Why Does My Generator Not start?

Whether your generator is for residential or commercial use, there are several common causes that can cause your generator not to start. While there are many factors that can contribute to a generator fail to start, the most common and most probable causes are as follows:

  • Battery failure (due to age, poorly maintained, expiry and loss of water levels). Battery failure can also occur due the charger breaker being open inoperable, usually by a fault within the battery charger unit itself, or the AC supply being disconnected by a tripped circuit breaker. This can happen after a service or maintenance has been conducted when the battery charger was turned off and NOT put back onto the “ON” position. When any service has been done on the generator, it is always prudent to make sure that the battery charger supply breaker is in the correct position.
  • Low Coolant Levels: Without radiator coolant, an engine will soon or eventually overheat, leading to mechanical breakdown and engine failure. This will apply mostly to larger, commercial-scaled Generators.
  • Improper fuel mix or lack of fuel: Like your vehicle, whether your generator is diesel-fuelled or Natural Gas, if your fuel tank is empty, your generator will not start. Checking fuel gauges (when applicable) is a great way to know if your tank needs refuelling.
  • Possible clogged air filter: The air filter may need to be cleaned or replaced to let the necessary amount of air into the carburetor for ignition.
  • If your generator is connected to a control panel, ensure that the controller is in the ‘auto’ position
  • Improper or inadequate shelter from external elements: A generator that is continuously exposed to cold, rain, mice and other animals could encounter a host of problems. Rust, animal excrement, brittle/cracked fuel lines which can affect fuel supply to the generator and even damage to wiring being chewed up by rodents can have catastrophic impact on a generator’s ability to start. Generator housing is a great way to ensure your generator is not exposed to these external elements that can also impact its ability to start and avoid costly and unnecessary repair costs.  

How can I Prevent all the causes of Generator non -start?

 All of the above-mentioned factors that will cause a generator to NOT start, are most easily avoidable by regularly having a Preventative Maintenance Servicing on the unit. A skilled Generator Technician will check all the major generator components and make sure they are in proper working condition. They will check fluid levels, battery condition, hoses, clamps, fuel supply lines, replace the oil and filters thus optimizing generator reliability and greatly reduce the chances of the generator not starting, especially when urgently needed under power failure conditions. The generator will be run tested at the end of the service to make sure it will duly start upon a power failure signal. 

Reliable Generator Repair Services 

Ronnie’s Generator Service Ltd offers Kohler® warranty repairs, maintenance contracts and 24/7 emergency repairs in Ontario.  Reach out to us for any generator issues.