Q: I have a very nice generator with ‘key ignition’ and I’m going for home
assignment for 10 months. How should I store it? (Serina Lee)
A: Answer from Mike Kiekover,
In response to the question about generator storage, here are my
- Unless the fuel tank is plastic, it should be kept full when it is
stored. This will prevent rust from building up in the tank. If it
is to be stored for a long time (as in Serina's case or longer), I
would suggest that when the generator is put back into service, that
full tank should be drained first and a fresh batch of petrol put in.
- Turn the fuel cock OFF. Start the generator and let it run until
it stops by itself. You have now run the carburetor dry.
- Remove the spark plug. In the spark plug hole, put two squirts of
oil (about a tablespoon). With the plug still out, pull on the start
rope slowly a couple of times. The idea is to coat the cylinder wall
with oil to keep it protected from rust. (If you don't have a rope to
pull on, you can crank it with the key, but it's messy and much of the
oil ends up on the floor or wall next to the generator.) Put the plug
- If your generator has a battery, plan on buying a new one when you
get back. Just disconnect the NEGATIVE terminal. You can leave the
other connected. NEVER fill a battery with that is low with acid -
distilled water is all you should put in it!
- I would NOT suggest “spraying the whole thing with oil.” Only the
cylinder walls need the oil.
- When you get back and put the generator into service again, the
first time you start it, it will smoke like a chimney! Don't worry
about it, it's just burning off that oil you put in the combustion
chamber. If the engine is not in great shape, you may need a new
spark plug as it will foul out quickly with the additional oil.