How to fix your Portable Generator


There are certain items within your household that you don’t need to use very often, but when there comes a time where you need it, you desperately need it.  Some of these kinds of items could include flashlights, a Ceiling Fan or a Computer Printer.  Another item which is typically only used when there is an emergency is a Portable Generator; and if this item fails when you need it the most, it’ll just cause you to be more frustrated than you already are.  If the power is out at your house due to a storm or another tragic event, then you will want to count on your portable generator to help give you the power needed to get thru any tragic event.

If you turn on your portable generator, and nothing happens, you might not know how to fix it.  Within this article, we’re going to cover some basic ways to fix your portable generator, to ensure you can get your portable generator back up and run in no time.

Before we dive into those topics though, one thing needs to be made clear.  In order to avoid having to deal with this issue at the time you need your portable generator to perform the most, you should always fire up your portable generator once a month.  The best practice is to put it on your schedule for the first day of each month.  This way, you can test your portable generator in a non-stressful environment, and take care of any issue that might arise immediately.  Therefore, when you need your portable generator to help you during an emergency, it’ll be ready to go.

With that being said, here are some basic preventative maintenance items for you to consider as you determine what might be wrong with your portable generator.


 My Generator Won’t Start – How do I fix it?

If you pull the rope to start your generator, and it won’t start, you should check out the following items:

Does your Generator have fuel?

Although this may seem like a logical thing to check, it is amazing how sometimes we go to the more complicated answer, rather than ruling out the easy ones first.  If your generator doesn’t sound like it is turning over at all, make sure to check the fuel level.

How old is your Fuel?

If you have fuel in your portable generator, the next question to ask is how old is the fuel in the tank?  And where have you stored your portable generator?  If it is in a garage, where it can be affected by the elements, it is possible that the fuel in your generator has gone bad.  All you may need to do is to pour in some new, fresh gasoline to help give it the spark it needs.

You’ve put in new fuel, but it still isn’t starting – now what?

If you are sure your fuel is in the good shape, the next thing you should check out is the spark plug.  It is always recommended that you keep a new spark plug around, so if this part of the generator goes bad, you have a new one already there with you, rather than having to go to the store during an emergency.  Most Spark Plugs should last around three years, depending on how often you use the portable generator.

But, I just replaced the Spark Plug – could it be something else?


If you are confident that you have good fuel and a good spark plug within your generator, next you should check the air filter.  There are times where the air filter will get “gummed” up and will cause the flow of air to be constricted, which could cause a back-up to your entire generator.  You should make sure your air filter is clean, and if you notice it is not, then you should replace it.  This is another item, like the spark plug, that you should make sure you always have a spare for.

Is there anything else I can do to Jump the Generator?

If you have ensured the fuel is good within the Portable Generator, and the spark plug is in working order, and the air filter is good, and your portable generator still doesn’t work, there is one more thing you can do.  For situations like this, you need to ensure you have some Starting Fluid.  There should be a place for you to pour in some Starting Fluid into your portable generator, and can typically be found somewhere near the air filter.  You may need to take the air filter out in order to find it.  Once you have, you can squeeze in some Starting Fluid, and then pull the rope.  If the Portable Generator starts to turn over, you should be able to pull a couple of more times, and it should kick on.  When this happens, it had to work thru some bad fluids.


If, after you have attempted all of these things, and the Portable Generator is still not working, then you will need to take it to a shop to have it looked at.  This is why it is recommended to do a monthly checkup – better to find out when you don’t need the generator than to discover a problem during an emergency.  The next time you have an issue with your portable generator, we’re sure if you follow these steps, it’ll be back up and running in no time and will perform at your expectations the next time you need it to.


Philip Moffitt

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