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Repair guides and troubleshooting for a variety of generators.

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Generator start switch not working

The starter switch on my DeWalt DXGNR 8000 generator has gotten temperamental. Sometimes it activates the starter motor, and sometimes it doesn't. Naturally I'm afraid it will get worse, likely in the middle of a blizzard when I need it most. Is this something that a person like me, with so-so mechanical abilities, is likely to be able to fix? If so, where might I find guidance?

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Hello again. You asked about further guidance. I hope you have the manual that came with the generator. If not it may be available from DeWalt as a download. Or on ManualsLib <-- an online collection of user manuals.

And if it turns out the switch is bad, you should be able to order a replacement switch. There may be a parts list in your manual. Or even an electrical schematic or connection diagram!



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I'm not a generator expert myself, but I assume the electric starting works like every other electric starter in that it has a switch that connects power to an electric motor that turns the gas motor to get it in motion so it'll start.

I'd say the place to start is with the switch itself. Do you have and are you conversant with the use of an ohmmeter? If so, I'd suggest pulling the switch and checking the contacts, then hooking up an ohmmeter and seeing if you're getting a good connection. The switch itself just snaps in place; depending on the exact cut of the hole it sits in it may just pry out, but it's possible you might have to get in behind it and squeeze the tabs holding it in place. Here's the switch itself; it's an on-off switch with a momentary contact position for the starter, so it has three pins.

Block Image

To me, it's rather overpriced; I deal with finding components regularly so I'd personally be tempted to try and find a cheaper replacement, but the genuine article will, of course, always be the safest bet. Here are a couple of sites that sell that switch.

DeWalt 5140175-06 Compatibility DeWalt OEM 5140175-06 Generator Switch DXGNR7000 : Patio, Lawn & Garden

If you haven't picked up on it already, the DeWalt part number for that switch is 5140175-06.

That would be the first thing I'd try. If you don't have one already, there's a User Manual available here.

According to the wiring diagram, the switch goes directly to the starter motor. It's likely that the switch itself that's the issue, so that's where I'd start. The Black/White wire is the one that goes to the starter motor. According to that diagram there's something called a Starter Contactor attached to the Starter Motor; I assume that's either some sort of relay or possibly the equivalent of a starter solenoid in a car. That could also be the issue if it's what carries the majority of the electric current to the starter motor.

In trying to locate a service manual, I did find that wiring diagram I mentioned, and there are a few other manuals that might be helpful on that same page. Here's the link.

Generac Power Systems - Find My Manual, Parts List, and Product Support

Hope that helps! Let us know how it goes and what you find.

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Thank you, Jerry.

My ohmmeter indicates that there is continuity between two of the terminals when I depress the switch to the "start" position. However, when it is in the "run" position, there is no continuity between any of the terminals. Time for a new switch?


@tvz62367 That's puzzling. Assuming the switch itself matches the drawing in the wiring diagram, then the middle pin is where power comes in. In the start position, it connects the middle pin to the lower pin that goes to the starter, and in the run position it needs to connect the middle pin to the upper pin.

I was under the impression from your question that it is simply difficult to start, but that once you get it started it runs fine. Is that correct? Because in order to run, there has to be continuity between the middle and upper pins so I'm at a loss to explain your findings.

I was more expecting to find that there was an issue with the connection between the two terminals in the start position; that would have indicated a need for a new switch. With a good connection between the terminals, the next place to look would be the part labelled the "SC" or Starter Contactor.


Yes, I'm mystified too. Anyway, I have ordered a new switch so maybe, understand it or not, maybe that will fix it...


@tvz62367 Sounds good. Let us know what happens next!


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Hello fellow fixer. My first post here, no applause please.

I'm thinking the start button operates a relay, which in turn carries the high current for the starting motor.
Much as it is done on automobile gasoline engines.

If that's the case, I would suggest inspecting the wiring both from the starter switch to the relay, and the relay itself to the starter motor.

Both the relay and the switch require a connection to Battery + as well

You might find damaged wiring, cracked insulation, corroded connection points.
In general with DC circuits, undamaged wiring and clean tight connections are essential.

On the other hand, in your case perhaps the switch itself is supposed to carry ALL the starter current. Then it's a good bet the switch (which has electrical contacts, like any switch) got (carboned up (technical term) or even pitted by the arc jumping just as the contacts connect. Any crud on electrical connections can corrode and create unwanted electrical resistance, and may become very warm as the corrosion progresses.

Has this generator ever been out in the weather for extended periods? Snowed on/thawed/snowed on some more?
Might it have been in a flood?
Sunlight (UV) deteriorates the insulation of most wiring over time.

I hope these ideas prove useful.

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