Jack's Repair & Sales, Inc. | 930 W. Main St. | Santa Maria, CA 93458 | (805) 925-5653 

Generator Troubleshooting and Care

We have closed

our business

after 48 years

on February 7, 2020 

We greatly appreciate your

support and patronage! 

Generator Troubleshooting and Care

Hard Starting:

  • First you should be certain that you are using fresh 89 octane gasoline, regardless of what octane rating your owners manual recommends. We recommend 89 octane for any single cylinder small engine. You will find easier starting and better performance in the long run by making this simple change.
  • Check your oil level. Some models have sensitive oil alert switches and will shut off your equipment if the oil level is too low and / or the machine is running on an uneven surface.
  • Do you have spark? Check to make sure that the spark plugs are clean and have spark. If there is any corrosion on the plug it should be replaced. New plugs have a coating on them and will be destroyed if you try to clean it.
  • If you were using lower than 89 octane gas, it is likely there is something lodged in the main jet of the carburetor. The lower octane gasoline tends to have more alcohol in it which attracts water. When the main jet gets clogged, it limits fuel delivery and creates poor performance or even not allowing the machine to start at all. Next you should follow the procedures in your owners manual under the storage section to drain the carburetor. If you want to see what is floating in the gas, us a clear glass baby food jar to catch what comes out... Odds are that what you find will surprise you.

Does not stay running and stalls:

  • Check the gasoline! Gas that has been in the unit for more than 6 months may not work well. Try new/fresh gas (high octane is recommended). Then, run the generator at least 10 minutes to get all the old gas out of the fuel system. For normal maintenance, we recommend you run the generator once a month, for a minimum of 15 minutes; it needs to be run long enough to get the carbon burned out!
  • Check to see if the fuel vent lever on top is aligned properly with the ON mark. If lifted slightly while turning it to ON, it is possible to go too far. Move the lever back and forth between ON and OFF to make sure the vent lever lines up properly

Note: Add fuel stabilizer to any gasoline which will be stored longer than 90 days