If your generator runs for too many hours and does not have enough fuel, it will eventually overload and stop working. The good news is that you can fix this problem.
There are also ways how to fix an overloaded generator, and this blog will give you some insights on how it works and what you can do to make your generator run more efficiently.
What Happens If You Overload a Generator?
If you overload a generator, it will start overheating.
The overheated generator causes the oil to vaporize and escape from the motor housing. If this problem occurs, your oil level will decrease until the engine stops running.
You have to fix this problem before getting back up and running again. Once your generator has stopped, it won’t be easy to get it started again.
How to Fix an Overloaded Generator
When your generator becomes overloaded, there is a problem with the voltage. Your generator won’t turn on without voltage, and this is caused by one of these reasons:
- The circuit breaker for one cord has tripped
- One or many cables are not plugged in all the way (or there is a bad connection)
- There is too much load on the generator
- The engine has stopped because of lack of oil or overheated
Once you have determined which problem is causing your generator not to turn on, here are the steps you need to take to fix it:
- Reset the circuit breaker by turning it off and then on again
- Check the cords to make sure they are plugged in all the way
- Make sure you are not exceeding the maximum load for your generator
- Add oil to the engine if it is low or has stopped because of overheating.
- If the engine has stopped because of overheating, wait for it to cool down before starting it again.
Most Common Overloads Found in Generators and Fixes
- Using a generator rated for less than half the connected electrical load: generators are rated for loads up to 50% higher than their rating. However, smaller generators are not recommended for continuous use at 50% of their rated load. This is because they will not have the cooling capacity to dissipate the heat generated by the load.
- The ambient temperature is too high: generators produce more heat as the ambient temperature rises. To prevent overload and damage, it is essential to reduce the load (i.e., turn off some lights, appliances or PCs) when the ambient temperature rises.
- The generator is connected to an inverter via a voltage regulator: it is important not to connect your generator directly to your home’s electrical system through an inverter and voltage regulator because they can damage your generator’s electric motor/s.
- The engine is low on oil: it is also important not to run a generator with very little or no oil because this will damage the generator’s internal parts and cause overheating.
How Can You Make Your Generators Run More Efficiently to Prevent an Overload?
1. Use an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS)
Since all modern standby generators are equipped with an ATS, you can significantly reduce your generator’s running hours.
You can plug appliances into the ATS, and it will automatically start the generator when there is a power outage.
2. Install an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
If you are using sensitive electronics at home, please consider installing a sump UPS.
This will provide your electronics with a few minutes of backup power in case of a power outage and will keep them from being damaged.
3. Properly Size the Generator
If you are using a generator for the first time, please make sure you properly size it for your needs. You can find more information on how to do this by visiting our website.
4. Keep the Generator Clean
It is essential to keep your generator clean and free of dirt, leaves, and other debris. This will help keep it running cool and prevent overheating.
5. Check the Oil Level
Check the oil level before each use and add oil as necessary. Running a generator with little or no oil will damage the internal parts and cause overheating.
6. Use Fuel Stabilizer
Using a fuel stabilizer will ensure that your generator’s carburetor and fuel system are protected from corrosion, and it will help prevent problems such as flooding of the carburetor, poor engine performance, stalling of the engine due to low-octane gasoline, and blocked fuel filters.
7. Use the Right Fuel
Be sure to use fresh, clean unleaded gasoline that has not exceeded its expiration date (at least one month after purchase). Gasoline with ethanol added can cause damage to small engines over time.
8. Check the Air Filter Regularly
It is vital to clean or replace it regularly. The compressed air passes through the air filter when the engine is running, which removes dirt particles from it before they enter the carburetor.
9. Add Oil Periodically
Periodic maintenance includes adding new oil after every 50 hours of operation or annually. You can find more information about the type of oil to use in your generator in the owner’s manual.
10. Store the Generator in a Clean, Dry Place
After each use, be sure to store your generator in a clean, dry place. This will help keep it running cool and prevent overheating.
Frequently Asked Questions on Fixing an Overloaded Generator
How do I know if the Generator Is Overloaded?
If your generator is overheating, there are clear signs you should look for: It emits much more smoke than usual. The fan may not spin or rotate at all. Its breaker may trip or switch off frequently Pay attention to these warning signs because if you continue to overload the generator, it may cause permanent damage.
What Can I Do If My Generator Is Overloaded?
If your generator is overloaded, you should unplug some appliances to bring the load back down to a safe level. You may also need to upgrade your generator’s capacity.
How Do I Avoid an Overload in the Future?
Properly sizing your generator for your household’s needs is crucial to preventing overload.
You can find this information in your owner’s manual, and you can contact a service technician or read our website for additional help.
There may be instances when you need to upgrade your generator if it cannot meet your needs.
An overloaded generator can age quickly, so it is essential to avoid overloading at all costs. If you do overload your generator, you can take steps to bring the load back down to a safe level.
The outlined tips in this article will help you keep your generator in good condition and prevent it from being overloaded.
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References and Citations:
Enel X North America, Inc: 4 Steps to Upgrade Your Generator for Use in Demand Response- https://www.enelx.com/n-a/en/stories/4-steps-upgrade-your-generator-use-demand-response