When bad weather strikes, leaving your home without electricity, a portable gas-powered generator can be one of the most useful pieces of equipment you own. Even though portable generators usually work well for temporary power needs, if your generator is outdated or has been sitting in the garage for a while, you may have a few issues show up. Here are a few of the biggest issues you can have with a portable gas-powered generator and the simple fixes you will need to know.
Problem: Excessive rattling and noisiness.
Cause and Solution: Portable generators are not usually designed for long-term use in a lot of cases. Therefore, if you use a generator for several instances over the course of the years or if you use a generator for a long span of time concurrently, don't be surprised if the unit starts to get excessively noisy when in operation. This is usually because the hardware holding the unit together has started to rattle its way loose. Just by keeping all of the hardware tightened regularly, you will see a big difference in how much noise the unit makes when it is running.
Problem: Difficulty starting the generator when you first try to use it.
Cause and Solution: If you rarely use your generator, it is quite common for it to give you a bit of a challenge to get it started when you first pull it out of the garage. This is usually because the fuel in the fuel line has evaporated. However, this is an easy fix by adding more fuel and priming the lead-in fuel line. If you always have problems starting your generator, you should check to make sure that the fuel filter does not contain sediment or the lead-in fuel line is not damaged, because both of these are common problems with older units.
Problem: The generator smokes upon operation more than usual.
Cause and Solution: All gas-powered generators do exude some exhaust. This is why it is not recommended that they are used in an enclosed space. However, the exhaust should not be so overwhelming that you can't handle being near the unit and smoking is never a good sign. In most cases, smoke is a sign that the motor is getting too much fuel or too little oil. Check the fuel line for problems and make sure that the oiled reservoir is adequately filled.
In a lot of situations, the simple problems with gas-powered generators can be tackled on your own, but occasionally something more serious can come up. If you are experiencing problems with your gas-powered generator, be sure to talk to a qualified generator technician like Powell's Electric Service, Inc. for advice.