How to Start and Set Up Your Petrol Generator

We all wonder what we would do if the power went out for any length of time.
Picture it, you're sat there during a power cut and thinking 'I'll make a cup of tea', or 'I'll listen to the radio for the cricket match.'

However, each and every time it's always a mental thought of: 'oh yeah, I can't.'

Or perhaps maybe you want to go truly 'offgrid' and tow away a caravan and go as far into the wild as possible, but still retain some home comforts like charging a mobile phone, or cooking beans on an electric hob.
This and many other reasons is why a generator comes in very useful, and can be versatile for many situations.

On this page, we will give a comprehensive guide on how to prepare, start, operate and then stop your generator.
This is a great guide for all people with different levels of experience, whether you're a seasoned generator owner of many years looking to brush up on your skills with our great tips, or whether this is your first generator and you're a bit nervous of what to do.

Preparing your generator

The first step to the successful running of your generator for a hassle free experience is preparation.
These steps are easy for all levels of experience, and enables you as a user of a generator to get into a good routine of operating generators, for years to come.

Following will be some handy photos of minor assembly work and preparation for your generator, so you can get started.

Wheel fixing guide... (If your generator model has no wheels included, skip this step...)

1. Insert the wheel pin on the underside of the generator frame. Repeat on the opposite side too.

Put the wheel on the wheel pin. Repeat on the opposite side too.

2. Put the wheel on the wheel pin.

Repeat on the opposite side too.

Push the retaining pin through the middle of the pin. Repeat on the opposite side too. Congratulations, you can now move your generator about!

3. Push the retaining pin through the middle of the pin.

Repeat on the opposite side too

Inserting Oil

In order for your generator to run well, it needs to take oil inside the engine.

This ensures the moving parts inside can move, and in turn generate power for you to use.
Following will be some handy photos of how to put oil in your generator.

Remember to only use four stroke clean, unmixed engine oil!

generator on its side Don't fill your generator engine up with oil whilst laid on its side. It won't like it. Fill the generator in an upright position.
20140606_151434squared 1. On the underside of your generator engine, there is an oil plug. Carefully unscrew this.
After you have unscrewed the plug, grab yourself a suitable funnel to put oil into your engine. 2. After you have unscrewed the plug, grab yourself a suitable funnel to put oil into your engine.
Gently fill your generator engine with four stroke engine oil. 3. Gently fill your generator engine with four stroke 10w30 engine oil. Make sure the oil is clean.
beaker tick 4. Your generator should take about 600ml in four stroke engine 10w/30 oil.
20140606_151743 squared 5. If you've made a mess with the oil, don't worry, get an old rag and mop it up.
20140606_151910 squared 6. Once your generator engine is all topped up with oil, screw back in the oil plug.
That's it, that completes our comprehensive guide to preparing, starting, and stopping your generator. That now completes the filling of your generator engine with oil.
The next step is filling with fuel.

Inserting Fuel

The lifeblood of your generator is its fuel. Here is a very easy guide on how to put fuel in correctly and safely, and also with the correct fuel.

Never use 'mixed' fuel. Never use 'mixed' fuel. Mixed fuel can damage your generator and anything that's plugged into it.
no smoking sign Never smoke and/or have naked flames whilst handling/near fuels. Fuel vapor/liquid is flammable.
Your generator only likes clean, unmixed, unleaded petrol fuel. Your generator only likes clean, unmixed, unleaded petrol fuel. Don't use old fuel.
20140606_152216 squared 1. Carefully unscrew the fuel tank cap. The fuel tank is located on top of your generator.
Using a different funnel, place it in the fuel tank hole, and gently pour in fuel till about 3/4 full. 2. Using a different funnel, place it in the fuel tank hole, and gently pour in fuel till about 3/4 full.
20140606_152216 squared 3. Carefully replace the fuel tank cap, ontop of the fuel tank, and hand tighten.
20140606_152235 squared 4. A handy window can be located ontop of the fuel tank itself. You can use this to check fuel levels.

Starting the generator

This next step may seem a little daunting to the complete beginner of petrol generators, but fear not, it's actually quite easy, and once you have used this part of the guide, it should be second nature.

starting order Always switch on tools/appliances first that you think will draw the biggest load first.
Always ensure the correct voltage is selected on the voltage selector. If in doubt, contact a reputable electrician, or contact us at SGS Engineering. Always ensure the correct voltage is selected on the voltage selector.
20140606_152704 squared 1. Turn the circuit breaker to the ‘off’ position. This is located next to your outlets, and is marked.
Turn the fuel tap so the handle of the top is pointing ‘LEFT’. The fuel tap will now be in the ‘OFF’ position. 2. Turn the fuel tap downwards, this means the fuel supply is ‘on’. The fuel tap is marked.
20140606_152939 squared 3. Turn the choke to the ‘left’ position. Your engine on the generator will warm up OK.
20140606_153131 squared 4. Switch the engine switch to the ‘on’ position. This allows your generator to come to life.
20140606_153209 squared 5. Feeling strong? Grab the pull start toggle in your hand, and pull!
This gives the engine the chance to run stable. 6. Once your generator engine starts, move choke lever to half choke, then to the middle position.

Pull start/electric start methods

Simple wasn't it? Completes the process of starting your generator with a pull start method.

If you have an electric start generator, simply repeat this part of the guide (minus the pull start step) and turn the key to the 'start' position. Your generator will start. 1. If you have an electric start generator, repeat previous steps and turn key to 'start'.
This gives the engine the chance to run stable. 2. Once your generator engine starts, move choke lever to half choke, then to the middle position.

Stopping your generator

After you have used your generator, and are probably settling down for bedtime, it's important to do a correct process of shutting down your generator. Here are some handy steps to do just that.

Switch off any appliances/tools that are plugged into any outlets on the generator. 1. Switch off any appliances/tools that are plugged into any outlets on the generator.
Unplug any appliances/tools that are plugged into any outlets on the generator. 2. Unplug any appliances/tools that are plugged into any outlets on the generator
20140606_153131 squared 3. Switch the generator to the ‘off’ position. Your generator will now not be supplying power.
Turn the fuel tap so the handle of the top is pointing ‘LEFT’. The fuel tap will now be in the ‘OFF’ position. 4. Turn the fuel tap so the handle of the top is pointing ‘LEFT’. Your fuel is now off.
thumbs up That completes our comprehensive guide on how to prepare, start, stop and run your generator.