How to start your portable generator?

A portable generator is a useful technology that helps you to bring power when there is no electricity from the local electricity source. Best Portable generators come into rescue at the places where there are frequent blackouts. If you fall in such a situation or accidentally end up being in a locality where there is no power, your skill to operate a generator would help.

 Therefore, there is no harm in grabbing the chance if you are getting to acquire such skills. In emergencies, when there is a need for the generator, you can avoid panic and can start it without any complications. 

To make you ready for such situations and making you familiar with how to start a portable generator, we have brought this article to you. This article contains every information about a portable generator, how it starts and what tools you will need to start it up. 

At the end of reading this article, you will get every answer to your questions regarding a portable generator. Without wasting a minute, let us get started.

What is a portable generator?

Portable generators are the devices that run on gas or diesel and are used to provide electrical power temporarily. The engine turns a small turbine that creates the required electricity to a certain level of wattage. The users can directly plug in their electrical appliances into the sockets of the generator. You can also wire the generator in the home’s sub-panel if you know how to start a portable generator. 

Portable generators are often useful at the construction sites to power tools and lights at the remote site. Sports officials can also bring the portable generator in use to light up the stadium at night or to run an electric scoreboard. 

Mostly, the residents and businesses use this generator to bring electricity after a bad weather condition or if there is no electricity source in their area. Portable generators are helpful because electrical appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, etc. can work on them. Knowing how to start a portable generator can be very helpful. 

You cannot use a portable generator for permanent use because they are to bring a temporary power supply. You also have to consider the capacity of the device when holding the electrical appliances. 

The portable generators’ potential does not depend on their sizes, but it is their wattage that matters. Before connecting all of your electrical appliances, you need to sum their total wattage and have to compare it to the wattage of the generator. If the generator has a higher wattage than that of all the devices, you can safely use it. But in case it is of lesser amount, you may be risking your appliances. 

Let us now move further and about the working process of a portable generator.

How Portable generator works?

The best approach to know how a portable generator works is to have a basic overview of the parts involved in the process. While a portable generator may also look like a complicated piece of the gadget before the first, the main components are surely reasonably simple.

Furthermore, even though there are numerous unique models and variations available to shop for from providers around the world, the features and the way they operate are widely very similar.

portable generators

Even if you’re looking for a petrol or diesel-powered portable generator, the maximum vital factors of the gadget you want to be aware of will not differ in different models. In brief, these are:

  • The internal combustion engine
  • The alternator (also known as the generator head ‘gen head’)
  • The starter
  • A fuel tank
  • control devices and panels, along with power outlets
  • safety/protection devices

In the basic models of portable generators, the critical steps involved in how do they work, and how to start a generator include the following key steps:

  • Fossil fuels, commonly petrol or diesel, however sometimes natural gases for larger versions, are fed into the fuel tank, usually through a protection spout (it’s additionally possible to fill them with a funnel on some smaller models, but it is quite inconvenient).
  • After using the starter (commonly a pull wire, however frequently a switch, in particular on digital models) to start the generator, the liquid or gaseous gasoline in the tank delivers combustion electricity to the engine, allowing it to run for as long as the gas supply remains topped up.
  • The internal combustion engine turns the integrated alternator or generator head, which converts mechanical power into electricity. This alternator is built of a force shaft related to the motor, which in turn spins an electromagnet inside a coil to generate and harness an electrical field.
  • This energy is then transformed to usable voltage/wattage via a regulator, and fed to the electrical outlets at the frame of the generator. It could be sent through standard plugs and cables to electric appliances connected to the portable generator.

Based on the make, model, and size of the portable generator you are using, you should be aware of the critical factors, including its cooling and exhaust systems, lubrication pipelines, and body of the device. Based on the model, you will also know how to start a generator with a key.

Tools required for starting a generator

You do not need many tools to start a generator; there are a few and just the knowledge of how to start a generator for the first time. The tools are:

  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Demo hammer
  • Compressor
  • Fuel
  • Extension Cord

Steps to start the generator

Before you know how to start a generator, the prior thing to consider is setting up the generator. You should keep the generator at a safe location that is at least 20 feet away. The exhaust of the generator should not blow against your house or the neighbour’s house. Remember to protect the generator from rain or snow, but it should not be inside a building. You can use outside chords to connect the appliances to the generator. 

Step 1: Check the Oil

Generator OIl

Some generators have low oil shutdown features, but some do not have it. Running the engine of the generator or any other device without enough oil can damage the invention. The previous step for you is always to check the oil and fill it up if necessary. Every time you restart the generator, you should remember to check the oil first. 

Step 2: Fill the Tank

gasoline Filling on generator

You need to have fresh gasoline and a grade without ethanol to work best for your generator. You can use a fuel stabilizer to store your gas and remember to rotate your supply every next six months. You need to replace the old fuel in the tank and fill it again because old fuel can damage your engines. 

Step 3: Unplug the Chords

When your generator is connected to a load, remember to disconnect it before starting. Otherwise, the generator can be unable to produce electricity even if its engine is working correctly. Also, remember to remove your loads at the time of shutting it off. 

That is where you step ahead to start the generator.

Almost all the generators start with a similar process, but it may vary in some individual steps to seek help from the user manual.

Step 1: Fuel Value

Turn the fuel value “ON” that allows the fuel to reach the carburetor for starting and running it. 

Step 2: Choke

Generators Choke

After that, turn the choke to “On” or “full.” Turning it on will allow the generator to use more fuel during starting through which it will run more smoothly. 

Step 3: Ignition Switch

Put the ignition switch to the On or Run position to control the flow of electricity to start the plug. The engine would not run when the ignition switch is off. 

Step 4: Starter / Pull cord

Generator Pull cord

An electric starter runs the engine while the carburetor supplies fuel and the spark plug fires. The driver will start within a few seconds, and if the start button does not work, it could be the dead battery. You can use the pull cord or recoil cord instead. 

Now grasp the pull cord out with some force. Do not pull it too far. You may need to remove it several times with some resistance if you are using the generator after long.  

Step 5: Engine Starts

After the engine starts, let it warm up and run for a few seconds. Move the choke between On and Run if available or simply move it to Run. If the halfway is open, wait for a few seconds and then move it to Run.

Your generator is ready to make connections.

Use extension cords to make connections. If the cable is with multiple outlets, it will work the best. You need a 15-amp receptacle for a 15-amp cord and, similarly, a 20-amp receptacle for a 20-amp cord.

Step 1: Run Cords

Choose the shortest route possible to run the cords and remember to keep the wires out of puddles. 

Step 2: Connect the Generator

Plug cords to generators

Plug the cords in the sockets of the generator. Do not overload one circuit breaker when another is available. A single breaker controls a dual receptacle, therefore, two different boxes will have their single switch.

Step 3: Connect Appliances

You can now complete your circuits by plugging in your appliances. 

Tips for starting a portable generator

You are probably already familiarized with the handiness and versatility of a portable generator. But are you sure its versatility and power can be readily available while you want it? If your generator is hard to pull-start, these tips might help.

start your portable generator

Protection is a completely vital part of owning a portable generator. Not well retaining your portable generator may result in tough starting and inefficiency.

So, these few portable generator maintenance guidelines will make sure that your backup energy supply remains reliable. These tips need to be kept in mind even if you know how to start a portable generator.

1.) Fresh Oil Helps

As with all small-engine power equipment, they were changing the oil is a prior aspect in maintaining reliability. The majority of new generators want their first oil exchange to be done after 30 hours of use.

After the first oil change is finished, you need to perform further oil changes every 100 hours of use, or each season at the very least.

To be prepared for unexpected prolonged power outages, stock up on oil, oil filters, or even fuel.

2.) Plugs & Filters

Without a manner to breathe and a way to ignite the gas in the cylinders of the engine, your generator would be vain.

Replace your spark plug and air filter every 200 hours of use, or minimum after every season.

Having a brand new spark plug paired with a smooth air filter will assure proper fuel-air aggregate, through which the engine will run more accurately, and it will increase your generator’s lifespan.

3.) Store it on an Empty Tank

If you’re planning on placing your generator away in the garage for longer than a month, make sure to drain the gas from the tank.

Begin with adding a quality gasoline stabilizer to the gasoline to your tank, then run the unit for about 15 minutes.

Let the engine cool down, then begin and run the engine till it runs out of gasoline and shuts down. If there’s a tremendous amount of gas left in the tank, you may use a siphon. Just make sure the siphon is non-conductive to avoid generating static electricity in the tank.

4.) Charge the Battery

Not all portable generators will have a battery, but those who have electric-powered start must be fully charged earlier than storing.

If possible, plug the battery into a trickle charger to keep it fresh and geared up when you need it.

5.) Train in the offseason

It’s always nice to start your generator every 30 days and run for a few minutes. All these tips make a huge difference. 

Doing so will keep additives lubricated by circulating the oil throughout the engine.

Precautions for starting a portable generator

While operating a portable generator, you must take care of some precautions so that you do not commit any mistakes while running it. As a primary electric device, you need to keep safety a priority so that it does not harm you. 

some tips for operating a portable generator include the following: 

  • Read and look at the commands from the generator manual for safe operation before starting the generator.
  • Generators emit carbon monoxide; therefore, they always run the generator outdoors in a properly-ventilated region. Do not run a generator in an enclosed location.
  • Use the generator only outside your homes (as indicated above) far from open home windows, vents, or doorways. Lethal carbon monoxide fumes can build up. This is why never use the generator inside of a home, garage, crawl-area, or another enclosed region.
  • Do not operate the engine near flammable substances.
  • If you do no longer plan to operate your generator for 30 days or more, stabilize the gasoline with a gasoline stabilizer to keep the gas fresh. 
  • Before refueling the generator, permit the engine to cool for at least two mins because gas (and its vapors) are particularly flammable.
  • Operate the generator only if it is placed on the ground floor. 
  • While using extension cords, be sure they’re grounded and are a sufficient wire gauge for the application. Heavy-duty outside-rated cords will cope with household appliances loads.
  • By no means plug your generator directly into your home circuit.
  • If connecting a generator into your home electric gadget, have a certified electrician set up a manual energy transfer switch.
  • Do not leave your generator unattended. When you have to go away or leave it, turn it off.
  • A portable residential or leisure generator can be very useful. But, these generators may be dangerous if not used well. Please observe the safety pointers and any extra tips made with the aid of the producer and protection authority.

Why should you consider getting a portable generator?

Instead of spending a monotonous night at home due to a power outage, use a generator and light things up. Let’s see other reasons for purchasing a portable generator today.

1. Power Outage

Generator Power Supply

One of the principal motives for buying any form of generator is to prepare for electricity failure. In some countries, such occurrences might also show up as soon as every year, but many countries experience it frequently. Irrespective of where you are living, a power failure may be shocking, especially while the climate is awful. So, purchase a small generator, to avoid darkness and accidents.

2. Ease of Use

Portable generators are one of the only resources of temporary power available. The large generators had not been very easy to use, but with regards to portable generators, all you need to do is a secure connection, and the electricity will be there. You don’t want an additional hand to start or set it up, not like what we had earlier than. The functional component about this is that while you are inside the house or anywhere else, it will be smooth to start those generators, and you can take them everywhere. So, no need to wait for another reason to assist out while the want arises.

3. Gasoline economic system

Did you realize that a portable generator saves money as compared to the static generator? In case you experience electricity outage in many instances in your neighborhood, you’ll probably spend more on massive generators than on portable ones. To avoid such situations, it will help if you buy a portable generator. Some best quiet generator models are better than the standby one.

Which portable generator is best for you?

People do not like [power blackouts, and they panic easily if they have to experience it frequently. To get rid of interruptions and to bring electricity, they might buy a generator in a hurry without considering essential factors. This may lead to a lack of safety and maybe a wastage of money. Before you decide which generator to buy, you should know what factors you need to consider. 

While you search for a suitable portable generator for your home, make sure you check the wattage of the generator so that your appliances can run on it. Some other factors to consider include performance, durability, safety features, size, and affordability. So, here are a few top-rated portable generators that you may consider buying.

1. DuroMax XP12000EH

DuroMax XP12000EH
Key Features and Specifications
  • Power DuroMax Enginet
  • Plenty of Power: With 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts
  • Dual Fuel Technology: This generator runs on gasoline or propane, giving you the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice
  • MX2 Technology
  • Low oil shut-off
  • Idle Control: Generator lowers RPMs when not in use, saving fuel and reducing noise.

2. Champion 8000-Watt Dual Fuel ( one of the best inverter generator)

Champion 8000-Watt Dual Fuel
Key Features and Specifications
  • Best dual fuel generator
  • Electric start: Power up the 459cc Champion engine with the handy toggle switch, battery included
  • Intelli gauge: Keep track of voltage, hertz, and run-time hours
  • Powerful: At 10,000 starting watts and 8000 running watts on gasoline and 9025 starting watts and 7250 running watts on propane
  • Champion Support


Q. What causes the generator not to start?
A. Your carburetor may be clogged due to keeping fuel in the generator for long. To avoid such, remember to replace and stabilize your fuel frequently.

Q. Can you jump-start a generator?
A. A jump-start needs an external source of energy to revive the dead battery in a vehicle; however, you can directly jump start a car with a gas-powered generator. 

Q. What size generator do I need?
A. You can run the major household appliances with a generator rated at 5,000 to 7,500 watts. A generator with around 7500 running watts can run the necessary tools at once. For RV, a 3000 – 4000-watt generator would be ideal, being the best RV generator.

Q. Are the portable generators worth it?
A. Most portable generators are reasonable as they bring sufficient power during an unexpected power outage. If bought with patience and proper guidance, it is no waste to buy one. 

Q. Should I get a portable or standby generator?
A. Logically, portable generators are cheaper and easy to install than standby generators. When you connect the portable generator directly to your house panel, it can work similarly to the standby generator. 


Remember that, apart from boosting your comfort, a portable generator also protects your circle of relatives for the duration of the nights when there’s no power. Take into account that portable generators can’t power your whole residence, even the best entire house generators cant. Many types can carry your fridges, lighting fixtures, and even a pc. 

However, while you want stuff like electric stoves, warmers, air conditioners, deep freezers, you’ll want a more significant generator. Also, in case you enjoy constant electricity outages, a portable generator might not suffice. If you need a power generator that could deliver all of your home equipment and work consistently, move for the big dollars. 

You can also look for guides according to the model like how to start a honda generator etc. Remember the question ‘how to start a portable generator’ can vary from model to model, so this guide is helpful to a very extent, but you should read the user manual for the detailed process. 

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