Generator Repair Near Me

In our Generator Repair Near Me guide you will find all information related to generator repair services cost as well as up to 4 free contractor quotes.

Generators come in extremely handy when the power goes out, and just like any other machine in your home, they do need regular maintenance to continue working optimally. Whether you are using it for emergency power for your home or producing electricity for your business in remote locations, proper generator maintenance is essential.

Unfortunately, there are times when your generator malfunctions. After all, they are complicated devices and, occasionally, they break down. Thus, after you have determined that your generator needs repair, the next step is deciding on which repair contractor to hire for the job. However, finding a reliable generator repair contractor requires you to exercise some caution and do proper research before signing on the dotted line.

Common Generator Problems

1. Generator Won’t Start

If your generator cannot start, the following are the parts or conditions that would be the cause of the problem.

Spark Plug: Check whether: the spark plug is worn and damaged, the insulator is broken, the electrode is burnt, or if the electrode has a heavy carbon build up. If it has any of these, you should get a new plug.

Also, you should examine whether the plug has defects by using a tester for plugs. The tester’s terminals should produce a spark once the engine is on. If no spark is produced, it is an indication the plug is faulty and you should get a new one.

Carburetor: The generator’s carburetor may be clogged as a result of leaving the fuel too long. In time, fuel elements could evaporating creating a thick and sticky substance, which can clog the carburetor as well as cause the engine not to operate. Therefore, if it is clogged, clean it with a carburetor cleaner or get a new one.

Ignition Coil: When the engine is running, it’s the ignition coil that transmits voltage to the plug. If it is defective, the engine might not start. However, before you replace the coil, make sure the plug is working properly. If it is, use a tester for ignition coils to examine if yours is operating. If it is faulty, it needs to be replaced.

Flywheel Key: This is the small metal that connects with the crankshaft and fits into the flywheel. If the generator’s engine stops abruptly, the flywheel key can shear in half. Therefore, you need to remove the flywheel from the engine to check whether the flywheel key is broken. If it is damaged, it should be replaced.

Recoil Starter: This is the part designed to engage the crankshaft to turn the engine over. If it is defective, it might not engage the crankshaft as required. Therefore, remove the recoil starter assembly to examine whether it is working correctly. You should pull the starter rope so that the tabs extending from the cam and pulley can grasp the engine’s hub, which turns the engine. If you release the rope, the tabs should pull back while the ropes rewind on the pulley.

Start Switch: If it is hard to turn on the switch or it works irregularly, you should replace it. Use a multimeter to determine whether the switch is faulty.

Safety Switch: Use a multimeter to test whether it is working.

2. Generator Battery Keeps Dying

You can use the voltage regulator or alternator to test whether the battery is working.

Voltage Regulator: As the engine runs, the voltage regulator transmits the correct amount of voltage to the battery from the alternator to charge the battery. However, if the voltage regulator is defective, the battery will not receive enough voltage, which will make the battery to drain fast.

Alternator: use a multimeter to check whether the alternator is in a good working condition.

3. Generator Leaking Gas

The following are the main causes of gas leakage in a generator:

Carburetor Gasket/ Float Bowl Gasket/ Carburetor Bowl Gasket

If any of the above gaskets is missing or dried out, it might leak gas. If the leakage is coming from the bottom side of the carburetor, you can replace the gasket.

4. Generator Won’t Stay Running

Carburetor Repairing Kit: If the carburetor is clogged or the float bowl has bad fuel, the generator may not run for long. If the fuel has been in the engine for a long time, some volatile fuel elements could have evaporated creating a substance that looks like varnish or shellac. The sticky substance can clog the small ports and jets in the carburetor, which as a result prevents the engine from operating.

You can avoid this problem by draining all the old fuel in the float bowl and clean the carburetor thoroughly with the carburetor cleaner. If it still doesn’t work, replace the carburetor.

Fuel Cap: As the engine runs, it consumes fuel, whose level in the fuel tank drops. The fuel cap allows air via a small vent to get into the tank to top up the used fuel. However, if the fuel cap is blocked, no air can enter into the tanks, and as a result, a vacuum occurs. The vacuum stops the fuel from flowing, which stops the engine.

But how can you know if the fuel cap is clogged? You just loosen the fuel cap slightly and start the engine. If the engine stays running after loosening the cap, most probably it is clogged, and it needs a replacement.

5. Generator Runs Rough

What could make your generator to run rough? The following are the main causes:

Carburetor/ Carburetor Repair Kit: The generator’s carburetor may be clogged as a result of leaving the fuel for a long time. Over time, some fuel elements may evaporate leaving a thick and sticky substance, which can clog the carburetor as well as prevent the engine from operating. Therefore, if it is clogged, clean it with carburetor cleaner or replace the entire carburetor.

Spark Plug: Check whether: the spark plug is worn and damaged, the insulator is damaged, the electrode is burnt, or if the electrode has a heavy carbon build up. If it has any of these, you should get a new plug immediately.
Also, you should examine whether the spark plug is defective using a tester for spark plugs. The tester’s terminals should produce a spark once the engine is on. If no spark is produced, it is an indication the plug is faulty and you need a new one.

Fuel Filter: If you notice that your generator’s chainsaw is running poorly, the fuel filter may be clogged. Leaving the chainsaw with old fuel can lead to a clogged fuel filter. Over time, some fuel elements may evaporate leaving a thick and sticky substance, which can clog the fuel filter as well as prevent the engine from running correctly. Therefore, if it is clogged, drain the old fuel left in the chainsaw and replace the filter.

If your home has heavy-tech gadgets, you should understand that the electronic load especially the newer computers use less power, which is clean and stable. That means the voltage is well-regulated and the frequency has low harmonics. However, computers and other heavy electronics can bring problems to the power source. Therefore, if you want a backup power for a computer network, ensure that the total electronic load does not surpass 50 percent of the capacity of your generator.

The Cost of Generator Repair

Generators can be the best alternative source of electricity during power outages. This can be in your home, businesses, hospitals, even restaurants. Since a generator can malfunction, and stop working, it can be stressful especially when your normal routine is cut short, and everything comes to a standstill.

Therefore, it is important to keep your generator in a good working condition with regular maintenance and repair. The following factors will affect the cost of repairs for your generator:

1. Type of the generator

There are portable generators that require a lot of fuel and constant refilling to keep them working. Standby generators, on the other hand, are usually connected to natural gas or propane that require power depending on its type. The repair cost for a standby generator is higher than for a portable generator which is cheaper.

2. Size

Generators come in various sizes denoted in kilowatts. The large models that deliver 22-45KW are much complicated, and the cost of repairing this generator model higher compared to other models. The smaller the size, the less powerful the generator is, and the cheaper it is to repair.

3. Repair problem

The specific problems with your generator will determine its cost. For instance, a problem with the electrical meter or power panel will need an electrician, and hence the repair cost will be high.

Repair Costs Involved

The approximate cost of repairing a home generator is 290$. The prices, however, for many homeowners ranges between 250$ to 320$ for the work to be completed by aH. This cost varies depending on the size, type of the generator, and the scope of work required to be done. Many licensed electricians charges between 140$ -160$ per hour. The cost estimates have been broken down as shown in the table.

Projectcost
General repair cost60$-600$
Reviving a generator that won't start60$-135$
Installing a new battery/oil/air filters49$-62$
generator technician(labour cost)55$-75$ per hour
Electrician costs40$-105$ per hour
Replacing a new carburetor120$

Most parts of a generator roughly cost 50$ or less. Others may cost 95$ to 305$ while few 450$-1000$ and above. When evaluating whether your generator needs a repair, keep in mind that a portable generator can cost between 395$ and $10000, while a stationery one goes roughly between 4999$ to 10,000$.

Before you call a professional to repair your generator:

  1. Take time to troubleshoot the generator. This might save you the cost of repair.
  2. Check if the power cord to the generator is well plugged into the home’s electrical system and that it is not damaged.
  3. Check if the generator has fuel and if the home’s electrical meter is in the right shape.
  4. If none of these is the source of the problem, it is an indication that you need to call for a professional repair personnel.

Generator Repair vs Replacement

It can be daunting to determine whether to replace or repair your generator especially if you are a business person and your facility is a vital part of your operations. If you have a new generator, you probably don’t have to worry about major repairs for some years. However, if your generator is more than five years old, you need a trusted electro-mechanical contractor for proper maintenance and repairs. But if you spend more money on repairs every year, it may be time to replace your generator since the replacement cost and repair costs might not be far apart. The following factors can reduce this gap further.

Reliability: Do you trust your generator or do you say a word of prayer every time you start it? If your generator uses a lot of fuel or needs significant repairs, replacement may be the best option.

Availability of parts and services: Finding the parts of an old and outdated generator can be a nightmare as well as locating a mechanic who has the knowledge and skills to work on it.

Old-fashioned vs cutting-edge: Replacing your old generator with a newer model gives you the chance to benefit from the latest technology in a smaller and lighter package—from a quieter operation and less vibration to fuel economy and greener efficiency.

Even if you decide to save a few bucks to repair your current unit, you will still end up with an old generator without a manufacturer’s warranty.

Long-term goals: For how long do you intend to keep your current generator, and what are your plans (including extended use)? If you use your generator for long periods, you are looking for greener pasture, or just want peace of mind, then you might consider replacing your ageing generator.

Fuel consumption: If you notice that your fuel costs are steadily rising, or your fuel tank only lasts for a while, it could be an indication that your generator’s performance is not at its optimal level. Once the performance is comprised, you might end up spending more to operate it than replacing it. If you note a difference, look for a professional for a recommendation.

Trouble starting: Have you noticed delays when your generator is turned on? This is usually the first sign that the life of your generator is coming to an end. You can extend the lifespan of your generator with regular maintenance.

Carbon Monoxide emissions: If your carbon monoxide detector picks up some emissions, you should examine your generator. When generators start to fail, it is common to produce carbon monoxide emissions. Therefore, you should stop using the generator and replace it as soon as possible. Carbon monoxide can cause healthy and safety problems.

Inconsistency: If the lights flickers or other gadgets cut in and out when you power the generator, it means that it lacks consistent and powerful energy supply. This is a warning that the unit is almost dead.

Make the right decision: If you have decided to replace your generator, you should consult with the manufacturer or an authorized representative during the selection process. This way you will be able to choose the model that meets your power needs. A small generator will be struggling to meet demand, which can result in short service life and poor performance. On the other hand, a large generator will have “underloading” problems including a build-up of carbon in the engine, inefficient operation and incomplete fuel combustion.

Tips for Finding the Best Generator Repair Contractor

Here are 8 sure-fire tips for choosing the best local generator repair shop:

1. Ask for references

To ensure that you are hiring reliable generator contractor, you need to ask your prospective contractors for references of their past clients to gain feedback on their work performance. You can contact at least one of the references you receive for feedback on the level of quality of the contractor they used.

You may as well, research your prospective generator contractors online to seek testimonials from past clients. Doing this will help you know the quality of their services and help you determine whether or not they are worth hiring. Seek the services of a contractor with good reviews and an incredible reputation. A simple search online can often be helpful.

2. Ask your friends, neighbors and family for referrals

To reduce the hustle of finding the best contractor, ask family members, neighbors and friends if they can recommend a contractor. Inquire about the situation that required them to hire the services of a generator repair contractor. By doing this, you get a better idea regarding whether that particular contractor will best suit your unique needs.

You should then research online and short-list two to three contractors in your locality to consider.

3. Compare prices

Obviously, one uses good judgment in choosing a generator repair contractor. Just like any other service prices may vary. But unlike purchasing a pair of shoes, or a set of books both of which are commodities; when it comes to choosing a great contractor, you’re selecting a generator repair contractor that is going to work in your home or place of work impacting your comfort as well as safety.

For that reason, you should ask each of the prospective contractors for a quotation and compare not only the pricing but ensure that you understand what is offered by each quote. In simple terms, you need to know what exactly that you are getting for the price. Knowing the prices will then help you choose the contractor that best suits your budget.

4. Experience

Apart from determining the prices and what is included in the contract, you should make sure that the contractor you are considering to hire has the expertise and experience for the job.

With the rising numbers of generator repair companies, you will find reputable contractors that perform excellent work, and there are the unreliable ones who perform poor work, and, often, fail to complete the job. Distinguishing between these types of contractors can be difficult at first.

This is why it is essential to research all prospective contractors to determine if they have the experience and necessary credentials to perform the task. Thus, before hiring a generator repair contractor, be sure that the contractor has the required credentials and experience to do the job to completion.

5. Expertise

Although most of the generator repair contractors usually service more than one type generators, there are those that specialize in working with individual types of generators. This may lead to hiring a contractor that may not offer the best service. Thus, whether you have a portable or standby generator, your contractor should have the expertise and experience maintaining each type of generators.

For that reason, you should protect your generator investment by making sure that only factory-trained technicians perform the repair.

6. Do they stock genuine parts

Obviously, you do not want a contractor that will fix your broken generator with poor quality parts. So, it is essential that your contractor has genuine parts on their trucks for immediate repairs. If not, they should have access to high-quality parts from a recognized dealer.

Hiring a company with fully stocked service vehicles and the ability to submit warranty claims ensures that you get only the best services.

7. Licensed, bonded, and insured

Hiring a company without a license, or insurance to operate increases the risk of receiving poor services. This may as well lead to you not getting compensated for any lost or stolen property during the project as well as not being compensated for property damage that may occur.

This is why it is important that you ask your contractor to provide you with proof that they are licensed and insured before hiring them.

8. Emergency service

Power outages seldom if ever occur during the day or normal business hours, which is usually a scary and unsettling situation to many homeowners and businesses. That is why it is important to hire a generator repair contractor that is located near your place of work or home. This increases your chances of getting timely services in case of an emergency.

Also, make sure that your contractor offers 24/7 generator repair services, and they have a technician on call to assist you. Ensuring that there’s someone available to help you when you need your generator fixed gives you peace of mind and makes you feel better.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, choose a local generator repair contractor that has the expertise, experience, genuine parts as well as the necessary documents to guarantee you peace of mind and worry-free maintenance! Always remember that a legitimate contractor will always be willing to provide you with any of the documents and references upon request.

A repair contractor that delivers diverse services demonstrates extensive knowledge of the industry and further shows their dedication to meeting the unique needs of their clients. Don’t be intimidated by the process of finding the best generator repair contractors. Now that you know what to look out for, you can easily and confidently find the best contractor and get your generator working within no time.
Questions To Ask a Generator Repair Contractor

Since we already have the tips on how to choose the best generator repair personnel, let’s look at the questions you can ask your potential contractor before hiring him/her.

1. Do you have references?

To ensure that you are hiring reliable generator contractor, you need to ask your prospective contractors for references of their past clients to gain feedback on their work performance. You can contact at least one of the references you receive for feedback on the level of quality of the contractor they used.

You may as well, research your prospective generator contractors online to seek testimonials from past clients. Doing this will help you know the quality of their services and help you determine whether or not they are worth hiring. Seek the services of a contractor with good reviews and an incredible reputation. A simple search online can often be helpful.

2. Do you offer emergency services?

Power outages seldom if ever occur during the day or normal business hours, which is usually a scary and unsettling situation to many homeowners and businesses. That is why it’s important to hire a generator repair contractor that is located near your place of work or home. This increases your chances of getting timely services in case of an emergency.
Also, make sure that your contractor offers 24/7 generator repair services, and they have a technician on call to assist you. Ensuring that there’s someone available to help you when you need your generator fixed gives you peace of mind and makes you feel better.

3. What qualification and certifications does your technicians have?

Are the technician working for the company qualified and certified? Insist on seeing their certificates. Generator repair requires knowledge and skills, and you expect the technicians to be aware and familiar with your generator problem. Most manufacturers have certification programs for technicians, and there are organisations such as EGSA, which offer general technician certification.

4. What level of company do you lie under, are you local or national?

The market consists of both local and national level companies. The experience and scope of work in a local company are limited to local generators while on a national level, they are more experienced and can handle a wide range of generator problems.

5. How much do repairs cost?

Price is a major factor in the repair process though not the main one. Ask for an estimate of how much you will dig into your pocket to compensate for repairs. It’s advisable to avoid low bidding companies since they are likely to do shoddy work or have a shortcoming in one area hence the low prices. Expensive companies probably charge higher since they do quality work, remember you get what you pay for.

6. Are you an OEM or ISP company?

An OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) company is one that deals with specific brands of manufactured parts. On the other hand, an ISP (Independent Service Provider) is one that gives service to multiple brands of manufactured products. You can work with either of the companies, but dealing with specific manufacturer guarantees familiarisation, which results in high-quality services. For instance, if you have a generic generator, you can go for an OEM.

7. What repair does my generator require and how is it done?

As the owner, you are expected to have some knowledge and understanding of your generator for the time you have used it. Ask for a detailed explanation of the needed repairs to gauge whether the technician gets the problem. Also, you may require a procedure of how it will be done. This question can build your trust and confidence with the technician since you can tell if they know what they are expected to do.

8. Are you insured and do you offer a repair warranty?

Insurance is a real lifesaver in times of accidents and unexpected damages in the work process. If the company is insured, you will not be held liable in case of an accident. In addition, a company that offers a warranty is better since they guarantee their services and repair parts as well.

9. From which manufacturer do you source the repair parts of generators?

A reputable contractor should know different manufacturers of generator repair parts in the market, and the company must have their preferred brand. Different brands may differ in durability and quality hence the need to inquire from the experts on the best brand. Therefore, ensure that your prospective generator repair contractor uses high-quality and durable repair parts from reputable manufacturers.

10. What differentiates you from your competitors?

The type of answer given to the question can be a major factor to consider in valuing the company. The answer should tell what exactly the technicians will offer you, their experience and commitment in giving the best without even mentioning their competitors.

The repair process and more so finding the best generator repair contractor may be a hard task to carry out. However, with the right questions, your search for the best fit becomes simpler since you will make the right choice depending on the answers you get.

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