Understanding the "No Voltage Output" Problem When Using Portable Generators

16 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Your portable generator produces electric power by moving conductors in a magnetic field. However, this does not mean that your portable generator is fitted with magnets for this purpose. It is designed to improvise the electric power it produces to sustain high power generation every time you switch it on. Sometimes the system fails, and then your portable generator doesn't produce any voltage even though the engine runs just fine. Here is a close look at the "no voltage output" problem.

How Does It Occur?

The magnetic field in the portable generator is created by converting some of the output from the generator into a direct current. This direct current is then fed into a coil to make an electromagnet. Often, a small bit of magnetism (residual magnetism) remains after the generator is turned off to help generate a greater amount of voltage the next time you turn on your generator. When the generator loses the residual magnetism, it has no base for generating voltage. Since this problem doesn't affect the engine's startup mechanism, your portable generator will continue to run and use up fuel while giving no voltage.

What Should You Do?

If you run into a "no voltage output" problem with your generator, you can resuscitate it using an ordinary twelve-volt battery similar to the one used in most cars. Start by locating the voltage regulator on your generator. Thereafter, unplug the red and black or white wires that connect to the generator's brushes and connect the black (white in some cases) wire to the generator's ground battery. Turn on the generator's circuit breaker and motor. You should then connect the red wire to the twelve-volt battery for a few seconds. Lastly, remove the wires and replace the plug to their initial positions. Your generator should be able to produce voltage.

What Should You Keep in Mind?

For your safety, wear a pair of gloves when you are handling the components of the generator. This will help you avoid minor shocks from the current drawn from the external battery. If you aren't very conversant with your generator, consult your manufacturer's manual to make sure that you are working on the right parts. You can also call in a professional to assess the machine further if your efforts to awaken the generation of voltage do not work. There may be other problems such as the cooling system interfering with the generation and flow of voltage from your portable generator.