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Generator / Fuel Storage Question


sirk98's Avatar
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01-06-16, 06:13 AM   #1  
Generator / Fuel Storage Question

Hi all..

I saw This Thread and it got me thinking about my own generator...

I bought a Troy Bilt generator with a briggs & stratton engine in 2014. Its a long story, but after an issue with a snowblower leaking gas all over my attached garage, I decided to keep all my engines dry.

A mechanic friend told me that I should keep fuel in the generator, tho. He says the gaskets will all dry out.

Truth of the matter is that I am averaging test running it once every six months or so. I know I should be doing it once a month, but I havent been able to.

My question is this: is it better to keep regular (with ethanol) gas with Stabil in the tank or is it better to keep it dry?

If I were to do a better job at putting fresh fuel in, and running it to dry once a month, would that make a difference?

 
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01-06-16, 06:22 AM   #2  
Fuel starts to degrade in as little as 3 months.
I would run it until dry every time and use nonethanol all the time.
Just regular Sta-Bol does nothing to counter act the effects of ethanol fuel.

 
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01-06-16, 06:45 AM   #3  
thanks. Just wanted to make sure I wasnt lousing up the generator

 
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01-06-16, 11:37 AM   #4  
What gaskets are in constant contact with gasoline and thereby being prevented from drying out? My guess is none.

I converted my generator to gaseous fuel (propane or natural gas) only and I never run it unless there is a power outage. Always starts without any problem, even if it has sat for a full year or more.

 
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01-06-16, 01:12 PM   #5  
Personally I am for storing long term with the fuel system dry. The only issues I have seen is sometimes the needle valve or seat may leak or become stuck in place or some such, but I have also seen this happen stored wet. In either case the valve and seat usually do seal again on their own, and if not, is an easy and inexpensive fix.
To be proper and complete, the fuel tank should also be drained. Next best thing if fuel is to be left in the tank is to keep it full. With little or no airspace in the tank, there is no room for condensation to form which accelerates degradation and contaminates the fuel. I only recommend this with the use of a shut off valve so the carb/bowl can be ran dry. The other advantage to using a shut off valve, is that a sample of fuel can be easily drawn for inspection before periodic or needed start up. Another advantage to keeping a full fuel tank, especially in the case of a genny, is you may not have fresh/good gas stored in a fuel can, and may not be able to get to a gas station when the unit is needed.
Even with a completely dry fuel system, there is still periodic start up/preventative procedures that can be done. Most fuel bowls hold less or about a 1/4 cup but retain airspace when full. Adding a small amount of fuel for periodic start ups with 1/4 cup of fuel can take run times of 3-5 mins average. But then the entire drain process needs to be completed again.
The other option is to simply spin the engine either with starter or by hand. The main thing is to turn the engine so the lubrication that has drained off the parts, is returned to those parts AND to not let the engine sit with all of its parts in the same place. Normally with this practice I like to add a tablespoon or so of MMO to the carb bowl so the venturi has something helpful to draw through the carb instead of just air which also contains moisture. This also helps the needle valve or seat get conditioning.

 
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01-06-16, 06:09 PM   #6  
Here's a good link for you. This guy is a certified mechanic and has a great you tube channel ~!~!

https://youtu.be/WYlEO9QZMJg

 
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01-06-16, 06:15 PM   #7  
I suppose there's one of us in every crowd. I bought my generator new in 2002. In 14 years the closest I've come to working on the carburetor is replacing the air filter. I run it for about 10 minutes every month, use only non-ethanol fuel, add stabill to the fuel and drain and replace the fuel in the tank every spring and fall. I keep the tank full. When the power goes out and I run it, I refill the tank.

Personally, I believe it's better to keep fuel in the carb and running it monthly moves gas through and keeps it from gumming up.

Jim

 
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01-06-16, 10:07 PM   #8  
yes jim i do the same thing I run every thing I have often, even if I don't have to run it. I live in the deep south so we have to mow even in the winter a few times.

Generators we don't need often but we run them anyway. If the lights go then you need it. I get a few and it's the same ole same ole. I didn't think about it. They always say that LOL.

 
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01-07-16, 02:33 AM   #9  
If you were to use only the best grade of non-ethanol fuel and test run your generator for at least an hour, WITH A LOAD, monthly it will work every time you go to use it.


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
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01-07-16, 05:31 AM   #10  
great info! I think I'm going to keep it dry, but I need to try to run it more than every 6 months. The lubrication aspect of it makes sense to me.

 
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01-07-16, 10:20 AM   #11  
. This guy is a certified mechanic
By who and for what ?

 
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01-07-16, 11:24 AM   #12  
Dony Boy is Certified through all major companies such as Stihl, Briggs, Tecumseh
etc etc.

 
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01-07-16, 11:47 AM   #13  
LOL, ok

 
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01-07-16, 06:39 PM   #14  
Ideally you would run it monthly but this isn't a perfect world and "ideally" is rarely "realistically", so with that in mind, I prefer to keep it dry. I usually don't need mine even once a year, and things get busy and sometimes I let it slip for a while (hate to say it, but I'm sure the carb on mine is gummed up right now). I guess it depends on your ability to think about it and keep up the routine. I have too many irons in the fire as it is, so for me drained would be better. No need to worry about gasket problems.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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