Generators are the one thing that gives us a sense of safety whenever there is a power outage. For most people, when there is a power loss, this is the time they run to the storage, rearrange the room looking for their life-saving generator. Many generator owners don’t understand how to store their generators.
Many store their generator in their garage, with the tank full of gasoline, not worrying about the fuel gumming up or even dusting up. Fortunately, that won’t be the case for you after you read this post. I’ve put together useful insights on how to store a generator, and I hope that in the end, you’ll have a clear picture of what to do and not to do while storing your generator. Follow along!
- How to You Store a Generator: Preparation
- How to Store a Generator: Where to Store It & Best Storage Solutions
Why Is Storing a Generator Correctly Important?
For sure, a generator is a lifesaver when you’re in the dark due to power loss. It’s not once or twice that I had enjoyed the service of a generator in my home, work, or that time when I went camping. But that wouldn’t have been the case if I never knew how to store the generator properly.
Storing your generator correctly will help you ensure it is ready next time a power emergency arises. What’s more, the ideal storage measure also keeps you safe while operating the generator.
Proper generator storage is also an ideal way of sheltering it from external generator damaging factors such as snow, humid, and rain. That way, you won’t have to worry about rust, corrosion, or any dust and dirt build-up in the unit’s mechanical parts.
How to You Store a Generator: Preparation
When most of us visit a generator store, we don’t think about how we will store the generator. While stacking your generator in the garage or keeping in your work shed might seem like an ideal plan, that’s not how you properly store it.
Like any other piece of equipment, a generator can also rust, corrode, or experience temperature fluctuations. Storing your generator correctly requires you to understand the type of generator you own, the kind of fuel it uses, the weather in your areas, and its effect on the generator circuitry and mechanical components.
How to store a generator depends on how long you intend to keep the generator; there are a short-term storage plane and a long-term storage term. Let look at these two individuals.
#a) Short-Term Storage
The short-term period means you’re storing your generator for a month or less without using it. It might be you’re planning to go camping next month, or you’re taking a break from your job site. Whichever the reason, here is how to store a generator for a short-term period.
The first thing you need to do is clean the generator. Remove all the dust, dirt, and debris on it. Also, use this opportunity to check for the air filters and oil. Additionally, check for any oil or fuel leaks and get them fixed if found any.
You can get an idea generator cover to protect it from dust and other debris. Get a model that protects small animals like rodents from building houses under the cover.
#b) Long-Term Storage
When it comes to storing the generator for an uncertain term or more than a month, you need to take some extra steps. However, this is for generators that use fuel. If your generator doesn’t run on fuel like solar generators, you can disregard these steps.
Step 1: Cleaning and Maintenance
Manufacturers always offer the best way to maintain your generator in the owner’s manual, as every model has its maintenance procedure. Every generator has a set of recommended steps to follow before you can store it for an extended period. In general, most generators will require the following:
It would be best if you did both internally and externally. You can use mild household detergent and low-pressure water for the rinsing. While at it, inspect your generator for fuel and oil leaks and any accumulated debris. Don’t just clean the frame alone; you also need to clean the cooling air slots, muffler, engine controls, carburetor, and springs. Please give it a general cleaning to make it look cleanly attractive.
#b) Maintenance and Servicing
Apart from giving your generator a generator cleaning, it does also need some maintenance and serving. It’s a way to keep the generator ready for the next use. It also helps lower the cost of repairs and improves the generator’s efficiency next time you use it. In short, generator maintenance and servicing acts as a tune-up for when you take it out of the storage.
Of course, you can do the maintenance and servicing by yourself. If you want to try it out, read more on generator maintenance and service here. If DIY maintenance and servicing isn’t an option for you, you can hire a professional technician or company to help you out.
Step 2: Fuel Storage
One of the problems many generator owners face after long-term generator storage is fixing the fuel line as it was destroyed by gone-bad fuel. That is why you must prepare or empty the generator fuel before storage. You can decide to remove all the gasoline in the generator fuel tank or add a stabilizer to protect it and extend its shelf life. The stabilizer helps stabilize gasoline, thus preventing phase separation.
Untreated gasoline could clog the engine or cause rusting of the tank as time passes by. Most gas stabilizers offer the ability to protect the gas for a year, depending on the weather and climate conditions. However, most generator experts advise against using stabilizer-treated gas stored for eight months as it might not be safe.
Bad fuel could form gum, blocking the fuel system or create fuel deposits clogging the engine. You must add the stabilizer if you’ll be storing it for less than a year, preferably less than eight months. Another thing, if you’re uncertain about how long you will keep the generator, you have to empty the fuel tank to be safe.
How to Store a Generator: Where to Store It & Best Storage Solutions
After preparing your generator for short-term or long-term storage, the next crucial thing is to find the best place to keep the generator. I might have touched on this earlier, but let’s dig deeper. Your generator storage solution must ensure it’s protected from elements. It would be best to make sure the spot is well protected against hurricanes or other disaster emergencies. And best of all, the site needs to be easy to access.
A garage is a familiar place for most homeowners; most people use it to store their generators. It’s an ideal spot, especially if it’s a fuel-free generator. The space offers optimal protection from elements, and it’s more of a temperature-controlled environment. It’s also easily accessible during an emergency.
#2. Outdoor Shed
If you don’t have a garage or if you want to store the generator away from your home, you can use an outdoor shed. However, the spot isn’t ideal for storage during the winter. Prolonged exposure to the cold weather might damage your investment. If you don’t have another storage solution, you can insulate the room or use an insulated cover to protect the generator’s delicate components.
#3. Generator Enclosures
Another storage solution is getting an ideal generator enclosure; it’s a worthy investment to protect your generator outdoors. It will help you save the generator from dirt, debris, and moisture. And you know what, most of these units have plenty of ventilation, allowing you to run the generator while inside the enclosure; no need to remove it. However, they are ideal for short-term storage.
A generator is an expensive investment that you don’t have to buy another year once you acquire it. However, that is determined by how well you handle it and how you store it. And as you might have seen from this post, how to keep a generator is quite simple. All you need is to make sure it’s clean and prepare it for long-term storage. You can store your generator for years and still use it when an emergency arises with an ideal protective spot. You should know that you must exercise the generator engine once or twice a month to ensure there is enough lubrication during the storage period.