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how to store a generator?

BISON’s goal is to ensure that when your generator is not running, the right storage generator ensures optimal performance every time it is started.

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Generators have long become an essential powerhouse for homes and businesses alike, providing the much-needed resilience in the face of unpredictable power outages. They grant us the ability to maintain our daily routines unhampered, powering everything from the indispensable refrigeration for our food to our business-critical systems. However, while the acquisition of a generator is unquestionably invaluable, maintaining its longevity through appropriate storage is equally pivotal.

This article is designed to be your trusted guide concerning that – to instruct you on how to skillfully store your generator, irrespective of whether you own a portable, standby, or inverter generator. BISON’s goal is to ensure that when your generator is not running, the right storage generator ensures optimal performance every time it is started.

how to store a generator

6 steps to properly store your generator

Ensuring the proper storage of a generator is crucial for maintaining its durability and efficiency. To safeguard the generator from damage and guarantee its readiness for use, it’s vital to handle fuel and oil appropriately and conduct routine maintenance assessments.

Attending to these steps will not only ensure your generator is ready for its rest phase but will also take a proactive stance in maintaining its optimal functionality throughout its service life.

step #1 check the oil

If your generator has no leaks and is in good condition, it will not consume too much oil. However, it is necessary to check and replenish the amount of oil before storing it. Typically, for most generators, this only requires a small amount of oil, about a couple of teaspoons, of regular motor oil.

step #2 drain or stabilize the fuel

use of fuel stabilizers

It’s vital to check the state of the oil and fuel before storing your generator. When stored for longer periods, fuel can deteriorate and result in gum formation that can clog fuel systems. To avoid this, consider draining the fuel tank and fuel lines or use a fuel stabilizer. The aim here is to either remove or stabilize the fuel, which inhibits the degradation process, preserving your generator’s engine condition.

step #3 check your generator

Watch out for any oil or fuel leaks; these could lead to the risk of both internal damage as well as potential fire hazards. It’s also imperative to check for damaged parts — belts, wires, or anything that seems out of order should be repaired or replaced before storage.

step #4 annual maintenance

Regular maintenance aspects, especially before storage, should include changing air filters, spark plugs, and generator oil. These maintenance checks are essential for maintaining a clean, proper running condition of the generator, enhancing its overall performance and increasing its lifespan. 

step #5 clean your generator for storage

Before packing it away, your generator deserves a thorough cleaning. Wipe down the exterior to remove any accumulated dirt or dust. Also, clean the cooling fans and vents to prevent overheating and to enhance ventilation. Ensure the storage area is also clean to avoid any potential pests that could damage your generator.

step #6 store it in a dry, cool place

The ideal storage location for a generator is a dry, well-ventilated area. This will help prevent moisture from building up and causing rust or corrosion.

Likewise, avoid storing the generator in areas where it may be exposed to extreme temperatures, such as direct sunlight or freezing temperatures.

It’s also important to ensure that the generator is stored on a level surface. This will help prevent damage to the fuel system and other components.

choosing the right storage location

choosing the right storage location

Can a generator be stored in a basement, spare room, or anywhere else in the home? In short, no. Even when the tank is empty, fuel-fired generators can release trace amounts of chemicals, odors, and toxic fumes into your living space.

Instead, consider housing your generator in a secure location, such as:

1. Garage 

If it has ample clean and ventilated space, a garage (preferably separate from the house) can serve as a convenient storage option. Temperature control and easy access to the house are additional advantages of storing your generator in a garage.

2. Outdoor Shed 

A robust storage shed or a basic, ventilated wooden structure can be an option, as it is safely positioned farther away from the house. However, temperature control may be a concern. Storing generators in extreme heat or cold can potentially damage them. Consider your climate to determine whether adding a heat shield will provide adequate protection for shed storage

3. Generator Housing 

Durable canopies, sheds, boxes, shelters, and covers specifically designed for housing generators are readily available in various materials and designs. Some are equipped with enough ventilation to remain in place during generator use, which can be beneficial for short-term storage. Be sure to select the correct size and type for your model.

Even with proper storage, you can enhance protection by using a generator cover.

generator placed outside

whether to store the generator outdoors or indoors

Just as you have a preferred place to rest and recharge, so does your generator. The choice of location plays a pivotal role in keeping your machine in top shape. 

indoor storage

Indoor storage offers enhanced protection against harsh environmental elements such as heavy rainfall, snow, or intense sun exposure. It can also provide additional security from theft. It is a controlled environment where one can more easily maintain suitable temperature and humidity conditions.

Indoor storage spaces, like in a garage or basement, may sometimes have limited ventilation. This can be problematic if the generator is not properly cleaned and fuel is not correctly managed, posing potential fume buildup or fire hazards.

outdoor storage

Storing the generator outside usually does not cause a problem due to space constraints. Potential indoor risks, such as smoke buildup, can be completely avoided by taking the proper precautions when storing outdoors in a covered area or a generator shed.

However, generators stored outdoors can be affected by weather changes. Direct sunlight, rain, and snow can adversely affect the life of your generator. Likewise, if the generator is in direct contact with water, there is a risk of electrical failure and rust.

Another potential disadvantage of outdoor storage is the risk of theft unless adequate security measures are taken.


During the course of this enlightening journey, we learned about some important aspects of the generator storage process. We recognize that generators play a vital role in our homes and businesses, so storing them properly is not simply an afterthought.

Essentially, the longevity and optimal performance of a generator is largely dependent on how it is stored. Making the effort to properly store your generator not only protects your investment, but also ensures that you can rely on it when you need it most.

more about generator maintenance

However, generator maintenance is not limited to skilled storage. Regular maintenance, periodic inspections and timely troubleshooting are the remaining cornerstones of excellent generator maintenance.

If you would like more information on generator maintenances or have specific questions beyond storage, please feel free to contact BISON. our team of experts is ready to help you ensure that your generator is not only stored properly, but also reliably cared for when the lights go out.

Your care today will ensure your power supply tomorrow. Let’s walk down that road together.

people also ask about storing generators

During long-term storage, it is safer to store a generator without fuel, minimizing the risk of fuel-related accidents or leaks.

This is because long-term storage without use can lead to problems such as fuel deterioration, clogged carburetors, and other maintenance challenges.

That’s why BISON recommends running the generator for about 30 minutes at least once every three months to keep it in good working order.

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