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Frequently Asked Questions

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Electrical System

What are some common parts to my engine's electrical system?

Electrical System

A small engine electrical system typically consists of an alternator, rectifier, regulator and 12-volt battery. The alternator itself consists of an assembly of one or more copper windings - collectively know as the stator - and a set of magnets. Like the ignition system, the alternator creates a moving magnetic field to induce current.

Most stators consist of a band of non-adjustable windings mounted under the flywheel and a set of magnets cemented to the inside surface of the flywheel. On some engines, the stator consists of an adjustable armature mounted outside the flywheel that relies on the same magnets as the ignition armature to charge the battery. The result is longer periods of time between surges of voltage and current. Limited amounts of DC voltage and current are produced, and a capacitor is used to handle fluctuations in the voltage output.

Engine/Alternator Replacement Guide - PDF

Briggs & Stratton supplies electrical components pertaining to the engine only.

However, basic schematics of our alternator systems wired to a generic piece of equipment are available in our:

For related information, please visit our Electrical Schematic/Wiring Diagrams and Testing the Electrical System FAQs.

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