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4 Common Westinghouse Generator Problems (Troubleshooting)

For most people, a generator isn’t something you’re using regularly. It’s frustrating when you finally do need to use the generator only to find it isn’t working right.

To help you narrow down and troubleshoot your Westinghouse generator problem, I have put together tables to quickly reference when you need help.

You will also find links to more detailed information on each problem that gives further explanations for each problem and how to solve it to get your generator running again.

The most common Westinghouse generator problems are: 

  • Generator won’t start
  • Generator starts and then dies
  • Generator is leaking gas
  • Generator bogs down under load

Take caution when performing repairs. Always remove the spark plug wire and wait for the engine to cool. Follow all safety precautions found in the Westinghouse operator’s manual.

Westinghouse generator won't start

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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual prior to diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.

Problem 1: Westinghouse Generator Won’t Start 

When troubleshooting a starting problem on your Westinghouse generator look for items that can keep the engine from getting fuel, air and spark. These three items are required for combustion.

Detailed information can be found at:
Reasons a Westinghouse Generator Won’t Start: Solved!

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Empty fuel tankNo gas in the fuel tankFill with fresh gas.
Bad or old fuelFuel breaks down over time making your fuel less efficient and prone to clogging the fuel system and damaging components.Drain the fuel tank. Fill it with fresh fuel and a fuel additive like Sea Foam to stabilize gas and clean the fuel system.
Bad fuel tank ventThe fuel tank vent can clog causing the tank to form a vacuum restricting fuel flow.Locate and replace your fuel tank vent. This is typically in the fuel cap or a part installed on the top of the fuel tank.
Bad spark plugExcessively dirty or broken spark plug; bad connection; not gapped correctly.Replace with a new spark plug, secure connections, and ensure it is gapped to manufacturer specifications.
Bad ignition coilYour generator will not start when either the ignition coil is bad because it won’t provide voltage to the spark plug to provide a spark.Test and replace a bad ignition coil.
Plugged air filterDirt can plug the air filter preventing airflow from getting to the carburetor.Remove the filter and clean it. Replace the filter if it is in bad condition.
Plugged fuel filterA dirty fuel filter will restrict fuel flow.Replace the fuel filter.
Blocked fuel linesBad fuel deposits and dirt can build up and clog the fuel lines preventing the engine from getting the required fuelUse a carburetor cleaner and compressed air to remove the clog from the fuel line. Replace the line if necessary.
Dirty carburetorThe carburetor can become dirty and clogged due to bad fuel and ethanol deposits preventing fuel flowClean the components making up the carburetor. Replace if needed.
Low engine oil levelA sensor on a Westinghouse generator protects the engine by not allowing it to run when the engine oil level is low.Place on a flat surface and add oil until it is at the full level as indicated on the oil dipstick.
Incorrect choke setting or stuck chokeThe choke must be on to restrict airflow when starting a cold engine. It must then be adjusted to off once the engine is warm.Make sure the choke setting is correct. If its setting is correct, check that the choke linkage is working properly and the choke is not sticking.
Broken starter recoilA pull start generator may have a damaged or broken recoil preventing the recoil to initiate starting your engineCheck the recoil to see if it can be restrung or if broken parts can be replaced. Replace the recoil assembly if needed.
Bad battery, loose wires, dirty terminals (electric start)A low charge on a battery will prevent the generator from starting.Charge the battery. If the battery fails to hold a charge, replace the battery.
Faulty starter solenoid (electric start)The internal spring may become weak or the copper plate may corrode causing solenoid failure.Bypass the solenoid to isolate it as the reason for failure. Replace if it is faulty.
Bad ignition switch (electric start)The switch is faulty on Westinghouse models with an electric start.Test the switch using a multimeter. Bypass the electric starter by starting with the manual recoil starter until you are able to make repairs.
Reasons a Westinghouse Generator Won’t Start

Problem 2: Westinghouse Generator Starts and Then Dies

Many of the reasons that cause a Westinghouse generator from starting are the same as those that will cause it to stop running after you get it started.

Make sure you are running fresh gas. Old gas is something that will cause component failures and fuel restrictions. It can evaporate leaving behind gummy residues in the fuel lines, fuel filter, and carburetor.

Detailed information can be found at:
Westinghouse Generator Starts Then Dies

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Bad fuelFuel breaks down over time making your fuel less efficient and prone to clogging the fuel system and engine damage.Drain the fuel tank and fill it with fresh fuel. Use a fuel additive like Sea Foam to stabilize the fuel and assist with cleaning the fuel system.
Plugged fuel filterA dirty fuel filter will restrict fuel to the carburetor.Replace a plugged fuel filter.
Plugged air filterDirt and grass can plug the air filter preventing airflowRemove the filter and clean it. Replace the filter if it is in bad condition.
Clogged fuel linesBad fuel deposits and dirt can build up and clog the fuel lines preventing the engine from getting the required fuel.Use a carb cleaner and compressed air to clear the clog out of the fuel line.
Dirty carburetorThe carburetor can become dirty and clogged due to bad fuel and ethanol deposits preventing fuel flow.Clean all of the components making up the carburetor. Replace if needed.
Bad Gas Cap / Fuel Tank VentThe fuel tank vent can clog causing the tank to form a vacuum restricting fuel flow.Replace a plugged or bad gas cap or another type of fuel tank vent that may be found on the top of your fuel tank.
Dirty Spark PlugA dirty spark plug may provide an intermittent spark.Replace a very dirty spark plug. Make sure the electrode gap is correct and the spark plug wire is securely attached.
Bad Ignition CoilWhen the ignition coil fails it won’t provide voltage to the spark plug.Test the ignition coil using an ohmmeter. Replace an ignition coil when you find a break in the continuity.
Low Engine Oil LevelA sensor on a Westinghouse generator protects the engine by not allowing it to run when the engine oil level is low.Place on a flat surface and add oil until it is at the full level as indicated on the oil dipstick.
Reasons a Westinghouse Generator Starts Then Dies

Problem 3: Westinghouse Generator is Leaking Gas

You may have a gas smell coming from your Westinghouse generator. Fumes are harmful and the leak must be found before you continue to run the generator to avoid a fire.

A carburetor is a likely place where a generator will begin leaking. This is because the carburetor bowl gasket may fail to seal properly or internal parts will stick allowing too much fuel into the bowl and causing it to overflow.

Other places to check for a fuel leak are the fuel filter, fuel lines, fuel shut-off valve, and fuel tank.

Detailed information can be found at:
This is Where Your Westinghouse Generator is Leaking Gas

Reason for ProblemSolution
Dirty carburetorThe carburetor can collect a buildup of substances remaining from old gas that can cause blockages or parts failures.Clean the carburetor and replace any damaged parts.
Weak fuel filterThe plastic on the filter can degrade causing it to leak at the seams.Replace the fuel filter.
Fuel tankA metal tank can develop a rust hole. A poly tank can leak at the seams of the tank.Replace the fuel tank. Sometimes, a rust hole can be repaired if you can no longer find a replacement tank.
Fuel shut-off valveMetal and plastic shut-off valves are prone to leaking.Replace the shut-off valve.
Old fuel linesFuel lines become dry and cracked causing gas to leak.Replace the fuel lines. Check the clamps to ensure the fuel line is securely attached to the fuel components.
Places a Westinghouse Generator May Be Leaking Gas

Problem 4: Westinghouse Generator is Bogs Down Under Load

A Westinghouse generator that loses power when it is under load is most likely the result of an air or fuel restriction. It may also be due to trying to power more items than your generator is designed to handle.

Detailed information can be found at:
This is Why Your Westinghouse Generator Bogs Down Under Load

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Too Much Load AppliedOverloading the generator by plugging in more items than the generator’s load limit will cause it to bog down.Check the generator load limit. Add up the wattage for the items that will be plugged in at one time to ensure it doesn’t exceed the load limit.
Bad or Old fuelFuel breaks down over time making it prone to clogging the fuel system and damaging components.Drain the fuel tank and fill it with fresh fuel. Use a fuel additive like Sea Foam to stabilize the fuel and assist with cleaning the fuel system.
Clogged fuel filterA dirty fuel filter will restrict fuel to the carburetor.Replace a clogged fuel filter.
Plugged air filterDirt and grass can plug the air filter preventing airflow.Remove the filter and clean it. Replace the filter if it is in bad condition.
Incorrect Choke Setting / Stuck ChokeThe choke is used to restrict air to start a cold engine. When it isn’t set right, the air needed to run the generator will be restricted.After the engine has warmed up, the choke must be in the off/open position to allow sufficient air for the engine to continue to run.
Plugged spark arrestorA buildup of material in the spark arrestor screen will prevent air from moving through the exhaust.Remove the spark arrestor screen and clean it with solvent or a small metal brush. Replace a screen that is damaged.
Dirty carburetorThe carburetor can become dirty and clogged due to bad fuel and ethanol deposits preventing fuel flowClean all of the components making up the carburetor. Replace if needed.
Reasons a Westinghouse Generator Bogs Down Under Load