The Global generator market is expected to reach US$1.8 billion by the end of 2021 – representing millions of generators. A generator is your solution to power problems when the grid isn’t accessible or fails. You likely don’t have a backup for your backup generator so it makes you understandably nervous when the generator isn’t working properly.

Like everything mechanical, generators need to be maintained to avoid shutdowns that will leave you in the dark. So, what to do when your generator is bogging down? Read on to find out.


When a residential backup generator starts to bog down, the most likely reason is a clogged carburetor. Carburetors get clogged when you leave the generator with fuel for long periods of time. The fuel evaporates over time, leaving a sticky residue.

Having to clean out the carburetor is par for the course as if you run it long enough, it may clog eventually. When the carburetor is clogging up, it makes the engine start to run rough, sputter, and shut down. Fuel may sputter up and soak the spark plug(s) stopping the residential backup generator from even starting.

Luckily, cleaning out the carburetor fixes most residential generator performance issues. The sure-fire way to clean out the carburetor is to disassemble it, clean each part, and reassemble it again.

Although this method brings the residential generator back to life, it is much easier said than done and will take some skill to do properly. While there are other ways to effectively clean a carburetor without removing it, it’s always a good idea to contact professionals to help troubleshoot your residential backup generator if the issues persist.


Every good mechanic knows you can tell a lot about the state of an engine by listening to it. If the engine is speeding up and slowing down regardless of the load you have hooked to it, you may have a low-frequency problem with it.

The number of electrical cycles per second is the generator’s frequency, measured in Hertz (Hz). The higher the load on the generator, the higher the frequency needed to produce the electrical power. When a load is added to the generator, the frequency will spike and usually recover in a few seconds.

If the generator slows down or stops, you most likely overloaded the generator (using more power than the generator is rated for). If that isn’t the case, try changing the fuel and air filters. All else fails, trying replacing the fuel in the generator as poor quality fuel could also be one the issues causing it to bog down.


Most of the time when a generator bogs down, it is simply due to improper maintenance. In order to keep the generator from bogging down and eventually failing, follow the manufacturer’s instructions concerning proper care of your generator.

  • Check oil levels often
  • Never store the generator with fuel in it
  • Use high-quality fuel
  • Clean out the carburetor as often as recommended
  • Change the fuel and air filters

An engine that purrs as it should is an engine you can rely on. With proper maintenance, a high-quality generator will keep things going for years to come.


When you’re in the middle of a power outage, the last thing you want to be is in the dark. With all the appliances and devices we rely on every day, one of the best ways to keep your family comfortable, fed, and entertained during a power outage is with a generator.

As soon as you notice your generator is bogging down, take action to protect your investment. There are a handful of things that could be the problem.

You can try a few easy fixes, but when in doubt, reach out to experts. Contact us for professional advice on the best model of generator for your needs.