How Do You Troubleshoot A Generator?

If your generator is looking, sounding, or performing in a way that concerns you, it might be time to troubleshoot it. So, how do you troubleshoot a generator? Troubleshooting involves looking at a number of potential causes of an issue, ticking them off as you go until finding and identifying the main problem. The type of troubleshooting you do will depend on the problem you’re facing, but most times you can find the issue pretty easily by following the below five steps to troubleshooting a generator.

  1. Check the fuel tank
    Like all fossil-fuel engines on the planet, your diesel or petrol generator needs fuel to operate. The first stop on the generator troubleshooting journey is to make sure there is, in fact, fuel available in the generator’s fuel tank. A common sign of fuel shortage is a generator that swings with the ignition but it doesn’t start up.
  2. Check the spark plug
    Another common cause of generator problems has to do with a tiny little piece of equipment whose sole job is to light sparks! When your generator’s spark plug is faulty, there’s no way it can operate at all. Depending on the type of spark plug fault, signs could include a generator that swings but won’t start up, or your ignition comes on but it doesn’t swing.
  3. Check the battery
    Now, if your generator is dead, dead, dead when you try to turn it on, that is most likely an issue with the unit’s battery. The battery is like the heart of the generator: if the heart stops beating, every other part of the body can’t function. If you’re struggling to find your generator’s battery, consult your manufacturer’s handbook or give us a call and we’ll help you out!
  4. Check the oil level
    Like coffee to a human being, a generator needs a healthy oil level at all times to ensure correct operating conditions. Without enough oil, the generator’s moving parts will wear down much faster, resulting in strange noises, smokey discharge, and ultimately the death of the generator. Other than oil level, you also want to check the quality of the oil, replacing it if the oil is too thin or dirty.
  5. Check the connections
    This final step is probably better left to the generator specialists or electricians who installed your generator. It involves troubleshooting the connections that link your generator to your building’s main power grid. Sometimes a generator issue isn’t with the generator itself, but rather with the connection between it and the grid it is feeding power into.

Get KZN’s best generator troubleshooters on the case

With decades upon decades of experience and knowledge relating to all sorts of generators, yours is in good hands when we’re troubleshooting it. Our goal is to find the issue quickly, repair or replace it with haste, and get your generator up and running again as soon as possible. Explore our generator repair services, or contact S&A Generators to book an inspection for your troubled generator.