How To Polarize A Generator

So you have a generator that’s not working properly or not producing any power, and you’re wondering how to fix it. Well, fear not! In this article, we will show you the simple steps to polarize a generator and get it up and running again. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just someone in need of a quick solution, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle this task with ease. So let’s not waste any more time and get right into it!

Understanding Generator Polarization

What is Generator Polarization?

Generator polarization is a process that ensures the proper functioning and efficient power generation of a generator. It involves establishing the correct polarity in the generator’s field winding, which determines the direction of current flow. By polarizing the generator, you are essentially aligning its internal components to produce the desired output of electricity.

Why is Generator Polarization Important?

Generator polarization is important because it allows the generator to function optimally and produce a stable and reliable power supply. Without proper polarization, the generator may not generate electricity or produce insufficient power. It is particularly crucial when dealing with older generators or after performing maintenance or repairs on the generator. Polarizing the generator helps to ensure that it operates at its full capacity and delivers the necessary power for your needs.

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Tools and Materials Needed

Basic Tools

To polarize a generator, you will need a few basic tools:

  • Screwdriver (flat-head or Phillips)
  • Multimeter
  • Jumper cables
  • Safety gloves and goggles


The materials required for generator polarization include:

  • Access to a functioning power source
  • Manufacturer’s manual for the specific generator model


Before proceeding with generator polarization, it is essential to take certain safety measures and locate the generator properly.

Safety Measures

Ensure you follow these safety measures before starting the polarization process:

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as safety gloves and goggles, to protect yourself from potential hazards.
  • Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area to minimize the risks of exposure to fumes.
  • Disconnect the generator from the power source before performing any maintenance or repairs.
  • Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s manual and follow the instructions provided for your specific generator model.

Locating the Generator

Locate the generator in a well-lit and easily accessible area. Ensure that there is enough space to work comfortably around the generator without any obstructions. Familiarize yourself with the different components of the generator, including the field winding and terminal locations.

Steps to Polarize a Generator

Follow these step-by-step instructions to successfully polarize your generator and ensure its optimum performance:

Step 1: Identify the Generator Terminals

Refer to the manufacturer’s manual to identify the positive and negative terminals on the generator. Typically, these are labeled as “F” for the field winding and “A” or “ARM” for the armature. Use a screwdriver to loosen the terminal connections.

Step 2: Disconnect Electrical Load

Before proceeding with the polarization process, it is crucial to disconnect any electrical load from the generator. This ensures that there is no power draw from the generator during the process.

Step 3: Check the Generator’s Field Winding

Use a multimeter to check the resistance of the generator’s field winding. This will help determine if there are any issues with the winding. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to measure the resistance accurately.

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Step 4: Connect the Jumper Cables

Attach one end of the jumper cable to the positive terminal of the power source, and the other end to the positive terminal of the generator’s field winding. Ensure a secure and tight connection. Repeat this process for the negative terminals.

Step 5: Confirm Correct Jumper Cable Connections

Double-check that the jumper cables are correctly connected – positive to positive and negative to negative. Incorrect connections can damage the generator and may pose safety hazards. Take the time to ensure the correct polarity.

Step 6: Engage the Generator’s Magnetic Field

Start the generator briefly, allowing it to run for a few seconds. This will energize the field winding and establish the correct magnetic field polarity.

Step 7: Disconnect the Jumper Cables

Once the generator has been briefly started, disconnect the jumper cables from both the generator and the external power source. Make sure to disconnect the negative terminals first, followed by the positive terminals.

Step 8: Reconnect Electrical Load

Now that the generator has been successfully polarized, you can reconnect the electrical load. Ensure that the load is properly connected and that there are no loose connections.

Testing the Generator

After polarizing the generator, it is important to test its performance to ensure it is functioning properly.

Step 1: Start the Generator

Start the generator according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow it to run for a few minutes to stabilize its operation.

Step 2: Observe the Generator’s Performance

Observe the generator’s performance and check if it produces a stable and consistent power supply. Monitor the voltage output using a multimeter and ensure it remains within the recommended range. If the generator exhibits any unusual behavior or fails to produce the expected power, consult the manufacturer’s manual and follow the troubleshooting steps.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Sometimes, issues may arise during or after the generator polarization process. Here are some common problems and their potential solutions:

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Generator Does Not Polarize

If the generator fails to polarize during the process, make sure that the jumper cables are connected correctly and securely. Also, verify that the field winding and armature terminals are properly connected. If the issue persists, consult the manufacturer’s manual or seek professional assistance.

Generator Does Not Produce Power After Polarization

If the generator does not produce any power after polarization, check the circuit breakers to ensure they are not tripped. Inspect the wiring connections and make sure they are secure and intact. If the problem persists, consult the manufacturer’s manual or contact a qualified technician for further assistance.

Generator Overheats or Trips Breaker

If the generator overheats or trips the circuit breaker after polarization, it may indicate an overload or a fault in the electrical system. Double-check the connected electrical load, and ensure it does not exceed the generator’s capacity. If the issue persists, consult a professional technician to inspect and rectify the problem.

Safety Tips

When polarizing a generator, it is essential to prioritize safety. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

Always wear safety gloves and goggles to protect yourself from potential hazards, such as electric shocks and flying debris.

Work in a Well-Ventilated Area

To minimize the risks of exposure to fumes, work in a well-ventilated area. If working indoors, ensure adequate airflow or use ventilation systems.

Disconnect from Power Source

Before performing any maintenance or repairs, disconnect the generator from the power source to avoid electric shock hazards.

Consult Manufacturer’s Manual

Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions and guidelines concerning your generator model. This ensures that you adhere to the correct procedures and avoid unnecessary risks.

Additional Considerations

Frequency of Polarization

In general, generator polarization is not required frequently. However, it is recommended to polarize the generator after any repairs or maintenance and periodically as advised by the manufacturer. This helps maintain the generator’s efficiency and prolong its lifespan.

Professional Assistance

If you are unsure or uncomfortable performing generator polarization yourself, it is best to seek professional assistance. Certified technicians have the necessary expertise and knowledge to handle generator polarization safely and effectively.


Understanding generator polarization is crucial for ensuring the efficient operation of your generator. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article, you can effectively polarize your generator and maintain its optimal performance. Remember to prioritize safety, consult the manufacturer’s manual, and seek professional assistance when needed. Regular polarization and proper maintenance will help you enjoy a reliable power supply and extend the life of your generator.

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Albert Stein

Starting this site about today's portable power options was an easy choice as it's one of my passions. Tech changes constantly so you need to make an informed decision before purchasing the wrong products. -Thank you.-

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