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What to Know About Generators: Parts, Types, and How They Work

Table of Contents

In reality, generators don’t produce any electricity. They instead transform chemical or mechanical energy into electrical energy. They achieve this by squeezing electrons from an external source through an electrical circuit. An electrical motor running in reverse is essentially what a generator is. The transferred electric energy can immediately be delivered to houses, businesses, and other structures or stored in batteries.

Generator Parts


The generator receives power from the engine. As a result, the amount of electricity a generator can produce depends on the engine’s power.


The transformation of mechanical energy into electrical energy takes place here. The alternator — also known as a “genhead” — contains both moving and fixed components that work together to produce the electromagnetic field and cause the electrons to flow, which makes electricity.

Fuel System

The fuel system enables the generator to create the required amount of energy. The system consists of a fuel pump, a gasoline tank, a pipe linking the tank to the engine, and a return pipe. Via this system, fuel reaches the engine, a fuel filter takes out contaminants, and an injector squirts gasoline into the combustion chamber.

Cooling and Exhaust Systems

Generators produce significant heat. The cooling system makes sure the device doesn’t become too hot. The exhaust system gets rid of gases that generate while it’s running.

Control Panel

The control panel controls all the functions of the generator. From start-up and operating speed to outputs, the control panel manages every element of the generator’s functioning. The newer generators contain sensors that detect when power is ceasing and start up again.

Battery Charger

The generator turns on with batteries. The battery charger, a mechanical component, provides the battery with a continuous low voltage level to operate at any time.

Lubrication System

A generator has several components that are operating simultaneously. To guarantee smooth functioning and guard against extended use, it is crucial to lubricate them with engine oil regularly. Check the lubricant levels often, maybe once every eight hours of operation.

Voltage Regulator

This element assists in regulating the generated electricity’s voltage. If necessary, it also facilitates power conversion from AC to DC.

Main Assembly/Frame

This is the main body of the generator. It is the visible component and the framework that secures everything in place.

In Case of a Blackout

Sometimes the unexpected can happen, such as blackouts, power outages, and equipment failures. Homes and businesses can be damaged by all of these power disruptions. In addition, they can take away from productive time and prevent essential equipment from keeping people safe when necessary.

Even worse are power interruptions in hospitals and other facilities that depend on electricity to keep medical equipment functioning. Electric generators are helpful in these situations. These generators can start on their own to provide a constant supply of electricity in the case of emergencies.

Fuel serves as the source of power produced by generators. Fuel oil, natural gas, or gasoline can all be used to power generators and keep equipment operating in an emergency.

Types of Generators

Standby Generators

These generators are also known as backup home generators, and they can power up everything in your home. Immediately after a power loss, the backup generator turns on automatically and supplies electricity to the home’s electrical outlets and appliances. A backup generator may power a few essential appliances or the entire house, depending on your demands and/or budget.

Portable Generators

Portable generators are the go-to generators for construction sites. These types of generators offer a small amount of short-term electricity. Portable generators conduct electricity using a combustion engine. They also utilize standard outlets to plug into electrical equipment or appliances. In addition, they can be plugged into the subpanels of a building or can be used at distant locations. Portable generators possess sufficient power to operate a refrigerator, freezer, television, lighting, and power equipment.

Generator Maintenance

Each type of generator comes with the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations that should be followed. General maintenance is about the same among the three generator types and includes inspecting them for leaks, checking oil and coolant levels, inspecting belts and hoses, and checking battery terminals and cables. Depending on the manufacturer and how often the generator is used, a professional should conduct oil changes on a set schedule. Typically, the oil should be changed after 100 hours of usage.

Generator Safety Tips

Never use a fuel-powered generator or any device, including a portable generator, in a garage, shed, or enclosed area. This can be dangerous. The majority of generator-related injuries and deaths occur because of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Many manufacturers provide versions that won’t operate in enclosed rooms because they will turn off when they detect a buildup of carbon monoxide. However, this is not a feature available on all generators. That’s why it is also important to install CO alarms in strategic positions around your house to warn of accumulating carbon monoxide. This includes outside of sleeping areas and inside living spaces.

In addition to guarding against CO issues, you also want to take steps to mitigate the risk of shock and fire. Always ensure the generator is dry and away from moisture to prevent electrocution. Use it in open spaces on a dry surface. Never use damp hands to interact with the generator. Maintain generator fuel in a safe container that has been authorized for fuel use. Use the fuel suggested in the manual or on the generator’s label.

Quality Services From the Best

At Crowe Electric, we will install your generator in compliance with the local code. We are aware of how each project is different and comes with its own set of challenges. Based on the specific requirements, we can offer advice and provide an estimate that fits your unique circumstances. We ensure that a generator is adequately installed in a way that complies with your home since we understand how it must connect to the electrical systems. Additionally, we provide emergency generator service when you need us most. We also offer generator maintenance.

In addition to generator services, our team of qualified electricians can meet other electrical needs in your home. You can turn to us for surge protection, electrical panel replacement, and recessed lighting and downlighting installation. We offer repairs for all types of electrical systems and always operate with safety and customer satisfaction in mind. For more information about our team and the services we offer in Marshfield and Surrounding Areas, give us a call today.