A generator is one of those appliances that are used based on need. This means that in some cases, you may not need to use it all for extended periods. Regardless, all generators need proper storage and maintenance. It is the only way to guarantee top performance when needed and extended shelf-life. In this article, you will learn about how to store your generator when not in use.
Why Do I Need to Store my Generator Properly?
Proper storage is crucial to keeping your generator problem-free and long-lasting. Constantly changing environmental factors such as rainfall, snow, excessive heat, and humidity can pose damage risks to your unit. Sound storage ensures your generator is protected from rust and corrosion that can;
- Impair functioning due to damaged parts
- Reduce its shelf life
How Do I Store a Generator When Not in Use?
The kind of storage you will need depends on the amount of time you are unlikely to use your unit. For short-term storage, the process is relatively straightforward. You simply need to clean it according to standard maintenance guidelines and then place it in a cool, well-ventilated place. On the other hand, long-term storage requires extra preparation.
What Are the Top 5 Tips for Storing a Generator When Not in Use?
1. Carry Out a Full Inspection
It is essential to ensure that everything is in place before you store your generator. Carry out a thorough check to find out if there are any loose wires, rusty parts, or even missing bolts. Also, check other components such as the hoses, fuel tank, spark plug, and spark arrest, to name a few. If you find anything out of place, the smart choice is to get a professional to fix it.
2. Clean the Unit
You need to ensure your generator is clean if you plan not to put it to use for some time. Start by dusting it off with a dry cloth or a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris. You can then use a moist cloth dipped in a degreasing agent to remove any grease stuck on the surface.
3. Treat the Fuel
The fuel formulation you use can cause damage to your generator’s fuel system. Old fuel can not only lead to hard starting but also leave gum deposits behind. These deposits can result in a clogged fuel system. Therefore, it is advisable to do one of two things:
- Empty the tank, or
- Add a stabilizer to make the fuel last longer
You can do this yourself or hire a professional to help you out.
4. Change the Engine Oil
First, you need to take out the spark plug and then add 2-3 teaspoons of new engine oil into the cylinder. The next step is to cover the opening with a clean rug and pull your generator’s recoil starter a couple of times. This step is to ensure that the oil is distributed in the cylinder evenly. Once this is done, put the spark plug back in place and ensure that the intake and exhaust valve are secured. The benefit of this procedure is to protect your generator’s engine from internal corrosion when it’s not in use.
5. Keep It in a Cool, Dry Place
Once you are sure you’ve taken all the necessary steps, make sure your unit is stored in a cool, dry place. Ideally, it should be safe from excessive heat, fires, or water. It is also advisable to get a weather-resistant cover.
What Are the Common Risks Associated With Poor Storage of Generators?
Generators are internal combustion engines that generate electricity. Like any other appliance, improper use or storage can often result in disastrous consequences. The common risks of poorly storing your generator are;
- Fires due to contamination of fuel resulting from poor storage preparation
- Accidental shocks as a result of loose wires
- Carbon monoxide emission from the generator’s exhaust as a result of fuel contamination.
- Noise and vibration risk due to malfunctioning or corroded parts
Is It Advisable to Store a Generator Indoors?
Storing your generator in the house is not advisable, whether short or long-term. The basement is not a good option either, especially if your unit relies on gasoline. A fire breakout is an obvious risk when it comes to storing generators indoors. But, generators can also emit harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, which is highly hazardous if fuel contamination occurs.
The top 3 places where you can store your generator are:
- A Generator enclosure
- The Garage
- An Outdoor shed
What Other Precautions Should I Follow When Storing a Generator for Future Use?
Apart from preparing your unit for storage, you also need to ensure that you follow the quarterly, semi-annual, or yearly maintenance schedules without fail. When you commit to having your generator inspected and serviced regularly, it guarantees top performance and longevity. Additionally, proactive maintenance allows you to detect defects early enough such that repairs are done in time. Some of the parts you need to inspect or replace regularly include;
- The cooling system
- The air intake system
- The fuel system
- The electrical system
- Controls such as monitors, bulbs, and voltage regulators, etc.
Whether short or long-term, storing your generator properly can ensure it remains in top condition, as well as durable. However, the tips highlighted in this article are only the starting point to effective storage of generators. Always seek the guidance of a professional since the storage procedures vary from one manufacturer to the next.