Home > Service & Support > FAQs > Portable Generator FAQs

Portable Generator FAQs

Portable Generator FAQs

  • Where is the engine made?

    Generac G-FORCE®  and OHVI engines are designed and manufactured by Generac Power Systems Inc. at our facilities in Wisconsin. 

    The Generac OHV engines are not engineered or manufactured in the U.S.

  • How does the Generac G-FORCE® engine compare to air cooled engines used in other brands of generators?

    Unlike other engines used in backup power generation, Generac G-FORCE® engines are designed specifically for generators. They are engineered to run for the long periods of time required during a severe power outage or on a job site. They utilize the same type of pressurized oil lubrication used to give automobile engines long and trouble-free lives. 

  • What type of oil is recommended? How often should it be changed?

    Above 32°F, use SAE 30. Below 40°F and down to -10°F, use 10W-30. Synthetic 5W-30 can be used in all temperatures. Oil should be changed after the first 20-30 hours of operation and every 100 hours of run time thereafter.

  • What type of gasoline is recommended for my portable generator?

    Use clean, fresh unleaded gasoline with a minimum 87 octane rating.

  • How often should I perform routine maintenance on my portable generator?

    All generators require periodic maintenance, such as oil and filter changes, to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service. Refer to the owner's manual for routine maintenance procedures and schedules. 

  • Does the portable generator need to be grounded?

    It depends on the application. 

    When using just the extension cords, you do not need to use a ground rod. (If you have a bonded neutral portable generator. This can be found in the owner's manual.)

    When connecting to an electrical panel (building electrical system, manual transfer switch, RV, etc.) you need to connect your generator to a ground rod. 

    Ground rods must be pounded into the earth, then connected to the ground lug on the generator via a ground cable. The rod must be at least 8ft into the earth.

    We strongly recommend that you check and adhere to all applicable federal, state and local regulations relating to grounding.

  • When storing my portable, at what point should the gasoline be drained?

    It is highly recommended that you drain the fuel from the tank and run the carburetor dry if you are planning on storing your portable for more than 30 days.  It has been found that fuel begins to deteriorate within approximately one month. In order to preserve its properties, you should add a stabilizer to it right from the start. The stabilizer will neutralize the damaging effect that ethanol has on the components which are responsible for combustion.  Be sure to carefully follow the fuel stabilizer's ratio instructions, and noting the duration that the fuel stabilizer is effective for. 

  • Can I vent the exhaust from my portable generator out of an enclosed area? Where should I set my portable?

    No. Never run the generator indoors, in a garage or in an enclosed area. Portable generators are designed to run outside where there is plenty of ventilation.  You need to position your portable away from doors and windows so that the exhaust fumes do not get inside the house.  The produced carbon monoxide gas can cause serious poisoning.  You should also be sure to set your portable where it will be protected from moisture, rain and snow.

  • Can a portable generator be used during inclement weather?

    NEVER run a generator directly in the rain, snow or other wet conditions. NEVER run a generator indoors or in a garage.

  • Where can I purchase parts for my portable generator?

    Parts can be purchased through any Authorized Generac Dealer. See our Dealer Locator to find a dealer near you. You can buy parts online or call (877) 500-7499. Part numbers are located in the owner’s manual.

  • I can’t locate my original owner’s manual. How can I get another copy?

    Owner's manuals and other documentation can be downloaded from our Product Support Page using the unit's serial number, or contact us for further assistance. 

  • Where can I find a GENERAC dealer in the U.S. or Canada?

    To locate a dealer near you, please refer to our Dealer Locator section on this website.

  • Where do I go to have warranty repairs performed on my portable generator?

    Any Authorized Generac dealer can perform warranty service. To find your local authorized Generac Dealer, see our locator or contact us for additional information. Our Authorized Service Centers provide parts, service and information on Generac equipment, regardless of where it was purchased. Authorized Service Centers are staffed with trained technicians supporting all aspects of the Generac portable generator line.

  • What is POWERRUSH™ technology?

    PowerRush™ technology give you an increase in starting capacity, allowing you to start more equipment with a motor, such as power tools and RV air conditioners.

  • What is True Power™ technology?

    True Power™ technology provides clean power to safely charge or power electronics such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, TVs or wireless routers.

  • Why doesn't my portable generator start?

    This problem can have a number of causes.  Is there fresh gas and oil?  Is the fuel shut-off valve turned on?  Is the on/off switch in the on position? Most often, the spark plug is damaged or malfunctioning and has to be replaced. It is also possible for the issue to be due to fuel line damage. The carburetor could be blocked or damaged. There may be compression issues.

    The problem may come from the starter itself. The battery of an electric start can get drained out. Were there electrical devices plugged into the generator prior to starting the unit?  Generators need to stabilize and warm up before appliances can be applied.  If the generator still does not start, it is best for the device to be checked by a Generac Service Dealer who will diagnose the problem and provide resolution.

  • Why did my portable generator just stop working?

    If the generator has been running effectively without any signs of trouble and stops all of a sudden, check to ensure there is sufficient levels gas and oil.  If generator has appropriate fuel levels, check to see if a circuit breaker are tripped. The generator may have shut down because of overload, which can damage its internal components. In this situation, you need to reset the circuit breakers and power fewer appliances with it.  If the problem is not resolved, then there may be something wrong with the generator itself. You should have a Generac Service Dealer inspect it and provide repair.

  • How do I run a generator that has not been used for a long time?

    You need to check all the parts of the generator to confirm that they are in good condition. You should pay special attention to the carburetor. You need to clean it to ensure that the machine will operate smoothly. You should change the fuel. The same applies to the spark plug as well. Check the level of the oil, add more, if required. Remember to take the generator out in the open before you start it. This is a crucial safety measure.

  • Why does my portable generator keep shutting down?

    How many loads are plugged into the generator?  Overloading a generator in excess of its wattage capacity can result in damage to the generator and to the connected electrical devices.  Try unplugging loads and running the generator with less applied.  Is the fuel shut-off valve turned on?  Without the fuel valve turned completely on, gas cannot get to the engine for proper function. If the fuel valve is on, check the fuel filter and fuel line for clogs.  Clogged fuel lines may be restricting the amount of fuel getting to the engine.  Is the oil full?  Oil capacity is documented in the owner’s manual.  If recommended amount is added and it still does not reach the threads on the crankcase, add enough oil to reach the bottom of the threads even if it’s more than the manual recommends.  Generac generators are equipped with a low-oil shut down system to protect the engine from low oil damage.

  • My portable generator is running but will not provide power.

    Are all the breakers in the on position?  Each receptacle is provided with a push-to-reset circuit breaker to protect the generator against overload.  If the breakers are all on, try field flashing the generator.  Generators in storage can lose their magnetism and not produce electricity even though the engine is running.  If the breakers are not tripped and field flashing did work, the brushes in a brushed alternator may need to be replaced.  It is best for the device to be checked by a Generac Service Dealer who will diagnose the problem and provide resolution.

  • What do CSA, 49ST and 50ST mean?

    CSA denotes whether or not the model is approved by the Canadian Standards Association, 49ST denotes that the product does not meet California requirements and 50ST means it is available for sale in California.

  • How do I field flash my portable generator using an electric drill?

    While the generator is running, plug the electric drill into the generators receptacle (a cordless drill will not work).  If the drill is reversible, move the direction switch to the forward position.  Compress the trigger on the drill and spin the drill chuck in the reverse direction 3-5 times.  This will excite the field and the generator should now product electricity.  If spinning the chuck one direction does not work, try spinning the chuck in the other direction as you may have the reverse switch positioned backwards.  Use caution, as soon as the field is excited, the generator will produce power and the drill will start working.  If flashing the field does not make the generator work, you may have additional problems besides a lack of magnetism in the rotor.  Further testing will be needed by a Generac service Dealer.

  • What does non-CUL mean?

    CUL is Canadian Underwriter's Laboratories Inc. certified.  If a product is marked that it is non-CUL, that means that model is not certified for use in Canada.

  • How long will my portable run on a charged battery?

    5 - 8 hours
    9 - 11 hours
    12 - 14.5 hours
    32 hours
    GP15000E   50% load    
    GP2200i   25% load    
    GP3000i 25% load      
    GP3250   50% load    
    GP3300 49ST   50% load    
    GP3500iO 25% load 50% load    
    GP3600   50% load    
    GP5500   50% load    
    GP6500E   50% load    
    GP7500E   50% load    
    GP8000E   50% load    
    GP8500E   50% load    
    GP17500E   50% load    
    iQ2000 25% load      
    iQ3500 50% load 25% load    
    RS5500   50% load    
    RS7000E     50% load  
    XC6500     50% load  
    XC6500E     50% load  
    XC8000E   50% load    
    XD5000E       50% load
    XP10000E   50% load    
    XT8000E   50% load    
    XT8000EFI   50% load    
    XG10000E   50% load    

Online Product Support

Looking for more? In Generac's Online Product Support section you can find the specifications, product manuals, frequently asked questions, how-to videos, and more for your product.