How to Polarize a 12 Volt Generator

Polarizing your 12-volt generator is necessary for your generator to work in conjunction with the regulator. A generator, unlike an alternator, can run off both positive and negative current. A regulator always runs off positive current. As a result, if the generator is not polarized to a positive charge and positive current is sent into the terminals, the generator can be damaged as well as the other motors and switches on the same current. Fortunately, polarizing a generator is very simple.

A small jumper wire is all you need to polarize a generator.

Step 1

Remove the fan belt from the vehicle or machine the generator starts. You may be able to peel it off by hand, if not, loosen the sway bar arm with a socket set.

Step 2

Attach the jumper wire to the armature terminal on the generator. This terminal will be labeled with an "A."

Step 3

Touch the other end of the jumper wire to the positive terminal on the battery. Only touch the battery for a second. If you touch the positive terminal for longer, you will damage the generator.