The spark plug is an essential component of any generator and plays a critical role in its functioning.
It provides the spark that ignites the fuel and air mixture in the combustion chamber, producing the energy that powers the generator.
Over time, the spark plug can become worn or fouled, leading to decreased performance, increased emissions, and even potential damage to the engine.
Replacing the spark plug is a simple and straightforward maintenance task that can help to ensure the efficient operation of your generator and extend its lifespan.
In this guide, we will tell you how to change a generator spark plug in a few simple steps. If at any point you feel like you can’t replace or clean the spark plug, it is recommended to hire a professional mechanic to do it for you.
When to Change a Spark Plug?
A spark plug replacement depends on several factors such as usage, environment, and the quality of the plug.
However, as a general rule, it is recommended to change the spark plug every 100 to 150 hours of operation or annually, whichever comes first.
Signs that it is time to change the spark plug include a decrease in performance, increased emissions, difficulty starting the generator, or an increase in fuel consumption.
It is also a good idea to inspect the spark plug periodically for signs of wear, such as a fouled or damaged electrode, and replace it if necessary.
Regular maintenance, can help to ensure the efficient operation of your generator and extend its lifespan. It is also important to use a high-quality spark plug that is designed for the specific make and model of your generator to ensure optimal performance.
What Does Spark Plug Do?
A spark plug is a device that provides the spark that ignites the fuel and air mixture in the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine.
It is typically located in the cylinder head of an engine and is designed to create a spark across a small gap, which ignites the fuel and air mixture, producing a controlled explosion.
This explosion creates pressure and drives the piston, producing power that is transmitted to the crankshaft, and eventually to the wheels of a vehicle or to an output shaft in the case of a generator.
By providing a consistent spark, the spark plug helps to ensure complete combustion, which results in improved performance, fuel economy, and reduced emissions of carbon monoxide.
A spark plug could be the reason your generator isn’t producing power.
Where is Spark Plug Located?
Although the generator spark plug location varies, typically, it is located in the cylinder head of the engine. It is usually accessible by removing the air filter or a protective cover.
In some cases, the spark plug may be located in a difficult-to-reach area, requiring the removal of other components or disassembling of the engine. In newer inverter generators, it is located behind the side plate.
In these instances, it is recommended to consult the generator’s owner’s manual for specific instructions and to seek the assistance of a qualified technician if needed instead of doing generator spark plug troubleshooting yourself.
Once you have located the spark plug, you can remove it using a spark plug socket and ratchet, and replace it with a new spark plug that is designed for your generator’s make and model.
If you want to know more about spark plugs and dual spark plug ignition technology, read this research.
How to Change Generator Spark Plug in 5 Steps?
Here is a detailed step-by-step guide to changing a generator spark plug at home.
Required Tools and Supplies
Step 1: How to Remove the Spark Plug From the Generator:
Usually, a spark is located behind a removable casing and is covered by a spark plug boot.
Using a spark plug socket and ratchet, carefully remove the old spark plug from the cylinder head. Be careful not to damage the threads in the cylinder head while removing the spark plug.
Step 2: Disconnect the Plug Wire:
Remove the wire that is connected to it.
Pull the boot or cap off the spark plug, and then gently twist the wire counterclockwise to remove it from the spark plug. Don’t pull it off. You will break the wire.
Step 3: Clean The Spark Plug:
Clean the old plug and the housing. Make sure to rub off the blackness and debris from the plug. Use a clean brush and WD40.
To check if the old spark plug is fine or not, follow these steps:
- Hold it close to the crankcase.
- Don’t screw it in yet.
- Try to start the generator using manual recoil. Give it some tries.
- If the spark is strong with a blue color, then the spark plug is OK to work with.
- If the sparks are weaker, then it needs to be replaced.
- If there are no sparks at all, there is a problem with the ignition coil.
If the spark plug is worn out or damaged, your generator will face power surging problems.
Step 4: Install a New Spark Plug:
If you can afford it, we suggest getting a gap measuring tool to get the correct size of the generator spark plug.
A feeler gauge is a useful tool. Make sure the spark plug feels only a small amount of resistance inside the gap. It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.
Clean the threads in the spark plug hole before installing the new spark plug. This will ensure that the new spark plug will be securely threaded into the engine.
Screw in the new spark plug by turning it clockwise with the spark plug socket wrench. Tighten the spark plug to the manufacturer’s specifications. This is usually specified in the generator’s manual.
Step 5: Reconnect the Plug Wire:
Now is the time to reconnect the wire after pushing the spark plug back into its place.
Reattach the wire to the new spark plug by pushing the boot or cap back into place.
Make sure the wire is securely connected to the spark plug to ensure proper operation of the generator’s ignition system.
You will hear a click from the connector which means it is in the right position.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of spark plug should I use for my generator?
You should use the type of spark plug recommended by the manufacturer of your generator. This information is usually provided in the generator’s manual.
How do I know when it’s time to change my generator’s spark plug?
A general rule of thumb is to change your generator’s spark plug every 100 to 150 hours of use or once a year, whichever comes first. If you use your generator frequently in harsh conditions, you may need to change the spark plug more often.
Can I change my generator’s spark plug myself?
You can change my generator’s spark plug yourself. Changing a generator’s spark plug is a relatively simple task that can be done by most people with basic mechanical skills. Always refer to the generator’s manual for specific instructions and safety precautions.
How do I remove the old spark plug from my generator?
You will need a spark plug socket wrench to remove the old spark plug. Loosen the spark plug by turning it counterclockwise with the wrench. Carefully remove the spark plug from the engine, being mindful of any other components that may be near it.
How do I install the new spark plug in my generator?
Clean the threads in the spark plug hole before installing the new spark plug. Screw in the new spark plug by turning it clockwise with the spark plug socket wrench. Tighten the spark plug to the manufacturer’s specifications, which are usually provided in the generator’s manual.
Can using the wrong type of spark plug damage my generator?
Yes, using the wrong type of spark plug can result in damage to your generator or decreased performance. Always use the type of spark plug recommended by the manufacturer of your generator.