Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.
Last Updated on June 30, 2021
Your power goes out. You head over to your generator to turn it on to produce some back up power. However, it doesn’t turn on.
Or for some reason, it just doesn’t seem to be producing any kind of power. What could possibly be going on? It can be a number of issues.
If you seem to be running into this issue of your generator not producing power, keep reading. We will be taking a look at what’s causing the issue along with some troubleshooting tips that will fix the problem. In a time where you need power (such as a power outage from a storm), the last thing you want to deal with is a generator that doesn’t work.
Let’s take a look at the issues that may stem from a generator that isn’t producing the power its supposed to.
How Generators Really Work?
Generators use electrical conductors that work through a magnetic field. To clear out any confusion, there are magnets in the generator itself. What happens is that the output voltage from the generator converts it into DC. And it will feed through a coil that will create an electromagnetic field.
There may be something known as residual magnetism. This bit of magnetic field will be enough to produce a small amount of electricity. It can be used to create a more potent magnetic field that may be needed to produce more electricity.
If there is no residual magnetism present, the generator will not produce any power at all. One of the causes of this loss of magnetism may be due to non-use or the load that is connected to the generator when it is shut off.
This loss of magnetism can also occur if the generator is running without a load for a lengthy period of time. The goal for generators is to retain that magnetism.
When you run a generator, you want to make sure a load is connected to it. The load will create a stronger magnetic field that will allow the generator to produce a certain amount of power. Before the generator is shut off, make sure the switch or breaker is shut off so the load is disconnected.
If you fail to disconnect the load while shutting off the generator, that’s when the electromagnetic field will demagnetize. So it is important to make sure that your generator is fueled regularly. If the fuel levels are low, add fuel.
There are two common tips that you can use to troubleshoot this problem: the 12 Volt Generator Battery Method and the Electric Drill Method.
Let’s take a look at each of them:
1. 12 Volt Generator Battery Method
First, find the voltage regulator. Unplug the wires that are connected to the brushes of the generator. One of the wires is red, but the other wire will either be white or black. Connect the second wire to the generator’s ground battery terminal.
Next, find a light to plug in and turn on the switch or breaker followed by the motor. Then, you will need to connect the red cable (the 12 volt battery) to the red wire onto the terminals that you have removed in approximately three seconds. After that, remove the wires and replace the plugins. At this point, the generator should produce power once again.
Make sure that the brush wires are unplugged from the automatic voltage regulator. Otherwise, the regulator will sustain damage. To avoid electric shock, make sure that the voltage regulator or wires are not in contact with you.
2. Electric Drill Method
This is an alternative method that requires an electric drill. First, plug it into a receptacle located on the generator. If the drill runs in the reverse direction, have the direction switch placed in the forward position.
Next, turn on the generator. Now, you want to depress the drill trigger so that the drill chuck is moving in the reverse direction. The field and the generator will then create electricity. If the drill chuck is going in one direction and isn’t working, try switching it to the opposite direction since it could be the proper solution.
Why does this troubleshooting method work? Believe it or not, it’s because the electric drill can work as its own generator. That is no joke.
There are magnets inside the drill that will induce enough voltage into the drill’s motor. This voltage will travel through the trigger’s cord and into the receptacle of the generator. Continuing on, it will travel to the stator’s power winding and thus creates the magnetic field.
This field is intensified due to the stator lamination’s iron core. Then, the magnetic field goes past the power winding and induces a voltage into the rotor. The rotor will be properly flashed when the current flow is finally present.
What Happens If Neither Solution Works?
If you have tried both options and have yet to produce power, this can mean one thing. The automatic voltage generator will need to be replaced. That’s because the issue will lie in the fault of this part of the generator.
Your generator needs that magnetic field to produce the power that it needs. Therefore, it is important to make sure that enough of it is present. Running the generator without a load or shutting it off without disconnecting the load can lead to the loss of this magnetic field.
If this happens, you now have two troubleshooting options to work with. You can try either one first. If it fails, use the alternative method. If both fail, replacing the automatic voltage generator will be your only option.
Replacing an AVR will depend on how much you are willing to spend. And they do not come cheap. But the best way to prevent such an issue from happening is by following the instructions in your owner’s manual on how to properly operate your generator.
Even if you are new to using a generator, you may be prone to making rookie mistakes. So be sure to follow the instructions and prevent making mistakes that may cause you to lose that magnetic field that produces energy.
Our Popular Articles: