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My Generator Is Surging. What’s Going On?

Posted on: December 27, 2015

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 quite up to the task? This can leave you with no means to perform normal functions at best, 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 coming in the form of 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 completely random. What exactly 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 also come as drastic changes in pace as well; such as a fan running faster and then slower for no obvious reason.

What Causes Surging?

There are actually numerous causes for generator surging, including:

  • Incorrect fuel use, fuel levels and fuel quality in gas/oil generators. Your generator was designed to utilize specific fuel sources, and anything else may cause problems in operation (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, really), 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 due to 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 poor generator!
  • Age. Generators are built to last an exceedingly long time, but sadly, nothing lasts forever. If your generator is experiencing surges, and is getting on in years, it may well be time to consider replacement.

Top-Tier Generator Repair with Kolb Electric

Bottom line; if your generator is experiencing surging there is definitely 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 very best to any project. if you’re experiencing generator surges, don’t hesitate to contact us right away!

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