Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.
Last Updated on June 10, 2021
Generators are convenient and potentially life-saving machines that create power and electricity for your home, business, RV, or campsite when you need it most. Blackouts, power outages, construction projects, or even being in nature can leave you without electricity, finding it difficult to cook, power on devices, and charge your electronics during tough times.
Fixing a generator for lack of power production can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Generators tend to possess complex and intricate components that are not easy to assemble and fix. The most common problem with generators arises when they fail to produce electricity from the loss of magnetism inside the machine.
After using the generator, the machine possesses leftover magnetism called residual magnetism. This is only a small amount of energy but enough to start the power-inducing process with a subsequent run. The minimal magnetism is used to create even tougher electromagnets and the engine turns it, pushing its electromagnetic field into different areas of the machine.
For various reasons, from long periods of inactivity to things that draw electricity from your generator still being plugged in after it’s off, can cause residual magnetism to fizzle out. This means that the generator will not be able to produce any power when you turn it on again. Running the generator with no load connected can also make it lose its magnetism because generators need to be powering things when they are on.
Different Ways to Solve the Problem
There are many paths to the same location. With polarizing generators, the rule still applies. There are two main and efficient methods for doing this task. Each has its distinct solution and requires different tools and resources. Therefore, it’s best to know what you need beforehand so you are ready to use them when you need to.
Be careful and wear gloves while performing these duties in well-lit and dry places to avoid electric shock. Also, remove any animals, children, or objects around the vicinity of the generator.
1. Drilling Method
- An electric drill.
- Rubber gloves.
- Safety goggles.
Here are the steps to polarize the generator once more using the electric drilling method:
- Plug in an electric drill by its wire into the generator.
- Move all reversible drill switches to run it in the forward position.
- Initiate the generator by turning it on.
- Press the trigger on the drill and spin the chuck in the reverse direction.
- If spinning the chuck one way does not work then try it in the reverse direction.
- The generator should produce electricity now.
The thrill acts as a miniature generator when spun in a backward motion. Voltage is produced into the motor as it winds, and that is channeled into the machine by the cord as it funnels inside the generator receptacle. The stator then receives the power and creates a magnetic field increased in intensity by the laminations and iron cores.
The magnetic field is intersected with the rotor and induces a voltage where it is the winding.
If this does not help the problem, then the Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) may be damaged and in need of replacement.
2. Battery Method with a 12 Volt Unit
- A +12 Volt Battery.
- Rubber Gloves.
- Safety Goggles.
Make sure to pay close attention to each part of the task and do so carefully. Avoid being reckless or placing things where you don’t remember they are. Keep a focus on the different wires and plugs that can get confused when taking them on and off.
Steps for polarizing the generator with a 12-volt battery:
- Locate the voltage regulator on your generator unit.
- Take out the two wires that connect to the generator brushes (one red and one black/white).
- Connect the white/black one to the grounded battery terminal on the generator.
- Connect it to a light bulb.
- Turn on the generator switch and initiate the motor.
- Connect the +12-volt battery to the red wire on the terminals and leave for three seconds.
- Remove your wires and refix the plugs.
- Use the generator for power production.
The Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) needs to have all brush wires unplugged from its terminals. Not doing so may result in damage to the unit. The regulator should also not be in contact with other wires due to electric shock that can be fatal.
The Bottom Line
Generators are convenient and amazing machines that help provide power to electronics during blackouts and/or power outages. You can use them for charging devices, cooking on stoves, watching entertainment on TVs, powering lights for dark spaces, and much more.
These machines and units require internal residual magnetism to begin the function of generating power throughout subsequent uses. Besides routine maintenance like oil and filter changes, sometimes the residual magnetism can fade.
This happens for reasons like:
- The generator is on while not powering up anything.
- Loads connected and trying to draw power while the generator is off.
Upon finding out that your device cannot create power, two methods can help fix the problem as long as the AVR is not damaged.
- Using an electric drill.
- Using a 12-volt battery.
You will need to replace the AVR if it is malfunctioning as the generator will not work without a working one.
The last thing you want is a generator that doesn’t generate power, so using these two methods and understanding what can go wrong is vital information when polarizing your unit. Remember to stay safe and be cognizant of what may go wrong if you perform these methods with concern for safety or being reckless in any way.
With these simple guidelines and easy-to-follow options, making sure your generator stays in use can be a breeze. Check the magnetism of your generator frequency to avoid upsets and frustration when you need it the most.