How Long Does Gas Last in Generator?
Generators are essential devices that provide us with power during emergencies or when we are off the grid. They are particularly useful during power outages or when camping in remote locations. However, one common concern among generator owners is how long the fuel, usually gasoline, will last in their generators. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the lifespan of gas in a generator and provide some tips on how to extend its shelf life.
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Gas in a Generator:
1. Fuel Stabilizers: One important factor that affects the longevity of gas in a generator is the use of fuel stabilizers. These additives help prevent the fuel from deteriorating over time, especially when the generator is not frequently used. Fuel stabilizers work by inhibiting the oxidation process that leads to the formation of gum and varnish, which can clog the fuel system. Adding a fuel stabilizer to your generator’s gas tank can significantly extend its shelf life.
2. Storage Conditions: The way you store your generator and its fuel can greatly impact how long the gas will last. It is crucial to store the generator and its fuel in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Exposure to heat and sunlight can accelerate the breakdown of gasoline, reducing its effectiveness and shelf life. Additionally, ensure that the fuel container is tightly sealed to prevent moisture and air from entering, which can also cause the gas to degrade.
3. Ethanol Content: Most gasoline available today contains ethanol, which is added to reduce emissions. However, ethanol can absorb moisture from the air, leading to phase separation. When this occurs, water droplets settle at the bottom of the fuel tank, while ethanol and gasoline mix together. This can cause starting and performance issues in generators. It is recommended to use gasoline with a lower ethanol content, such as E10 or E15, to minimize the risk of phase separation and extend the gas’s lifespan.
4. Frequency of Use: Another crucial factor to consider is how often you use your generator. Regularly running your generator and using up the fuel will help prevent the gas from sitting unused for extended periods, which can lead to degradation. If your generator is not used frequently, consider draining the gas tank and carburetor before extended periods of inactivity to avoid fuel-related issues.
Tips to Extend the Shelf Life of Gas in a Generator:
1. Use Fuel Stabilizers: As mentioned earlier, adding fuel stabilizers to your generator’s gas tank can significantly extend the shelf life of the gas. Follow the instructions on the stabilizer’s packaging for the appropriate dosage.
2. Store in Proper Containers: Ensure that you store your generator’s fuel in approved containers that are specifically designed for gasoline. These containers should be tightly sealed to prevent moisture and air from entering.
3. Use Fresh Gasoline: Whenever possible, use fresh gasoline in your generator. Gasoline can degrade over time, and using old fuel can lead to starting and performance issues. If you need to store gas for an extended period, consider using a fuel stabilizer.
4. Run the Generator Regularly: Regularly running your generator helps keep the fuel system in good condition and ensures that the gas is used up before it can degrade. If you don’t have a need for the generator, consider running it for a short period every few months.
Q: Can I use old gas in my generator?
A: It is not recommended to use old gas in your generator, as it can cause starting and performance issues. If you have old gas, it is best to dispose of it properly and use fresh gasoline.
Q: How often should I add fuel stabilizer to my generator’s gas tank?
A: The frequency of adding fuel stabilizer depends on the specific product you are using. However, most fuel stabilizers are designed to last for several months. Check the instructions on the stabilizer’s packaging for recommended intervals.
Q: What is the average shelf life of gas in a generator?
A: Gasoline can typically last for about 6 to 12 months in a generator if stored properly and with the use of fuel stabilizers. However, it is always best to use fresh gas whenever possible.
Q: Can I mix old gas with fresh gas in my generator?
A: It is not recommended to mix old gas with fresh gas in your generator. Old gas can degrade and cause starting and performance issues. It is best to dispose of old gas properly and use fresh gasoline.
In conclusion, the lifespan of gas in a generator depends on various factors such as the use of fuel stabilizers, storage conditions, ethanol content, and frequency of use. By following the tips provided and taking proper care of your generator and its fuel, you can ensure that the gas lasts longer and your generator remains reliable during times of need.