Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power?

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Owning a machine and not having enough information about it can be very frustrating. If it damages or stops working, you have little idea how to make it work—especially owning something like a generator, which is essential in times of emergency. This article is aimed at answer one of the most common questions: “Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power?”

Generators have become a necessity in this era. Everyone owns one nowadays. It acts as a backup power supply for homes as well as worksites. It is portable, so carrying it on trips and camping is comfortable.

But, if something goes wrong with it, you will have no backup supply of power. Losing your generator at a crucial time can be very serious, and you need to have a solution for it. So, if you are having one of those problems, we have got you covered.

Generators can be complicated but not too difficult to fix. One needs the right knowledge and understanding of the process and parts to do it. Once you get the hang of it, you will know exactly what to do. So let’s answer the million-dollar question: “Why is my generator not producing power?”

How does a Generator work?

To understand the problem with your generator, you need to know how it works. A generator works using a simple coil that is an electrical conductor. The electricity produces magnetism that produces AC.

Now the construction of the generator doesn’t comprise any magnets. So the output voltage creates a temporary magnet out of the coil. Some of the output voltage converts into DC. It is then fed to the coil to convert it to an electromagnet. This allows the coil to spin rapidly, producing AC current.

After every time the generator runs, there is some residual magnetism left. This magnetism is enough to produce a little amount of electricity. The presence of this small electricity ensures that you have a stronger electromagnet. This will result in the generator being more powerful.

Modern generators are a product of evolution. The enhanced machinery song with the complex circuitry has made it a hot commodity. This guarantees better efficiency and safer use. But, your generator might not work even with all these due to many reasons.

One of the major reasons can be a hindrance to the basic generator principle. If the magnetic field is not produced, your generator may not work at all. There are many other reasons related to magnetism that may lead to your generator not working. Other than that, there might be a wiring problem or machinery damage.

You might also want to know the right steps to start a generator.

Why Is My Generator Not Producing Power?

There are several reasons why your generator would not produce power. Generators are mostly machinery that has parts circuited together. This means there can be a problem at any moment. Below, we have listed down all the possible reasons why your generator isn’t producing power.

1.Loss of Residual Magnetism

A possible reason for your generator not working may be loss of residual magnetism. As discussed earlier, residual magnetism is vital. It ensures that the generator remains powerful, and the electromagnet is strong.

The loss of residual Magnetism results is no power at all when starting it up. There are several reasons why residual magnetism can be lost. If your generator is connected to the load while it’s switched off, it may lose the attraction. It can also happen if your generator is running with no load for too long. You must be really careful with connecting and disconnecting the load while using generators.

Another reason why the residual magnetism may be lost is not using a generator for a long time. Even though you may not have a use for it for a while, make sure you start it once or twice a week.

While you are running the generator, make sure there is at least some load attached to it. This will ensure that the generator runs strong with a stronger magnetic field. Also, after you have used it, make sure to turn off the circuit breaker. Or you can just disconnect the load before turning it off.

Fixing Loss of Residual Magnetism

There are several methods to regain the residual magnetism apart from just taking the precautions. One is the electric drill method, and the other is using a battery of 12 V.

1. Electric Drill Method

This method works in a fairly simple way. An electric drill is placed backward in the generator receptacle. This allows the drill motor to act like a magnet when it spins backward. This will induce a voltage in the motor winding that will go into the stator.

When this goes into the power winding, it creates a magnetic field. This ensures that the generator can produce power again.

For this method, you need to be careful as you are dealing with electricity and magnetism. First, place the drill in the generator receptacle. The move the direction switch in the forward direction if the drill is reversible. As you depress the button on the drill, move the chuck in the opposite direction. This will make the field grow again, and the generator will be able to produce electricity.

There also might be another problem. If this does not work, that means you did not put the drill in the reverse direction. For this, you may have to do it again, pulling the chuck in the other direction than you did before.

2. The Battery Method

This method requires you to find the voltage regulator of your generator. Then you need to disconnect both the wires connected to the generator brush from it. While doing this, make sure you unplug them appropriately, so the AVR does not damage. Also, take care you do not touch naked wires or AVR as they may cause electric shock.

There is one red wire, and the other one is either black or white. Connect the black or white cable to the generator ground battery terminal. Connect the generator to a light, turn off the circuit breaker and turn on the motor. Now use the red wire of the battery and plug it in the red wire terminal on the generator battery. Do this for 3 seconds then remove it. Now rearrange the wires to back how they were and turn on the generator. It will now produce electricity.

2. Fault in the AC exciter

The AC exciter may fail. This is why no excitation current will produce and result in no output voltage. In this case, if your generator does not work, you might need to call a technician in.

3.Circuit Wiring Error

A possible answer to “why is my generator not producing power?” can be remanence. If the magnetic field winding current interacts with residual magnetism, the polarity is reversed. In short, this will cancel out any current being produced by the generator, and no power will produce. 

You must also be careful before checking AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator) or the resistance of winding wire. This will ensure that remanence does not disappear.

Solution for circuit wiring error

In case this is the problem, a possible way to correct it is by searching the cause of it. Check if AVR or wires cause it and then correct it.

4.Blockage of Excitation Circuit

Another reason for this may be an open circuit. Due to loose wires or interrupted connections, the electricity may not flow through. Check for any broken or frayed wires.

Fixing the Excitation Circuit

You can use a multimeter or voltmeter to find the place where the wires have come loose or disconnected. If the circuit is blocked because of bad contact, you can polish it. Use sandpaper to remove the oxide layer and bring out a shiny new surface.

5. Open Circuit on the DC Side of the Rotatory Rectifier

Now all this may sound too complex, but it is not. In short, the current supplied to your coil to generate a magnetic force may be interrupted. The wire needs DC. DC current is first formed from AC of output before entering the coil.

Fixing the Open Circuit in the Rotary Rectifier

You can fix the current by using an ohmmeter. Use it to check ground insulation of the exciting wire. Then check the broken point in it. As soon as you find the location, correct the wire and join it tightly.

If your generator still is unable to produce power, then you need to replace the AVR. The power failure may be due to a damaged AVR. Otherwise, call in a technician to resolve the problem.


We recommend that you ensure the regular maintenance of your generator. This will increase its life and cut such difficulties. And the best thing to do if a problem occurs is not panic. Also, work on finding the solution. 

If you are short on time, then you can call in a technician to resolve the problem. If you have enough time, it will probably be better to do it yourself. This will help you save a few bucks and solve such issues on your own.

We hope that you find at least one of the solutions mentioned above useful, and this solves your issue.