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Ask Hank F. Your Own Question
Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 15263
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
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I have a small generator that won't hold it's magnatism. It

Customer Question

I have a small generator that won't hold it's magnatism. It produces no electrical output by itself. If I plug a power strip into the generator and then plug a light and my angle grinder into the power strip and then turn my angle grinder on. The angle grinder will work and also the light will light up. As soon as I turn off my angle grinder the light goes out.
JA: What's the make and model of the generator? And can you guesstimate how old it is?
Customer: I'm in Florida and we have a hurricane upon us and have lost power a couple of times so I'm trying to get this going
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: Well seeing as every place is closed for the next 3 days because of the hurricane. I hope to
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: Nope that's pretty much what's going on.. besides the eighty mph winds outside
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Small Engine
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Brand Homelite
Model. Hg1800a
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Approx age 5 years old
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.

That does not make any sense at all. If the genset is not producing power, it would not be able to run an angle grinder.

Are you sure your power strip is not just bad?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I'm sure the power strip is fine. I believe the generator is not creating the magnatism needed to create the electricity. But the angle grinder does and that energy back feeds to the generator which then starts to produce electricity and then powers the lights.I guess the good news is somehow the generator is producing electricity via the angle grinder. We just need to take the angle grinder out of the circuit.I do have another generator here, but the carburator stopped functioning properly and then was lost in the move. But I was wondering if we can't get the first one working. Is there a way to somehow tie the first one into the second ones electrical system and run everything off that one
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I've been without power for a while now because of the hurricane. So any help would be greatly appreciated
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

Just plugging in an angle grinder and turning it on does not create any type of magnetic field. It does nothing. If it starts up on its own, there is electricity present.

If you unplug everything from the genset, and use a multimeter to measure voltage at the receptacle, how much voltage does it show?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Unplugging everything and testing directly into the outlet on the generator ...The bottom outlet showed nothing
And the top outlet was like a point one. And yes the generator was running and yes I had my volt meter set to acI can test again if you want me to... That was about an hour ago in the pouring rain...so when I didn't see any substantial voltage I ran back inside...
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
sorry I can't imediately respond. My internet and cell service is all messed up because of the storm. And the worst hasn't even come yet
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 month ago.

No, if you already tested it, don't go back out.

But it doesn't make any sense. If there is no power out, it can't start thte angle grinder, and just plugging a load in and turning it on does not produce a magnetic field - it takes outside interference for that.

Just from what you are describing, I would have to say that the capacitor is bad.

It is not allowing full flux to build up to create the magnetic field.

I just can't imagine how an angle grinder can create flux if it is not turning.

What I would recommend at this point is to take the capacitor out of the non running unit, and put it in the running unit.

Or take the carb from the running unit, and put it in the non running unit, if you know the generator end is good.