How to Troubleshoot My ETQ Generator

Chyrene Pendleton

When the power goes out, imagine the peace of mind of being able to power on your lights, fan, television, cell phone and DVD player all at once with your generator, or power your computer, coffee maker, stereo and more individually. The smallest portable Eastern Tools & Equipment (ETQ) generator will do that for you quietly; or you can power a wider range of electronics with the larger ETQ generators. Troubleshooting your ETQ generator will allow you to restore your devices sooner and save money on service calls.

Engine Will Not Start/ Engine Runs Off and On

The total appliance power rating must not exceed your generator's power rating.
  1. Refill the fuel tank and ensure you're using the correct grade of fuel in your ETQ generator. Place the generator on a level surface to avoid spillage and turn the generator to the "Off" position.

  2. Locate and remove the fuel cap on top of your generator next to the handle, turning the cap counterclockwise.

  3. Fill the fuel tank with low-lead or unleaded gasoline to the upper limit mark. Replace the fuel cap securely and wipe any fuel spills away carefully. Wait until the fuel has dried outside before you start the engine. Also, make certain you do not have appliances connected before starting the engine.

Engine Will Not Start/ Engine has Low Output

  1. Place your ETQ generator on a level surface before checking it for oil and adding oil. Your generator has an Oil Alert System that will stop the engine automatically before the oil drops below the safe limit.

  2. Ensure you have the engine in the "Off" position, and locate the maintenance cover on the left side of the generator.

  3. Unscrew the cover screw, remove the oil filler cap and use a clean rag to wipe the dipstick. Insert the dipstick directly into the filler hole, without trying to screw it in.

  4. Add oil to the marked upper level if you find the oil level below the end of the dipstick. Use only a high-detergent, quality, 4-stroke engine oil, such as SF 10W-30 oil; otherwise, your generator engine will not last long.


  1. Check to see if you have too many electronic devices plugged into your ETQ generator if the engine stops running or has a low output, and remove all appliances. After turning on the generator and ensuring you see a green LED, plug in appliances while making certain the total power rating of all devices does not surpass your generator's power rating; otherwise, you can overload or short circuit your generator. The number and type of devices you can plug into your generator depends on the ETQ generator size you have. A red LED signals a power overload.

  2. Move your generator inside for 30 to 60 minutes if your area has cold weather, then move your generator outside before starting it. This will help your generator components warm up before you try to start it. Although your ETQ generator was tested for cold weather starting, below-freezing temperatures will still make it difficult for the engine to start. Never start your generator indoors, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

  3. Turn your generator engine switch to the "Stop" position if you must stop the engine in an emergency.