8 Signs Your Generator Needs to be Repaired

Generators are incredibly useful pieces of machinery and often provide backup, ready for when the worst happens. To ensure your generator is ready to go in case disaster strikes, it’s important to be aware of any signs and symptoms of a struggling generator.

If the worst has happened and you find your generator isn’t working as it should, contact our team of expert engineers. Here at Edge Technology, we provide a number of services, including emergency generator repairs!

Troubleshoot Checklist

If you encounter any issues with your generator, troubleshooting alone can often suffice and solve the problem.

Check the fuel

It’s important to check the fuel in case you are getting a false fuel level on an empty tank. It is common to encounter this when the mechanical fuel level gauge becomes stuck.

Some generators will not be able to start with an almost empty tank. This will require regular visual checks to regulate a functional fuel level.

When refilling the fuel tank, avoid doing so on warm humid days and when raining to ensure you are not allowing any rain to fall in.

Plain water can lead to degradation of diesel fuel. Small amounts of water can cause the fuel filters to clog, limiting fuel flow in the engine. Water can also damage the engine, signs of this include abnormal odour or discolouration.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs provide a strong spark when the engine cranks, if this is not provided then the plug is defective. Spark plugs will also need to be quickly replaced if you encounter any of the following:

  • The electrode has a build-up of carbon.
  • The porcelain insulator has a crack.
  • There is a damaged or burnt away electrode.

To effectively indicate any issues regarding the spark plug, you may find spark plug testers highly useful.

Air Filters

Airflow is incredibly important, which is why it’s highly recommended to have a spare air filter available.

It’s important to check in on the air filters to ensure they are not clogged or in need of a clean-up. Otherwise, if you find the filter clogged or worn it will need to be replaced.


Neglected batteries can cause lead sulphate to gather on the plates, this is especially likely when not at full charge.

If you consistently recharge and discharge the battery, the battery will not last long with said charge, this may cause complications during an emergency.

If a battery has been left unused for a while or is about three years old, it’s advisable to replace it.

Oil Level

Gas generators require regular oil level checks. Ensure the machine is always sufficiently filled with oil, and ensure fresh oil is added while old is discarded.

8 Signs Your Generator Needs to be Repaired

Signs Your Generator is in Need of Repairs

Now that we’ve gone through some troubleshooting techniques, it’s also important to be aware of any other indications that your generator is in need of some repairs.

Frayed Wires, Loose Connectors or Sticking Buttons

Generators should be checked over regularly to ensure they are in a good, safe condition. Make sure to test the battery voltage and keep an eye out for any overloads that may shut the system down.

If the electrical components are worn down or show any signs of damage you should contact one of our experts.

The Generator is Leaking

If you notice your generator is leaking, check where the source is coming from.

If you’re not sure where to start, then consider how old the generator is. The older they are, the more likely the leak will stem from the hose line or storage pan.

Check any leaked oil, coolant or fuel, if any leaks are noticed, it’s important that you quickly schedule a repair.

Start-Up Struggles or Erratic Runs

Even if a generator has been sitting around unused, the battery may have drained, or may be damaged. This can cause potential problems with its ability to run continually or even start-up.

In a lot of cases, the generator will have lost residual magnetism. This can cause the generator to provide no power when attempting to start-up. It can be lost naturally from lack of use if the generator is shut off yet still connected to the load or running the generator with no load for too long.

Other than lost residual magnetism, it may also be due to a number of other factors. Here’s our checklist that can prove useful when encountering start-up issues:

  • Check for gas in the tank.
  • Ensure nothing is plugged into the generator when attempting to start it.
  • Check the oil level in the crankcase, add more oil if needed. Uneven surfaces can trigger the low-oil sensors even if there is a sufficient amount.
  • Check the choke and ensure it is closed.
  • Check the fuel valve and carburettor. Sediment can cause clogging if the fuel has been left to sit for too long.
  • Check the spark plug as it may need cleaning or even replacing.
  • Ensure the battery is not dead.
  • Check the air filter is not blocked and is clean.

Check these over habitually for any signs of irregularity and make sure to run your generator for over fifteen minutes to guarantee it’s in working order. This should be incorporated into a maintenance schedule that can save you more time and hassle in the future.

The Generator Won’t Continue to Run

If your generator starts up but won’t continue to run, there could be a number of factors behind this, such as a clogged carburettor. There could be used fuel in the float bowl, this can lead to evaporation and traces of sticky substances.

The residue can clog the small ports and jets located in the carburettor resulting in engine failure when running the generator. The float bowl will need to be drained and the carburettor will need to be thoroughly cleaned.

If you still encounter problems, the carburettor will most likely need replacing.

If the generator is struggling to run and there is no fuel sitting in the float bowl, there may be a low level of fuel in the tank, or you may also have a clogged fuel cap. This will prevent air from entering the tank and can transpire into vacuum or vapour lock.

A vapour lock or vacuum lock will halt the fuel flow to the carburettor and stall the engine. If this is the case, the fuel cap will need to be replaced.

Your Generator is Producing an Unusual Noise

All generators create various noises, but if any irregular sounds such as spluttering, coughing or even popping start to occur, you’ve probably encountered an issue that needs fixing.

This can be caused by the generator misfiring or backfiring. There are a number of potential causes such as faulty ignition timing, worn-out plugs or cables, or low fuel. Problems with generators are difficult to diagnose without an experienced professional. Contact a member of our team for further advice and information if your generator has been experiencing these issues.

Lit or Blinking Alarm Lights

Some generators come with a fault detection system; you will be able to spot fault codes on the control panel. If your generator is equipped with a remote monitor, this will also provide fault codes too.

This will help to indicate a problem with your generator, in which case, you’ll know when it is in need of any repairs.

8 Signs Your Generator Needs to be Repaired

Voltage Drop

There are plenty of reasons why there could be a voltage drop in your generator. If you notice this, the best thing to do is to contact an engineer to fix the problem.

Voltage drops can be from mechanical issues such as a failing turbo that is unable to provide high enough air pressure, while also taking on too much load. This can easily slow down or even stall the generator.

This can also be triggered by issues such as a clogged fuel injection or fuel filters, which may prevent the generator from being sufficiently fuelled enough to carry out the intended tasks.

If you need generator maintenance guidance or would like to organise some repairs, please get in touch with our expert team at Edge Technology. We provide a range of maintenance and repair services to ensure that your generator provides reliable power when you need it.