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how to clean a generator fuel tank?

Generator fuel tank cleaning This is an often overlooked aspect but plays a vital role in the overall performance and longevity of your generator.

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Is your generator’s fuel tank clean? Many times, our generator technicians come across diesel generators that appear immaculate externally, but internally, they are filled with dirt and grime. If the tank is not properly cleaned, it can degrade the quality of the fuel and reduce your genset’s performance. If you’re relying solely on your filters to trap all the impurities, you might need to reconsider.

As a standard practice, aim to thoroughly cleanse your diesel fuel tank annually, or at the very least, every two years. This becomes even more crucial if you’re using lower-quality diesel fuel in your power generation system.

In today’s article, BISON will cover this important maintenance task. Get ready to enter the world of generator maintenance as we walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to clean your generator fuel tank. It’s not just a chore, it’s an investment in the life of your generator. So let’s roll up our sleeves and keep the power humming smoothly!

how to clean a generator fuel tank

Easy steps to clean your generator fuel tank

Generator fuel tank cleaning This is an often overlooked aspect but plays a vital role in the overall performance and longevity of your generator. If the fuel tank is neglected, it can lead to a number of engine failures such as sputtering, stalling and a significant reduction in fuel efficiency, which can interrupt your power supply at the most inconvenient of times.

Safety first!

When working with a fuel system, remember that gas is highly flammable and can be fatal and dangerous.

Here are a few safety tips before starting your generator fuel tank cleaning process:

  • Be sure to keep your work area clean and organized to help prevent accidents.
  • If you’re working indoors, ensure your workspace is well-ventilated – open any doors or windows and turn on a fan if needed.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Make sure there are no sources of flame or sparks in the area.
  • It is a good idea to wear a face mask to help reduce inhalation of fuel fumes.
  • Remember eye protection when working on your engine!
drain the tank

drain the tank

Before removing the tank, make sure it is empty of fuel. Some fuel tanks have a drain cock, which allows the fuel to be drained. Otherwise, you can drain the fuel by removing or siphoning the gas line.

remove the tank

Depending on the type of generator, this can be simple or complex. Carefully remove the fuel tank, but leave all caps and valves in position. This will make the reinstallation process much easier later. Once it’s out, inspect the entire tank thoroughly. Check for sediment, rust, or any holes. Patch any holes before continuing.

scrubbing the tank

Fill the tank with a suitable cleaning agent. Diesel fuel system cleaners or vinegar are commonly used options..With a wire brush, scrub the interior of the tank to remove any buildup or residue. Be thorough; any leftover debris can cause future issues.Rinse the tank thoroughly with water to remove any remaining cleaning agent. Once rinsed, leave the tank to dry completely. This is crucial, as any leftover moisture can contaminate the fuel.

replace the fuel filter

This seems like common sense, but it is often overlooked. If you’re going through the effort of cleaning your tank and lines, change the fuel filter as well. An old filter will restrict flow throughout your fuel system, making your fuel pump work harder and wear out faster.

More: How to clean generator air filter

reassemble and test the generator

Once the tank is clean and dry, it’s time to put everything back together:

Properly Reattaching the Fuel Tank: Carefully reattach the fuel tank to the generator. Make sure all connections are secure and the tank is properly positioned.

Refilling with Clean Fuel: Fill the tank with fresh, clean fuel. Avoid using old or contaminated fuel.

Testing the Generator to Ensure Proper Function: Finally, start up your generator to ensure it’s running smoothly. Listen for any irregularities in the sound and check for leaks. If everything seems in order, congratulations – you’ve successfully cleaned your generator’s fuel tank!w

look inside the fuel tank


Cleaning your generator fuel tank properly ensures no dust, dirt or other harmful materials can enter and damage your engine. Maintenance also helps prevent fuel lines from clogging and keeps your fuel pump running longer. If your generator has been sitting for a while or it’s just been running rough, it might be time to mask up and clean the fuel tank!

As a leading manufacturer of generation fuel tanks, BISON offers high-quality generator fuel tanks designed for ease of maintenance and superior performance. We understand the importance of reliable power generation, and our products are made for that. To learn more about our generator maintenance, please contact us.

extra tips to check for:

Before storing the unit, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to prevent gas from rusting inside the tank or engine. Rust particles allowed to pass through the engine will damage your generator the next time you start it.

You want to get the most out of it. Pour some liquid into the tank to get extra loose particles off the surfaces, which you can remove later. Next, look for debris or deposits in the existing fuel filter. If it looks good, reinstall it.

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