How to Troubleshoot a Porter Cable Generator

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In parts of the Unites States with the risk of experiencing a natural disaster, an electric generator is a must. Electric generators output a specific amount of wattage; the bigger the generator, the more wattage it can produce. Porter Cable produces a few different generator models, all of which run on gasoline engines. If your generator begins to experience problems, the steps used to troubleshoot the generator remain the same.

Things You'll Need

  • Spark plug
  • Spark plug tool

Unplug any electrical appliance connected to the generator before proceeding. Check the fuel level if the engine will not start. If the fuel is full and the engine will not start, check to ensure the “On/Off” switch is “On” and that the fuel valve is open. If this does not work, check to ensure the engine choke is in the right position, then try starting the engine again. If this doesn’t work, check whether the spark plug wire is securely attached to the spark plug. If you still haven't found the problem, remove the spark plug wire and unscrew the spark plug from the engine block using a spark plug tool, and install a new plug of the same model. Always keep an extra spark plug on hand labeled “generator” so you can easily identify it during a power outage.

Press the "Reset" button on the GFCI breaker or the circuit breaker if the generator is producing no electrical output. If the power cord connected to the Porter Cable generator has become cut, frayed or damaged in any way, replace it. If the generator still fails to produce any electrical output, the receptacle or the capacitor may be faulty; only have these parts replaced by a Porter Cable Service Center.

Disconnect electrical appliances if the circuit breaker trips over and over again. Reducing the load should remedy this problem. Check whether one or more of the cords feeding the appliances has become frayed or damaged in some way. Repair or replace the cords before connecting them to the generator.

Reduce the load on the generator by unplugging one or more electrical appliance if the engine overheats. If the generator is overloaded, it will try to keep up and overheat in the process. Also, the generator may not be located in an adequately ventilated area. Move it into an open outdoor location for adequate ventilation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always keep the owner's manual for your generator in a handy place so you know where to find it if you experience an extended power outage.
  • Regularly test your Porter Cable generator to ensure it will work properly during a power outage.

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