Do you have a generator that has been sitting in your garage for years? If so, it is time to get it out.
Generators are not something that should be put away and forgotten about. They are an essential part of our daily life.
A generator can be used at home during power outages or even on the job site if there’s no power available. In this blog post, we will share how to start a generator that has been sitting.
How to Start a Generator That Has Been Sitting
There are a few things you can do to start a generator that has been sitting. Here are a few things to try:
1. Use a Voltmeter
If you are having starting issues, use a voltmeter. You will set the meter on DC volts, place the meter’s leads to both ends of your battery terminals and turn your generator on.
If there’s nothing wrong with your battery or generator wiring, you should see about 12 volts.
However, if the meter drops below 12 volts, you know that you have a wiring problem. This is something you will need to address before your machine starts.
2. Basic Checkup
A basic checkup can help you determine the problem. This will then allow you to fix the issue and start the generator. You want to make sure that all circuit breakers are turned off.
You also want to make sure there is no wiring fault, either in the machine itself or in any of its connections. It may be time for a complete changeover if this is an old generator. If so, install a new one.
3. Fuel System Cleaning
It is also a good idea to try and clean the fuel system. There may be rust or sediment building up within the generator, so this will help you clear everything out by running cleaner through the tank.
However, if your machine has been sitting for a long time, there could be moisture causing problems with the gas lines.
You can try removing the fuel from your machine and putting it into a portable tank, then running that gas through to purify the fuel. If you have access to another generator, you could also use its fuel system.
4. Clean the Carburetor
Another common issue is a dirty or clogged carburetor. This is cleaned with a carburetor cleaner, which you can buy at any hardware store.
Be sure to read the instructions carefully, as some of these cleaners are not safe for aluminum parts. It is also good to check the spark plugs and make sure they are of good quality.
This will help determine if your machine is getting enough amperage during its starting process. Once you address these issues, the generator should start up.
5. Check the Spark Plug Gap
The spark plug gap may be too wide if your machine doesn’t start even after trying the tips listed above.
You can try to fix this by adjusting the gap. To do this, you will need a gauge and some feeler gauges.
This is a reasonably straightforward process, but it is vital to get it right. You don’t want to have the gap so wide that your machine doesn’t start.
But if it is too small, you could see other problems occurring with your generator.
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6. Check the Air Filter
Another common problem is dirt or dust building up on the air filter. This can cause problems for your machine because it will suck in all debris.
If this is not cleaned, it can cause damage to certain parts within the generator. Many generators come with their air filters, so make sure to check them often and clean them when needed.
7. Recalibrate the Voltage Regulator
If your machine still doesn’t start, you might consider recalibrating the voltage regulator. There could be a problem that needs to be fixed before your generator starts up.
If this doesn’t work, then you may have an issue with the voltage regulator or something else, causing the machine not to start.
8. Replace the Battery
If all of the above still doesn’t get your machine running, it might be time to replace your battery. You want to make sure you get a quality battery that will last.
There are many different types of batteries on the market, so it is essential to research and find the best one for your needs.
Once you have a quality battery, your generator should start up with no problem.
Frequently Asked Questions about Idle Generators
How Long Can a Generator Sit Without Use?
It depends on the make and model of your generator. Some can sit for more extended periods than others. It is always good to check the owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.
Can I Use a Different Fuel in My Generator?
If your generator runs on gasoline, you should not use any other type of fuel in it. This could cause damage to the generator and might even be dangerous.
If you have a generator that runs on diesel fuel, you can use biodiesel in it, but you should check with the manufacturer to see if this is safe.
What to Do with a Generator That Has Been Sitting?
If your generator has been sitting for a while, you should always inspect gas lines and ensure there isn’t any moisture in them.
You can also check the fuel filters and replace these if needed. If the voltage regulator needs to be adjusted or recalibrated, this is something that you can do yourself with just a little practice. Once you address these things, you will be ready to start your generator.
How Long Can Gas Sit in a Generator?
The recommended wait time for gas is 30 days. This might be okay if you have a generator that doesn’t use much fuel. However, if your machine takes a lot of gas, it would be best to buy more every thirty days. Adding a fuel stabilizer can also help to keep the gas fresh.
These are some tips you can try when your generator doesn’t start. If you are still having problems, be sure to consult your manual or an expert to help you troubleshoot the issue.
Remember, it is crucial to take care of your generator if you want it to run properly and last long. By following these tips, you can help keep your machine in good condition. If this article was a help to you, leave a comment and share.
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