A generator proves how handy it can be even after sitting in the storage for months during storms and hurricanes. Once the disasters clear, we’re forced to take it back to the storage until when there is a power outage, which can be months. During this time, it’s always best to properly store the generator to have an easy time when you take it out.
How do you properly store a generator? Treat the remaining fuel in the tank with a fuel stabilizer and empty it into a gasoline storage can. Drain the carburetor to prevent gumming. Lubricate the engine cylinder with some oil. Charge the battery, wipe the exterior of any dirt or fuel spills with clothing, and store it in a cold, dry place away from the sun.
As you can tell, you cannot just pick your generator the way it is and place it somewhere you call a store. If you want the generator not to disappoint next time you take out of the storage by not running, it’s crucially important that you learn how to properly store generator, exactly what this post contains.
What Are the Steps Involved in Proper Generator Storage?
All generators need proper storage and maintenance during the time of non-use. A lot can happen to the generator, from gumming of the fuel nozzle in the carburetor, engine cylinder rusting, or even the generator catching fire when stored near fire hazard items with fuel in the tank.
Bad storage can prevent the generator from starting next time you have a power emergency or cause fire, leading to property loss and damages. It’d be best to practice the following generator storage practices to be on the safer size.
Step 1: Disconnect Load
Before you can shut down the generator, it’s always best to unplug the load from the generator to prevent it from drawing the residue magnetism. It’s responsible for allowing an easy start next time you press the ignition key or pull the cord.
Step 2: Check Fuel – Treat or Drain it
Allow the generator to cool down and then open the fuel tank. How much fuel is there? If the fuel level is more than half the tank, add a fuel stabilizer to extend its shelf life.
If you’re storing the generator for less than two weeks, there is no need to drain the fuel. However, it’d be best to keep the carburetor fuel-free to prevent gumming.
If your generator stays more than two weeks in the storage without use, consider draining all the fuel in the generator fuel system. Stale fuel can create all types of issues, from gumming to corrosion of the fuel tank.
When Storing the Generator for Less than Two Weeks
If you will use the generator in less than two weeks, run the generator engine for like 10 minutes for the treated fuel to cycle through the fuel line and carburetor.
Turn the fuel valve to the off position and start the generator engine. Allow it to run until it uses all the fuel in the line, and it stops. It’d take few minutes.
When Storing the Generator for More than Two Weeks
If you plan not to use the generator for more than two weeks, you must drain the fuel line completely. That includes the fuel tank and the carburetor.
For this, you can leave the fuel valve wide open and allow the generator to run until all the fuel in the fuel tank is used up and the engine stops.
There is also the option of turning the generator off and allowing the engine to cool down. Use the fuel drainpipe on your generator to completely drain the remaining fuel in the fuel tank.
Also, open the fuel drain bolt or screw on the bottom side of the generator carburetor to remove any fuel it might be holding.
Drain the treated fuel in a fuel-storage container ideal for holding gasoline and protecting it from outside elements. Wipe any spilled fuel on the generator, tighten the carburetor drain bolt or screw and turn the fuel off.
Step 3: Lubricate the Engine Cylinder
Since the generator will be sitting in the storage, the engine piston won’t be moving up and down. And since it’s its movements that draw oil from the crankcase up, the cylinder might be susceptible to rust over time. That’s why you must lubricate it before storage.
How do you do it?
Remove the spark plug rubber boot and remove the spark plug using a spark plug removal tool or socket. Check your generator’s manual for the right tool size for your generator’s brand and model.
With the spark plug out, pour some clean right-weight oil into the combustion chamber through the spark plug hole.
Slowly crack the generator by pulling the recoil cord. This helps distribute the oil and lubricate the engine chamber.
Reattach the spark plug and its rubber booth.
Step 4: Battery Maintenance
If your generator has an electric start, then it includes a battery. It’d be best to disconnect its leads, wipe them of any dirt and apply some rust inhabitant like petroleum jerry.
Charge the battery and store it in a cool, dry spot.
You can connect it to an automatic trickle charger or a battery maintainer to keep it properly charged when it’s in storage. Also, refer to the user’s manual for the recommended battery maintenance practices.
Like some Champion models, some generators come with a smart battery charger that you can use to maintain it without removing it from the generator.
Step 5: Wipe the Exterior
One thing you won’t like is a generator coated with all the dust and dirt from the storage. To ease the mess, get a damp cloth and clean its exterior surfaces.
You can use an air compressor as a safe distance to dust it out and remove some of the dirt and debris in hard-to-rich areas. Make sure you clean the vents, too – leave them unobstructed.
Step 6: Storage
Where you store, your generator is as crucial as all the above steps. The best place to store the generator is a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. It must also protect your generator from all the wet elements, including rain, ice, and snow.
What’s more, your generator storage has to withstand hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters. Don’t forget to pick a spot that’s easy to access.
The spot you pick in the storage space must be open to keep away the pest that might refuge on the unit. Another thing, you can use a generator cover to protect it from dust and dirt.
Best Places to Store Your Generator
Almost every homeowner has a garage, which is the most common and obvious spot for storing a generator. It’s excluded from other rooms in the house, making it a perfect area if you’re storing the generator without fuel.
But before you can grab your generator and fit any available space available, make sure your garage is a temperature-controlled environment, easily accessible during an emergency, and protect against elements.
I should also mention, the garage has to be rodent-free to prevent them from damaging the wires and tubes on your generator.
If there is no garage space in your home, you can opt for an outdoor shed. But before you can store the generator there, make sure it can handle the winter elements, including extreme cold. You can even insulate it to protect the generator further.
Don’t get me wrong; there are secure generator enclosures that you can use for short-term generator storage as you wait for an emergency.
A heavy-duty outdoor enclosure resistant to weather elements and shielded from direct sunlight can be an excellent option.
It must be pest proofed and also with enough ventilation. It can be a perfect place to store your generator with fuel.
Does a propane generator’s fuel line require cleaning before storage?
Unlike gasoline, propane is a clean fuel that burns completely, leaving nothing behind. That means you don’t need to clean the carburetor or the fuel line. All you need is to detach the propane tank, wipe it down and recharge the battery. It should be able to wait for the next emergency, even if it takes months to come.
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