Most new generators have an electric start, which may make powering on the generator easier. Older generator models have a pull or recoil start. These starts can make using the generator more difficult. This is especially true for older people or those with mobility issues. With some generators, it is possible to convert recoil start to electric start. Small engine electric start conversion can be done by you, at home.
What Is a Pull Start Generator?
A pull star generator is a manual method of starting a generator or engine. It's sometimes called a recoil start or rewind start. It looks like a rope or cord, which must be tugged firmly to start the motor. The rope engages the starting mechanism, which gets the generator moving. These types of starts were very popular in the past, but are slowly being replaced with electric versions.
What Is an Electric Start Generator?
An electric start is a means of switching on a generator at the press of a button. It's less laborious for the consumer and is a great option for those with disabilities. An electric start generator also allows for a more reliable way to switch on your unit, as sometimes pull starts require a few goes to work.
Installing an Electric Start On a Generator
Before you begin, you need to make sure the electric start you have is suitable for your generator. Look on your generator for the place where an electric start can be attached. This will look like a cut-out space where the start will fit, surrounded by mounting holes which will be plugged shut. If there is no space, it may be that your generator is incompatible with an electric start.
You also need to make sure your electric start is the correct voltage for your generator. This will prevent your electric start burning out.
A final tip for installing an electric start on a generator is to purchase your electric start installation kit from the same brand as your generator. For example, if you have a Tecumseh generator, purchase your electric start kit from Tecumseh, too. It will come with specialized Tecumseh electric starter installation instruction, and make the whole process easier.
Flywheel Ring Gear Check
Check the flywheel of your generator. The flywheel helps maintain the speed of a generator's engine, plus keeps it cool. For a generator to work with an electric start, the flywheel must have a ring gear. It will look like a notched ring on the flywheel's rim. If your flywheel doesn't have a ring gear, it will need to be replaced with one which does.
If you do need to replace your flywheel, first remove the old one. Unscrew the bolts holding it in place, then rotate the flywheel gently to release it. You can then insert your new flywheel with the ring gear into the space left behind, and secure into place using bolts.
Your new electric start should be placed over this new flywheel. Make sure the shaft of your electric start inserts into the motor. Also, make sure the flywheel of the starter engages your new flywheel.
Securing Your Start
Make sure your electric start is attached properly using bolts. Your electric starter will likely be battery-powered. Attach the wires from your electric start to your battery. The red wire should go to the positive battery post and the black wire to the negative battery post. You may wish to add a battery mount to your generator to hold your battery in place.
You can now turn on the power and test your new electric start. Make sure you reinstall the cover of your generator when you're done.