Power Levels

Troubleshooting Portable Generators

On a portable generator, the "Reflected Power" is the amount of power the generator is outputting and the "Forward Power" is its total capacity. If the "Reflected Power" is not as high as you are setting it or it isn't matching the "Forward Power," the generator is not providing as much power as it should. This means there is an electrical wiring problem somewhere in the generator. Consult a repairman, describe the problem and have it fixed. It is not recommended you do the repair as it involves working with wires that cannot only be dangerous but also permanently damage the generator.

Display Problems

Though it might seem like a minor inconvenience, if the generator's display and indicator lights will not turn on, this could be the result of a serious problem. Check the circuit breaker on the rear of the generator and make sure it is on. If it is and the lights still do not come on, verify the generator is getting AC power using a standard voltage meter. If both of these tests come up positive and the lights will still not come on, there is a serious electrical problem somewhere inside your generator and the unit will have to be replaced.


If your portable generator is a gas generator, make sure you have the proper oil levels at all times. Just like anything that runs on gas, your generator requires a certain amount of oil to work. You should check the oil levels and make sure there is as much oil as the generator requires. Also make sure you are changing it out with fresh oil on a regular basis.