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Over the past 114 years, Briggs & Stratton has built a reputation as a company that produces innovative and reliable products. Across the globe, Briggs & Stratton supports customers and provides them with dependable power solutions. This company is the world’s largest producer of standby generators. These generators have definitely earned their place as being the best of the best. Still, even Briggs & Stratton’s superior generators are prone to the occasional error. Fortunately, these errors often have dependable solutions you can rely on to restore your generator. The steps you need to take to troubleshoot the issue depend on the error code. These steps can usually be found in the generator’s manual as calling a professional is typically the last resort. In this article, we’ve listed some common errors you may encounter along with tips on how to resolve the issue.

Fault Detection System

Briggs & Stratton generators are equipped with sensors that automatically shut down the generator in the event of potentially damaging conditions, such as low oil pressure, high oil temperatures, over speed, etc. To your benefit, these generators have a control panel which will digitally display the fault codes. An LED indicator is installed at an inside location. The LED will turn on and off in a series of flashes if certain issues are detected. The blink pattern is repeated with a brief pause between each series. So, the fault code shown on the control panel and the number of blinks on the mounting plate will indicate the detected fault.

Low Battery Voltage (Code: FC_1)

Briggs and Stratton Error Code - Code FC_1
Low battery voltage is indicated by fault code FC_1 and one blink on the LED indicator. This error is a result of the generator not starting because the starting battery output power is below what is needed to crank the engine. This issue may be due to a faulty battery or trickle charger circuit. To fix this problem, contact your local service center to check the battery trickle charge output. Then you should remove the 15 Amp fuse and disconnect the battery from the generator. The battery should then be taken to a local battery store for analysis. It’s advised you replace the battery after it’s been fully recharged, connecting the NEGATIVE cable last. Finally, re-install the 15 Amp fuse.

 

Low Oil Pressure (Code: FC_2)

Briggs and Stratton Error Code - Code FC_2
Low oil pressure is indicated by fault code FC_2 and two blinks on the LED indicator. The unit comes equipped with an oil pressure switch using closed contacts held open by engine oil pressure during operation. In the event, oil pressure drops below 8 psi range, switch contacts close, and the engine will shut down. To remedy this issue, you should add the recommended oil to the FULL mark on the dipstick. If the low oil pressure condition persists, the engine will start but will shut down after about 20 seconds, prompting the diagnostic LED to flash. If this happens, contact an authorized service facility.

Low Voltage (Code: FC_3)

Briggs and Stratton Error Code - Code FC_3
Low voltage is indicated by fault code FC_3 and three blinks on the LED indicator. This fault is caused by a restriction in the fuel flow, a broken or disconnected signal lead, a failed alternator winding, the opening of the control panel circuit breaker, or the overloading of the Home Generator System. In this situation, it’s advised that you contact your local service center.

Engine Failing to Start (Code: FC_4)

Briggs and Stratton Error Code - Code FC_4
When the engine fails to start, you’ll see the fault code FC_4 and four blinks on the LED indicator. This prevents the generator from damaging itself by continually trying to start. Each time the system is directed to start, the unit will crank for 10 seconds then pause for 10 seconds. This pattern of cranking and pausing will repeat itself for about 2 minutes. If the system doesn’t begin producing electricity after 2 minutes, the unit will stop cranking and the LED will blink. In this situation, you should check to make sure the generator’s main circuit breaker is in the ON (closed) position in order for the sensing leads to verify that the unit is running. The cause of this issue is most likely no fuel supply. Check the inside and outside fuel shut off valves to ensure that they are fully open. Other causes could be faulty spark plugs, a failed engine ignition or the engine air filter is clogged. You may need to contact your installer for assistance if you can’t fix these problems.

Low Frequency (Code: FC_5)

Briggs and Stratton Error Code - Code FC_5
Low frequency is indicated by fault code FC_5 and five blinks on the LED indicator. This feature protects devices connected to the transfer switch by shutting the generator down if the engine runs slower than the preset limit. If the generator output frequency is below 55 Hz for 3 seconds, the generator will shut down. This issue is caused by a failed engine governor or by excessive loads on the generator. To fix this problem, you may need to contact your installer or local service center for assistance.

Engine Overspeed (Code: FC_6)

Briggs and Stratton Error Code - Code FC_6
Engine overspeed is indicated by fault code FC_6 and six blinks on the LED indicator. Like the low frequency error code, this feature protects devices connected to the transfer switch by shutting the generator down. But it’s triggered if the engine happens to run faster than the preset limit. If the generator output frequency is 65-70 Hz, after three seconds, the generator will shut down. If the generator output frequency is greater than 70 Hz, the generator will shut down instantly. This error is the result of a failed engine governor. To fix this issue, you should contact your installer or local service center.

High Oil Temperature (Code: FC_7)

Briggs and Stratton Error Code - Code FC_7
High oil temperature is indicated by fault code FC_7 and seven blinks on the LED indicator. The contacts of the temperature switch are usually open. If the engine oil temperature exceeds 140 degrees Celsius, fault will be detected, and the engine will shut down. Common causes for this error include running the unit with access doors removed, obstructed air inlet or exhaust port, low oil level, or debris in the engine cylinder cooling fins. To resolve this issue, remove any accumulated debris and obstructions, and let the engine cool down. Ensure that the oil service door and/or the control panel door is installed whenever the unit is running.

Transfer Switch Fault (Code: FC_8)

Briggs and Stratton Error Code - Code FC_8
A transfer switch fault is indicated by fault code FC_8 and eight blinks on the LED indicator. For this particular issue, it’s best to contact your installer right away rather than try to fix the issue yourself.

Conclusion

There are a variety of error codes that you may see pop up on your Briggs & Stratton control panel. Although this may not be something you encounter often, you should still have an idea of how to resolve the issue. What’s more, is that the information found here could be utilized as preventative measures for you to take for your generator. You could solve the problem before any real damage is done. Hopefully, the information you’ve read here can help you navigate certain predicaments as they arise.

Contact Santella Electric, Fairfield County’s Generator Experts.