Generator is Surging – Causes And Fixes

Generator is Surging

Having a generator puts your mind at peace that you have a backup in case of an emergency. But what if that backup starts acting up? It is relatively common for generators to have issues with proper functioning, and the most common of those issues is surging.

Aged, dirty carburetor, problems with components, and improper maintenance could cause surges in a generator. If the generator has too much or little fuel in its tank, it could also cause surges. So, let’s walk you through everything you need to know about why your generator is surging; its causes, and fixing.

Table of Contents

What is Surging in Generator?

Generator is Surging

Surging is the change in behavior of a generator that causes performance issues in it. This happens when the flow of electricity suddenly changes. You will notice an obvious difference in your generator as it will either have higher speed, lower speed, lights constantly flickering, or just behavioral changes overall.

If you saw this sort of surging in your generator, just know that it is not normal, and you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. Also, it is better to identify the surging and look for the problem immediately, as the longer you wait, the more it could harm your generator.

Surging or change in behavior of your generator happens when there is some sort of functioning problem with it. There could be a whole lot of other reasons why your generator is suddenly surging.

So, you need to look for each possibility because the health of your generator obviously is more important.

What Causes Surging in Generators?

As surging is really common, there could be many things that can cause this problem in your generator. We are going to walk you through all the things that could possibly cause surging in your generator so let’s get into it.

Maintenance Issues

Maintenance is the key to your generator’s heath. It might cost you a bit more, but it can also keep your generator in good condition for longer. You need to make sure that your generator is getting regular maintenance, or it will start acting up in no time.

Most of the time, lack of maintenance is the reason why generators tend to surge, and most people don’t go for regular maintenance just to save a few bucks. But once the generator starts surging, you would have to spend a lot more on getting it fixed.

So, it is better to be cautious than to be sorry. Also, if your generator is not getting proper maintenance over a long period of time, you will start seeing wear and tear. It is also highly possible that your generator stops working altogether, so make sure to solve your maintenance issues as soon as you can.

Turning On High Power Machine

If you turn on the high-power machines at your place, it will put a lot of load on your generator all at once. It can either turn your generator off immediately or even if your generator will continue to run, resulting in surging for sure.

When you turn on a high-powered appliance, you put more pressure on your generator than it can handle. It has to compensate for all the power, resulting in your generator struggling to go on and start surging.

Sudden power needs like this can also result in hampering of power lines that could cause some serious damage to your generator. So, make sure to only use those things on your generator that are not heavy, and your generator can easily take the load of them.


If you have had your generator for years, then it is normal for older generators to start surging. Initially, the surging will not be extreme, but it is better to consider replacing the generator once it becomes severe.

You can also get the generator fixed, but that would not be the best decision because of the age of your generator, as it will again start surging after a while. It is usual for generators to wear and tear with time, so do not stress it out.

Just check the service life of your generator, and if your generator has almost completed that shelf life, then there is no need to worry because you can easily get a new one. Just do not expect a generator that is 8-9 years old to work flawlessly because that might not happen.

Problems with Components

Another reason why your generator might be surging issues with components. If the internal parts of your generators are not working properly, there is no way that you could get the most out of your generator.

For instance, if the capacitor of your generator is damaged, it will not help the generator distribute the current properly. You might not notice this change, but you will see severe fluctuations in power supply after a while.

You can only determine if a component of your generator is damaged by getting it checked by a professional. If you don’t know a lot about generators, do not get into the machinery because you might end up making things worse.

Bad Battery

The surging in your generator can quite easily be an issue of a bad battery. Putting a lot of load on your generator suddenly can also result in a damaged battery, and your generator might start surging because of it.

How to Fix Generator Surging?

You don’t need to be doing any experiments with your generator because we are here if your generator is surging, causing, and fixing. There are some basic fixes that you can try at home if you want to fix surging in your generator. But if things get out of your hands, do not wait up and call a technician immediately.

So, just follow these easy and safe fixes, and your generator will most likely start working again, but if it does not, call a professional because there could be a severe issue with your generator too.

Recheck the Fuel Lines

If the generator starts surging, check the fuel lines because any cracks or leaks in these lines can be a major cause of surging. You can immediately identify if there is some problem in fuel lines, and then getting it fixed would not be a problem at all.

Though it is not that common for fuel lines to cause problems with your generators, they could still act up sometimes, and just to be on the safe side, you need to check them. If they are actually leaking, you just have to change the lines or stop the leakage, and you are good to go.

Cleaning Carburetor

Surging often happens because the carburetor of a generator has gathered a lot of dust and grime. So, it would be a good idea to clean the carburetor. For the cleaning process, you would have to get the carburetor out of your generator.

It is better not to use ordinary soap as carburetor cleaners are readily available. Just soak the carburetor into the cleaner and wait for a couple of hours. Then take it out and clean it with a brush or cloth. Place the carburetor back in your generator.


If it has been years since you changed your generator, it might be a good idea to look for a replacement. Once a generator is old, you cannot expect it to work flawlessly and if you need your generator to be perfectly functional, then replacing it is your only choice.

You would not have to fix the surging if you get a replacement, and you will save some bucks too that you would have otherwise spent on constant repairs. However, only go for replacements when your generator is actually worn out and its service time is also ended.

Fix the Fuel Filter

Fuel filters could also be the reason for surging in a generator, so the first thing to do is to change the fuel filters. It is pretty easy and hassle-free, and you can get new fuel filters from the market quite easily.

These filters tend to damage really quickly, and surging could most probably be caused by them. So, make sure that your fuel filters are in good condition and there is no damage.


Taking your generator to a professional for maintenance could also be a great fix because you would not have to put a lot of effort into it. Also, regular maintenance of your generator could prevent surging and keep your generator in perfect condition.

Also Read: How Far from the House Should a Generator be Placed


The generator is surging; causes and fixing could be a nightmare for anyone who owns an expensive generator. Especially when you don’t know why it is happening and why your generator is suddenly acting up. But, we have provided you with reasons for surging with a few quick fixes.

Don’t forget to take your generator to a technician because even though you try these fixes, it is still possible that your generator has some internal problem that you would be unable to identify. uses affiliate links (No Additional Cost For You). As an Amazon Associate, I earn when you purchase Using My Affiliate Link. Learn more.


Hi, Welcome to; My name is Shahzad, and I know about generators because I grew up in a country where power outage is very common. I share Tips, How-To, News, and Reviews for the best generators or anything related to generators.

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