Test A Generator

Use a voltmeter when testing your generator to get accurate readings.

A generator converts one form of energy into another–for example, mechanical energy to electrical energy. Generators are typically used as a backup plan for when there is no conventional electricity or power is temporarily lost. But generators are only reliable if they operate properly. For this reason, a generator should be tested to ensure it will perform during a power outage or other emergency. The following generator testing works on 12V and 6V generators, with voltages resulting half of 12V values. Does this Spark an idea?


Does it Hold a Charge?

1. First, test to see if the generator holds a charge. With a voltmeter you can measure the voltage across the battery. It should measure at 12.6 volts and gradually increase to 14 volts as the engine speeds up.

2. Worn generator brushes may cause the generator to run ineffectively. If the generator brushes are a bit worn, apply some pressure to the brushes while the engine is running and see if the voltmeter reading goes up. When this checks out, the generator is charging and can then be tested.

3. Take wires off the generator. This disconnects the generator from the regulator.

4. Place jumper cables from the DF terminal on the generator to the frame of the generator.

5. Measure the voltage from the ground to the D+ terminal on the generator by running the engine. The engine should jump to +35 volts to @3000 RPM to be considered a good generator.

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