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Common reasons for generator breakdowns and how to prevent them.

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

By: Alternate Power Solutions

House with Generac Generator

As a generator owner, you rely on your equipment to provide reliable power during emergencies and power outages. However, like any mechanical device, generators can experience breakdowns and failures. Understanding the common reasons for generator breakdowns and how to prevent them can help you keep your generator running smoothly and avoid costly repairs.

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Lack of maintenance

One of the most common reasons for generator breakdowns is a lack of maintenance. Generators need regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently and prevent issues like worn out parts, clogged air filters, or low oil levels. Regular maintenance should include oil and filter changes, air filter cleanings, and inspection of all electrical connections and components.

Fuel quality

Another common reason for generator breakdowns is poor fuel quality. Generators need clean, high-quality fuel to run properly, and dirty or contaminated fuel can cause engine problems or fuel system blockages. Using stale fuel or fuel that has been sitting in the tank for an extended period can also cause problems.

To prevent fuel-related issues, it is essential to use high-quality fuel and store it in a clean, dry place. It is also important to use a fuel stabilizer if the generator is not used frequently or for extended periods.


Overloading is another common cause of generator breakdowns. When a generator is overloaded, it can cause the engine to overheat, which can lead to component failure or engine damage. To avoid overloading, be sure to know the wattage capacity of your generator and never exceed its rated capacity.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors such as extreme temperatures, humidity, and exposure to the elements can also cause generator breakdowns. Extreme temperatures can cause engine components to warp or crack, while humidity can lead to corrosion and rust. Exposure to the elements can cause electrical components to fail due to moisture or debris.

To prevent environmental-related issues, it is important to store the generator in a dry, clean location and use a weather-resistant cover if the generator is stored outside.

Improper usage

Improper usage can also lead to generator breakdowns. This can include using the generator in wet or damp conditions, starting the generator with electrical loads already connected, or failing to shut off the generator properly.

To prevent improper usage-related issues, it is essential to read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and use the generator only in safe and appropriate conditions.


In conclusion, understanding the common reasons for generator breakdowns and how to prevent them can help you keep your generator running smoothly and avoid costly repairs. By performing regular maintenance, using high-quality fuel, avoiding overloading, protecting the generator from environmental factors, and using the generator properly, you can help ensure that your generator is always ready when you need it.


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