Generator won t stay running

Generator won t stay running. A generator normally should start quickly, run smoothly, and be turned off immediately when one decides to turn the generator off or it runs out of fuel.

In some cases, however, a generator will start well but shut itself off after running for a few minutes.

This would usually happen either immediately you start the generator or after running it for a while; like 20 minutes.

It also may occur the moment you plug in the power output which is quite frustrating given that it’ll be cutting off the power supply to your house or any other outdoor appliances.

Generator won t stay running

generator won t stay running

The carburetor may be clogged or filled with bad gasoline. The only solution is to drain the old fuel out of the main float bowl and clean the entire carburetor with a carbohydrate cleaner. If that does not work, it may mean replacing the entire carburetor altogether.

However, then feel free to go ahead and read so our short guide will be useful for you.

The carburetor might be clogged

If a commercial-grade generator engine has been neglected then the fuel can gum up the engine like a clogged carburetor, preventing gasoline from being distributed and igniting.
The only solution is to drain old fuel or change the tank to fresh fuel. If cleaning does not fix the problem, replace the entire carburetor.

Defective Fuel Cap

As fuel is consumed by the engine, the fuel level in the tank lowers. To make up for this, the fuel cap uses a small vent to allow air to enter the tank.

If the fuel cap vent is clogged, air won’t be able to enter the tank, and a vacuum or “vapor lock” will occur, which stops the flow of fuel to the carburetor and causes stalling.

To determine if the fuel cap vent is clogged, slightly loosen it as one starts up their car. If a loosening of it allows one’s car to start and run normally, then that means that it is likely clogged, needing new-fuel-cap replacement.


Ideal conditions include starting the generator and then letting it run for a few minutes before plugging in the load. If you attempt to start your generator without the load connected, it’s possible that it might not catch.

It’s important for you to know how much energy is required by your generator based on how much power is needed by any given equipment or appliance.

That’s why it’s vital to find out what appliances you hook up to the generator. You don’t want to overload your generator with more power than recommended.

 Fuel system issue

The fuel system is made up of the fuel tank, carburetor, and other parts like the fuel filter and others. These parts are interconnected with narrow pipes and small valves, which can get damaged or clogged with time.

They can also easily get airlocked whenever there’s an imbalance in the pressure in the fuel system. Bending can also block the pipes cutting off the supply of fuel.

Leakages can also occur on the fuel system, either in a valve or on the body of a pipe.  In all these scenarios, the carburetor and combustion chamber won’t be getting enough fuel and air to enable the generator to run as it should be.

 The water level is low

If your generator keeps shutting off, it’s probably because the coolant needs changing. Most large generators use water as a coolant, which is poured into the radiator to stop it from overheating.

If this water level is too low, the generator will simply shut off to avoid causing damage to its delicate electronics.

Most generators have some kind of temperature gauge that gives a certain level above which the generator will shut down by itself specifically for safety reasons.

Make sure you know how much fluid your generators need and that it’s checked often; most generators use a different kind of coolant besides water so make sure that it’s checked just as often and change when necessary.

Dirty spark plug

dirty spark plug

The spark plug ignites the fuel and air, so they react to cause an explosion which in turn pushes the piston down.

This then moves the rest of the engine, producing power.

In this manner, it repeats in a looping series with a spark plug igniting and pushing the piston downwards until enough power is produced.

If dirt or other debris collects on the tip of the spark plug, that sparks when it collides with a flying wire.

Your combustion process will fail because there won’t be any ignition of gas and air at that particular part of the circle. What you need to do is remove the spark plug from its place.

So you can clean out some of this dirt and debris while checking for any cracks in the material should they appear if examined under a microscope before reinserting it and seeing if that solves your problem afterward.

 The air filter is clogged

The air filter plays the all-important role of filtering incoming air before directing it to the carburetor and mixing it with fuel for ignition in the combustion chamber.

After a while, impurities that collect from the incoming air can clog up its sponge-like element.

If you’ve checked for possible issues with the fuel supply and know it’s in good working order, check to see if the air filter is dirty next.

Remove the housing that covers this element and inspect this sponge-like part for signs of debris. Clean it by gently brushing away debris and lightly tapping out excess dirt.

Be careful not to use water or any other liquids on this element as they could damage it permanently! If this element is torn, then get a new one.

Generator won t stay running

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