How to Bypass Generator AVR? – [Step By Step Guide]

Bypassing the AVR isn’t only a lucrative way to operate the generator in emergencies but also the fastest way to identify whether the AVR is faulty or not.

In this guide, we will share a step-by-step guide about how to bypass generator AVR in an instant without hiring a generator mechanic.

DISCLAIMER: The sole purpose of AVR is to stabilize the unstable voltage coming from the generator’s rotator so that the appliances can consume stabilized uniform voltage.

Bypassing the AVR isn’t a recommended procedure unless there is an emergency or the AVR is faulty and you have to bypass it for a while to investigate the core problem. In addition to that, the AVR should be replaced once we have done the investigation.

How to Bypass Generator AVR?


  • A volt meter (if your gen set doesn’t have a one).
  • Wrench
  • Potentiometer (for Bypassing the AVR of the standby generator)
  • 12V Battery (in case your standby generator doesn’t have a one)
  • Alligator clips

Safety Instructions

  • Turn OFF the generator, if you have recently operated the machine make sure to leave it for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Disconnect the loads.
  • Keep the cigarettes, sparks, flames, and any other flammable objects away from the generator’s fuel lines.
  • Wear a pair of safety gloves.
  • The probes of the Volt meter should be properly insulated to avoid any electric shock.

Bypassing the AVR of a Portable Generator:

1: Remove the stator/end cover: Locate the end cover and remove it with the help of the appropriate socket.

AVR of the Portable generator
AVR of the Portable generator

2. Disconnect the AVR: AVRs mostly have a kidney or rectangular shape and are attached by two 7mm bolts, Lose the bolts and disconnect it.

3. Connect the rotor terminals directly to the load: Use a compatible decent extension cord, power strip, or a connector with a decent wiring gauge that could handle the rotor’s power and transmit safely to the loads.

If you are going to use the connector, make sure that both connectors should be compatible with the type of generator you own.

4. Start the generator: Fire up the generator and wait for a while till the generator attains a uniform speed.

See the voltages and power stability with the help of a voltmeter. If you found too low or high voltage, make sure to adjust it by using the engine’s bolt or idle screw.

Here is the guide about adjusting the voltages of the generator with the help of an engine bolt.

Bypassing the AVR of a Standby/Whole House Generator:

1. Locate the AVR of the standby generator and disconnect its F1 (positive) and F2 (negative) connected to the exciter field.

AVR of the Standby Generator
AVR of the Standby Generator

2. Connect the positive and negative ends of the alligator clip to the F1 (positive) and F2 (negative) respectively.

Connection to the 12V battery
Connection to the 12V battery

3. Attach a potentiometer to the F1 (positive wire) and make sure to keep the potentiometer at a minimum voltage.


4. Carefully connect the positive and negative ends of the alligator clips to the positive and negative terminal of the 12V battery.

CAUTION: Inappropriate connection without taking care of the polarities (positive and negative charges) will lead to the loss of residual magnetism.

Make sure to mark the alligator clips so that there are minimum chances of reverse connections.

5. Start the generator and leave it for a while till it attains the rated speed. Once the generator is at rated speed, rotate the Potentiometer gently until the generator is at rated voltages.

NOTE: After bypassing the AVR, you will not get the desired output voltage like in the case of AVR, however for normal loads, you can draw 180 – 190V.

Recommended Read: How to test the AVR of the generator?

Why Should I Bypass the AVR?

AVR is the most important component of the generator that regulates the alternator’s input current to a stable excited output voltage so that the voltage-sensitive appliances can run safely.

Bypassing the AVR isn’t recommended unless there is an emergency or your generator is not producing stable output voltages.

Also if you are done with the investigation, make sure to replace the AVR so that the appliances could consume super stable and safe power.

I mostly bypass the AVR of my generator for a while during emergencies like at camping where I don’t have the resources and time to replace the AVR easily.

How Important Is AVR on a Generator?

An automatic Voltage regulator is adopted to control/adjust the power generated by the alternator and then send it to the load, hence a constant stable voltage will be transmitted to the voltage-sensitive appliances to not only increase their longevity but also the efficiency as well.

In addition to that the AVR also provides Surge protection and separates the reactive loads of the generator with a parallel connection.

Can a Generator Run Without AVR?

Yes but not recommended unless there is an emergency, Also if you have bypassed it make sure to reconnect or replace it as soon as possible.

How Does a Generator Work Without AVR?

The alternator current will be supplied directly to the load without passing through the voltage regulator, hence the chances are high that your appliances or the generator’s important organs like the instrument cluster, outlets, etc. may malfunction or may be destroyed due to the unregulated voltages.

Is It Safe to Not Use AVR?

No, AVR is the only organ of the modern generators that stabilizes the voltage, if you have bypassed or removed it for a reason it should be replaced after the investigation otherwise your expensive voltage-sensitive appliance will malfunction or melt down at all.

Final Words

Though bypassing the AVR could fasten the process of identifying whether the AVR is the culprit or not, still, if it isn’t replaced immediately the voltage-sensitive appliances would malfunction or even meltdown in the worst cases.

In addition to that, the generator’s instrument cluster may not show the important readings or even be destroyed by the fluctuating voltage.

I hope you can now safely bypass the AVR of the generator in emergencies, if I have missed something let me know in the comment section, and I will be more than happy to assist you!

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Does AVR Increase Voltage?

Typically AVR reduces the high current generated by the alternator, however, if the AVR is faulty or not adjusted properly you may face the high voltage.

Does Inverter Generators Need AVR?

No, inverter generators have different mechanisms, The AC (alternating current) is directly sent to a rectifier that converts it to the direct current (DC), and again that direct current is inverted back to the alternating current with the help of the computer located inside the generator to ensure the super smooth power should be send to the control panel. (Source)

Does AVR Consume Electricity?

Yes, they do need minimal power mostly supplied by the generator’s alternator in the case of the portable generator.

Does AVR Control the Frequency of the Generator?

AVR has nothing to do with the frequency of the generator; the only purpose of AVR is to control the output voltages of the generator.

The frequency of the generator is solely dependent on the speed at which the rotor is rotating and also the number of magnetic poles in the winding field.

Can AVR Prevent Power Surge?

Yes AVR is capable of protecting the appliances from unexpected surges.



Kashif has been a valuable asset to the electric generator industry for over 5 years. Now, As a skilled energy engineer, he’s been on the front lines of diagnosing problems, fixing broken parts, and performing routine maintenance tasks to keep generators running smoothly.

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