Spring has sprung in New Orleans, which means hurricane season is just around the corner. Now is the time to make sure your generator is up to the task and ready to handle any storms headed your way. 

As you dive into our standby generator maintenance checklist, the most important thing you can do besides schedule professional maintenance is make sure your generator functions properly. Here are the most common reasons why your generator won’t start:

As a trusted dealer of Briggs & Stratton home generators in Louisiana, Keefe’s is proud to offer the leading repairs at affordable prices. But before you pick up the phone and schedule a call, here are some easy ways you can troubleshoot why your standby generator won’t start. 

Low on Fuel 

Troubleshoot a generator that won’t start by checking the fuel and oil tanks first.

Your generator is like a car in the sense that it requires both gasoline and motor oil to function properly. Without these essential fluids, even the best standby generator won’t start automatically. 

Start by checking the fuel levels. Even if the tank is full, gasoline older than two months can cause clogs and hard starts. If this is the case, carefully drain the carburetor and gas tank of the bad fuel; refill it with fresh fuel.

Clogged Fuel Line

Did you try adding fresh gasoline, but your generator is still not working correctly—or at all? You might have a clogged fuel line. Clogs can happen when stale gasoline breaks down and creates a thick varnish that gets stuck in the fuel line.

Low on Oil

Oil is just as important for your generator because it lubricates moving parts and prevents wear and tear in the engine. For the best performance, the oil should be changed regularly when your generator is in use. 

Check the oil levels using the dipstick located inside the crankcase. If you’re low on oil, reference the owner’s manual for what type of oil is most suitable for your generator make and model. 

If your oil tank is full but your generator still won’t start, there may be a problem with the oil sensor. Make sure the generator is sitting on even ground so the oil sensor can get an accurate reading of the oil levels in the tank. Otherwise, this sensor may need to be cleaned or replaced.

Dirty Air Filter

If an empty oil or fuel tank is not to blame, a dirty air filter is the next most common reason why your generator won’t start. This is especially true if your system hasn’t run in a long time. 

Dirt, dust, and other debris that builds up on the air filter prevent the carburetor from receiving enough air for combustion. As a result, you’ll have trouble starting the generator. Luckily, the air filter is easily accessible for you to inspect, clean, or replace. 

If this doesn’t do the trick, continue to the next step to troubleshoot a generator that won’t start. 

Not In “Auto”

A standby generator is designed to automatically switch on when the power goes out. To do this, however, the main switch has to be set to “Auto.” 

Check the switch periodically, especially before a big storm or after scheduled maintenance, to make sure the switch is in the correct position. Additionally, double-check that the emergency stop button isn’t engaged. 

Turn to Keefe’s for All Your Generator Repair Needs

Are you not having any luck troubleshooting a generator that won’t start? Your system might have a malfunction that requires professional intervention. Contact Keefe’s for generator repairs in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. With Keefe’s by your side, you can rest assured that your lights will stay on through the fiercest storms. 

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