Before committing to a generator, it’s wise to compare standby generator fuel types and become informed on how to properly handle and store generator fuel.
Part of owning a back-up generator is learning how to strike the right balance between having the proper amount of fuel on hand in case of emergency, yet not having so much that you cannot store it without waste or posing a safety hazard.
Midwest Generator Solutions is here with some need-to-know facts on generator fuel safety. It is important to us that our customers are equipped with the knowledge they need to get the most out of their generator and do so safely.
Diesel Shelf-Life and Safe Storage
In the generator industry, diesel is favored over gasoline. One reason is that when comparing gasoline to diesel fuel, diesel has a much longer shelf-life than gasoline. Diesel fuel can last up to a year without any additives, depending on storage conditions, while gasoline only lasts about three months. For diesel to have maximum shelf-life, it needs to stay dry and be stored at a cool temperature (less than 70 degrees F).
“Exposure to water, air, and heat will shorten that shelf life. That life can be extended by using a fuel stabilizer annually. It is best to rotate the fuel within 1-5 years and replace with fresh fuel,” says the Provident Prepper.
Like gasoline, diesel fuel should be stored only in a container or tank made specifically for the use of diesel. Depending on the size of your standby generator, you will either use small jugs of diesel or have a large diesel tank installed along with your generator. In either case, never expose your fuel to a flame. Be sure to store it in an enclosed area, or expose it to hot temperatures.
Storing Propane Safely
Unlike gasoline and diesel, propane does not degenerate over time and therefore has a virtually limitless shelf life. Still, the integrity of the fuel source has much to do with the tank it is stored in. If the tank or valves attached to the tank fall into disrepair, the propane may be lost.
When you install a propane generator, you will need to choose the size of the propane tank to purchase. For small, portable generators, a standard 20-pound LP tank from the local grocery store may do the trick. In this case, always keep the propane tank upright. Never expose the tank to more than 120 degree F temperatures or store the tank in an enclosed area.
On the other hand, for larger, full-home generators, a bigger tank will be necessary, such as a 100-gallon or even 500-gallon propane tank. In this case, it is crucial to follow government guidelines on the installation and placement of these tanks.
Whatever size or shape of propane tank you have, stay alert to the potential for leaks. If you think you have a propane leak, turn off the valve. Then ensure there is no open flame anywhere nearby, and call a professional. Do not attempt maintenance on your propane tank.
If you’d like to read up on propane storage and handling regulations, you can do so on the United States Department of Labor website. However, many homeowners prefer to leave the regulation reading to the professionals who come to install their propane tank.
For more information, check out Indiana’s Propane Gas Association’s video series on how to use propane safely.
Natural Gas Generators
If you have a natural gas generator, the gas is supplied to your home through underground pipes. In this case, you won’t have to worry about any fuel storage.
However, beware of any natural gas leaks from appliances powered by natural gas. This is because there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and do not ignore any sulfur or rotten egg smells. If you suspect a gas leak, call a professional to service your appliances.
Mooresville Backup Generator Supplier & Installer
Deciding which fuel source is most practical for you is a big part of nailing down which type of backup generator to install for your home. If you have any questions about which generator is the best fit for you, get in touch with us at Midwest Generator Solutions.
With our catalog of best-in-the-business generator brands and years of professional experience, we are sure to be able to help.