The single most frequent service call for generator failure is related to battery failure. Eighty percent of all battery failure is related to sulphation build-up — the accumulation of lead sulphates on the plates of lead-acid batteries.
The most obvious cause for a low coolant level is either an external or internal leak. Pay close attention to any visible puddles of coolant during inspections of the unit(s).
Most often, apparent, oil leaks are not in fact leaks but the result of “wet stacking” (or “engine slobber”) caused by excessive no-load run time.
“Not in auto” messages are the direct result of human error. The obvious reason for “not in auto” situations is because the main control switch was left in the off position.
This is a common problem with newer generators that are not run on a regular basis. Closer tolerances within the fuel systems to meet today's emission requirements make fuel systems more susceptible to air affecting start-up.
Mechanical fuel level gauges may not always be accurate. Unlike a vehicle that is moving and using a higher percentage of its tank's capacity, a generator tank has no movement, causing the fuel to become stagnant.
High fuel level alarms are required by government regulations to prevent the overfilling of a fuel tank. The alarm should activate when the fuel tank reaches between 90% and 95% capacity.
First, verify that nobody has accidentally pushed a remote emergency stop switch.
If a breaker trips after the automatic transfer switch (ATS), the generator will not start. The status of the automatic transfer switch should be checked during a power outage. The ATS should have lights or a display showing the switch position and source availability. If you find a breaker tripped, make sure you can determine the cause of the trip prior to resetting.