How To Safely Store Your Portable Generator Fuel
While preparing to store your camper for the end of summer trips, you may wonder how to do the same for your portable generator fuel safely. Here’s all you need to know about safely storing your portable generator fuel. Here, you’ll find ways to store your excess gas short- or long-term.
Stockpiling Extra Fuel
If you have excess fuel, you need to find space for it. In the case of an emergency, one five-gallon gas can isn’t going to suffice for large amounts. Instead, you’ll need other sizes that condense your current inventory.
Since you have a lot to store, it’s better to have cans that have room to house up to twenty-five gallons of gasoline. As you hold your gasoline in these tanks, ensure you place in a gas stabilizer for every five gallons. The stabilizer keeps the fuel fresh for an entire year.
Storing Fresh Gasoline
As for fresh gasoline, you may need to use it in your portable generator right away, but it doesn’t. In an emergency, it’s best to add a stabilizer to your tank for better storage. When inserted, the stabilizer prevents the gas from gumming, meaning that gas sticks to metal parts and obstructs the generator's performance.
Ensure the generator runs for 20 minutes monthly to help break the oil down. Otherwise, keep it stored in one container between uses.
How To Maintain Storage
Maintaining storage is just as important as placing the fuel inside containers on shelves. When organizing everything, pick out rollout carts with wide frames, and put them in a ventilated area, like a garage or shed.
While inspecting your tanks, check for pressurization. You can tell if something’s pressurizing by its appearance—if the outer part swells like a balloon, you need to release the fumes. You don’t need to do this often, but inspecting and cleaning the area is essential.
When you’re releasing fumes, ensure you unscrew the cap slowly. Then, after the fumes are gone, go ahead and cap it back up and place it away. Make sure that when you open these containers, you’re doing it away from sunlight and heat sources and on a wooden table with no carpeting underneath.
Storing for Long-Term
Depending on your climate, you may need to store your generator for an extended period of time. If so, follow the next steps on how to properly store your portable generator fuel.
Perform an Inspection
When storing your generator, perform an inspection. The inspection helps detect any problems you may encounter the next time you pull the generator and fuel out. You should check for things like faulty wires, rusted or damaged parts, and missing bolts.
Clean the Unit
Even while doing an inspection, you might be cleaning it at the same time. If you end up cleaning while inspecting, you may uncover more problems than you had before. So, while cleaning, list all the issues you find so you can take them to a professional.
Aside from the inspection, you will clear out debris and dirt with a soft brush. Use a degreaser and cloth to wipe down the interior of grease and other debris.
Drain the Fuel
After cleaning the generator, drain your fuel into a separate container. Separately emptying the generator prevents it from gumming and saves you time every month to run it.
Store in a Dry and Cool Place
As you wrap up the above steps, find a suitable place for the generator. When storing, you need a dry, cool place with no exposure to heat sources or sunlight. Your choices are either the shed, garage, or a generator enclosure. All areas are dark and safe enough to store your generator and fuel.
Loading Up for Short-Term
While you may stow it for next month, there’s a chance you’re going to use it again in case of an emergency. So, you’ll perform similar steps as you would for long-term storage, but you can keep the oil inside. Storing for the short-term also has a checklist of things to do.
So, focus on doing these things before stowing them away:
- Close the fuel tank once it’s cooled down
- Dust the machine
- Clear out debris
- Wipe the machine down
Tips for Storing the Fuel Properly
When storing the generator and the gasoline, try out these tips for better organizing so nothing goes wrong. Here are tips for storing the fuel properly:
- Pour your gasoline outdoors
- Keep children away when storing
- Don’t store the fuel in glass containers
- Keep the gas away from the home
What To Do With a Generator That Was Improperly Stored
If you find the generator and its fuel weren’t placed away correctly, such as gas left in the tank and not checked for months, you need to immediately drain and clean it out. Without cleaning out the fuel, you risk ruining the carburetor.
It’s a good idea to bring the generator to a professional to look it over and run it to ensure it’s safe to use later.
How To Refuel Your Generator
Now that you have looked at how to store your extra fuel, let’s learn more about refueling it later. You should first know that when the generator’s running, it builds up a lot of energy and swiftly builds heat. Don’t fill the tank up when it's on, as you risk it spewing out and catching fire.
Start by switching everything off first and let it cool down. Depending on the size, it could take a while to cool down. However, if you’re now pulling it out to use again, you can go ahead and follow these subsequent actions:
- Read the owner’s manual
- Keep the generator outside
- Check the electrical cords
- Avoid operating more appliances than the output
- Fill the oil level to the required amount
Every generator owner needs to know the best steps to properly store their fuel and generator. With the proper steps, you’ll have an efficiently working machine without problems.
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