Troubleshooting Common Generator Problems

Keep your home safe during power outages

generator Lebanon, TN The weather has been intense to start this summer, and all indications are we’re in for more of it.

Forecasts are calling for a hotter-than-average summer here in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky and, with a more active hurricane season predicted, we could be feeling the effects of tropical storms and hurricanes as they move inland.

That, combined with other factors, means our area is at an increased risk of power outages. Many of your neighbors are adding propane whole-house standby generators to keep their homes comfortable and safe when there’s a power outage. Advanced Propane provides propane tank installation for your new generator, along with running gas lines from the tank to your generator. Our reliable propane delivery means your generator will always have the fuel it needs to operate.

While standby generators are great to have, they do need care and attention. Here are some common generator problems and how you may be able to solve them. If these troubleshoots don’t work, contact your generator installer.

Failure to start

One of the most frustrating problems is when your generator fails to start. This issue can stem from several causes, including fuel problems, battery issues, or clogged filters. Identifying the root cause is crucial to getting your generator back up and running.

If your generator won’t start, follow these steps.

  1. Check the fuel supply: Ensure that the generator has enough fuel. Low fuel levels are a common reason for failure to start.
  2. Inspect the battery: Examine the battery connections for corrosion. Clean and tighten them if necessary. Use a multimeter to check the battery voltage.
  3. Check filters: A clogged air filter can restrict airflow, preventing the generator from starting. Clean or replace the filter as needed.


Overheating is another common problem, often caused by blocked vents, low coolant levels, or overloading. Overheating can lead to more severe issues if not addressed promptly, including permanent damage to the engine.

To address overheating issues, try the following.

  1. Clear vents: Ensure that the generator’s vents are free from debris. Blocked vents can restrict airflow, causing the unit to overheat.
  2. Check coolant levels: Low coolant levels can lead to overheating. Top up the coolant if necessary, and check for leaks in the cooling system.
  3. Monitor load: Overloading the generator can cause it to heat up excessively. Ensure that the generator is not powering more devices than it is rated for.

Battery Issues

Battery problems are frequent culprits behind generator malfunctions. A dead or weak battery can prevent the generator from starting. Corroded connections and poor maintenance can exacerbate these issues.

Address battery problems with these steps.

  1. Test the battery: Use a multimeter to check the battery’s voltage. A fully charged battery should read around 12.6 volts.
  2. Clean connections: Corroded battery terminals can prevent proper electrical flow. Clean the terminals with a wire brush.
  3. Charge or replace the battery: If the battery voltage is low, recharge it. If it doesn’t hold a charge, replace it with a new one.

With generator services from Advanced Propane, you can enjoy security and comfort when the power goes out. Contact us to learn more.