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Preparing Your portable generator for winter storage

Preparing Your portable generator for winter storage


With autumn just a few weeks away, we are reminded that winter weather is right around the corner. As colder temperatures approach, homeowners will begin to restock their sheds and garages with lawn equipment and power tools that will remain in storage until next year’s spring cleaning. However, owners of portable generators are encouraged to properly prepare their products for long-term storage. If you plan on putting your generator away and do not expect to use your unit for 30 days or more, complete the following tasks to help extend the life of your valued product and ensure its long-term performance.


Completely drain the unit of fuel

Failure to do so can cause gum deposits to form in the carburetor, fuel tank and other fuel system parts. These deposits can lead to irreparable damage when the generator is unutilized for an extended period of time. Drain fuel by performing the following steps:

  • Use an automatic style siphon to filter fuel into an appropriate container
  • After fuel is drained, run the engine until it stops from a lack of fuel.
  • Once the unit has stopped, drain oil from the crankcase while the engine is still warm
  • Refill with an oil grade recommended in the unit’s owner’s manual
  • Remove spark plug and pour approximately 0.5 ounces of engine oil into the cylinders

Be sure to cover the spark plug hole with a rag to avoid spray while you crank the engine’s recoil starter a few times to lubricate the piston rings and cylinder bore. Once these tasks have been completed, install and tighten the spark plug and ensure that the spark plug wire is disconnected—doing so will avoid accidental kick starts that can potentially lead to injury.
If you feel uncomfortable performing any of the aforementioned tasks, you can extend the life of the gasoline by adding a commercially available fuel stabilizer to the fuel. It is important to note that storing gasoline from one season to the next is generally not recommended, and any tank containing gasoline should be kept in a well-ventilated area clear of open flames, sparks or pilot lights. If you notice that your gasoline contains rust or dirt, replace it immediately. When used, rusty or dirty gasoline will cause problems with the engine’s fuel system and carburetor.

Once properly prepared for storage, allow the generator to cool down, and wipe it clean of dust and debris. Doing so will ensure the unit’s cooling air slots and openings are free of any obstructions. If possible, store the unit indoors and cover it to protect the unit from dust and dirt, both of which can accumulate when a product goes unused for months on end. It is also important to note that following the maintenance schedule provided in each unit’s respective manual plays a vital role in ensuring optimal product performance from one season to the next. To learn more about general maintenance requirements for Generac brand generators, click (here< link to “Preparedness” piece).

If you have any questions about completing any maintenance or long-term storage tasks, do not hesitate to contact Generac directly at 888-GENERAC (436-3722).
To access your product’s owner’s manual online, use the model or serial number of your generator for searching purposes here.