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Now that I've got my little generator working, I want to make sure it's always ready to go in case of a power failure. How often should I run this thing--once a week, twice a month, once every 3 months? And for how long--5 minutes, 15 minutes? Should I run it under load, and if so, how much load? I've got a 5 gallon can of gas at the ready, and it's stabilized with the blue marine grade Sta-Bil, so I shouldn't have a problem with stale fuel. We have a big diesel standby generator at work, and it's programmed to automatically fire up and run for 30 minutes every Saturday morning. But that would seem excessive for this little home genny. What do y'all think?
 

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3 months give or take, hook up the air compressor to it let it run a cycle, then let the engine run about 15 mins

motorhome gen set gets plenty of use so no need to exercise it
 

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Glad you asked it reminded me to run mine has been sitting for about 6 months
 

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Don't have one yet, but when I do I am thinking it will be used at least every 1-2 weeks to do stuff out back so I don't have to drag stuff up front or drag out a long cord to work on things.
 

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Approximately every 3 months with a load on it for 45-60 minutes. I run it with 2 1500 watt heaters to balance the load. This past spring the neighbor across the street saw me exercising my generator and dragged his out and ran it for a good hour, though without a load on it.
 

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I have two different rituals depending on the time of year. Since I'm most concerned with snow / ice storms taking out the power and thus heat (cold kids and wife, never good), I'm more concerned with being ready October to April. Each October I bring the generator from the shed to the back patio (about 75 feet) and I do an oil change (regardless of hours) and put in fresh 10/30 Mobile 1 Synthetic. I put in 5 fresh gallons of stabilized fuel and then run the generator for 1 hour with two electric heaters, one per leg to exercise and charge up the battery. I then will run it once a month for 30 minutes, 5 to warm up, 20 with load (same heaters) 5 without to "cool down". I will cut of the fuel and let the gen starve out to make sure there's nothing left in the carburetor. In April I'll do one last exercise then drain the remaining fuel from the tank. I'll pull the spark plug and put a tiny amount of oil in the cylinder and slowly pull the starting cord a few times to coat the cylinder. Spark plug back in and then it's stored till October again in the shed. Since I'm not worried about having to fight through snow or freezing while trying to get the generator running I'm more accepting of a longer process to get it back online during the warm months.

April to October I'll have between 5 and 10 gallons on hand depending on where I am in the mowing cycle. October to April I keep about 5 gallons in the generator and another 20 in reserve in case we're stuck in for a few days with an ice storm. I also dump any remaining gas at the end of each 6 month stretch in the cars and get fresh. All gas, except what's in the generator, is kept in the shed, again, 75 feet from the house for safety. Last thing, I also make sure that the generator is locked down with a chain and lock while in "winter" mode. It's got a cover and is somewhat hidden from view but I figure I might make it a little harder for someone to walk off with it. Having a foot or more snow around makes that even less likely. :)

I know my process is overkill but I'd rather waste a little extra gas and time in hopefully trading for a unit that's ready to go at a moments notice. I also travel frequently for work so I feel the need to make it ready for my wife to "turn the key and go" with as little fuss as possible.
 

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is it really necessary to pull the plug and put oil in the cylinder? i always thought that the oil in the engine itself is enough.
 

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If you don't put oil directly into the cylinder prior to storage the cylinder can start to rust and rings may stick that said you can also use fogging oil spray which will have the same effect
 
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