a trench coat. All you need is a 12-volt battery and some alligator clips.
That's how it works:
- Unscrew and remove the alternator end cap from the generator.
- Locate the positive and negative wires coming out of the voltage regulator and note where they are connected. The positive is usually red, while the negative is black or white, but check the labels to be sure.
- Disconnect these wires and disconnect the controller. Use alligator clips to connect the battery's ground terminal to where the negative cable used to be.
- Attach a second alligator clip to the metal tab where the positive wire was attached. Do not connect the other end to the battery yet.Make sure no other metal touches any of the clips.
- Connect a light to the generator. This allows you to see if there is any power output.
- Start the generator.
- Connect the free end of the second alligator clip to the positive battery terminal. Leave it there for a few seconds. When you see your light glow, your generator is producing electricity again!
#3: Worn brushes
ok show yourGeneratordid not work. As you have already removed the alternator cover, you need toMake sure the brushes are in good condition.🇧🇷 The brushes are small pieces of carbon that touch the rotor. They wear out over time, so more expensive generators may not use them.
Assuming your alternator has brushes, they are in the brush set. This is the small piece of metal with tabs that attach the wires to the voltage regulator.Unscrew it and examine the small carbon blocks sticking out.Those are the brushes.
- French fries
- Worn brushes less than half the size of a new one
- burnt or melted patches
- loose brushes
If there are any signs of damage.You need to replace the brushesOr the entire congregation.Fortunately, these are fairly inexpensive parts.
# 4: AVR roto
Machines don't like surprises. That's why your generator has an Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR). This crucial component keeps voltage constant to protect the alternator from things like overloads and surges.But if it fails, the AVR can stop your generator's output..
If you know the ins and outs of using a multimeter, you can use it to test your AVR.Disconnect the wires from the brush assembly. Then unscrew and remove the entire AVR.
turn on the generatorwith the end plate removed. While it is working, you need to act:
- About the brushes.
- On each pair of windings. These are the four small terminals that line one side of the alternator.
- Through the two positive terminals of the winding.
Brush readings should be between 5 and 10 volts. Across the windings should be more like 3-5. And there should be no voltage on the positive terminals of the winding.If those voltage readings are normal, then the AVR is what's messing up your generator.you need a new one
If you get readings outside these ranges, there is a problem with the alternator rotors or windings. These are bigger fixes than we can cover here.
#5: Bad capacitor
Many home generatorsUse capacitors instead of AVRto manage your stress. They can also interrupt your machine's output if they fail. If you have a brushless generator, test the capacitor to see if it is blocking its output.
You'll find it in roughly the same place an AVR would be (see above).Be very careful when working with capacitors. Don't let your finger connect the two connectors.This can lead to severe shock.
You can see obvious damage like melted metal or burn marks. If not, remove the cover andStart your generator.while the engine is running,Touch both ends of the capacitor with your multimeter's test leads.
If you read about 5 volts,your alternator is working fine. The capacitor prevents your generator from working.Good news: they're even cheaper to replace than AVRs.
A generator that produces nothing is of no use to anyone. The good news is that you can often get yours working again by restoring residual magnetism or reducing the charge. It may also be sufficient to replace smaller parts such as capacitors or circuit breakers. Good luck turning on the lights!
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