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How to Avoid the Most Common Generator Problems

Backup generators exist to help in the case of emergency. Which means that, in the event of a power failure or natural disaster, discovering that your generator isn’t working properly is the absolute last thing you want.

At Northside Power, we’re here to answer any questions you might have about your backup generator– and we’re here to provide routine and emergency maintenance, too! But in addition to our help, we’d also highly recommend building an understanding of the basic issues you might experience, and what to do about them.


Is it leaking?


If you notice that your generator is leaking, it’s important to determine where the leak is coming from in order to address it.

It’s possible that the leak you’re seeing is the result of wet stacking, which we’ve outlined more thoroughly here. It might also be a fuel or coolant leak. Since fuel leaks or wet stacking can actually be dangerous for continued generator use, we’d highly recommend contacting a professional technician to address the problem.

In general, leaks can be prevented by making regular maintenance a priority. Of course, these issues never happen at a convenient time– which is why we offer 24/7 emergency maintenance, to help your generator get back up and running when you need it the most.


Did it suddenly shut down?


A generator that shuts down without warning can be incredibly frustrating, especially in the event of an emergency (and if you’re using it, it probably is an emergency!)

There are a few things you can check yourself before contacting a professional. 

First, check the coolant. If you’ve been getting regular maintenance, or at least just regularly turning your generator on, you’ll have probably noticed whether the coolant requires replacement more frequently than it should (which, ideally, would be every six months to a year).

If there’s a leak and the generator doesn’t have sufficient coolant to run properly, a sudden shutdown is likely to occur. If there is a coolant leak, it might be time to call a professional technician– but if the issue is just low coolant, the problem can be easily solved by adding some yourself.


Is your generator not turning on?


It’s particularly frustrating and troubling when a generator just won’t turn on, and the reasons this might happen range from “no big deal, easily fixable” to “it’s time to buy a new generator”.

One of the most obvious and easily fixable causes for this problem is simply a lack of fuel. You might not realize that the generator is low on fuel if there’s a leak (which should be addressed by a professional for safety!), or if your fuel gauges are malfunctioning.

Thankfully, if a lack of fuel seems to be the culprit, and if you don’t see any evidence of a leak, you can just add fuel to get the lights back on.

A generator that refuses to turn on might also be the result of a dead battery. It’s possible to recharge a battery, but if you’re experiencing a power outage, that might not be a current option for you.


Routine maintenance and a professional opinion


Ultimately, having an expert regularly come out and take a look at your generator will save you time, money, and stress in the long run. In the event of a major power outage, it’s important to have an idea of what problems to look out for and how to solve them.
Generators can be potentially dangerous for someone who’s inexperienced at handling combustion engines– so if you’re having a problem with your generator that you can’t figure out, calling in a professional is your best bet. We’re here to answer your questions– and if you need us, we’re available for emergency maintenance 24/7. Give us a call today!