Generac Generator Troubleshooting Guide

When your Generac generator encounters issues, it’s crucial to approach troubleshooting methodically. This guide will help you identify common starting problems and provide regular maintenance tips to ensure your generator operates as expected.

Common Starting Issues

If your Generac generator won’t start, you’re not alone. Here are some frequent causes and solutions:

  • Low Oil Level: Generators have a low-oil shutoff feature. Check oil levels and top off if needed.
  • Empty Fuel Tank: Refill the tank if your generator has exhausted its fuel supply.
  • Malfunctioning Choke: Adjust the choke if it’s not set correctly for the current engine temperature.
  • Closed or Clogged Fuel Valve: Ensure the valve is open and clean any blockage.
  • Clogged Carburetor: Clean the carburetor to remove any residue from stale fuel.
  • Spark Plug Issues: Inspect for damage or carbon build-up and replace or clean as required.
  • Dead Battery: Check the battery’s charge and replace it if it’s unable to hold a charge (generac generator troubleshooting battery).
  • Dirty Air Filters: Clean or replace air filters to improve airflow.

Dealing with a generator that keeps tripping or won’t reset can be frustrating. For specific steps on how to address these issues, visit generac generator won’t start and generac generator won’t reset.

Regular Maintenance Tips

To prevent common issues, regular maintenance is key. Here’s a routine to keep your generator in top shape:

  • Daily or Pre-Use Checks: Inspect fuel and oil lines, check engine oil levels, and clear away dirt or debris.
  • First 25 Hours: Change the oil and inspect/adjust the valves.
  • Annually: Check the battery’s condition and charge level, and perform a fuel system leak test and water intrusion inspection.
  • Every 200 Hours or Biennially: Replace the oil and oil filter.
  • Every 400 Hours or Every 4 Years: Inspect the spark plug, check valve clearances, clean the sediment trap, and replace the air filter.

For the initial installation requirements, ensure you follow the correct procedures to avoid future complications, which are detailed under initial installation requirements.

Remember that error codes can help you diagnose issues with your generator. If your generator displays an error code, such as Overcrank, Code 1100, or Low Oil Pressure, Code 1300, follow the generac generator error codes link for specific troubleshooting steps provided by Generac.

By maintaining your Generac generator and addressing common starting issues, you can ensure reliable performance and longevity. If you encounter an error code or issue that’s not resolved by the provided information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Generac Customer Service or consult the generac generator reset instructions for further guidance.

Resetting Generac Generator

Resetting your Generac generator is a critical step in troubleshooting common issues you may encounter. Here’s how to address specific error codes that can arise, providing you with a starting point to get your generator back in working condition.

Overcrank, Code 1100

Encountering an Overcrank, Code 1100, on your Generac generator signifies that the engine has attempted to start but failed. To troubleshoot, first, reset the controller. Next, ensure that the gas supply to the generator is turned on. If the engine still does not start, it may be time to seek assistance from an authorized service dealer. For further details on tackling this issue, visit our page on generac generator won’t start.

Overspeed, Code 1200/1205

An Overspeed error, shown as Code 1200 or 1205, indicates that the engine’s RPMs are too high. This could be due to a malfunction such as defective ignition coils. To resolve this, resetting the controller is the first step, but if the issue persists, professional servicing by an authorized dealer will be necessary. For a more comprehensive look at this error, check out our generac generator error codes page.

Low Oil Pressure, Code 1300

If you see the Low Oil Pressure, Code 1300, on your generator’s display, check the oil level immediately, adding more if it’s low, as per the instructions in the owner’s manual. Should the oil level be adequate and the error code remains, it’s advisable to make a service call to address the issue. For additional insights on this error, refer to our generac generator troubleshooting guide.

RPM Sense Loss, Code 1501/1505/1511/1515

RPM Sense Loss, indicated by Codes 1501, 1505, 1511, or 1515, occurs when the generator fails to start in AUTO mode. Clear the alarm, then try restarting the generator, ensuring to remove any excessive loads. It’s also essential to check the status of your battery. For a detailed walkthrough on this procedure, visit generac generator troubleshooting battery. If these steps do not resolve the issue, reaching out to an authorized service dealer is the recommended course of action.

Underspeed, Code 1600

The Underspeed error, Code 1600, suggests that the correct RPM is not being detected by the controller. In the event of this error, after attempting a reset, the next step should be to contact an authorized service dealer for expert assistance. For further guidance, the generac generator reset instructions can provide additional support.

In all cases, if your Generac generator continues to display error codes after you’ve attempted a reset, or if it keeps tripping or won’t reset, reaching out for professional help is crucial. Remember, regular maintenance and understanding how to reset your Generac generator can prevent many of these issues from occurring in the first place.

Preventative Maintenance Steps

Preventative maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity and reliability of your Generac generator. By following a few critical steps, you can avoid common issues and maintain optimal performance.

Initial Installation Requirements

When you first install your Generac generator, specific initial steps must be taken to ensure it runs correctly. After the first 25 hours of runtime, an oil change and valve inspection or adjustment are required. However, note that 14 and 18kW units with 816cc engines have hydraulic lifters and do not need a valve adjustment, only an oil change. Always refer to your owner’s manual for exact maintenance requirements for your specific model before conducting any maintenance.

Routine Maintenance Schedule

To keep your Generac generator in peak condition, adhere to the following routine maintenance schedule:

Maintenance Task Interval
Check engine oil level Before each use / Daily if running continuously
Clear dirt and debris Before each use / Daily if running continuously
Check fuel and oil lines Before each use / Daily if running continuously
Oil and oil filter change Every 200 hours or every 2 years (whichever comes first)
Check spark plug and valve clearance Every 400 hours or every 4 years (whichever comes first)
Replace air filter Every 400 hours or every 4 years (whichever comes first)
Battery condition and charge level Annually
Fuel system leak test Annually
Water intrusion inspection Annually


It’s recommended to contact an Independent Authorized Service Dealer (IASD) to service the generator, ensuring all maintenance is conducted correctly and safely.

Error Code Troubleshooting

Generac generators are equipped with self-diagnostic capabilities that display error codes when issues arise. Here are some of the common error codes and troubleshooting tips:

  • Overcrank, Code 1100: Reset the controller and ensure the gas is on. If the issue remains, seek assistance from an authorized service dealer (Generac).
  • Overspeed, Code 1200/1205: High RPM may be caused by defective ignition coils. This requires intervention from an authorized service dealer (Generac).
  • Low Oil Pressure, Code 1300: Verify the oil level and add oil if needed. If the level is adequate and the problem persists, a service call is necessary.
  • RPM Sense Loss, Code 1501/1505/1511/1515: Clear the alarm, attempt to restart after removing some loads, and check the battery status. If unresolved, contact an authorized service dealer (Generac).
  • Underspeed, Code 1600: This indicates incorrect RPM detection. An authorized service dealer should be contacted for assistance (Generac).

For additional troubleshooting support, refer to our comprehensive generac generator troubleshooting guide, which includes details on how to reset your Generac generator, understanding error codes, and steps to take if your generac generator won’t start or keeps tripping. If you encounter a situation where your generac generator won’t reset, following our reset instructions may help resolve the issue. For battery-related problems, our section on generac generator troubleshooting battery will provide you with useful insights.

Contacting Support for Assistance

When you encounter issues with your Generac generator, knowing how to reach out for assistance can make the troubleshooting process smoother. Whether you’re dealing with error codes, starting problems, or maintenance queries, support is available through various channels.

Generac Customer Service

Generac offers a comprehensive troubleshooting guide on their website, which can be particularly helpful if you’re experiencing issues such as stale gasoline in the tank—a common cause of starting problems. For additional support, you can contact Generac Customer Service directly through their website. They can provide guidance on routine maintenance, error codes, and more.

Independent Authorized Service Dealer (IASD)

For more hands-on assistance, especially when complex technical issues arise or when it’s time for routine maintenance, consider reaching out to an Independent Authorized Service Dealer (IASD). Generac highly recommends using an IASD for servicing your generator to ensure that it’s handled by trained professionals. You can find your nearest IASD through the Generac website’s dealer locator or visit Generac’s maintenance FAQ for more information.

Online Forums for Troubleshooting

Online forums are a valuable resource where you can connect with other Generac generator owners who might have faced similar issues. These communities can offer insights, share their experiences with specific error codes, and provide practical advice on how to reset your Generac generator or fix common problems like a generator that won’t start.

Technical Support Hotline

If you’re in need of immediate assistance, Generac’s Technical Support Hotline is just a phone call away. They can provide step-by-step guidance on error codes, resetting your generator, or addressing issues like a generator that keeps tripping or won’t reset. The hotline is staffed with knowledgeable technicians who can also advise on battery troubleshooting and reset instructions.

Remember, when in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a professional to avoid further damage to your generator. Whether through customer service, an authorized dealer, online forums, or a technical support call, help is available to get your Generac generator back in working order.

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