How To Fix Generator Running But No Power In House?

It is usually frustrating when the generator is running but refuses to produce power in the house. Many people experience these issues, and sometimes it might take a minor adjustment to fix them. But other times, you might have to engage a professional to check it.

This article will guide you on How To Fix Generator Running But No Power In House. Also, you will find out what could be the possible causes of a generator running without producing any power. So, keep reading to learn more.

What Are The Possible Causes Of Generator Running But No Power In House?

The loss of residual magnetism is the leading cause of portable generators not producing power in the house. Generators produce magnetism to move electrical conductors.

Various voltages from a generator are converted to DC and fed to a coil to create a magnetic field. Residual magnetism refers to the leftover magnetism from the last run of the generator. The little leftover magnetism will be able to create even more electricity. Your generator generates even more power as your engine rotates through the stator windings and the magnet moves its electric field.

Generator Running But No Power In House

So, if you’re wondering how to fix generator running but no power in house, we suggest you find the cause first.  A generator that loses its residual magnetism cannot produce power at startup. If you notice that, we suggest you look out for residual magnetism. But if the issue is more complicated than that, you can then replace it with a cheap generator under 300.

How To Fix Generator Running But No Power In House?

The following methods will help you restore the residual magnetism.

How To Fix Generator Running But No Power In House

1. Battery Method for A 12 Volt Generator

Identify where the voltage regulator is located on your generator. Usually, two wires connect to your generator brushes. First, these two wires (red and black /white) have to be disconnected, and the ground battery terminal of the generator should be connected to either the black or white wire. Next, you have to turn on the motor by connecting a light, turning on the generator breaker, and turning the switch on.

Wait for about three seconds, then reconnect the battery’s +12 volts (red cable) to the red wire on the terminals. Next, remove the wires and plug your generator back in. After doing these, your generator should run and produce power in the house.

Note: You could damage the generator if the brush wires are still plugged in the automatic voltage regulator. Also, contacting the power regulator or other wires can cause an electric shock if high voltages are present.

2. Drilling with An Electric Motor

Using the generator receptacle, connect a drill to the power source. Verify that the drill can be reversed by moving the direction switch forward. Rotate the drill chuck in reverse while depressing the trigger. The field will be active, and you will now see electricity flowing through the generator. Try spinning the chuck in the opposite direction if spinning one way does not work. You may have positioned the reverse switch backward. You should avoid getting your hand or other materials caught in the chuck. The drill will turn on once the field has been exited and the generator has produced power.

Basically, this will work as the drill will act as a small generator when it is rotated backwardly. The magnets generate a voltage in the drill’s motor, and it returns to the generator terminal through the trigger cord. Afterward, it passes through the stator’s power winding. Additionally, the magnetic field generated by the iron in the laminations of the stator amplifies the voltage going through it. While the rotor is spinning past the power winding, it intersects the magnetic field, causing a voltage to be inducted into the rotor winding.

Capacitor: The function of a capacitor is to introduce voltage into the rotor and to regulate the voltage. When a capacitor is faulty, it will result in low voltage. Before going about testing a capacitor, ensure to uninstall and discharge it from the generator. Be careful and make use of an insulated screwdriver when discharging the wire leads.

Once discharged, get yourself a multi-meter. This multi-meter will determine the capacitance by powering the capacitor with a current, thereby measuring the voltage and reading the capacitor. When measuring the capacitance, it should rate +/-5uf, and if it doesn’t read that, replace the capacitor.

Alternator: Apart from the capacitor, another thing you should examine is the alternator. The alternator charges the capacitor with residual magnetism generated by the windings. The residual magnetism can be lost, and a capacitor will not be charged if the generator isn’t used for a long period.

Regulator Maintenance Tips For Generator

If you’re always using your generator, then you must schedule a maintenance routine for it. Without proper care, it might break down one day and won’t produce power. So, check the simple tips to keep your generator functional all the time.

Regulator Maintenance Tips For Generator

1. Regular Generator Inspection

While your generator will perform adequately at first, it is still liable to wear and tear from overuse and lack of service. Therefore, ensure to take your generator for inspections regularly. Make sure you check the overall output, sound, etc., of the generator. Also, the performance capacity can erode as time goes on. So, you should run checks on the internal mechanical and electrical components.

2. Store in A Dry Location

To prolong the lifespan of your generator, store the machines in a dry location. Typically, any environment that has little precipitation or moistness is ideal. Keeping your generator away from exposure to water will prevent the internal components from short-circuiting and rusting. Thereby saving you funds in maintenance and also saving you from electrocution.

4. Lubrication Inspection

Always ensure to inspect your engine oil while switching off your generator. Also, ensure to check the oil level in the engine using the dipstick or a clean external object. If the oil level is low or blackened, ensure to change it while using a compatible engine oil (Usually stated in the generator’s specifications).

5. Ensure That Your Generator Is Clean

Also, grimes and dirt are usually unhelpful to the generator. These grime compounds and can often enter the generator’s engine or other mechanical components, thus damaging the engine over time.


Having your generator running without power in the house could be quite frustrating. Going through this article will serve as your guide on how to fix generator running but no power in the house. The major cause is always a lack of residual magnetism.

Following the above instructions diligently will help you to fix the residual magnetism as explained. However, if your generator still runs but has no power in the house, we recommend a replacement of the Automatic Voltage Regulator. This is because it could have been damaged.

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