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How To Store A Generator How To Store A Generator


How To Store A Generator

Written by: Henry Campbell

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Welcome to our guide on how to store a generator properly. Whether you use a generator for emergency power during outages or for recreational purposes like camping or RV trips, properly storing it when not in use is essential for its longevity and performance. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to store your generator safely and effectively to ensure it remains in good working condition for years to come.

A generator is a valuable investment, and improper storage can lead to damage, corrosion, and even reduced efficiency. By following the storage recommendations in this guide, you can protect your generator from the elements, prevent fuel-related issues, and maintain its overall functionality.

Before we dive into the storing process, it’s worth noting that different types of generators may have specific storage requirements. Therefore, it’s always recommended to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions for your specific make and model. With that said, let’s get started with the first step – preparation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Properly storing your generator is crucial for its longevity, performance, and safety. Follow the step-by-step guide to ensure optimal condition during storage, protecting your investment and maintaining functionality.
  • From preparation to safety measures, each step plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity and functionality of your generator. Follow the guidelines for a reliable power source when you need it most.

Importance of Proper Generator Storage

Properly storing your generator is crucial for its long-term performance and reliability. Neglecting proper storage can result in a variety of issues that can damage your generator and potentially render it useless when you need it most. Here are some key reasons why proper generator storage is important:

  1. Preventing Corrosion: Generators are susceptible to corrosion, especially when exposed to moisture, humidity, or extreme temperatures. Proper storage techniques can help protect your generator from these elements and minimize the risk of corrosion, which can damage its internal components and reduce its lifespan.
  2. Maintaining Fuel Quality: Storing fuel for an extended period can lead to fuel degradation and the buildup of contaminants. If not addressed, these issues can clog the fuel system, carburetor, or fuel injectors, leading to starting problems or engine damage. Following proper fuel management techniques during storage can help maintain fuel quality and preserve the generator’s performance.
  3. Ensuring Battery Longevity: Many generators have battery-powered components, such as electric start systems. Leaving the battery connected without proper storage can drain its power, reducing its lifespan and potentially causing starting issues when you need to use the generator. Properly storing the battery is crucial to ensure its longevity.
  4. Protecting Against Physical Damage: Generators are typically made of durable materials, but they are still susceptible to physical damage if not stored correctly. Falling debris, accidental bumps, or exposure to harsh elements can lead to dents, scratches, or even more severe damage. Proper storage can help protect the generator from such physical harm.
  5. Promoting Safety: Safety should always be a priority when it comes to using and storing generators. A well-maintained and properly stored generator reduces the risk of electrical shorts, fuel leaks, and other potential hazards. By following storage guidelines, you can ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and others who may come into contact with the generator.

By understanding the importance of proper generator storage, you can take the necessary steps to protect your investment and ensure its functionality when you need it most. In the following sections, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to store your generator properly, covering key steps and precautions that should be taken into consideration.

Step 1: Preparation

The first step in storing your generator properly is to properly prepare it for storage. This includes taking a few precautionary measures to ensure that the generator is in a suitable condition to be stored for an extended period. Follow these steps to prepare your generator for storage:

  1. Clean the Generator: Before storing your generator, it’s important to clean it thoroughly. Use a soft cloth or brush to remove any dust, dirt, or debris from the exterior surfaces. Pay extra attention to the vents and air intake areas, as they can accumulate dirt over time. Cleaning the generator not only improves its appearance but also helps prevent any potential damage caused by debris during storage.
  2. Inspect for Damage: Take the time to inspect your generator for any signs of damage or wear. Look for loose screws, cracked or damaged parts, or any other issues that may need to be addressed. It’s essential to repair or replace any damaged components before storing the generator to avoid further deterioration or potential malfunctions later on.
  3. Top Off the Fuel Tank: Adding a fuel stabilizer to a full tank of fuel can help prevent the fuel from deteriorating over time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the proper fuel stabilizer ratio and ensure that the tank is filled to its maximum capacity. A full tank reduces the presence of air inside, which can lead to condensation and ultimately water build-up in the fuel system.
  4. Disconnect the Battery: If your generator has a battery, disconnect it before storage. This prevents the battery from draining over time, which can reduce its lifespan and potentially render it useless when you need it. Store the battery in a cool and dry place, ensuring that it is charged periodically to maintain its health.
  5. Remove Spark Plugs: Removing the spark plugs from the generator’s engine can prevent any potential carbon build-up or corrosion. Apply a small amount of engine oil or lubricant to the cylinder heads to provide additional protection against rust during storage. Remember to reinstall the spark plugs when it’s time to use the generator again.
  6. Refer to the Owner’s Manual: Every generator is different, so it’s crucial to consult the owner’s manual for any specific storage instructions provided by the manufacturer. The manual may include additional steps or recommendations that are specific to your generator model, ensuring that it is properly prepared for storage.

By following these preparations, you can ensure that your generator is in optimal condition before it enters into storage. Proper cleaning, inspection, and maintenance will safeguard your generator from potential damage and ensure its reliability when you need it next. In the next step, we will discuss cleaning and maintenance in more detail.

Step 2: Cleaning and Maintenance

Once you have prepared your generator for storage, the next step is to clean and maintain it properly. Cleaning and maintenance are crucial to ensure that your generator remains in good condition during its time in storage. Follow these steps for cleaning and maintenance:

  1. Exterior Cleaning: Use a soft cloth or brush to clean the exterior surfaces of the generator. Remove any dirt, dust, or debris that may have accumulated. If there are stubborn stains or grime, you can use a mild detergent diluted with water. Be sure not to use abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that can damage the generator’s finish.
  2. Air Filter Maintenance: Check the air filter and clean or replace it if necessary. The air filter is essential for preventing dust and debris from entering the engine, so ensuring that it is clean and in good condition is vital. If the air filter is reusable, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If it is not reusable, replace it with a new one.
  3. Oil Change: Consider changing the oil in your generator before storage if it hasn’t been done recently. Used oil may contain contaminants that can cause engine damage over time. Refer to the owner’s manual for the recommended oil type and change intervals. Dispose of the used oil properly and replace it with fresh oil.
  4. Run the Generator: It’s a good practice to run the generator for a few minutes before putting it into storage. This allows the engine to circulate fresh oil and burn off any excess fuel in the carburetor. Running the generator also helps ensure that it is still in working condition before storage.
  5. Generator Cover: Protect your generator from dust and other elements by covering it with a suitable generator cover. The cover should be made from a durable, waterproof material that can withstand outdoor conditions. Make sure the generator has cooled down before covering it.
  6. Regular Inspection: While your generator is in storage, periodically inspect it to check for any signs of damage or issues that may have occurred. Ensure that the generator cover is intact and free from any tears. Check for leaks, loose connections, or any other abnormalities. Fix any problems promptly to prevent further damage.

By following these cleaning and maintenance steps, you can keep your generator in optimal condition during storage. Regular cleaning and maintenance help prevent the build-up of dirt, ensure the efficiency of the engine, and extend the lifespan of your generator. In the next step, we will discuss fuel management for storage.

Step 3: Fuel Management

Fuel management is a crucial aspect of storing your generator properly. Improper fuel storage can lead to fuel degradation, engine damage, and starting issues when you need to use the generator. Follow these steps for effective fuel management during storage:

  1. Use Fuel Stabilizer: Before storing your generator, add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. A fuel stabilizer helps prevent fuel degradation and the formation of varnish and gum, which can clog the fuel system. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended amount of stabilizer to use.
  2. Run the Generator: Start the generator and allow it to run for a few minutes after adding the fuel stabilizer. This allows the treated fuel to circulate throughout the fuel system and helps ensure that the stabilizer is distributed evenly.
  3. Top Off the Fuel Tank: Fill the fuel tank to its maximum capacity before storing the generator. This helps minimize the presence of air inside the tank, reducing the likelihood of condensation and water accumulation. A full tank also helps prevent the formation of rust inside the tank.
  4. Turn Off the Fuel Valve: If your generator has a fuel valve, turn it off after filling the tank. This prevents fuel from flowing into the carburetor and keeps the fuel system free from pressure buildup during storage.
  5. Run the Carburetor Dry: If your generator will be stored for an extended period, consider running the carburetor dry to prevent fuel residue from accumulating. Consult the owner’s manual for instructions on how to run the carburetor dry for your specific generator model.
  6. Periodic Fuel Rotation: If you anticipate storing your generator for an extended period, consider rotating the fuel every few months. This involves adding fresh fuel to the tank and using the stored fuel for other purposes. Remember to use the oldest fuel first, ensuring that you are always using the freshest fuel in the generator.

Proper fuel management is essential to keep your generator’s fuel system clean and prevent starting issues. By using a fuel stabilizer, topping off the tank, and periodically rotating the fuel, you can ensure that your generator is ready to perform when you need it. In the next step, we will discuss battery storage for generators with battery-powered components.

Store your generator in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent rust and corrosion. Keep it covered to protect it from dust and debris. Run the generator every few months to keep it in good working condition.

Step 4: Battery Storage

For generators with battery-powered components, proper battery storage is crucial to ensure its longevity and reliability. Follow these steps to effectively store the battery:

  1. Disconnect the Battery: Before storing your generator, disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining. Remove the battery cables, starting with the negative (black) cable followed by the positive (red) cable. Ensure that the battery terminals are clean and free from any corrosion.
  2. Clean the Battery: Use a battery cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and water to clean the battery. Gently scrub the battery terminals with a wire brush to remove any corrosion or build-up. Rinse with clean water and allow the battery to dry completely before proceeding.
  3. Charge the Battery: If the battery is not fully charged, recharge it to its full capacity. Use a compatible battery charger and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper charging. Do not overcharge the battery, as it can lead to damage.
  4. Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Find a cool, dry location to store the battery. Extreme temperatures and humidity can affect the battery’s performance and lifespan. Avoid storing the battery in direct sunlight or near any sources of heat or moisture.
  5. Periodic Maintenance: While the battery is in storage, periodically check its voltage to ensure that it maintains an optimal charge. If the battery voltage drops significantly, recharge it to prevent it from losing its capacity.

By properly storing your generator’s battery, you can extend its lifespan and ensure its functionality when you need it. Disconnecting and cleaning the battery, charging it to full capacity, and storing it in the correct environment will help maintain its health and performance. In the next step, we will discuss protecting your generator from the elements.

Step 5: Protection from the Elements

Protecting your generator from the elements is vital for its longevity and overall performance. Exposure to extreme weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or direct sunlight, can cause damage and corrosion. Follow these steps to effectively protect your generator from the elements:

  1. Cover the Generator: Use a weatherproof generator cover to protect the unit from dust, debris, and moisture. Ensure that the cover fits securely and completely covers the generator. Look for covers specifically designed for your generator’s make and model for the best fit and protection.
  2. Select a Suitable Storage Location: Store your generator in a well-ventilated area that is protected from direct sunlight and moisture. If possible, consider storing it indoors, such as in a garage or shed. If storing outdoors is unavoidable, place the generator on a raised platform or concrete pad to keep it off the ground and away from any standing water.
  3. Avoid Exposure to Extreme Temperatures: Generators should be kept in an environment with stable temperatures. Extreme heat or cold can negatively affect the internal components of the generator. Avoid storing the generator in areas prone to high humidity or extreme temperature fluctuations.
  4. Inspect and Clean the Cover Regularly: Periodically inspect the generator cover for any signs of wear or damage. Replace it if necessary to ensure continued protection. Clean the cover regularly to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated, as this can potentially cause damage to the generator.
  5. Protect Cables and Connections: Ensure that all cables and connections are properly protected from the elements. Use electrical tape or waterproof connectors to seal exposed parts and prevent water ingress. This will help prevent corrosion and maintain electrical integrity.

By taking the necessary steps to protect your generator from the elements, you can prolong its lifespan and prevent potential damage. Using a weatherproof cover, selecting a suitable storage location, and regularly inspecting the cover for any wear or damage are essential practices for maintaining your generator’s integrity. In the final step, we will discuss safety measures to consider during generator storage.

Step 6: Safety Measures

Safety should always be a top priority when storing a generator. Following proper safety measures not only protects you and others but also ensures the integrity of the generator itself. Here are some key safety measures to consider:

  1. Disconnect from Power Sources: Before performing any storage-related tasks, ensure that your generator is disconnected from any power sources. Unplug it from electrical outlets and turn off the main power switch if applicable. This reduces the risk of electrical shocks or accidents during storage.
  2. Allow Sufficient Cooling Time: Before handling or storing the generator, allow it to cool down completely. Generators can become hot during operation, and attempting to handle or store them while still hot can lead to burns or other injuries. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cooling time.
  3. Properly Store Fuel and Flammable Materials: When storing fuel for your generator, always follow proper safety protocols. Store fuel in approved containers designed for fuel storage and keep them in well-ventilated areas away from direct sunlight, flames, or heat sources. Keep flammable materials away from the generator to prevent the risk of fire.
  4. Secure the Generator: Ensure that your generator is securely stored and cannot be tampered with. This prevents unauthorized use, which can be dangerous if not operated properly. Keep the generator out of reach of children and ensure that it is stored in a locked or secure area, especially if storing it in a public space or shared location.
  5. Regularly Inspect for Safety Hazards: Periodically inspect the generator for any potential safety hazards. Check for loose connections, damaged wires, or leaking fluids. If you notice any issues, address them promptly before storing the generator. Regular maintenance and inspections help identify and resolve safety concerns before they escalate.

By taking these safety measures seriously, you can create a secure environment for storing your generator and minimize the risk of accidents or injuries. Safety should always be at the forefront of your mind when handling, storing, or operating any equipment, including generators.

With these six steps – preparation, cleaning and maintenance, fuel management, battery storage, protection from the elements, and safety measures – you can ensure that your generator is properly stored. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to protect your investment, maintain its performance, and have a reliable power source when you need it most.

Remember, always reference the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines specific to your generator model for the most accurate storage recommendations. Stay safe and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained generator!


Properly storing your generator is crucial for its longevity, performance, and safety. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your generator remains in optimal condition during periods of storage. From the initial preparation to cleaning and maintenance, fuel management, battery storage, protection from the elements, and implementing safety measures, each step plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity and functionality of your generator.

Preparing the generator for storage, including cleaning it thoroughly and inspecting for any damage, sets a solid foundation for its preservation. Managing the fuel by adding stabilizers, running the generator, and periodically rotating the fuel helps prevent fuel degradation and related issues. Properly storing the battery, disconnecting and cleaning it, and maintaining its charge level, ensure that it remains healthy and ready to use when needed.

Protecting the generator from the elements by covering it with a suitable weatherproof cover and selecting an appropriate storage location safeguards against damage caused by moisture, sunlight, and extreme temperatures. Following essential safety measures, such as disconnecting from power sources, allowing cooling time, and regularly inspecting for hazards, promotes a secure storage environment for you and others.

By implementing these steps, you can protect your investment and maintain the performance and integrity of your generator. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines specific to your generator model for the most accurate and detailed storage recommendations.

Remember, a well-maintained generator ensures that you have a reliable power source during emergencies, outdoor activities, or any other situation where electricity is needed. By dedicating time to properly store your generator, you can have peace of mind knowing that it will be ready to provide power when you need it most.

Take the necessary steps to store your generator properly and enjoy the benefits of extended lifespan, efficient performance, and the reliable power it provides.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Store A Generator

What are the best practices for storing a generator?

The best practices for storing a generator include keeping it in a dry and well-ventilated area, draining the fuel and oil, and running the generator for a few minutes to ensure all fuel is used up before storage.
Can I store a generator with fuel in it?

It is not recommended to store a generator with fuel in it, as this can lead to fuel deterioration and potential damage to the engine. It is best to drain the fuel completely before storing the generator.
How often should I start my stored generator?

It is recommended to start your stored generator every 3 months and let it run for a few minutes to ensure that the engine and components are properly lubricated and functioning.
What should I do to prepare my generator for long-term storage?

To prepare your generator for long-term storage, you should clean it thoroughly, change the oil and filter, drain the fuel, and remove the spark plug to add a small amount of oil to the cylinder to prevent rust.
Are there any specific tips for storing a portable generator?

When storing a portable generator, it is important to keep it in a secure location to prevent theft, and to cover it with a waterproof and breathable cover to protect it from the elements. Additionally, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for long-term storage.

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