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Why Is My Generator Surging?

Whole-Home generator

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 long history of handling generators, and one of the most common complaints we get from generator owners is about 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.

What Is Surging?

Surging is when a generator (or other electrical component, machine, or device) displays 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 in Virginia Homes?

There are numerous causes for generator surging, including:

  • Incorrect fuel use, fuel levels, and fuel quality in gas/oil generators. Surging caused by fuel issues can happen for a few reasons: incorrect fuel type, fuel levels are too low, or poor quality of fuel in the generator. Just about every generator on the market has a certain fuel that you must use when running the machine and using the wrong type can cause a surge.
  • 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 having it inspected 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 in DC

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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