Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power?

Wondering why your generator is not producing power? There could be a number of reasons, but let’s take a look at the most common few. If you purchased a generator but find that suddenly it stopped producing power, you must wonder why it happened. And, most importantly, how does one fix such a problem? Most people don’t know how to solve that problem so that’s why we are here to help. Luckily, it isn’t too hard of a task to figure out, so you should be able to do it by yourself. However, if not, you might as well call someone who does or a technician.


Why does it happen?

Most of the time, the key problem is that there is not enough residual magnetism. You may not know but generators use magnetic fields in order to work. They move electric conductors through that field. Generators don’t have magnets which is why the generator creates a magnetic field. It takes some of the generator output voltage and converts it to DC then feeds it to a coil and makes an electromagnet in that way.

In some cases, you can find a little bit of magnetism leftovers. The leftovers are there from the last time the generator has run and that “case” has a name which is residual magnetism. WIth those leftovers, a generator can produce a little bit of electricity. Those leftovers are also used so an electromagnet becomes even stronger. So, the engine will start turning the magnet as it will move its electric field. In this way, the generator will produce even more power and all that through the stator windings.

Once there is no more residual magnetism, the generator won’t produce any more power when starting. There are two reasons why the generators end up without residual magnetism. One of the reasons is it can happen naturally because you may have not been using the generator for a while. The second reason is due to the generator’s load being connected to the time the generator switches off. Third reason could be because the generator hasn’t had a load for a very long time but the other two are most common.

When a generator is working that is why the residual magnetism is being maintained. So when it is running, the load is supposed to be connected to the generator. Before turning off the generator, you must disconnect the load from the generator. You do that by turning off the circuit breaker or a switch. That is because if you turn it off when the load is still connected, the generator can very easily drain and the electromagnet can get demagnetized. And also try to change oil often so you don’t run out of it.


How to fix it:

Luckily, fixing the residual magnetism has several ways. So, you can choose the one method that is the easiest for you. So here the two most common ones:

1. Method with a 12 Volt Generator Battery

The first thing that you need to do is find the voltage regulator on your generator. The next thing is disconnecting the two wires that you find. Those are connected to the generator brushes. You will notice them by one being red and the second one can either be white or black. Then, grab the black/white wire and connect it to the battery terminal of the generator.

Once you have finished, you should plug in a light. Then just turn on the circuit breaker or switch and start the engine. When you have finished, take the 12 volt battery (red cable) and then connect it to the red wire on the terminals. Then keep them connected for 3 seconds. At the end, just take away the wire and replace the plug and you should be good to go.

Also, keep in mind to disconnect the brush wires from the voltage regulator. That is because if you don;t do it, there is a high chance you will damage the regular. Also try avoiding making any direct contact with the voltage regular and other wires. It may very easily cause an electric shock because of the dangerous voltages that are present at all times.

2. A Method with an Electric Drill

The second method is with an electric drill as the title may say. The first thing you need to do is connect an electric drill with the receptacle of the generator. In case the electric drill is reversible, you should make the direction switch be in the forward position. Once you do that, you should turn on the generator.

As you are putting pressure on the trigger of the electric drill, turn the drill chuck so it is in the opposite direction. In this way, you will excite the magnetic field and so the generator will start producing power. However, in case the turning of the drill isn’t working, just turn it into another direction so the reverse switch is in a backward position.

Make sure that you don’t get into a direct contact with the chuck. Also, you should keep other materials from also getting caught in the chuck. Once you see that the field is exited, you will be good to go. In other words, the generator will start producing the power and you will notice that the drill is on.

The electric motor of the drill acts like a small generator because the magnets of it induce a voltage into the motor winding.That voltage is also fed back through the trigger cord and then also into receptacle of the generator. The voltage also creates a magnetic field which is more intense because the stator laminations have an iron core.


Conclusion

A generator ending up not producing power can happen to anyone. It is not uncommon which is why it is very easy to make it work again. And luckily these steps aren’t hard and so they are easy to follow. So, all in all, hopefully you have found this article informative enough and now know what could be wrong with your generator.

Related content:

How to start a generator that has been sitting?

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