Imagine this scenario: the power goes out during a heavy downpour, and your generator won’t start. What do you do?

If you find yourself panicking that your standby generator is not turning on, or want to prevent this issue from happening, here are six ways to start your generator back up:

1. Do a Quick Evaluation

It’s always a good idea to check the basics on your generator before trying to diagnose other issues. Luckily, there can be quick, easy fixes as to why your generator is not turning on. For instance:

  • Check if your generator’s oil levels are low and refill as needed.
  • Add fresh fuel if the oil is more than two months old.
  • The choke lever should be in the “closed” position during startup, then moved to “open” once the engine has warmed up.

You can also reference the owner’s manual for ultimate home generator troubleshooting guidelines.

2. Fix the Battery

Your battery could be another reason why your standby generator won’t start. The battery in an electric start generator can lose charge if the generator often sits unused. However, this is generally a simple fix. Run your generator by pulling the recoil starter to add juice back into the battery.

3. Check the Fuel Valve

There may be a problem with your standby generator’s fuel line. You can identify this if the gas tank is full but no fuel is getting to the carburetor.

Follow these three steps to understand which part of the fuel line is clogged:

  • Locate the fuel valve beneath your fuel tank.
  • Make sure the fuel valve is open.
  • Check that the vacuum relief valve on top of the gas tank is open (only if your generator has one).
  • Unplug the outlet hose from the fuel valve to check if the gasoline is flowing freely or not.

4. Drain the Carburetor

 If your standby generator doesn’t start after storing it for a long time without draining the carburetor, the carburetor might be clogged. To unclog it:

  • Turn off the fuel valve.
  • Open the carburetor drain. 

These two steps are usually all that’s needed to fix a clogged carburetor. However, if necessary, remove the carburetor bowl and clean out any old, clogged fuel.

5. Remove the Spark Plug

Another fix you can try if your standby generator won’t start is to remove the spark plug. If the plug looks dirty, you can use carb cleaner on both the spark plug and the cylinder.

If you clean the spark plug and the standby generator is still not turning on, you might want to consider replacing the plug. Also, you might need to reconnect or replace your generator’s oil sensor.


6. Replace the Air Filter

If you’ve checked everything else and your generator is still not turning on, your generator might have a blocked air filter. A clean filter allows the necessary amount of air into the carburetor for proper fuel flow.

Check the air filter on the side of your generator. If the filter is dirty and clogged with debris, you’ll want to clean or replace it.

Contact a Professional

If you need professional help with your generator, reach out to the pros at Whipple Service Champions today. We specialize in Generac standby generator installation to keep your home safe and comfortable!