Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power - 5 Possible Reasons

Are you wondering why is my generator not producing power? Well, no more wonder! The effort to start the generator and then discover it isn’t making any electricity may be the most irritating thing when your power goes out. Even if the engine is running well, you can’t even turn on a single light to let your family know it will be black for some time.

It seems sensible that you would need to buy a new generator and scrap the damaged one if the generator doesn’t produce electricity. However, there are a few factors you might like to consider before you go out and get a new generator. A tripped breaker, a broken outlet, the alternator losing its residual magnetism, worn-out brushes, a malfunctioning breaker, a faulty AVR, or a damaged capacitor will cause your generator to run but not produce power.

Let’s go through each of them quickly and discuss what you’ll do to either repair or replace if the generator isn’t working and what is required to get systems back in action as quickly as feasible.

What Would Cause A Generator Not Produce Power?

The two most frequent reasons for this problem are loss of alternator residual magnetism and malfunctioning AVR. The AVR probably has to be replaced if the voltage is between 50 and 70 volts in each phase. Residual magnetism is lost if the volt reading is between 0 and 5 volts per phase due to the generator not working.

Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power?

You sometimes start your generator and find that it is not producing power. There are many reasons for this problem, and some of them are discussed below:

Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power

#1. Residual magnetism

Electrical wires are moved through an internal magnetic field by generators. Magnets, though, are not found in generators. A part of the generator’s output voltage is converted to DC, then fed within the coil to form an electromagnet, producing the magnetic field.

Generators use a phenomenon known as residual magnetism to start up. It is a trace quantity of residual magnetism from the period when your machine ran, and a magnetic field was produced. This tiny magnetic residue is sufficient to generate a little quantity of power.

An electromagnet is made with this tiny quantity. Your generator will create higher power when the engine starts rotating this electromagnet. The engine begins transferring the electric field using the stator windings after getting power.  Your generator won’t start up if any remaining magnetism is gone.

The problem of residual magnetism is because of being idle of the generator for quite some time or if the generator is running for an extended time without a load or any combination of these factors.

By giving a proper load to your generator and removing it before turning off the generator, you may prevent the loss of residual magnetism.

#2. Faulty AVR

To avoid any unintentional starting, disconnect your spark plug. With brush assembly, there is a two spade connector wires that should be disconnected after removing the nuts or screws holding your generator’s alternator cover.  Disconnect the fast connection, attach the short connector with the new AVR, detach the screws keeping the AVR in place, and then repeat the process to repair.

#3. Faulty capacitor

You might experience capacitor failure in various shapes,  sizes, and locations.

The cover of the alternator (a brushless generator) is a cylindrical capacitor. It would be best always to use extreme caution while working with capacitors. They serve as AC power storage units, and if you reconnect the two nodes just on end with your fingertips, you will receive a shock.

Faulty capacitor

Discharge any remaining charge after removing the capacitor from the generator. A digital meter, called a multimeter, takes the capacitor’s reading. The measurement must be within the capacitor’s listed specification for rating +/- 5uf. Otherwise, it has to be changed.

#4. Defective outlet

Replacing this component may be simple or challenging, depending on the model of the generator you’re using. Even though you could produce electricity if your outlet is defective, you may be unable to use it. Outlets might malfunction at times. It has no logic or rhyme. As part of my maintenance work, I often changed them.

Check whether the breaker is not blown and the AC power is switched on when the generator is working. By inserting the black lead into the outlet’s smaller right slot and the red lead information into the outlet’s longer left space, space may use a multimeter to test the AC voltage. It’s necessary to change the outlet if you’re not getting any reading.

If replacement is essential, keep in mind that it can also be one of the other causes of your lack of power listed in this article.

#5. Tripped fuse or circuit breakers

Firstly, you should check to ensure you don’t have a tripped breaker if you’re not producing power to your machines after turning on the AC power switch from your generator. You can come across one of two sorts of breakers:

  1. GFI Interrupter
  2. The circuit breaker (fuses)

You will be protected by the circuit breakers (or fuses) from exceeding the generator’s amp capability. For instance, you will trip a circuit breaker if you have a kilowatts generator and want to attempt to power a microwave.

When they detect insufficient power to complete the circuit along the circuit’s prescribed route, GFI breakers are intended to trip. In essence, they have been trained to detect a specific level of power. It trips and prevents you from being electrocuted if that power differs significantly from the typical.

Tripped fuse or circuit breakers

Using the incorrect gauge of wire (using one with a diameter that is too tiny) or connecting many cords at once are two more popular ways to trip circuit breakers.

Remember that it could not always be your generator tripping your breaker; it might simply be a specific item triggering the circuit or GFI. Check whether the breaker still trips when you try different appliances, even ones with similar power.

It is possible to bypass your breaker if there is a genuine emergency; you cannot get a generator to start, and you are convinced that the problem is with the breaker.

How Does A Generator Produce Electricity?

Have you ever wondered how a generator produces electricity? Electricity is not directly produced by generators. They work by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. Forcing electrons from an external source via an electrical circuit allows them to convert the power of motion into electric power or electricity. In general, a generator is an electric motor that operates oppositely.

Many big generators, like those at Hoover Dam,  convert the energy generated by water spinning turbines into electricity and supply large amounts of energy. However, residential and commercial generators are significantly smaller and depend on more conventional sources of energy like propane, gasoline, and diesel to generate mechanical power, which can then be compelled into a circuit and produce an electrical current. After establishing, an electrical current is channeled through copper cables to power exterior machinery, equipment, or fundamental power components.

An electricity generator is an electromagnet that moves wire close to a magnet to control the electric current—the working of the electric generator is like a water pump that forces the water to move through the pipeline.

What Type Of Current Does A Generator Produce?

A generator produces 2 types of current:

  1. AC(alternating current)
  2. DC(direct current)

Two different generators produce these two currents, for example, the direct current, direct current generators generate it, and an alternating current generator produces alternating current.  Let’s clarify the difference between Ac generators and Dc generators!

What Type Of Current Does A Generator Produce

AC Generator

The AC is produced by converting the mechanical energy into electrical energy by an AC generator. Alternating current, often known as an EMF, is the form that this energy takes. They operate by the electromagnetic induction theory, which holds that an electrical force called an electromotive force (EMF) is created when a current-carrying conductor passes through an applied magnetic field. You may do this by moving the magnetic field that includes the stationary conductor or a conducting loop in a static magnetic field.

DC Generators

Direct Current, or DC for short, is produced by DC generators from mechanical energy. An electromotive force that is energetically generated is the basis for how DC generators operate.

How To Excite A Generator?

Well, there are two types of excitation: self-excited and separate excitation. We’ll discuss both of them below!


To excite a generator, there is a need to deliver input power to the AVR by using the method of self-excitation or shunt.  No extra parts or wiring are needed for this simple technique. With fewer parts and wiring to verify during fault finding, issues are resolved more quickly.

The stator provides an input voltage to the AVR when the generator rotates. Additional sensors on the AVR keep an eye on the stator’s output. A rectified DC is produced by the AVR, which powers the exciter. For load output, the stator is induced with the current.

The main problem with this method is that the AVR is affected by the load that the generator is driving. The voltage drops with increasing load, and the AVR needs to supply more power. The voltage drops as the load rise, and the AVR is forced to provide the exciter with the extra current to keep up with the need. The AVR is strained as a result of this. The excitation field falls if the AVR is overworked. A little reduction in output voltage occurs.


The AVR’s power supply might short out, leaving the generator without an excitation source. As a result, the generator’s output is reduced. Linear loads can be driven by generators that employ shunt or self-excitation techniques (constant load). Generators operating this excitation mechanism are not advised for use with non-linear loads. Malfunctions in the excitation field can be brought on by harmonics related to nonlinear loads.

Separately excited

The field coils of a separately excited type generator get their energization from a separate external DC source.

How To Flash A Brushless Generator?

Do you know what brush generators are? And also, how do they work? These generators have no revolving motors, and they contain a static profile that completely encloses the engine parts of the generator without even a hint of a blush.

The voltage balance between the DC power or AC voltage may be quickly determined after the blushless generator is turned on. A motor without carbon brushes is used in a brushless generator to generate power.

On the other hand, a brushless motor transfers electrical current via a tiny generator at the end of the device. Primary generators can be run for a long time with brushless alternators.

How can you flash such generators? F+ should be connected to the battery’s positive pole for flashing the brushless generators. F- should be held by the lead wire’s insulated end and touched for five to ten seconds to the battery’s negative pole before being removed. Reattach the regulator’s F+ and F- connectors. If the generator doesn’t produce voltage, try again.

Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power – FAQs

Why does my generator run but not power?
It is almost often the result of a loss of residual magnetism if your generator is still functioning but not generating any electricity.
How to test the output of the generator?
To test the output voltage, insert the metal end at the cable’s other end into the output plug of the generator using the red cable that came with the voltmeter.
Why is my generator only produce low voltage?
There are many reasons for this problem, including tripped breaker, generator overloading, faulty alternator, stator problems, and malfunctioning AVR. Never use your generator’s capacity to the fullest. This will impair its operation as well as lead to low voltage issues.



We hope this guide helps you discover why my generator is not producing power. All the reasons for this problem are discussed above but keep in your mind that the most common cause of this issue is residual magnetism. If the residual magnetism loses the voltage, your generator stops producing electricity; despite this, its runs properly. So, if your generator works but does not produce power, fix all these issues.

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