Briggs And Stratton Standby Generator Problems (Plus Solutions)

The Briggs and Stratton company has earned the reputation of building high quality and dependable standby power solutions such as the7000W, the 20000/18000 or the 20KW Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator. Worrying about electrical faults and power-cuts therefore can be a thing of the past thanks to the remarkable performance and versatility of the Briggs and Stratton Standby Generators.  The generators are highly robust and reliable however they can develop problems, and these will be discussed in this article.

Table of Contents

What Is The Briggs And Stratton Standby Generator?

A Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator such as the 20KW Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator is a versatile standby generator option from the company Briggs and Stratton. The generator uses a 993 cc V-twin OHV Vanguard commercial-grade engine that runs at 3600RPM. The generator runs on natural gas or liquid propane. It also produces 120V or 240 Volts Single phase AC power and a running current of 83.3A on either fuel. Special features include a 100A Main circuit breaker, low oil shutdown, and high temperature shutdown capability, an LED display, and an inbuilt battery charger.

Briggs And Stratton Standby Generator Problems

NB: The Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator is usually sold in good working condition and without any issues. Any problems that may develop on the Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator, such as those listed below in this article are usually caused by misusing or overloading the standby generator. Wear and tear can also develop on the standby generator leading to its deterioration.

1. No AC Power From Generator

One of the biggest problems one may encounter while using the Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator is that the engine may be running but the sockets are not producing AC power. This problem is normally caused by the following,

  • Circuit breaker being defective or open.
  • An internal fault in the generator.
  • Poor wiring connections or a defective transfer switch.

Troubleshooting The AC Power Problem

To restore power and ensure the AC sockets have power when the generator is running, the following can be done,

  • Resetting the circuit breaker when open or replacing it when defective.
  • Contacting the local service facility to get an internal fault sorted out.
  • Checking and repairing the wiring connections and replacing the transfer switch when defective.

2. Engine Struggling With Load

One may notice that the engine is running well when there is no load but “bogs down” when a load is connected, this problem can be caused by,

  • A short circuit in a connected load or generator circuit.
  • The generator being overloaded. The natural gas fuel mixture or the fuel pressure may also be being incorrect.
  • A kinked fuel line between the regulator and the engine.

Troubleshooting The Engine Loading Problem

When the engine starts to struggle when a load is connected, the following can be done to address the issue,

  • Disconnecting the shorted electrical load and visiting a trusted dealer to get any shorted circuits in the generator sorted out.
  • Only connecting the appropriate load to the Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator and ensuring the correct natural gas fuel mixture is always used. Use a manometer to test the fuel pressure and adjust as needed.
  • Inspecting and removing any kinks in the fuel line. The fuel line may also need to be replaced when defective.

3. Rough Engine Running

A problem may develop with the engine causing it not to start at all or run in a rough manner when it starts running. This problem may be caused by,

  • 15 Amp fuse missing or being blown.
  • The fuel supply being turned off or depleted.
  • A failed or defective battery.

Troubleshooting Rough Engine Running

When the engine has difficult starting or starts running in a rough manner, the following can be done to solve the problem,

  • Installing a new 15Amp fuse when the current one is defective.
  • Opening the fuel supply valve on the fuel tank. Also ensure the fuel (propane or natural gas) is not depleted.
  • Replacing the faulty or defective battery.

4. Generator Shutting Off During Operation

The engine may shutoff during operation, and this is normally caused by,

  • Fuel supply being turned off or depleted.
  • Engine overheating and low oil pressure.
  • Leakages of fuel in the supply lines.

Troubleshooting The Generator Shutoff Problem

If the Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator is shutting off, the following can be done to try and solve the problem,

  • Checking the fuel valves to ensure they are turned on and refilling the propane tank when depleted.
  • Checking the ventilation or air circulation and reducing the load on the standby generator. One should also fill the oil to the recommended level. It is also critical to ensure one uses the correct oil grade and type.
  • Inspecting and closing all leaks in the fuel supply system. If the pipes are totally defective, they may need to be replaced.

5. Loss Of Power On Circuits

One may notice that there is a drop in the power output from the essential circuits. This problem can be caused by,

  • An open generator circuit breaker.
  • Transfer switch problem such as a blown fuse.
  • Air density being less and especially at high altitudes or due to lack of air ventilation.

Troubleshooting The Power Loss Problem

When the essential circuits lose power, the problem can be addressed by,

  • Resetting the circuit breaker.
  • Contacting an authorized dealer to get any transfer switch problems sorted out.
  • Connecting the appropriate load that matches the power output at the present air density levels and altitude. Also ensure proper air circulation is always available around the standby generator.

How To Avoid Briggs And Stratton Standby Generator Problems?

The best way to ensure no problems develop with the Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator is to regularize with the Standby Generator’s operator manual. Ensure to only use the Standby generator as advised in the manual to avoid breakdowns. It is also highly advisable not to overload the Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator or use it in such a way that it might be prone to being damaged.

Why Does The Briggs And Stratton Standby Generator Keep Shutting Off?

If the Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator is shutting off it may be due to low coolant levels. The coolant is important as it prevents the engine from overheating, and if absent the generator could seize up or shut down.

How Long Can a Briggs And Stratton Standby Generator Run?

On average, the standby generator can run for 3,000 hours while powering a medium-sized home. It is however recommended not to run the generator for longer than 500hours continuously to prevent any problems developing with it. Factors such as the fuel source and the generator model can also however affect how long a standby generator can be run continuously.


In conclusion, the Briggs and Stratton Standby Generator is a wonderful standby generator option that has the added advantage of running on two different fuel types, Natural Gas and Liquid Propane (LP). The generator is highly versatile and robust, it can however develop problems hence regular maintenance is very critical to keeping the standby generator in a good working condition.