How Much Does Generator Repair Cost?

Gemma Johnstone
Written by Gemma Johnstone
Updated January 11, 2022
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The average cost to repair and maintain a generator is $260

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When your power goes out, having a fully functioning generator that supplies backup power can be a huge relief. Keeping on top of generator maintenance and repairs makes sure that peace of mind is always there.

Calling out a professional to repair a portable model could cost as little as $50, but complex repairs on larger whole-house standby generators could set you back as much as $600. The average cost for a generator repair is $260, but this will vary depending on the nature of the repair and the type of generator you have.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Generator Yourself?

Standby generator repairs (whole-house or partial) are typically jobs for professionals. These devices contain many technical parts and, without the right expertise, diagnosing and fixing the problem will be a real challenge. You risk doing further damage and ending up with an even more costly repair bill when you admit defeat and call in the pro. Plus, because they often run on natural gas, there are safety risks to consider too.

For smaller, more basic portable generators, you may be able to troubleshoot and fix simple problems by topping up the fuel, unclogging filters, or tightening spark plugs. Generator fuel for 24 hours will cost you $30.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair Generators by Type?

Smaller portable generator repairs are, unsurprisingly, less costly than those required for a larger whole-house unit.

Portable Generators

Portable generators are designed to power a couple of appliances for just a few hours at a time. The mechanics of portable generators are much less complex than permanent standby installation, and the repair costs are considerably less. 

Sometimes you may even be able to fix something simple yourself, and, on average, you won’t have to shell out much more than $50 for a professional repair plus any associated call-out fee (which typically ranges from $80 to $150).

Standby Generator

The average cost to repair a standby generator is around $600, but this can vary considerably depending on the generator power, model, and type of repair required.

How Much Does Generator Repair Cost by Part?

Often a specific part will cause a problem with your generator, and a technician will need to diagnose what it is and whether it needs repairing or replacing. Below are examples of the average costs to repair or replace some common generator parts.

Costs for 5 generator parts compared, with the voltage regulator averaging up to $80

Stator and Rotor

The moving rotor sits inside the stationary stator. You can expect to pay between $250 and $1,500 for replacement or rewinding of these pieces of equipment, depending on the size and style of generator you have.

Carburetor

A vital part of your generator’s mechanics, the carburetor mixes fuel and air for the required combustion process. Sometimes it may only need a minor repair, such as fixing a loose gasket, and cost around $50. For a complete carburetor replacement, you could pay anything from about $60 to $500.

Engine

You need to keep your generator’s engine ticking over well for smooth operation. Like the carburetor, a small repair may not involve spending much more than $50. Significant repairs or a complete engine replacement could end up costing you upwards of $2,000.

Voltage Regulator

Automatic voltage regulators (AVRs) are vital for ensuring the voltage output remains consistent. This is especially important when you have many major appliances connected to your generator. The part isn’t too expensive, typically not more than $80, and then you’ll also have the technician's labor costs.

Transfer Switch

All standby generators need a transfer switch to ensure that the mains power does not come into contact with the generator. Repairs are possible and typically cost around $50 to $150. If a switch requires replacement, it’ll usually cost between $200 and $400 for the part and then another few hours of labor costs as this is a detailed job.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Repair a Generator?

It isn’t just the type of part that can affect the cost of generator maintenance and repairs. Other factors can cause considerable variation.

Generator Power

Measurement of the power of a generator is in kilowatts. This can range from 10kW portable varieties to 45kW whole-house standby generators. Powerful large models have more complex engineering, and the cost to repair them will be more.

Fuel Type

Different fuel types power generators. Propane and natural gas generators may be more reliable and less likely to require repairs, but the cost to fix them is typically more when they do break down. Gas and diesel-powered generators require more upkeep, and repairs are usually more frequent.

Type of Repair

Because standby generators are complex pieces of machinery, there are many mechanical and electrical parts that can fail. How much a repair will cost will differ depending on what fails. 

As well as the parts outlined above, other problems that require a technician to resolve them include:

  • Battery problems

  • Overfilled tanks

  • Spark plug issues

  • Coolant, fuel, or oil leaks

  • Fuel gauge malfunctions

  • Air bubbles

  • Coolant temperature and level problems

Annual Generator Maintenance

Annual maintenance checks will keep your generator running optimally and reduce the requirement for major repairs. An experienced service technician will make sure the generator has the correct levels of lubrication, fuel, and coolant. They’ll also check things like the engine filter, the battery or starting mechanism, and run tests on the transfer switch and voltage output.

Many reputable generator manufacturers offer annual service contracts. Depending on the generator you have and the checks carried out, you can expect annual generator maintenance costs to be around $150 to $300.

FAQs About Generator Repair and Maintenance Costs

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What are the safety risks of delaying generator repairs or maintenance?

If you spot something not right with your generator, even if it’s still working, it’s important to call out a reputable local generator repair technician as soon as possible. Delaying a required repair could mean more costly work later or, worse, it could be a potential safety hazard.

A fuel leak is an example of a major problem that requires immediate attention. A natural gas leak is particularly problematic as this could present an explosion risk.

Will my generator warranty cover repairs?

The cost to install a standby generator is considerable, but they usually come with a warranty. The number of years this is valid for and what it covers will vary. Typically, they last between two and five years, but they don’t normally cover annual services and tune-ups. 

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