Proper portable generator storage

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  #1  
Old 03-30-09, 08:57 AM
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Proper portable generator storage

Hi All,

I searched, but couldn't find any good advice on this. Like many in New England, during the ice storm I purchased a portable generator. It's a Generac XP8000E. Nice unit.

Since I will likely not need it again for a long time (that's the way of the world), I prepared it for long term storage per the manual. I drained the fuel from the tank, ran it dry (to get fuel out of the carb), drained the engine oil and refilled, including a new oil filter, and put some oil in the cylinder and cranked it a few times to distribute and coat the cylinder. According to the manual, this is the process for long term storage.

But in talking with some friends, they all said generators must be run to keep it "excited" and that I'm asking for problems when I need it if I don't run it every so often (things seizing up). This is a brushless generator, with a capacitor (FYI).

I would think the manufacturer would call this requirement out if it were true, but I wanted to see what you guys thought. I hate the thought of needing to run it once a month or something. I guess I wouldn't mind doing it once every 6 months (I do understand keeping things moving), or one a year, but what is really the requirement, more for the alternator part vs the engine.

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-30-09, 09:13 AM
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I too am from NH and have a portable, 3000 watt generator that has a electric starter (battery), and I run it monthly to keep the battery charged and to make sure it will start when I need it.
 
  #3  
Old 03-30-09, 06:04 PM
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The only issue with the gen head is the possiblity of it not producing electricty if it has been stored to long without being used. Something to do with the magnets losing the magnetism. It is an easy fix with an electric drill.

The best way is to start it once a month or so and run it for an hour or so, that's what I do. When you run it make sure you actually use some of the power the gen is making. This way there is no long term storage issues and the gen is always ready for an emergency. If you do this make sure you use gasoline stabilizer if it burns gasoline. Mine is a tri-fuel.
 
  #4  
Old 04-03-09, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by makeitso View Post
The only issue with the gen head is the possiblity of it not producing electricty if it has been stored to long without being used. Something to do with the magnets losing the magnetism. It is an easy fix with an electric drill.

The best way is to start it once a month or so and run it for an hour or so, that's what I do. When you run it make sure you actually use some of the power the gen is making. This way there is no long term storage issues and the gen is always ready for an emergency. If you do this make sure you use gasoline stabilizer if it burns gasoline. Mine is a tri-fuel.
Thanks all. Is that true regarding the magents on a generator that is brushless?
 
  #5  
Old 04-05-09, 05:59 PM
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Just for anyone else who may search and find this thread, I ended up contacting Generac about my question as well. They said there are absolutely no concerns with storing a generator, in regards to it not be able to produce electricity after an extended storage period.

The only concern they mentioned is the concern, if stored in a humid area, for rust in the tank. I figure leaving the cap off (but screen/filter in) would allow air circulation and reduce the risk of this.

So I'll likely put it in service each fall/early winter (in preparation for winter storms) and then store it around the first of April. So around 6 month cycles in between runs. Should be fine I would imagine.

Thanks for the help.
 
  #6  
Old 04-06-09, 09:24 PM
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I have no experience with it happening with the magnets but have heard of it happening. Those directions have appeared on this forum in the past and has helped people with that problem.

Doing what the manufacture says to do is the best route most of the time I think.
 
  #7  
Old 04-06-09, 09:54 PM
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The manual for my genset (a porter-cable with honda engine), *specifically* says it should be run under load at least every 90 days to maintain the field in the generator head.

I use a fuel stabilizer (Stabil), and run it every month for at least 15 minutes. Last thing I want is for a hurricane to pass through, have no power and find out that the generator doesn't work.

That being said, I do have a permanent 'run in place' storage for my genset, so there's no dragging it out of storage to keep it up.
 
  #8  
Old 04-07-09, 09:00 PM
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In place generator storage

Pendragon;
What kind of in-place storage do you have? Is it a prebuilt or did you have it made?
 
  #9  
Old 04-08-09, 05:18 AM
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I built one by pouring a concrete slab, 2x6 insulated walls, double swing out doors and a hinged roof (using the actuator from a satellite dish to raise and lower it, as it's quite heavy).
Cover the thing in siding to match the house.

I used 3, ten inch high speed fans (from an old mainframe) to provide the ventilation/cooling.

I believe it's about 5x6 or so, just big enough to house the generator with about 1' on all sides.

I can carry on a normal conversation when standing next to it (that fact that it's a honda engine helps on that).
 
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