Generators are one of the most necessary items for home use. They are a must-have in case of power outages or other urgencies.
While they can help you through electricity fails, generators are not something you use daily. Therefore, you need to know how to store a generator to increase longevity.
You got a generator but are not sure how to store a generator properly? We listed several precautions and tips for you to store your generator safely.
- 1 How to store a generator when out of use?
- 2 How long can a generator sit without use?
- 3 Short-term storage conditions
- 4 Long-term storage conditions
- 5 Should you run a generator dry before storing it?
- 6 Is it better to store a generator with or without gas?
- 7 Conclusion
How to store a generator when out of use?
Portable generators are handy as backup power resources. They can keep your house and work running and keep you safe. As much as it is a necessary investment, it is costly too.
Nonetheless, if you own an outdoor or portable generator, it is crucial to know how to properly store it. The best method will help to optimize and protect it from external destructive factors.
There is more than one way to ensure a generator is properly stored. I will gladly share our hacks on how to store a generator.
How long can a generator sit without use?
You can store your generator until the next use. Preparation methods will vary according to the storage periods. There are short-term and long-term storage methods.
Short-term storage conditions
Luckily, short-term generator storage doesn’t take a lot of time and effort. Short-term maintenance is simple because you won’t have to take too much care of the equipment, especially if you are not planning to use your generator for a week or more.
Clean off the dust and dirt
Dust and dirt can clog the engine and reduce the generator’s durability. In addition, it can be a fire hazard if the bits of dust will drift into the fuel tank. Therefore, you have to keep the engine clean for safety measures.
For instance, you can increase your generator’s longevity if you swab it once in 4-5 days to keep the dirt off.
First and foremost rule, never use water to clean your generator! Water makes metallic components rust. On the other hand, generators produce electricity, which means you can get electrocuted in the process.
Therefore, avoid using a pressure washer or spraying it with a watering hose. Use a non-flammable degreaser cloth when cleaning the dirt off your generator. You can also use soft-bristled brushes to remove the dirt bits. Cleaning agents are also not recommended for use.
Conduct regular check-ups
Inspect the outer particles, units, gas tank, wheels, and other components for damages. You have to check the generator’s exterior to detect if there are loose wires, bolts, or broken parts.
You can always peek at your owner’s manual for more information. Doing so allows you to fix the generator on time and prevent electrocution.
Long-term storage conditions
If you are planning to store your generator for a longer period, you need to prepare your generator beforehand. The preparation methods are listed below.
Clean your unit inside and out
Once again, when it comes to properly storing, keeping your generator clean is an absolute must! Accumulated debris makes your generator wear out quickly. Moreover, it is dangerous if it clogs the engine.
Therefore, you need to make sure to clean off all the residues and oil debris before you put the generator in storage. Remember not to use water when cleaning the unit.
Check the oil
Before you decide to put your generator in storage, check the oil levels. Normally, the unit won’t use up a lot of oil if there are no leaks.
Therefore, it is important to check the levels and top them up if needed. Most generators do not need more than several teaspoons.
Should you run a generator dry before storing it?
If you don’t intend to use your generator for weeks or months, it is better to dry the engine before storing it. We will share with you a simple way to empty your carburetor. Just take your generator outside and run it until it uses up all the remaining fuel in the fuel lines.
Is it better to store a generator with or without gas?
One of the questions generator owners ask themselves is, “should I drain the gas out of my generator?“. If you are planning to store a generator for a long time, it is better not to leave fuel inside.
The gasoline in the gas tank may start altering due to phase separation. The phase separation initiates when ethanol separates from gas, which leads to gum formation. If the tank remains full, this may cause corrosion.
Additionally, gasoline is extremely flammable. If left in a fuel tank unattended, this may lead to very unwanted results. If you don’t want to waste your fuel by pouring it out, a fuel stabilizer can be a great way to store gas.
Most stabilizers work as an anti-oxidizing agent and protect gas from going bad when combined with gasoline.
A fuel stabilizer prevents rusting and helps to store gas in the generator safely. Add a fuel stabilizer to a full tank of fuel.
After you added a stabilizer, run the engine to let the fuel stabilizer spread through the system. This way, the gas won’t spoil and will not erode the plastic parts of the generator.
Check for parts that need to be fixed or replaced
While storing a generator for a long period, you need to keep it in top condition. Regularly check your generator for parts with signs of wear and tear and fix them.
You need to check that engine controls, cooling air slots, spark plug handles, and wheels are intact.
You should be especially aware of fuel leaks and potent gas smell. If you are not sure how to inspect the damaged parts, you can consult a professional technician.
This way, you will get a great chance to have an expert’s advice and tune up your generator.
Annual maintenance is a key
If done correctly, storing your generator is simple. All you have to do is perform annual maintenance and regularly replace the spark plugs and the air filter. You can also look up some recommendations in your owner’s manual.
Only store a generator in a dry place or a cool place
No matter where you choose to keep your generator stored, there are some storage conditions that you need to meet. Firstly, you should store the unit in an area with optimal protection. Secondly, keep a generator inside a temperature-controlled environment.
Generator enclosures are the best option if you are looking for a place suited for your generator storage.
Generator enclosures provide enough cover from dust and rain and also work as a great shelter from cold weather.
The outdoor shed is another storage place. However, compared with generator enclosures, an outdoor shed can barely protect the generator from bad weather and are not always in easy access. However, you can optimize a shed to meet your needs by following guides on the internet.
A garage is a perfect place for generator storage and is very convenient for use. Compared to an outdoor shed or a generator enclosure, a garage offers optimal protection from unfavorable weather conditions and keeps dirt away from the equipment.
To conclude, we would like to say that no matter if you own a gas generator or a standby unit, it is essential to know how to store your generator properly.
Our list provides you with methods to store your generator not only efficiently but also safely.
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