non-Camping Related Generator Question

Discussion in 'The Other Stuff' started by Kampus, Apr 9, 2019.

How do you store a generator long term?

  1. Run dry and refuel only when it is needed.

    21.1%
  2. Keep fueled with stabilized fuel and excercise frequently

    63.2%
  3. Other

    15.8%
  1. Kampus

    Kampus Active Member

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    I figured I would take complete advantage with all the experience here regarding generators and I could get a good answer to my question.

    I have two generators, one that is used often for camping and around the yard, and another larger unit that I purchased recently for home use during a power outage.

    The larger generator has been properly broken in and had the initial oil change. I have been running it quarterly with stabilized full for about 20 mins or so with a 500 watt load. On my last exercise run, I ran it completely dry...out of fuel.

    So now my question...
    Is it a better practice to leave it empty and not do any more quarterly runs and just fuel it up when I need it?
    OR
    Refuel it with stabilized fuel and continue to run it quarterly?

    I know a little about a lot, but can never make an adult decisions like this on my own.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I have an 11KW champion generator for the same purpose and keep it fueled all the time..
     
  3. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I have done it both ways and had no trouble. However, my generators have fuel petcocks. While I may leave treated fuel in the tank and is most likely ethanol free fuel if I know it is gonna sit a while, I always turn the petcock to off and let the engine run dry.
     
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  4. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    My whole house jenny will run automatically 20 minutes every 30 days. The others, I run them, when I can remember . All are kept full of fuel
     
  5. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    My 5000w stays full of stabilized gas all the time, so its ready to go at a moments notice. Power goes out around here during the worst weather, so I don't want to be out in that trying to gas the thing up. Generally, it only gets run in the Fall, and again in the Spring for testing both times, with occasional winter use during power outages. It gets plugged to the house to run a few specific items, but is not strong enough to run the whole house. It'll do the furnace, fridge, freezer, sump pump, utility pump, and a few lights. Good enough to keep you somewhat comfortable. Every Fall I dump the gas out of it and use the old gas 50/50 with fresh stuff in my snowblower. This makes sure the generator has somewhat good gas in it for emerg power outages.

    That all said, I guess it depends what your situation is. How much fuel are we talking about? 1 gallon of gas, 20 gallons of gas, 50 gallons of diesel? Carburetors don't like to get wet with fuel and then dried out repeatedly. Gaskets shrink, o rings crack, gum formation in there. Wouldn't hurt to run some fuel injector cleaner through it every once in a while to take care of the gum in the carb.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  6. Buckmaster81

    Buckmaster81 Active Member

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    First, Seafoam. Buy it, use it .

    Second, I voted other because its not as cut and dry as either one. I run dry if I know I wont be using it for more than a month but I also fill it up and run it before bad weather to ensure function and in the spring before an oil change. Then it gets emptied or run dry again until I need it. I ALWAYS keep a healthy dose of sea foam in the tank and when there is ever any sign of trouble it gets a sea foam cleansing. This goes for almost all my small engines.
     
  7. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    You using a genlink setup or manual disconnect ?
     
  8. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    I keep the gas tank full and it has stabilizer in it. I will try to run it once a month for about 10 minutes. During hurricane season I will run it twice a month and usually make sure to have at least 15 gallons on hand when a hurricane is coming near.

    We have a generator tap outside and a manual transfer panel next to the service panel.
     
  9. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    My little 900 watt generator is a 2-cycle, I shut the fuel off & run the carb dry during summer usage. I always use seafoam in the fuel, & drain the tank completely before winter storage. Our new 2k generator is duel fuel, propane or gas, so far, it has only seen propane, I don't plan on using gas in it unless I end up in a 'have to' situation.
     
  10. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    I have it set up for manual connect and disconnect. The appliances that it runs get totally disconnected from the rest of the house so some poor hydro worker down the line doesn't get electrocuted off my generator when he's hooking things back up.
     
  11. Kampus

    Kampus Active Member

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    Really appreciate all the feedback. I'm leaning towards keeping it fueled, if only to not have to fuel it up during a storm. But some of the comments have sparked some other questions.

    1. Seafoam.....i use this religiously in all my lawn equipment as a PM but never considered it a substitute for stabilizer. I always used Stabil in anything that's sits for more than a month. Can Seafoam be used as a stabilizer? I guess I should read the can.

    2. For those that leave it fueled....how long is too long to keep the same unused fuel in them. I thought stabilizer only pushed fuel freshness out about a year.
     
  12. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I try to use it up before the year is done, same with all my gas reserves. I had a snow blower, without a shut off, i had it dry for a few years before needing it. The seals dry rotted. So now i always leave any gas powered tool full of fuel. I treat all my fuel with stable when filling the gas cans. So its always in everything i use.
     
  13. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    I like to dump all the gas out of the Gen every Fall and start with fresh (and stabilized) stuff for the winter months. If I need to deal with gas/fuel problems during the summer months, thats not too bad, but if there are problems during a winter storm at -20C outside, thats a whole different story.

    I pretty much have zero experience with Seafoam. I ran some through an old outboard motor about 20 years ago, and don't remember any difference in performance. You probably already know lots more about it than what I do.
     
  14. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I have a hard time finding seafoam ...Would like to run it thru the old snowblower to see if it helps.
     
  15. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    Here is a few facts about gasoline fuels and why they go bad. When they are refined into whatever grade you purchased, they begin to go bad. They are made for a temporary self life before being consumed and fuels with alcohol added to them, are the same. They go bad by cross linking with oxygen so they are moved to us via pipes, and there exposure to O2 is minimal. Once we get them they are exposed to it, they head in the direction our engines don't like to burn and gum up our carburetors or injectors. If you run the fuel out of that engine, you aren't really getting it all out and that remaining fuel will go bad, ASAP.

    SeaFoam is a fuel stabilizer that a chemical engineer developed in the 40's who worked in a marine repair shop* and every engine that showed up, had bad fuel in it. Has a sour smell to it that really is easy to identify. I learned all this BS when I worked in a marine engine repair shop. And if you reside in a warm climate, your fuels with deteriorate at a higher rate. We add SeaFoam to all our seasonal use fuels.....

    * some character in Minnesota and SeaFoam is still a MN based company.
     
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  16. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I don't "run down" any of my small engines, haven't for nearly 2 decades. Sta-bil works great.
     
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  17. Buckmaster81

    Buckmaster81 Active Member

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    A quick (okay not really) seafoam story:

    A few years ago I had purchased a honda 2000I generator as a house backup for bad weather. I ended up using it a few times and it really is an awesome machine. 1 maybe two pulls and it just fires up like a dream. As much as I vowed to stay on top of it and exercise it, keep fresh fuel in it, life got in the way and it sat a little longer than I would have liked. I do not have the option here of ethanol free fuel as some places in the US does. Last winter the threat of a snow storm with high winds and ice was forecast for the area. Naturally I filled up a gas can or two and set out to fire up the Honda and make sure it would run when I needed it to.

    To my dismay the trusty red Honda would not idle without the choke on and was terribly difficult to start. I've rebuilt and cleaned plenty of carbs but it was 20 degrees outside and I didn't have a parts kit for replacement seals so I decided not to tear into it and perform a mechanical cleaning on it. A little googleage and sea foam came up and its magical powers on a forum. For 8 bucks a can I figured I would give it a shot. I mixed up a very strong fuel sea foam mix, 30/70 or so. I got the engine running after many pulls and ran it with the choke on for a few minutes making sure the sea foam concoction had made its way deep into the fuel delivery system. I let it sit a few hours while I had dinner to give it time to dissolve whatever was causing the issues. Later that night I went back out, started it up and let it run. It coughed, spit and smoke for a bout 15 minutes but constantly improved little by little until it ran perfectly.
    I had never seen a fuel additive work the way it says its supposed to. Sea foam now goes into every seasonal engine I own, snow blower, ATV, boat, pressure washer, chain saw, leaf blower, trimmer and lawn mower. If anything ever starts acting up, a heavy splash and a WOT run, and over night sit and all is back to normal. I really cant say enough about the stuff. It saved me so many headaches and it works every single time.
     
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  18. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    I see a spray can of Seafoam at The Tire in with all the other fuel additives. Not sure that I've see a bottle of pour in stuff there though.
     
  19. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    The Seafoam corp has got into selling all kinds of Cr5!8\\71. They only thing I used from them is the stabilizer. Our WallyWorld stocks it.
     
  20. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    Two years ago I tried Sea Foam on my small snowblower. It didn't improve things for me. I took it apart, rebuilt it, cleaned it, soaked it in a solvent tank, and just couldn't get it to work, and I was in about $25 at that point. I ordered a cheap $12 carb from Amazon, and it's been perfect ever since. I now buy only ethanol free gasoline for it.
     

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