Why Generators and Old Fuel Are a Bad Combination

While homeowners can be thankful that power failure rarely happens in most areas of the US, it still pays to have a generator ready to keep your home powered during emergencies. However, generators being rarely used means the fuel needed to run them also ends up sitting in storage for a long period of time. Some may think that it’s always good to have something for backup, but licensed residential electricians say you should ditch that old canister. 

What’s Wrong With Old Fuel?

The gasoline used for powering generators is made of different components. Over time, these substances undergo a chemical reaction called oxidation, which causes them to form viscous deposits that don’t burn efficiently, if at all. This is why old gasoline looks dark and rusty, with dark-colored buildup at the bottom.

How Old Fuel Affects Generators

A generator is basically a machine that burns up fuel and converts it to electricity. Residential electrical repair experts say that it should be able to burn efficiently to provide your house with plenty of power. If you pour in old fuel, the impurities mixed with it are deposited throughout the generator’s system. These impurities then clog up the generator’s pistons and carburetor, causing the generator to either run inefficiently or stop altogether.

Potential Problems

Since impurities from old fuel cause unnecessary friction, it increases the chances of your generator overheating. Furthermore, the friction also puts it under more wear and tear, as well as making it more likely to break down or have a shorter lifespan. Even worse, an inefficient generator means you’ll have to end up using more fuel than it should, forcing you to spend extra.

Avoiding Old Fuel

While it’s impractical to only get fuel during emergencies and, given certain circumstances, impossible, it’s feasible to keep “fresh” fuel around. Generator installation services experts recommend having a well-sealed gas can because it slows down the effect of oxidation. They also recommend removing the old fuel from your generator using a pump if it hasn’t been used for several months before refilling it with fresh gasoline.

If you need help with your generator, we’re the right people for the job. Bailey & Shipp is the leading electrical services provider in Columbia, MD. Contact us at (410) 457-3507 or fill out this online contact form to request a free quote.

Related Posts
  • Standby vs. Portable Generators: Which Is Best for My Home? Read More
  • Should You Invest in an Emergency Generator? Read More
  • Pros and Cons of the 3 Main Types of Home Generators Read More