Prior to and during the widespread power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, many New Jersey residents became first-time owners of portable generators. Many new owners may not realize that safely storing your generator is just as important as taking precautions while using it. After all, you want to be sure that your generator will start the next time you need it. Here are some tips for how to store your generator safely.
• For long-term storage it’s typically recommended to store your generator without any gasoline in it. If you do not wish to run the generator until it is empty for the sake of burning fuel, you could transfer the gas to your automobile. Most generators use the same type of fuel (regular, unleaded) as cars. Drain your generator according to directions in your owner’s manual.
• Although removing the gas is highly recommended, you can store the generator with the gas inside if you use a stabilizer to prevent corrosion. If you choose to store the generator with the gas inside, it is best to leave the gas tank full and refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for more details about your specific model.
• If you are storing gasoline separately, use an approved gas container and keep it in a well ventilated area away from the house in either a shed or unattached garage. Gasoline will stay longer if stored in a cool, dry place and kept around 95% full with a commercial stabilizer added.
According to the website of generator manufacturer Briggs & Stratton, before storing the generator, it is important to thoroughly clean the interior and exterior.
- Clean the generator looking around and underneath for signs of oil or fuel leaks.
- Clean any accumulated debris from inside and outside the generator, making sure the linkage, spring, and other engine controls are clean.
- Check that the area around and behind the muffler is free from any combustible debris.
- Inspect cooling air slots and openings—these areas must be clean and unobstructed.
- Before storing your generator, take it for a tune-up to ensure it is ready for use if/when you may need it. Most local lawn mower repair stores are able to provide this service.
Properly storing your generator will help keep it ready for the next time you need it.