How to Test a Generator Voltage Regulator

Test a Generator Voltage Regulator

If your generator is giving you trouble, it might be because of a broken voltage regulator. Don’t waste time diagnosing the problem; get a voltmeter and test your generator voltage regulator.

A generator may be utilized as backup or portable power when regular electricity is disrupted. A few tests can ensure your generator is ready when you need it. You should quickly test a portable generator’s output to ensure it works. Make sure backup generators can handle full power by testing them.

How to test a generator voltageHow to test a generator voltage

Learn how to test a generator voltage regulator with this easy-to-follow step-by-step guide below; let’s explore:

Step 1: Power on the backup generator

Set the generator’s choke to the “start” position or anywhere in the middle of the “start” and “halfway” settings. Activate the power source, such as an automobile’s ignition switch or a generator’s toggle switch, by turning the key to the ON position.

A recoil rope may be attached to your generator that must be pulled to start the engine.

  • Be sure the gasoline line is open if your generator won’t turn on.
  • Recoil cords, identifiable by their T-shaped plastic grips, are a standard accessory for gas-powered lawnmowers. They are often seen on small, portable generators.

Step 2: Set a voltmeter to read the AC voltage

To check alternating current voltage, turn the voltmeter’s dial from “OFF” to “AC.” Some examples of AC voltage markings are “ACA,” “ACV,” “A,” and “V.”

  • Refer to the voltmeter’s user manual if you’re unsure how to switch it to the AC voltage measurement position.

Step 3: Adjust a voltmeter to read the AC voltage

Connect the voltmeter’s black cord to the device’s black socket, and then secure the meter to the generator’s frame using the alligator clip. Doing this will prevent electrical wiring and components from being damaged by power surges.

  • An alligator clip may be used if one is not included with the cable to attach the metal end of the voltmeter cable to the frame.

Step 4: Red voltmeter lead to generator outlet

The generator’s yield plug outlet is used to connect an electrical cord. To check the voltage coming from a generator, insert the metal probe of the voltmeter’s included red wire into the plug for that outlet and then read the meter’s display.

  • The voltage output from the generator may be selectable at the plug outlets. For example, it may provide dual voltage outputs (120V and 220V). The wall plates will be identified and could even change appearance somewhat. They can both be put through the same tests with no difference.
  • Standard household appliances may be plugged into receptacles with a 120-volt output, but more powerful tools like laundry dryers and welders need outlets with a 220-volt output.

Step 5: Check the voltmeter’s reading to learn the voltage output

Keep the voltmeter’s red probe lead in contact with the outlet for the output plug and get the reading. How many volts your generator is producing is shown on the readout.

  • Unless there is an issue with your generator, the monitor should read exactly 120 volts if it comes with a 120-volt output, for example.

Step 6: Get rid of the voltmeter and power source

Get rid of the red wire and detach the black one. Before turning off your generator, be sure the ignition switch is in the OFF position or the power switch is flipped to the OFF position.


In conclusion, the testing procedures help evaluate voltage regulators. It would be best if you routinely inspected every car’s voltage regulator or electrical device you use. It will prevent problems from arising that may be avoided.

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