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Generac Generator Yellow Light: What It Means & How to Reset It

how to reset yellow light on generac generator
Written by Jamie Masterson

Generac generators come with handy control panels with different lights that convey different meanings. These lights are very important, especially the yellow light. In this article, we’ll be showing you what a yellow light means and how to turn it off and reset it. Let’s get into it.

What does a yellow light mean?

If you are taking a lot of energy from a Generac generator, the internal breaker will trip to prevent overloading. A yellow light will appear to notify you that the breaker has been tripped.

The yellow light also functions as a maintenance reminder. It will activate when the oil or air filters need to be changed, the battery needs to be inspected, and if there is a problem with the spark plugs.

How to Reset the Yellow Light

1. Before you start

You will be doing a lot of tests so its best to gather all of your tools before you start to stay organized. To reset a yellow light, you will need:

  • a screwdriver to open the exterior panels
  • a meter to read voltage,
  • hand and eye safety equipment
  • a cloth
  • Extra oil or a replacement filter is also handy if you discover you need to replace them.

Before you open up the generator, unplug and shut it down. Wait for at least 30 minutes to let the generator cool down and any excess electricity to fade away. Once you’ve gathered your tools and the generator is cool, you can begin.

2. Remove the panels

Removing the panels lets you see all of the inner workings of the generator so you can easily access everything. All you need to do is take your screwdriver and loosen all of the screws holding the panels. Make sure you keep track of them so you don’t lose any. Loose debris getting into the generator can be catastrophic.

3. Check the oil

  1. The oil pain is located near the top of the generator.
  2. Loosen the oil stick and take a look at the oil level and the color of the oil. If it’s dark, it means the oil is dirty. Dirty oil makes the generator less efficient.
  3. If the oil level is low, make sure to top it up with fresh oil.
  4. Once your oil levels are optimal, it’s time to move on.

4. Check the air filter

  1. Remove the cover of the air filter, then check the air filter.
  2. If the air filter is very dirty, it’s time to replace it. A dirty air filter lowers the generator’s lifespan and its efficiency.
  3. If you don’t have a spare, try to loosen as much of the dirt out as you can. Make sure you’re wearing a facemask when you do this.

5. Check the battery voltage

  1. The battery is located on the bottom right of the generator.
  2. Take your meter and set it to volts.
  3. Test the battery voltage by putting the wires onto the matching terminal.
  4. If the voltage is below or above 12, there is an issue with the battery that needs to be addressed.

6. Finishing up

  1. Once you’ve completed all of the checks, re-attach the panels and screw them in tight.
  2. Before you turn on your generator, make sure you don’t have any appliances connected.
  3. Switch on the generator. The yellow light probably won’t turn on, but if it does, press the enter key on the panel.
  4. Restarting the generator will also reset the internal breaker automatically.

How to Prevent the Yellow Light From Appearing

As we’ve learned, a yellow light on a Generac generator means that some maintenance is required. The best maintenance you can provide is proactive maintenance to prevent anything happening in the first place. Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid the yellow light.

  • Always keep oil and liquid levels optimal. The longer between top ups, the more likely an error will occur and lead to bigger problems.
  • Keep the generator sealed. Debris is the enemy of efficiency, so its best to prevent as much getting in as possible. Always keep the panels on tight and cover any part you aren’t working on.
  • Don’t overwork your generator. A generator should only be used in cases of emergency, and should only power essentials. Appliances like refrigerators and ovens should never be powered through a generator.

Generac error codes

Whenever there is a yellow light, it will usually come with an error code of some kind. This code states exactly what problem occurred. Knowing these codes will help you get to the problem faster. The code meanings are listed below.

  • 1900 – This signals low voltage, meaning a problem with the alternator or battery.
  • 1200/1205 – The generator is running at a high RPM. The interior coils are usually the culprit for this code.
  • 1300 – The oil level is too low. Top up the engine with oil as soon as possible.
  • 2100 – The system has overloaded and the internal breaker has flipped.
  • 1100 – Often caused by power failure, this code means there is overcranking in the engine.
  • 1600 – The RPM is too low.


1. Do Generac generators have a reset button?

Ans: Yes, all Generac models come with a reset button. Resetting the generator will get rid of the yellow light, but it’s best to do the checks to make sure everything is ok.

2. What does a flashing red light mean?

Ans: A flashing red light means the generator’s engine has overheated and needs to be shut down.

About the author

Jamie Masterson

With decade-long experience as a generator technician, Jamie has worked with USA’s top generator manufacturers and suppliers as an independent contractor.

The long years of service to the industry has taught Jamie the ins and outs of troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining all kinds of generators in home, industrial and outdoor settings.

Jamie thinks this platform is a great opportunity to share his tips and tricks with you so you can make the most of such power equipment for better living.

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