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How to Store a Generator in a Storage Unit

When inclement weather strikes, be prepared! A generator is an item that is rarely used but can be a lifesaver in an emergency. When your electricity fails, a generator can be the key to keeping your business running or your home safe, but you have to keep the generator in the right state to do that.

New owners may not be aware of the few simple steps they can take to safely store their generator, but Fairfax City Self Storage can let you in on the secret. That’s why we’ve created this quick guide to catch you up to speed.

For the Short Term

If you know you’re entering a season where you may need to use your generator regularly, the maintenance process for short-term storage is fairly easy. All you need to do is thoroughly clean the outside of the generator after every use, to ensure there is no leftover oil or debris that will eat away at important components. After that, just put the generator back in an easily accessible storage spot, so you can reach it when the time comes.

Looking Long Term

The long-term storage process is a tad bit more complicated, especially if you’re putting it away in a storage facility. When you’re not seeing your generator every day, there’s more opportunity for damage or safety concerns to arise. So, here’s what you need to know!

  1. Check the Oil

If your generator is in good repair and doesn’t have any leaks, it should only need a few teaspoons of oil, but before putting it into storage it is recommended you top up the oil levels. If you aren’t sure how to measure your generator’s oil levels, start with the owner’s manual before asking a professional.

  1. Empty or Stabilize the Gas

In the best-case scenario, you will have run the generator out of gas prior to moving it into storage. Storing a generator full of gasoline is a major fire hazard, but can also be detrimental to the health of your generator. When exposed to the elements, untreated fuel can go bad and won’t be able to power your generator the next time you need to use it.

If you must store your generator with fuel still in the tank, add a fuel stabilizer to a full take of gas in your generator and run it for a full minute to distribute the stabilizer fully throughout the system. A fuel stabilizer will prevent the gas from absorbing moisture and going stale within the tank. It also prevents the fuel from eroding the rubber and plastic components of your generator. This way your generator will be ready with a full tank of gas the next time you need it.

  1. Inspect for Damaged Components

Giving your generator a thorough inspection before putting it away allows you to take note of any worn down, or damaged, components and replace them. If you put off replacing these parts, the damage can escalate while it sits in storage, creating a costlier issue. There are a few main parts you should check:

  • Hoses
  • Fuel tank
  • Spark arrest
  • Switches
  • Wheels
  • Handles
  1. Perform Annual Maintenance

When taking care of generators, putting in a little annual maintenance can make a big difference in their longevity. This maintenance should be done right when you’re ready to take your generator out of storage. This way, you can take care of any issues that may have popped up while it was tucked away. The two main things you need to do are:

  • Replace the spark plug
  • Replace the air filter

If you’re a little more machine savvy than most, these tasks will be fairly straightforward for you. If you find yourself struggling, the owner’s manual should have instructions to help you through the process.

  1. Clean Dirt and Debris

Just like short-term storage, make sure to wipe down your generator before letting is sit for a few months. Spilled oil, fuel, or debris, can rust or eat away at your generator’s seals and switches, but a quick wipe down with a rag will keep everything in good condition.

Contact Us Today

Properly storing your generator can make the difference between the safety of you, and your home or business, in the case of a hurricane, snowstorm, or any other crazy weather phenomenon. At Fairfax City Self Storage, we offer both temperature controlled and non-temperature controlled units, with ground floor and drive-up storage units. With 30 years of experience under our belts, we have the know-how to keep your property in pristine condition.

Contact us to learn more about our self-storage units in Fairfax, VA!

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