Why Is Your Generator Surging And What to Do

generator surging

Commercial generators have the ability to last over 30,000 hours with proper maintenance. However, parts will wear out over time, and you should replace them. If you don’t keep up with the maintenance, generator surging will become an issue.

Surging is a common problem with generators that have gone without proper maintenance for too long. If you notice your generator surging, it’s important to take action right away. If you don’t, the problem will get worse and could lead to a complete breakdown of your generator.

Keep reading to learn why your generator is surging and what you can do to fix the problem.

What Is a Commercial Generator?

Before we dive into the reasons why your generator is surging, let’s first take a moment to review what a commercial generator is. A commercial generator is a type of backup power system that businesses use. These generators are larger and more powerful than the ones you would use at home.

Commercial generators are powered by diesel, natural gas, or propane. They range in size from 7kW to 2,000kW or more. Prices also vary depending on the size and power of the generator.

Commercial generators are used as backup power during a power outage. They are also used to power construction sites or other outdoor events.

Types of Generators

There are three main types of generators: standby, portable, and inverter.

Standby generators are the largest and most powerful type. They are used to power businesses during a power outage. These generators can run for hours or even days at a time.

Portable generators are smaller and less powerful than standby generators. They are used for recreation, such as camping or tailgating. Portable generators can also be used as backup power during a power outage.

Inverter generators are the smallest and most lightweight type. They are used to power small electronics, such as laptops or phones. Inverter generators can also be used as backup power during a power outage.

What Is a Surge?

A surge is a sudden increase in electricity. Surges can be caused by a number of things, including lightning strikes, power outages, or faulty wiring.

Surges can damage your electronics and appliances. They can also cause your generator to shut down.

Why Is My Generator Surging?

If you’ve noticed your generator surging, it’s important to take action right away. Surging is a sign that something is wrong with your generator. It’s usually caused by one of four things:

  1. Dirty Fuel
  2. Faulty Spark Plugs
  3. Dirty Air Filter
  4. Age

Let’s take a closer look at each of these four reasons.

Dirty Fuel

One of the most common causes of generator surging is dirty fuel. Over time, fuel can start to degrade and become contaminated with water or other debris. This can cause your generator to run erratically.

If you suspect that dirty fuel is the cause of your generator surging, the first thing you should do is check the fuel filter. If the filter is dirty, replace it with a new one. You should also drain the fuel tank and add fresh, clean fuel.

Faulty Spark Plugs

Another common reason for generator surging is faulty spark plugs. Over time, spark plugs can become fouled or damaged. This can cause your generator to misfire and run erratically.

If you’ve found faulty spark plugs are the cause of your generator surging, replace them with new ones. Replace them as necessary to avoid future surges.

Dirty Air Filter

Another common reason for generator problems is a dirty air filter. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine and cause it to run poorly.

Check the air filter and if it’s dirty, replace it with a new one.


Finally, a possible reason for your generator problems is simply due to aging. As generators age, they become less reliable. This is especially true if they haven’t been properly maintained.

If your generator is old and is surging, it’s probably time to replace it.

There are a few other possibilities when it comes to generators surging. These include a low fuel level, unbalanced loads, or starting large equipment suddenly while on generator power. These and other occurrences can lead to one-off surges that don’t necessarily indicate a problem but should be noted and corrected if possible.

How to Prevent Generator Surging

Now that you know the three most common reasons for generator surging, let’s talk about how you can prevent it. The best way to prevent generator surging is to perform regular maintenance on your generator.

At a minimum, you should perform the following maintenance tasks:

  1. Change the oil and filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations
  2. Change the fuel filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations
  3. Check the air filter and clean or replace it as needed
  4. Check the spark plugs and replace them as needed
  5. Inspect the fuel tank and clean it as needed
  6. Test the batteries and charging system

By performing these regular maintenance tasks, you can help prevent generator surging and keep your generator running smoothly for years to come.

Is Your Generator Surging and You Need Help?

If you’re having trouble with your generator, we can help. Tapps Electric is a leading provider of generator sales, service, and rental in Pierce County and its surrounding areas. We have a team of experienced technicians with the generator solutions you need.

We can troubleshoot and repair any problem you’re experiencing.

Contact us today to get a free estimate. We’ll get your generator up and running in no time.

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