Now that the storm is over...

So they said we were going to have a very sever storm. As a concerned homeowner, you bought that generator in case the hurricane knocked out your power. You stopped by the gas station and filled it up knowing that gas will be precious immediately after the storm, and possibly for days to come, so you wanted to be ready. Hopefully you did not need it this time, but you sure felt better knowing it was there if you did.

So now that the storm is passed it may be months or even years before your power gets knocked out. Here is what you need to do to make sure that generator will run next time, when it is needed.

First, start the engine and the turn off the gas valve under the tank. Let it run until it dies. This will drain the gas from inside the engine. Since we all use regular gas from the gas station, most of us use a fuel called E85. This gas contains ethenol, which is a very corrosive additive derived from corn. It's great for the big corn farming companies, but very bad for our engines. So if you leave this in your engine, it will eat the lining from the inside of the fuel system and leave a gummy residue that will keep you engine from running well, if it runs at all. 

Now for the gas in the tank. If you think there will be a storm in the very near future, you can simply add fuel stabilizer to your tank and make the gas you have last for a little while. Gas gets old faster than you think so it is best to use a stabilizer, preferably a marine based one, to help your gasoline stay fresh for the next few weeks or months. Read the instructions on the stabalizer for specific recomendations as to the life of your fuel. 

If after that time you still do not need the generator, you should drain the gas tank. You will need a large gas can, probably five gallons, and a funnel. There is probably a flexable gas line coming off the valve on the bottom of your generator's gas tank. Sicve you alreaddy shut off the gas valve, disconnect the fuel line after the gas valve and place the funnel under the valve so it will drain into your gas can. Then open the valve and drain the tank. You can use this on your car because it will be consumed fairly quickly, and your car is built to run e85 better than your generator is. Then next time a storm is approaching, just fill up your gas can(s) and wait. If you need the gegerator, transfer the fuel to it. If you don't put it in your car or lawn mower. But remember, do not leave gas in a gas can or in any unused machine for months at a time. It will not be very good if you do. 

This applies to your mowers, chain saws, edgers, string trimmers or any gas powered device that you have. If you use it regularly, just continue to use it. If you do not use it regularly, drain the tank and run it dry before you put it up. That is also known as winterizing your lawn equipment. It will make your stuff last much longer. That way you will not need to come see me to replace it, as often.