Generac Generator Not Kicking On [5 Ways to Fix]

Generac generators are designed to provide a reliable power source in the event of a main power failure.

However, like any other equipment, they can sometimes fail to kick on as expected, leaving you in an inconvenient situation.

This article aims to highlight five common reasons why your Generac generator may not be starting, providing potential solutions to help you get your backup power source up and running again.

Generac Generator Not Kicking On

Generac Generator Not Kicking On

1 . Fuel Supply Issues

One of the most common reasons a Generac generator may fail to start is due to issues with the fuel supply.

The engine might not be getting the fuel it requires to initiate combustion, which can happen due to several reasons like a blocked fuel valve, a leak in the fuel line, or even an empty fuel tank.


The first step in resolving fuel supply issues is to inspect the fuel tank and fuel lines. Ensure the tank has sufficient fuel and the valve isn’t blocked.

Check for any visible leaks in the fuel lines and repair them if necessary.

If the problem persists, it may indicate more complex issues like a faulty fuel pump or fuel filter, requiring professional assistance.

Always remember to turn off the generator and disconnect it from the power source before performing any maintenance or repair work.

2 . Ignition System Malfunction

The generator’s ignition system, a key component in starting the engine, can fail due to various reasons.

The spark plug might be dirty or worn out, the ignition coil could be malfunctioning, or the ignition module might be defective.

These components are essential in creating the spark that ignites the fuel-air mixture in the engine. Any malfunction can prevent the generator from starting.


To rectify an ignition system malfunction, begin by inspecting the spark plug. Check for any signs of damage or excessive carbon accumulation, and replace the plug if necessary.

The ignition coil and ignition module should also be examined for any visible defects. It’s crucial to remember to disconnect the generator from the power source before attempting any repairs.

In cases where the ignition system’s malfunctioning components aren’t easily identifiable or replaceable, it’s highly recommended to seek professional assistance.

3 . Faulty Transfer Switch

A faulty transfer switch in a Generac generator could be a significant reason why the generator isn’t kicking on.

The transfer switch plays a pivotal role in determining when the generator needs to provide power during an outage.

If it’s defective, it may not signal the generator to start even when mains electricity is unavailable.

Reasons for a faulty transfer switch can range from a simple wiring issue to a more complex mechanical failure within the switch itself.

Key Point: The transfer switch plays a pivotal role in determining when the generator provides power.

Wiring issues or mechanical failures within the switch are common reasons for a faulty transfer switch.


Correcting a faulty transfer switch requires careful inspection and troubleshooting.

First, ensure the generator is disconnected from the power source. Inspect the wiring of the switch for any loose connections, miswiring, or signs of burning, and rectify if any are found.

If the wiring seems fine, the issue could be internal, in which case, replacing the switch might be the best solution.

It’s important to note that dealing with electrical components can be risky, and if you’re unsure, it’s always better to hire a professional.

4 . Dead or Weak Battery

The battery serves as the primary power source that initiates the generator’s start-up process.

If the battery is dead or weak, it may not provide the necessary power to kick-start the generator, rendering it unresponsive.

Several issues can lead to a dead or weak battery, ranging from natural aging and constant use to loose or corroded connections.

Key Point: A dead or weak battery is the most common cause of aGenerac generator failing to start up. It can be due to natural aging, constant use, loose connections, etc.


The solution for a dead or weak battery begins with inspecting the cables and terminals connected to it and cleaning up any visible corrosion.

Next, check the voltage of the battery using a voltmeter to see if it’s within range (usually between 12-13V). If not, you might need to replace the battery.

It’s recommended to use a deep cycle marine battery for Generac generators since they’re designed to handle extended periods of use.

5 . Blocked Air Filter


The generator requires a steady supply of fresh air to function effectively. This is where the air filter comes into play.

Over time, the filter can become clogged with dust and other debris, blocking the air supply to the engine and preventing it from starting up.

Key Point: A blocked air filter prevents fresh air from getting to the engine and can lead to a Generac generator not kicking on.


The initial step to resolving a blocked air filter would be to inspect the filter and clean it with compressed air or a vacuum cleaner.

If the filter is heavily clogged, you may need to replace it with a new one.

It’s important to remember that even though cleaning the filter can help in many cases, over time the performance of the generator will degrade if not replaced.


In conclusion, a Generac generator failing to kick on can be attributed to several issues, including fuel system anomalies, ignition system malfunction, a faulty transfer switch, a dead or weak battery, or a blocked air filter.

Each of these issues can be addressed following the solutions provided, which include thorough system inspections, cleaning, and replacement of certain components.

However, dealing with these problems can sometimes be complex and risky, especially when electricity is involved. If you find yourself unable to identify or rectify the problem, it’s always recommended to seek professional assistance.


Do I always need a professional to fix my Generac generator?

No, minor issues like cleaning or replacing the air filter or spark plug can be done by yourself, but for complex issues involving the ignition system or transfer switch, professional help is advisable.

Can I use any battery for my Generac generator?

It’s recommended to use a deep-cycle marine battery for Generac generators as they’re designed to handle extended periods of use.

How often should I clean or replace the air filter?

Inspect the air filter every few months. If the filter is heavily clogged, you may need to replace it.

Why is my Generac generator not starting during a power outage?

This could be due to several reasons, including a faulty transfer switch, a dead or weak battery, or a blocked air filter. Please refer to the solutions provided in the main text.

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