Whether you’re a homeowner, an RV owner, a camping enthusiast, or a business owner in the construction industry, investing in a portable generator can prove to be highly beneficial.
However, when you’re not using these generators, they can pose a storage challenge, especially if you lack proper storage facilities on your property. In such situations, storing the generator outside might seem like the only choice.
Essential steps to safely store a portable generator outside, including choosing the right location, investing in a quality generator cover, ensuring proper ventilation, and conducting regular maintenance, can prolong the life of your generator.
Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming storm season or looking for a long-term or short-term storage solution, this will help you keep your generator in top-notch condition.
So, Can You Store A Portable Generator Outside?
Yes, you can store a portable generator outside, but ensure it’s protected from the elements, use a waterproof cover, place it on an elevated surface, provide proper ventilation, secure it against theft, follow maintenance guidelines, and consider stabilizing or emptying the fuel tank for extended storage.
How to Safely Store Generator Outside? (7 Steps)
To safely store a portable generator outside, follow these guidelines in 7-Steps to protect the generator from the elements and ensure its longevity
1. Use a Durable Generator Cover
Invest in a high-quality, waterproof generator cover designed to shield your unit from rain, snow, and harmful UV rays. A well-fitted cover will prevent water from seeping into sensitive components, protecting your generator against potential damage.
2. Provide an Adequate Shelter
To provide additional protection from direct exposure to the weather, place your generator underneath a generator storage box or cover. This straightforward action can preserve the generator’s performance and significantly increase its lifespan.
3. Elevate and Level the Surface
Place your generator on an elevated and level surface to prevent water accumulation during rainy periods. Standing water can lead to corrosion and electrical issues, which can be avoided by ensuring proper drainage.
4. Ensure Proper Ventilation
Safety is paramount when storing a generator outside. Always place the generator in an open, well-ventilated area to disperse harmful exhaust fumes safely. Avoid storing the generator in enclosed spaces or near openings such as windows or vents.
5. Enhance Security Measures
Protect your investment by securing the generator against theft. Use heavy chains and locks to anchor it to a fixed structure reducing the risk of unauthorized removal.
6. Manage Fuel Properly
For long-term storage, consider stabilizing the fuel following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Alternatively, empty the fuel tank to prevent fuel-related issues and ensure a smoother startup when needed.
7. Regular Maintenance Checks
Even during storage, perform periodic maintenance checks. Inspect fuel and oil levels, clean air filters, and examine all components to ensure your generator remains in excellent working condition.
How to Store Short-Term Outdoor Storage (One Month or Less)
For short-term outdoor storage (one month or less) of a portable generator, follow these essential steps.
1. Clean and inspect: Before storing the generator outside, clean the generator’s exterior, removing any dirt or debris. Inspect the unit for any visible damage or loose parts.
2. Dry Location: Choose a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct exposure to rain or snow. Consider placing it under a temporary awning or cover if necessary.
3. Elevated Surface: Position the generator on an elevated and level surface to prevent water from accumulating around the unit.
4. Secure: If possible, secure the generator with a chain and lock to deter theft.
5. Keep Fuel Fresh: If the generator will be stored for a month or less, you can leave the fuel in the tank. However, consider adding a fuel stabilizer to keep it fresh.
6. Run the Generator: Every two to three weeks, start the generator and let it run for a few minutes to ensure proper lubrication and keep the engine components in good condition.
7. Disconnect Battery: If your generator has a battery, consider disconnecting it to avoid any potential drain during storage.
8. Use Storage Cover: Use a waterproof generator cover to protect the unit from dust and debris.
By following these steps, you can safely store your generator outdoors for a short period of time, ensuring it remains in good working condition and is ready to use when needed.
How to Store Long-Term Outdoor Storage (More Than a Month)
For long-term outdoor storage of a portable generator (more than a month), take these extra precautions to ensure the unit’s longevity and functionality.
1. Thoroughly Clean and Inspect: Preparing your generator for long-term storage is similar to the steps you took for short-term storage but requires even more attention.
Since the generator won’t be used for an extended period it’s essential to thoroughly clean and inspect it ensuring it’s in top condition for future use possibly next year.
Follow the guidelines carefully to maintain its longevity and functionality during the extended storage period.
2. Choose the ideal Location for Outdoor Storage: Choose a dry, covered location with proper ventilation, protecting the generator from direct exposure to rain, snow, and sunlight.
3. Elevated and Level Surface: Place the generator on an elevated and level surface to prevent water accumulation and potential damage.
4. Drain the Fuel Tank: If you expect the generator to be stored for an extended period, drain the fuel tank completely. Stale fuel can lead to starting issues and damage the engine.
5. Stabilize the Fuel (Optional): If you prefer not to drain the fuel, add a fuel stabilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions to keep the fuel fresh and prevent degradation.
6. Drain Generator Carburetor: Draining your generator carburetor is an essential step in preparing your portable generator for long-term storage or when it will not be used for an extended period.
The carburetor is a critical component of the generator’s engine that mixes fuel and air to provide the necessary power.
Draining it prevents fuel from becoming stale and causing starting issues or damaging the engine during storage
7. Insert a little oil in the cylinder: After draining the fuel tank or stabilizing the gas, the next step is to add some oil to the generator.
Make sure the generator is not running, and remove the spark plug. Pour 2 to 3 teaspoons of oil into the spark plug cylinder.
Then put the spark plug back in and reconnect the attached wire. As an extra precaution, pull the start cord a few times to distribute the oil evenly.
Don’t forget to get a weather-resistant cover to shield your appliance from poor weather.
Storage Guidelines for Generator Wires and Accessories
Maintaining generator cords and accessories is essential to maintain their condition and avoid tangles or damage.
Consider using wire wrap or a cable organizer to keep the cords neatly wrapped and easy to access. Store cords and accessories in a dry, dust-free place to prolong their life.
Portable Generator Storage Options
Various storage options are available to store your generator outdoors safely. One option is constructing a lockable homemade wooden enclosure to protect the generator from unauthorized use and theft.
Another option is to use a sturdy awning designed to withstand the elements. These awnings protect from rain, sun, and wind and allow good ventilation.
Generator Outdoor Storage Alternatives
If outdoor storage is not possible or not possible, other storage options are available. You can allocate a separate space in your home, such as a garage or utility room, to store your portable generator.
Provide adequate ventilation and follow safety guidelines for storing generators indoors. Some generator models are designed for indoor use and have built-in noise-reduction features.
Safety tips for generator maintenance
Here are some additional safety tips to keep in mind when storing portable generators outdoors:
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular generator model.
- Do not store the generator near flammable materials or flammable liquids.
- Keep children and pets away from the generator set and its storage area.
- Store the generator in an upright position to prevent fuel leakage.
- Regularly inspect the generator for any signs of pests or insect damage.
- Have a fire extinguisher ready near the generator storage area.
- During extreme weather conditions, consider bringing a generator indoors temporarily.
Conclusion: Can You Store A Portable Generator Outside?
Ensuring store a portable generator outside when it’s not in use may initially seem daunting but it becomes straightforward once you understand the process.
While a generator may not be constantly required storing it correctly is vital to ensure it remains reliable when called upon.
By following the tips methods and solutions outlined above you can significantly extend your generator lifespan and maintain its performance at its best.
FAQs: About Outdoor Storage For Generators
Can I Store the Generator Outside All Year Round?
Yes, you can store your portable generator outdoors year-round, but taking the right steps to protect the generator from the elements is important. Use a waterproof case, protect against theft, and perform regular maintenance to ensure your device’s longevity and safe operation.
Can You Leave Gas in a Generator?
It is not advised to keep gas in a generator for a long time. Storing gasoline in a generator for long periods can lead to fuel degradation, clogging of the fuel system, and potential damage to the engine.
Can You Leave a Generator Outside in the Rain?
No, it is not recommended to leave a generator outside in the rain. Exposure to rain can cause damage to the generator’s electrical components and reduce its lifespan. Always store your generator in a dry and covered area to protect it from the elements.
How Can I Protect My Generator Set From Rain and Wind?
Use waterproof housing designed for generators to protect your generator from rain and wind. Ensure the lid fits snugly and securely, and consider placing the generator in a location with additional shelters, such as under a porch or in a shed.
Can I Store the Generator Indoors Instead of Outdoors?
Yes, you can store the generator indoors if you can’t or don’t want to store it outdoors. Allocate a dedicated space in the home, such as a garage or laundry room, and provide adequate ventilation. Follow safety instructions for storing generators indoors and refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your generator model.
Can You Leave a Generator Outside?
You can keep a generator outside for storage or use. But it’s essential to protect it from the weather whether it’s a portable or stationary one. Stationary generators are always outside but they have covers to keep them safe.
Can I Use a Generator Cover to Reduce Noise?
Yes, there are generator covers specifically designed to reduce noise. These covers can help absorb and reduce the noise generated by generators, making them more suitable for residential areas or activities that require a quieter operation.