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Generator storage


Akula69
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I have a question for the small engine folks here:

 

Considering the fact that we have a need for generators here in Louisiana, and it is preferrable that they start when you need them, I am looking for a way to store them that works.

 

Now, I make every attempt to exercise these generators (when I can remember) about every two months, but have still had problems with varnish in the carbs. Cleaning them is very time consuming, and running the units more often just wastes fuel.

 

Currently I am draining the tanks down to about 2 cups of fuel and adding Seafoam to the tanks. I then run the generators after the Seafoam and then shut off the fuel valve, effectively starving the engine and scavenging the fuel from the carb bowl. I then loosen the bowl and allow it to air dry.

 

Previously I had left whatever fuel was in the tank intact, treating it with the Seafoam and then going through the running / fuel shutoff procedure. Both methods have resulted in at least one carb rebuild a year.

 

I know most of you guys in the northeast must have small engines that you only run at certain times (snowblowers, etc.) and wonder how you keep the carbs from gumming up.

 

Any ideas are welcome!

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Funny you should ask. I just spent the morning removing and de-gumming the carburetor on my generator.

 

First off - use Sta-Bil in the gas. RELIGIOUSLY. Don't buy a can of gas for the mower and generator and say "I'll add the Sta-Bil next week" or "Nah - next tank." Add it as soon as you get the gas home from the station.

 

And continue to exercise the generator every couple of months. Actually, I've been told by old timers (yes, even older than I -- my uncle for one, now passed away) that a generator should be run monthly with out fail. And that was before the gasolines were reformulated. The new stuff turns to varnish in a nanosecond.

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Say-Bil, Sta-Bil, Sta-Bil. The stuff works great. :thumbsup: Never had a problem with any small or big engine since I started using it, no matter how long the storage was. Heck, the fuel that I just used up in my Dakota was purchased when gas was closer to $1.50/gal. Truck ran great on it when I finally pulled it out of storage. :D For engines that regularly see storage, I also buy premium fuel for the extra octane. I figure it can't hurt.

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I use it in my mower last time I mow before winter. never had a problem starting in spring, and no carburator rebuild yet in 14 years. Deck is starting to rot through, though. Darned metal eating termites!

 

Dayem, I knew they salted the roads in OH but they salt the lawns too? :D

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we drain clean the tanks on our snowmobiles, clean out the carbs immediately, and put a bit of oil (2 stroke for 2 stroke motors, we have one four stroke snowmobile which obviously gets 4 stroke oil) on the bottom of the bowl only. just a very light film.

 

but, with a snowmobile, if you use last year's gas, you WILL blow up the motor since the jets aren't clean. we don't even reconnect the fuel lines to the carbs until we're ready to ride.

 

another side-benefit of that is that we can use the oil in our weed eater (if we mix it), lawnmowers, or toss it in the truck. the 03 RX1 and 92 VMAX both get premium only.

 

figure this; it's a seasonal item, treat it well. run premium and whichever fuel system cleaner you prefer or is highly suggested, and you'll never do wrong. over-achieve and clean after every use, and you're good to go.

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The vote seems to be in favor of Stabil, but I have used that in the past without success...in fact, that created the majority of my tear-downs. That is why I have been trying Seafoam...although it has failed me once as well.

 

I was thinking about dousing the carbs with WD-40 (realizing that it is mostly Kerosene) or a film of oil.

 

Thanks for all the responses

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