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Why Is My Generator Surging?

The proud owner of a generator, whether for general use or use in an emergency, can rest assured that they have access to the power they need. But what if your generator isn’t up to the task? At best, this can leave you with no means to perform normal functions, and at worst could leave you powerless in the face of a storm or other catastrophe.

The certified experts at Kolb Electric have a strong history of handling generators, and today we bring you one of the most common complaints among generator-owners: power surges.

When it comes to communicating signs of disrepair, generators are actually rather talkative. It’s all in understanding the signs, the most common of which is surging.

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What Is Surging?

Surging refers to a generator (or other electrical component, machine, or device) displaying clear fluctuations in behavior at intervals. These intervals can follow a clear pattern, or can be random. What does this mean? Let’s use some examples.

A surging generator often will leave lights burning much brighter, then much dimmer rapidly, causing a sort of flicker back and forth. In machinery, this can come as drastic changes in pace as well, such as a fan running faster and then slower for no apparent reason.

What Causes Generators to Surge?

There are numerous causes for generator surging, including:

  • Incorrect fuel use, fuel levels, and fuel quality in gas/oil generators. Your generator was designed to use specific fuel sources, and anything else may cause operation problems (and irreparable damage).
  • Failing capacitor or other components. A failing, damaged, or aging capacitor can create wild fluctuations in the regulation of power supply and distribution.
  • Poor maintenance. Like a car (or any other mechanical or electrical device), your generator should be put through its paces frequently. We would recommend monthly. This ensures nothing begins to rust, settle, or generally fall into disrepair from lack of use. Also, be sure all generator repair is handled quickly and professionally. Poor generator repair can lead to a slow death for your generator!
  • Age. Generators are built to last an exceedingly long time, but nothing lasts forever. If your generator is experiencing surges and is getting on in years, it may be time to consider replacement.

Kolb Electric Can Fix Your Surging Generator

Bottom line: If your generator is experiencing surging, there is something wrong. The causes are myriad, but the solution stays the same. Seek professional assistance for your generator repair to ensure it’s ready and available when you need it most!

At Kolb Electric, we’ve been handling generator installation, repair, and replacement for years, and we always bring our best to any project. If you’re experiencing generator surges, contact us right away!

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