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Okay, stupid question time...

I bought a generator for keeping the freezer happy if we have short-term power outages. But, I am not sure, how do I test it and then properly store it so it'll be good when I need it? We don't have power outages regularly here, so I don't want it to sit with old gas in it, but I also don't want a power outage to be the first time I try to run it.

So - how can I test it? Can I put just 1 cup of gas into it for a test and run it until it's done? Do I have to put a load on it in order to test it properly? And, how long would the oil be good for if I put it in? It normally lives in my garage, but we have a pretty moderate climate (32F is rare, as is 100F, mostly 50s-70s) but I think I shouldn't just leave fluids (even oil?) in for a long time.

And how do I store gasoline for the generator so it doesn't go bad, if there's likely to be a few years between power outages? I've heard of STA-BIL, but that won't last for years, right? And if I've got an older jug of gasoline, how do I tell if it's still good?

Told you it was stupid question time!
 

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When I bought my Yamaha Inverter the manual said to run it for a couple of hours to seat the seals/rings. I don't recall having to put a load on it though. Although it would be helpful to see how long you can get under a set load. I use a wattage meter to see how much each item uses and how long the generator can run them. You really should only need to run it 3-4 times a day to keep the fridge/freezer cold and other tasks.

I'd run a pint of fuel through it until it runs dry. Then leave the cap off so the fuel still remaining can evaporate. No need to drain the oil. I store mine dry and keep stabilized fuel separately. I cycle my stabilized fuel about once a year.
 

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If I had a voice I'd sing
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Plug in a big electric heater or something with a heating element. They take a lot of power and will push your generator. Better to find out now if it is a lemon.

I would also make sure all the receptacles work, including the 240V receptacle if you have one.

As far as storing gas, best thing to do is keep some gas cans full and every few weeks pour it into your car, then immediately drive to the gas station (don't wait) and fill up the gas cans again.
 

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Okay, stupid question time...

I bought a generator for keeping the freezer happy if we have short-term power outages. But, I am not sure, how do I test it and then properly store it so it'll be good when I need it? We don't have power outages regularly here, so I don't want it to sit with old gas in it, but I also don't want a power outage to be the first time I try to run it.

So - how can I test it? Can I put just 1 cup of gas into it for a test and run it until it's done? Do I have to put a load on it in order to test it properly? And, how long would the oil be good for if I put it in? It normally lives in my garage, but we have a pretty moderate climate (32F is rare, as is 100F, mostly 50s-70s) but I think I shouldn't just leave fluids (even oil?) in for a long time.

And how do I store gasoline for the generator so it doesn't go bad, if there's likely to be a few years between power outages? I've heard of STA-BIL, but that won't last for years, right? And if I've got an older jug of gasoline, how do I tell if it's still good?

Told you it was stupid question time!
Rather than write a huge past, I'll highly recommend that you go to www.solar1234.com and listen to the shows on generators and fuel storage. You will learn exactly what you want to know very well.
 

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reluctant sinner
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17,914 Posts
Rings on the piston need to seat by being run for some time. Bearings need to polish themselves in by turning. Both of these put metal in the oil. 10 - 20 hours of break in running is more than enough and then you should then change oil.

If it were mine I pull the spark plug and put some anti-seize compound on it plus get a spare plug for later. Get enough oil to change it several times and spare: gas/oil/air filters

If your genny has a fuel shutoff valve, I would keep the tank full of treated gas. Sta-Bil will work for years if you treat the gas every year and the gas is fairly well sealed from air exposure/evaporation and condensation. Pri-G is better they say here on the boards.

Fill the gas tank with fresh treated fuel. Non ethanol premium is better. Hook up a space heater or 2 for a load; 500 W work lights. Start the genny, let it run for several hours (2), then shut it down to cool out for a few hours. Start and run longer the second time (4), allow to cool then run for 6 hours, turn off the loads then turn off fuel valve and let it run itself out. Change oil. Keep track of fuel consumption and % of full load, that way you have an idea of how long a 5 gallon can of gas last you. Refill the tank.
 

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Cave canem
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5,391 Posts
If possible find a local gas station that sells pure gas, then like other posters said put it in your car gas tank occasionally and get fresh. In this town 2 stations sell pure gasoline and they both also sell K1 Kerosene so you might want to keep an eye out for that.
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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Treat your gasoline with Pri-G. The advice above is good advice.
 

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Ephemerally here
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For initial run, just start it and let it go for ten minutes or so, with no load. Then add load stepwise until you are at 50% rated, for Twenty minutes or so. Then run load up to 75% for a Half hour or so. Finally, while still running, and fully warmed up, run load up to 100% or even a bit more. See when it trips out, and at what load %. Good to know. Test each breaker. Write it down, because Years later, you are gonna be able to determine if that breaker is getting weak!

Finally, be sure to remove all load before you ever stop the motor. If it has been running under load more than 50%, be sure to allow five minutes running under zero load before securing. Heat kills insulation, and takes a bit to get out of the windings. Shutting down immediately after a full pull will cook the windings without a cool-down.
 

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Red Neck American
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738 Posts
stabil the gas, start with premium grade. run at least a tank through it, yes, put it under load at about half a tank. let it run nearly dry. then shut the fuel valve and let it run dry. fill tank with gas + stabil and you should be set.
once a month, go out, start it, close the fuel shut off valve after its running smooth and fully warmed up, let it run dry and stall.
big things to keep an eye on. starter rope, they tend to fail in storage. also fuel lines dry out and fail.
mine is old as dirt, but the above method has proved to work, starts every time,
 

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We run ours as a test every 6 months, typically March and September. Gets us ready for summer heat and winter chill. It's a portable 4Kw unit made by Champion.

Gas is left in the tank, treated with Pri-G - have had no problems.

We start it up, (one or two pulls gits 'er done), let it warm for 5 minutes, and attach a load. The load is a power tool if I'm working on something, or a heater like the man said above. I run it about 20 to 30 minutes. Then detach the load, let it cool down for about 10 minutes, and shut it off. Yup, we leave fuel in the line and bowl. Since it's treated, it isn't problematic.

Been doing this for 4 years now with no issues.
 
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