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Generator Storage - Recomendations??

I recently purchased a Generac GP5500 generator to get me thru hurricane Sandy up here in NY. The storm has passed and my power is back on. My question what should I do with the gasoline and the oil in the generator. I am hoping that I won't be needing the unit in the near future and would like to store it - either in my garage or leave outside with a tarp over it.

This is what I have done so far:
1 - Shut off the fuel supply to the engine and then proceeded to run the unit unit it shut down.
2 - The tank says it is on empty but looking inside - below the screen, I suspect a half a gallon, maybe less. I threw in a little stablilizer for now.
3 - Unlike my ariens snow blower the carburetor doesn't have a spring pin to push up and get that last bit of gasoline out of the unit, so not sure about that situation.

Some have recomended keeping the unit filled and running it monthly. I was told the genorator is not like a snow blower and should be run on a regular basis. This is contrary to what the manual says if you don't plan on using the thing.

The book says:
1 - add stablizer
2 - run until the unit stops and when it cools drop the oil
3 - refill the oil
4 - pull the spark plug - add 15ml of oil into the cylinder and plug up with a rag, pull the chord to lubricate, then put the spark plug back but don't connect,
5 - wipe down the unit and store.

So - i'm asking the pros - what is their take on this...
A - Gasoline and Oil(follow manual or follow other advise)
B - Is outside OK - with a tarp - (plastic or Canvas?)


Re: Generator Storage - Recomendations??

One of the problems with a generator is that it can loose it's magnetization and will not out put. It is common enough that there are dozens of sites explaining how to magnetize a generator such as http://www.ehow.com/how_12135827_remagnetize-electric-generator.html .This usually happens with long time storage. It is not a disaster but it is an inconvenience when the Gen is needed. The choice is yours. I keep mine filled and run it with a load every month, but I live in the country and outages may be more common than where you live.


A. Spruce
Re: Generator Storage - Recomendations??

Anything with an engine needs to be run regularly to keep it running and in good shape. Think about it, if you let your car sit for 6 months between uses, would you expect it to start and run the next time you put the key in the ignition?

If it were mine I'd run it monthly, with a load as Jack suggests. At the worst, you've wasted a little time and gas to do so once a month, at best, you have a generator that will start on command and operate as expected without hassles. What more could you hope for?

Re: Generator Storage - Recomendations??

We run ours regularly too, but then we work construction and go camping and have hurricanes...

Re: Generator Storage - Recomendations??

Late posting again! Small engines have small jets and passages in the carb which gum up with todays rotten fuels very quickly. Here's what I do since I rarely use my generator but need it to run at a moment's notice. I keep about 1/4 tank of non-ethanol fuel in it, conditioned with a fuel stabilizer. I run it without a load every couple months till it gets completely warmed up- say ten minutes. I turn it off, shut off the fuel valve, let it cool, add some more fuel with stabilizer, then put it away. I run it with a heavy load a couple times a year to be sure the generator side gets a workout too. Once a year I either use it and run all the old fuel out or I drain it and start the process again- old fuel goes into the old work van. This is also when I remove the water trap at the fuel shut-off and carb bowl to get any condensation out. Both get a spray of carb cleaner- carb passages too. Then I run it a bit before storing. I never store a dry carb so the gaskets don't dry out and crack. Oil and spark plug changes are as needed and not part of my storage scheme. Stored stabilized fuel for it goes into the work truck 3-4 times a year and the cans restocked with fresh stabilized fuel.

I'm a Ham Radio operator and involved with emergency communications. I've heard of many methods but this one is common among my kind and rarely do any of us have problems getting our generators going doing it this way. I also know small engine repair guys who recommend this method. Their consensus is the smaller the engine the more often you need to run it, and to never use ethanol-enhanced fuel in a small engine as ethanol attracts water which small carbs can't deal with like a car can.


Re: Generator Storage - Recomendations??

This problem with house (gas) generators is precisely why I decided to wait until Generac came out with their new LP5500 propane unit (http://www.generac.com/Portables/LP5500/). No storage problems, and nothing to ever gum up. Plus if there's a real disaster and gas is at a shortage, propane will be easier to find, and no long lines to wait in. You Tube is filled with videos of people having problems with gas generators gumming up, even when stabilizers are used. If I had a gas unit I would run it every so often, as gas does not keep very long, typically just a few months. These articles may help;



Re: Generator Storage - Recomendations??

Could not agree more. When we moved to a new house with well water a 6KW LP generator was one of the very first purchases. The 220V well pump was outfitted with a plug and socket to allow plugging the pump into the generator.

October 2011 was the trial with storm Alfred. Then Irene and Sandy. I do not yet have enough time on the run time meter for an oil change. We got 9 hours of use on one full 20 LP container.

The generator is stored in the basement and the LP in the garage. I never have trouble starting it or moving it outside since it came with wheels.

Then there is this: I helped a friend test her generator that had not run in 15 years. It was a motor generator built locally in the early 70's. It took 4 pulls to finally get it to run, but with that length of storage I was amazed.

LP is the way to go.

Re: Generator Storage - Recomendations??
Condoman wrote:

Then there is this: I helped a friend test her generator that had not run in 15 years. It was a motor generator built locally in the early 70's. It took 4 pulls to finally get it to run, but with that length of storage I was amazed.

LP is the way to go.

***, 15 years.... That's pretty impressive :eek: ;) Gas generators were simply not designed for 'occasional' residential use. They were designed for builders on site use, where they get used frequently. When gas sits it gets gummed up. Doesn't matter if it's in a generator or your car. I learned this lesson the hard way. Hurricane Sandy forced me to look at things differently. I am also going to be designing a solar and wind alternative (http://www.sunforceproducts.com/results.php?CAT_ID=2). Electricity is too important to not have it when you need it.

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