Generator Maintenance and Information

Common Reasons Why Generators Fail

By October 18, 2017 November 19th, 2020 No Comments

We buy backup generators to provide power when we need it most, i.e. when it’s not available through the power grid. The last thing you want to discover at a time like this is that your generator isn’t working properly. Regular maintenance can help prevent problems, but even when a generator is properly maintained problems can arise. Here are some of the most common reasons why generators fail.

4 Reasons Why Generators Fail

  1. Dead Battery. A generator is an engine and it does have a battery, just like your car. In fact, a dead battery is the #1 most common reason why generators fail. You can help avoid a dead battery situation by making sure you install the proper size battery, replacing the battery every 2-3 years, and testing it during every maintenance check.
  1. The Fuel Gauge is Incorrect. A fuel gauge that reads incorrectly can lead to problems if you don’t know when fuel levels are getting too low. Most gensets have built-in alarms that will warn you when fuel is running low, but if you don’t have such a system, make sure your gauge is working correctly to ensure an adequate fuel supply at all times.
  1. You Have a Leak. Oil, fuel, or coolant leaks prevent a generator from starting or can cause it to conk out mid-cycle. Again, regular inspections should uncover any issues, but sometimes, backup generators register leaks even when they don’t have a leak. This is because they aren’t run frequently enough leading to a build-up of carbon, unburned fuel, oil, condensed water, and acids that can choke the system.
  1. There’s Air in the Fuel System. Air in fuel injectors can cause start-up problems. Too much air can prevent combustion and the engine doesn’t start. Sometimes excess air is caused by leaks in the line or build-up in the system. You can clear the air from the system by starting up the generator every week and letting it run for a few minutes.

Critical Power Products & Services Can Help With Your Generator Problems

If your generator isn’t performing like it should, contact Critical Power Products & Services. We can help troubleshoot common problems, set you up with a replacement generator, and install fuel polishing systems to keep your fuel and lines clean. 

Call 855-968-0176 or visit for more information.