Fixing 15 Common Problems With a Non-Starting DuroMax Generator

The time your generator refuses to turn on is almost always when you need it the most. I hope this checklist will help you identify and fix the source of your starting issues.

Due to a filthy carburetor, a clogged fuel filter, a clogged fuel tank vent, a damaged spark plug, a clogged air filter, the incorrect throttle setting, insufficient engine oil, or old gasoline, a DuroMax generator would not start.

On electric-started DuroMax generators, check for a faulty starter solenoid, low battery, or malfunctioning ignition switch.

If the aforementioned causes did not solve your starting issues, continue on. Before doing any repairs, you should always turn off the engine and take off the spark plug boot.

duromax generators

What Causes a DuroMax Generator to Fail to Start

Empty DuroMax Generator Fuel Tank

Don’t forget to verify if there’s gas in the tank. There could be a fuel leak or a malfunctioning fuel gauge causing you to deplete your fuel supply sooner than expected.

The answer is to make sure there is no fuel leak or fuel gauge malfunction. Take care of broken pieces. Refuel the vehicle with new gas.

Using Antiquated Fuel in a DuroMax Machine

Gas can start to degrade and lose its effectiveness as early as 30 days after purchase, which you might not know. The ethanol in most gas not only begins to degrade, but it also draws moisture into the fuel system, which accelerates the deterioration process.

Ethanol and the moisture it attracts combine to form varnish and sticky deposits that can impede fuel flow and damage mechanical parts. The water and ethanol will settle to the bottom of the tank as the gas rises.

DuroMax generator gas buying and storage advice:

  • Get yourself some new fuel with at least a 91 RON (87 octane) grade.
  • Avoid using fuel with an ethanol level higher than 10%. Ethanol-free or low-ethanol fuel is preferable.
  • Use all fuel up within 30 days.
  • To keep gas from going bad as quickly, use a fuel stabilizer.
  • Keep gasoline in an authorized fuel container, away from water and flammable materials.

The ANSWER is to flush out the generator’s old fuel. For this purpose, a fuel siphon pump is ideal. In a fuel can, combine new gas and an additive. Put this concoction into the gas tank.

Turn it on and let it run for about 10 minutes so that the fuel system can distribute the mixture.

Sea Foam Motor Treatment is a product I find useful. Every time I fill up my gas tank, I use this product to mitigate the potential problems caused by ethanol.

In addition to extending the gas’s shelf life, it helps maintain the fuel system clean and dry by removing moisture. STA-BIL is an other viable choice.

DuroMax Generator with Clogged Fuel Filter

The generator’s fuel filter should be inspected. Installing this filter will prevent harmful debris from entering the fuel system and wearing out the engine.

If the filter isn’t changed regularly, it might get so dirty and blocked with deposits that it prevents a sufficient amount of fuel from getting through. The generator will be unable to start due to a lack of fuel.

If you’re a typical homeowner, you should change the gasoline filter once a year. Regular use of the DuroMax generator may increase the frequency of its replacement.

If your DuroMax fuel filter is clogged, you need to change it. Between the fuel lines, there might be a filter that can be accessed quickly and simply.

The filter isn’t obviously placed on most DuroMax generators, though. It can be positioned at the fuel tank’s base or plugged into a different gasoline component.

DuroMax Generator Fuel Line Plugged

Old fuel can leave behind gummy deposits that can clog the fuel lines, resulting in a lower fuel supply to the carburetor. To verify the fuel flow, turn off the fuel supply and then turn it back on.

Once the fuel has been turned off, the fuel line end farthest from the tank should be disconnected and saved. Turn on the fuel and observe how much flows through the line and into the storage tank.

Remember that fuel can’t flow uphill without a pump, so set the container lower than the fuel tank.

If a blockage is found in the fuel line, the problem can be solved by disconnecting the line from the generator and stopping the fuel flow. To remove the obstruction, spray carburetor cleaning and then use compressed air to blow through the line.

If the gasoline restriction cannot be removed, or if the fuel line is dry or damaged, a new fuel line of the same diameter and length should be installed.

DuroMax Generator Faulty Carburetor

The amount of fuel combusted with air in the generator is controlled by a carburetor. The carburetor may not be able to supply enough gas to start the engine if old fuel has clogged the fuel channels.

Used gas might jam the fuel jet or freeze internal parts, rendering them inoperable. To get the carburetor functional again, it will need to be cleaned and any broken parts replaced.

Make sure the carburetor is getting enough fuel before you start dismantling it to clean it. If you aren’t getting enough power, it could be due to a clogged fuel filter, fuel line, or fuel pump (if your generator has one).

Once the carburetor has been identified as the source of the fuel restriction, it must be disassembled and cleaned thoroughly.

Despite what you may have read elsewhere, it is not possible to remove all traces of buildup without first disassembling the system.

Taking pictures as you disassemble will help you put things back together afterwards.

Check the float, float needle, and fuel jet in the carburetor to ensure they are clean and in good working order. A carburetor refurbishment kit or a new carburetor should be used to replace any worn or broken components.

DuroMax Generator’s Blocked Air Filter

By filtering incoming air, the air filter prevents dirt and particles from damaging the engine by entering the air intake.

The air filter’s primary function is to safeguard the air filter, however a dirty or malfunctioning one might really cause damage. Inadequate airflow to the engine can occur if the air filter is not regularly cleaned.

Running the generator with a clogged air filter can lead to both engine overheating and the problem you’re experiencing with getting it started.

If the DuroMax filter is severely soiled or broken, the answer is a new filter. If it’s not too filthy but still functional, wash it and put it to good use.

Different DuroMax generator models use different types of air filters; consult your operator’s manual for specific instructions on how to clean your air filter. The most common filters used with a DuroMax are detailed here, along with cleaning instructions.

How to Cleanse a FOAM DuroMax Air Filter

  • Take off the cover of the air filter.
  • Take off the spongy air filter.
  • Clean the air filter housing or cover by wiping it down. Keep the air intake free of debris.
  • Check for broken parts in the air filter. If the air filter seems fragile or has tears, you should get a new one.
  • You should clean the filter if it is in working order.
  • Use water and a little bit of mild dish soap to clean the filter.
  • Squeeze out any extra water and rinse the filter until the water runs clear.
  • Dry the filter thoroughly before using it again.
  • Clean motor oil should be used to lightly saturate the filter. Remove any extra oil from the filter by squeezing it.
  • Replace the air filter cover and clean filter into the air filter housing.

How to Cleanse a PAPER DuroMax Air Filter

  • Take off the cover of the air filter.
  • Take off the disposable air filter.
  • Clean the air filter housing or cover by wiping it down. Keep the air intake free of debris.
  • To release dust from the air filter element, tap it against a hard surface.
  • A new filter should be installed if the old one is too dusty, too oily, or too damaged to function properly.
  • If it looks like it’s in decent condition, go ahead and utilize it.
  • Replace the old filter with the new one, and then put the cover on the filter housing.

The DuroMax Generator’s Fuel Tank Vent Was Clogged

There needs to be a vent in the gas tank. DuroMax generators include either a fuel cap vent or a rollover vent on top of the fuel tank to release excess pressure in the event of a rollover. Because of this, air can enter the tank.

When fuel is used up, the air pressure inside the tank needs to remain constant at the same level as the air pressure outside the tank.

If the vent on the gas cap is blocked, the fuel tank will develop a vacuum. This blocks fuel from reaching the carburetor, rendering your generator inoperable.

Use a pressure gauge to detect vacuum buildup in the fuel tank and establish if the vent is the source of your starting difficulty.

If you don’t have a pressure gauge, you can try starting the generator after letting air into the tank.

If, after tightening the gas cap and letting the engine run for a while, it suddenly shuts off again, the cap may be at fault. The faulty fuel tank vent should be replaced.

A DuroMax Generator With a Clogged Spark Arrestor

The DuroMax muffler has a metal component called a spark arrestor screen that stops sparks and other high-temperature debris from flying out. For safety reasons, this screen is mandatory.

The generator will have trouble starting and running if the exhaust becomes clogged.

ANSWER: Take off the muffler’s spark arrestor screen. Make sure there are no tears or holes in the screen by giving it a thorough inspection. If that happens, you’ll need to get a new screen.

Carbon deposits can be removed by cleaning it with a commercial solvent or by carefully brushing it with a thin metal brush, provided there is no harm to the item. Screen should be replaced after cleaning.

A DuroMax Generator With A Faulty Spark Plug

If the porcelain is fractured or the electrode is scorched, the spark plug is no longer functioning properly. A lack of spark will prevent the DuroMax generator from starting.

The deposits on the spark plug’s tip can be removed by cleaning the plug. You should get a new spark plug if the tip of your current one is damaged or looks particularly black.

The spacing between the spark plug’s electrodes must be adjusted in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations listed in the user manual. An improperly gapped spark plug or a disconnected spark plug wire can prevent the engine from starting.

A DuroMax Generator With Low Engine Oil

When the engine oil level drops too low, some DuroMax models automatically turn off. This will prevent severe damage to the motor that can result from using too little oil.

Your generator may be damaged beyond repair if it was run on low oil and did not have a low engine sensor.

The smooth operation of an engine depends on the lubrication provided by oil. Too little oil in the crankcase causes the oil to thicken, which in turn causes friction and heat.

The answer is to put the generator on a flat, level surface and check the oil level.

  • Take off the oil fill cap and use a dry towel to remove the oil from the dipstick.
  • Do not tighten the cap on the oil fill tube after reinserting the dipstick.
  • Take it out and check the oil using the dipstick. Check that it’s within the entire range shown on the dipstick.
  • The engine oil level should be adjusted by draining or adding oil as necessary.

If the engine oil level is correct but the low oil light persists, the sensor may be broken. The generator should be taken to a service center for maintenance.

If you find the oil is low on your DuroMax generator and it still won’t start after you’ve corrected the problem, you may have damaged the engine.

Take it to a shop that specializes in fixing tiny engines so the problem may be properly identified.

DuroMax Generator Stuck Choke or Incorrect Choke Setting

A cold engine won’t start on a DuroMax generator until the airflow is restricted using the choke.

Once the engine has warmed up, the choke lever needs to be moved to the “off” position to allow enough air to flow into the carburetor throat to keep the engine running.

If you have the choke set properly but are still experiencing airflow issues, you should inspect the linkage to ensure it is moving freely and closing and opening properly.

If your engine won’t start, check to see if the choke lever is in the on position. If the choke is stuck, you can apply carburetor cleaner to get it moving freely again.

Manually-Started DuroMax Generator with Poor Recoil

When the starter recoil wears out or parts of the recoil break, starting the generator becomes difficult, if not impossible. Start-up issues can occur if the recoil’s rope becomes unstrung or if the pulley, springs, or clips fail.

The solution is sometimes as simple as restringing the spring. Recoil parts will occasionally break and require replacement. Recoil replacement costs should be estimated before individual pieces are replaced.

It might be cheaper to get a new recoil assembly than to take the old one apart and fix the parts that are broken.

DuroMax Generator (Electric Start) Dead Battery

The battery must be fully charged. You can try charging the battery if it’s low on power. If the battery won’t keep a charge, you should get a new one.

Make that all of the wires and cables are securely connected and have adequate continuity.

Solution: If the battery voltage is low, charge the battery. If your battery isn’t holding a charge or has died, you should replace it.

(Electric Start) DuroMax Generator Has a Faulty Ignition Switch

An electric-start generator’s switch may fail, rendering the unit inoperable.

The switch should be checked with a multimeter, and if it fails, it should be replaced.

DuroMax Generator Electric Starter Solenoid Failure

When you try to start your generator by pressing the button on the ignition switch or turning the key (depending on your model), you may hear a clicking or humming sound. The wiring could also be overheating and smoking.

These symptoms suggest a faulty solenoid. When the solenoid’s copper plate corrodes or the spring within becomes too weak, the starting stops working properly.

The solenoid could have failed due to a poor starter, a dead battery, or an unstable ground.

You can try to power the engine without the starter by connecting the battery cable and starter cable with a screwdriver or pliers. It could potentially spark, so be careful.

Starter solenoid failure is likely if engine can be started without the solenoid.

Before you go and replace the solenoid, make sure there are no stray wires or a bad ground. These are all potential factors in a solenoid failing to function properly.

The good news is that most electric-start portable DuroMax generators also come equipped with a manual starter recoil for pull-starting. If you can get it going manually, you know the issue is with the electric start mechanism.