Top Reasons Your Generator Is Making Weird Noises 

generator noises

A standby generator is extremely useful, especially if you live in a place where a power outage occurs frequently. However, generator noises are not uncommon, as they are by nature, noisy machines, which can be a put-off for many people. Most generators produce around 60-80 decibels of noise, similar to your dishwasher or vacuum cleaner’s sound. However, the generator may run for a longer time compared to the vacuum cleaner or dishwasher, which may make the sound more annoying.  

The sound you hear is a combination of sound from the engine, alternator, and cooling fan. The mechanical vibration of the components can also cause noise. Thankfully, most modern generators make minimal noise, especially the expensive models. Sometimes, generators can make more noise than they should. This is often an indication that something is wrong. If your generator noises are louder than usual, do not ignore the issue. There could be several reasons why you hear loud or weird generator noises. 

Types of generator noises  

Grinding sounds 

The generator has pistons and bearings that work together when the generator is running. However, there needs to be proper lubrication between these two components; otherwise, you will hear a loud metal screeching or grinding sound. When you have not used your generator for a long time, it is likely that the lubricant has solidified, and the moment the generator is turned on, you find it much noisier. It is best to turn off the generator immediately to prevent damage to the components and call your technician immediately. 

Popping sounds 

The popping sound is a generator backfire. The sound can be as loud as a balloon bursting or much louder like that of a gunshot. You may also see smoke or flames from the exhaust. It is often a result of insufficient fuel or air. It can also occur due to bad fuel or an open chalk valve. Sometimes, governor problems can cause a popping sound. In case the fuel-to-air ratio is normal, the popping sound could be due to stuck valves. Some other reasons include a clogged or damaged fuel line or a clogged carburetor.  

Rattling sounds 

If any of the components in your generator are loose, you will hear a knocking and rattling noise. A rattling noise could also be a result of insufficient oil levels. When the oil level is low, the generator will not receive the right amount of lubrication. Apart from the oil levels, you should also check the color and consistency of the oil. If it has a sludge-like consistency and it looks cloudy, it means it is spoiled. This means your generator needs fresh oil. Remember, the oil loses its quality over time and may be unable to lubricate the engine’s part adequately, which can cause friction and heat. This can increase oil consumption as well as increase the intensity of the rattling noise.  

Clicking sounds 

Various reasons can cause a generator to make a clicking sound. A defective battery or a battery that is too old and nearing its lifespan can cause the generator to make a clicking sound. Insufficient voltage caused by corroded or loose cables can also cause a clicking noise.  

These are just some of the abnormal noises that you can hear from your generator. If you feel your generator has become noisier than usual, do not ignore the issue and immediately call your technician. Sometimes, the unusual noises could be an indication of a serious complication that can severely damage the generator.  

If you have any more questions about your generator, get in touch with us now.    

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