Bypassing the low oil sensor on a generator is possible, although it’s not always advised.
If your generator is warning you that there is low oil inside of the device, you should check the oil level to ensure that nothing is wrong with your generator.
The low oil sensor is primarily helpful on a generator as it automatically shuts off the generator when there is low oil.
This keeps the generator safe and prevents you from having to replace the entire generator once your original burns out due to the lack of oil.
Having said that, the low oil sensor can sometimes be a burden when it stops working properly.
Some generator users have felt the annoyance when their generator turns itself off due to a faulty sensor rather than a lack of oil.
This is the main reason you would bypass the low oil sensor on your generator. Below we will be looking at how to bypass it so that you can continue using your generator without it shutting itself off.
Why are low oil sensors important?
As we have mentioned above, the oil sensor can be an excellent safety feature to protect your generator from running on no oil.
Without oil within the generator’s system, there will not be sufficient lubrication for the metal components within the engine.
These metal pieces will rub together as the generator continues to run, wearing them down much quicker than they should be.
If the engine continues to run without oil, it will start blowing out a thick, black smoke before shutting down and not turning back on.
There is bound to be a lot of damage done to the inner workings of the generator, which is sure to cost you a lot of money to fix or replace.
So, the low oil sensor is a very important feature that a lot of modern generators have included.
Why would you want to bypass the low oil sensor?
Even though the sensor is a great feature when it works properly, it can be a pain when the sensor becomes faulty and stops reading the oil levels accurately.
At first, the generator will shut off automatically and give you an indication that you need to top up the oil levels. But once you go to do this, you find that there is still more than enough oil within the generator.
However, the generator will not turn back on as the sensor is still reading not enough oil. You are now stuck with an unusable generator that should be working, but is not.
The long-term fix to this issue is to, of course, get the sensor fixed by a professional. But what happens when you cannot get to a professional right away and need to use the generator now?
That is where bypassing the low oil sensor comes into play. While it is not a long-term fix, it can help you get your generator back up and running for long enough for you to finish the job that you were halfway through.
Bypassing the low oil sensor
Bypassing the low oil sensor is actually very quick and easy to do, so you can get your generator back running within minutes of diagnosing what the issue is.
Make sure that there is enough oil in the generator before doing this to double-check that it is the sensor that is faulty and not that there is low oil.
Now that you’re sure the sensor needs to be bypassed, you can temporarily disconnect the low oil sensor. First, you will need to find the sensor. It is usually found on the front of the generator near the oil fill cap.
You’re looking for two yellow wires that are connected by a simple socket. All you need to do is disconnect these two wires from each other to bypass the low oil sensor.
Now you can start your generator as you would normally. It should jump into action without any issues as the sensor has been disconnected.
Once the generator is running, you should now reconnect the yellow wires and tuck them behind the panel, where you found them in the first place. The generator should run as normal now until you power it off.
What causes the low oil sensor to activate?
There are numerous causes that can make your low oil sensor activate and prevent your generator from working as it should.
Not enough oil
Not enough oil within the generator is the most obvious cause of a low oil sensor activating. Even if you’ve just topped up your generator with more oil, you might have a leak within the generator.
The older your generator is, the more wear there is going to be inside and therefore the more likely a leak is. Maintenance is incredibly important in preventing leaks, so make sure to keep on top of this.
Make sure you use the correct oil in your portable generator. Read our guide on generator oil here!
The more an engine has been used, the more wear an engine is going to have. In time, prolonged usage can restrict the flow of oil to the engine and therefore cause the oil pressure to drop.
The low oil sensor will then activate and prevent you from causing any more damage.
Again, your issues might be as simple as there is a faulty sensor inside of your generator. There could be nothing wrong with the generator at all, in fact. If your generator is full of oil and there are no obvious signs of trouble, such as a high temperature or funny sounds, you might need to replace the sensor.
A clogged filter can prevent the oil from getting where it needs to be within the generator. This can lead to insufficient lubrication of the inner parts of a generator and the sensor from becoming confused.
If you catch a clogged filter quickly enough you might be able to change the filter, but prolonged use of a clogged filter could lead you to have to replace the entire generator.