Gasoline Shelf Life

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I have a generator which I have never used - thank goodness! But I do cran k it up every month and make sure it's o.k. I need to buy gas for it -- an d I have several 2 1/2 gallon cans. I don't want to use anything larger be cause they are too heavy to lift. My question is: What is the shelf life of a gallon of gas? I bought StaBil and put that in the last time I added gas. What I will do (and did before) is fill the generator and then fill t he empty gas cans. I use the gas for lawn mower too so it will eventually get used even if we don't have a hurricane. Just wondering if I need to ad d StaBil to all of it -- thanks.
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I don't like to have gas that is more than 2 or 3 months old.
The ethenol that is put in gas now seems to cause problems. I have 3 of the 5 gallon cans. I have them numbered 1,2,3 so I can rotate them as to have about the same ammount of fresh gas. I do use the StaBil all the time as I have several small engines and some of them may not run for 6 months or so. I have also switched to some gas that does not have the ethenol in it. It is a preamium and costs more, but I feel beter about using it.
I have had to take apart and clean the carborator twice in the past of my 5 kw generator as I did not run it for about a year and had left the oldgas in it. That was before I started using the Stabila and ethenol free gas.
If you have gas that gets to be over 4 months old, it may be good, but I would put it in my car. With only 2 gallons like you have, just dump it in the car when the tank is half full or so.
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On 7/15/2013 10:02 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Just before winter, I fill up my 50 gallon generator tank (a motorhome with a 4KW Onan) with regular gas and treat it with StaBil. Never had a problem with it running the genny or for that matter, the following spring/summer.
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On Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:02:59 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"

+1 on the ethanol. Buy ethanol free if you can. Here in Canada, Shell Ultra is ethanol free. Otherwise, Av Gas if you can get your hands on it. In a sealed container it's as fresh after 2 years as regular pump gas after 4 - 6 months. Can't use it in your late model car though, because it has more lead than the ols Sunoco 260 had.
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I guess it depends on where you are but in North Carolina there are usually seveal differant brands that have the ethanol free gas.
Here is a url to find the stations.
http://pure-gas.org/
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On 07/15/2013 10:13 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Holy crap, thanks for the link!
Jon
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Per Dottie:

From what I've read, it seems to depend on what is in the gas - which seems to be dependent on one's location (cold/warm climate), the grade of the gas, and the brand.
Where I live (Southeastern Penna, USA), I've been filling up a couple of 5-gallon containers maybe once every 1.5 years. No Stabil, no problems.
My 2-cycle gas, OTOH, sits in a one-gallon can for up to 3 years at a time - also with no problems.
Now that I know about Stabil, I'll start using it on an extra five-gallon can that will be rotated every 2 years. So 2 5-gallon cans for day-to-day use and one in reserve in case the two are low when the need for the gennie arises.
What I'd *really* like is some practical means of extracting gasoline from our two motor vehicles.... there's some serious storage there with rotation built in and none of the safety considerations of gasoline in cans.
--
Pete Cresswell

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wrote:

If it is a vehicle with an external pressure regulator and a schrader valve, all you need is a hose made up to fit the schrader. Connect to the car, stick in the can, and idle the engine until the can is full.
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On 7/15/2013 9:49 AM, Dottie wrote:

I wire piles of manual transfer switches for my customers who want small gasoline generators. Many of my customers don't even operate lawn mowers, so they are completely clueless regarding this stuff. I typically recommend adding Stabil to the gas, and keeping it for no more than one year, at which time, dump it in your car. Either siphon it out of the generator or run it dry if it doesn't have too much in the tank. I would also recommend killing the generator by turning off the fuel valve, if it is going to sit idle for several months or longer. By doing this, the float in the carburetor has less change to get stuck by any gasoline turning gummy. Here is a guide I send my customers:
Portable gasoline generators
1) fill fuel tank completely. This will prevent condensation from forming in tank
2) Add fuel stabilizer to fuel (Stabil). This will prevent fuel from gelling for about one year.
3) New generators, the first oil change MUST be done at aproximately 5-10 hours of run time. Small metal fragments chafe off of the moving parts during this period. It is essential to remove them from the system at this interval. Subsequent oil changes are typically done at 100 hours.
4) Charge the generator's battery (if applicable) once a month. They typically come with a trickle charger for this. Do not leave it plugged in or it will overcharge
5) When shutting down the generator for a prolonged period of time, do so by turning the fuel valve to the "off" position, instead of using the start-off rocker switch. This process will take a few minutes to emply the carburetor of gasoline, but it prevents the carburetor's float from getting stuck on a subsequent start up.
6) When running the generator, it must be on a level surface. Most generators have a "low oil cutoff" switch, which prevents the machine from damage if the oil level drops too low. If the machine is not on a level surface, the oil may settle away from the sensor and stall the machine, or prevent it from starting.
7) When using, warm the machine up for approximately 5 minutes before switching on electrical loads. You can connect the twist lock cord set, but leave the generator "main breaker" off, (if applicable), or rocker switches in "line" position (if applicable) until warm up is complete.
8) When shutting down, even for a refueling: Turn generator main breaker off (if applicable), or turn all rocker switches to "line" position (if applicable), let machine cool down for approximately 5 minutes, then shut down.
9) When running generator in heavy rain, set a plastic card table over the machine to protect it. Do not block the exhaust outlet
10) Fuel and fuel storage: Keep enough "fresh" gasoline. Typical small generator burns approximately 1/2 gallon per hour @ 50% . Gasoline with stabilizer is good for about one year, at which point dump it in your car and replace it. All new fuel cans sold in the U.S. have an EPA required mechanism to prevent spillage. Put simply, they don’t work. Be prepared with a funnel to prevent spillage.
11) Starting a cold machine: Turn on fuel, close choke, turn on any "on" switches, start machine, after about 30 seconds turn off choke. Instructions are typically printed on machine
12) Read the manual. Discount all the scary stuff, but pay attention to the maintenance
Transfer panels, transfer switches, and interlock switches
Transfer panel: This is a sub panel with two main breakers, mechanically interlocked to prevent both from being turned on simultaneously. One main breaker is fed from your main service panel. The other main breaker is fed from your generator.
When using a transfer panel, turn off ALL circuit breakers until generator is connected andwarmed up. Turn on the "main" breaker from the generator followed by the rest of the breakers below the mains. Turning on the lower breakers individually prevents a large surge on the generator. When shutting down generator, turn off generator main first.
Transfer switches: This is a panel with typically 6 to 12 three position rocker switches in it. The positions of each switch are, "line", "off", and "gen". The normal position of the switches should be in is "line".
When using a transfer switch panel, warm up and connect generator cord, then switch all switches to "gen" position. Never shut down generator with switches in "gen" position, always turn to line first.
Interlock kit: This is a mechanical device that mounts directly to your main service panel. This prevents the service main breaker from being turned on simultaneously with a "generator main" breaker that gets installed in the panel.
When using an interlock kit, warm up and connect generator cord, turn off ALL circuit breakers in panel including service "main" breaker. Turn on generator "main" breaker followed by pre-selected breakers being careful not to overload your generator. To shut down, first turn off generator "main" breaker.
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You sure are right about the new fuel cans. I have several old ones and hardly spill any gas. I have one new 1 gallon can that I use for the 2 cycle gas/oil mix. I probably spill more out of it eahc time I use it than I do out of the older cans all year.
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On 7/15/2013 1:08 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Funny thing, after running into several of these EPA cans, and neither I nor my customers being able to get one to work properly, consistently, I figured I must be doing something wrong and stopped in to a local HD to get some guidance. I'm standing there in the lawn equipment section with spout in hand, fighting with it, when a guy in orange apron walks around the corner and begins to laugh and loudly say "They don't work". He proceeds to tell me that at this point all they do is assure the customer that it is the EPA and has nothing to do with HD, then shows them where they keep the funnels.
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Per RBM:

I broke down and bought a couple of NATO-spec Jerry cans. Pricey, but they work as one would expect a gasoline container to work.
Also, rightly or wrongly, I feel a *little* bit less scared when transporting a full can from the gas station to home in my vehicle... not much less... but maybe 10%...
--
Pete Cresswell

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Now, THAT is a field report. thank you. Thanks, both of you. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .

and

2

than

Funny thing, after running into several of these EPA cans, and neither I
nor my customers being able to get one to work properly, consistently, I
figured I must be doing something wrong and stopped in to a local HD to get some guidance. I'm standing there in the lawn equipment section with
spout in hand, fighting with it, when a guy in orange apron walks around
the corner and begins to laugh and loudly say "They don't work". He proceeds to tell me that at this point all they do is assure the customer that it is the EPA and has nothing to do with HD, then shows them where they keep the funnels.
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Per Ralph Mowery:

Somebody observed that the manufacturers did a great job of fulfilling the CARB mandate to keep gas in the can. They just didn't come through when it comes to getting gas out of the can.
--
Pete Cresswell

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I didn't see, but your supposed to pull the cord until compression is felt, to close valves when stored.
Greg
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On 7/15/2013 3:20 PM, gregz wrote:

That is a good idea, I'm just not sure how many people would be able to feel when they've hit the compression cycle.
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On Monday, July 15, 2013 12:26:58 PM UTC-4, RBM wrote: ...Snip...

...Snip ...

So there must be something very different between portable generators and those Generac-style, whole house, auto-transfer types.
The ads say that they can switch the whole house over to the generator in a matter of seconds, like 10 - 30 seconds.
What makes them capable of doing that without warming up first?
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On 7/15/2013 4:07 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

It would probably benefit those machines to warm up a bit before loading them as well, but when they're automatic, you may not have that much control. Most of these smaller KW air cooled gasoline and propane machines are pretty cheaply built, so I would do everything I could to baby them, so you can get the most life out of them.
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I don't know about the automatic home type, but some comercial generators have heaters in the oil and water systems so they are kept warm. They will auto start and about 3 seconds later will pull in the transfer switch. When the power comes back on, they will run for another minuit or so before switching back just to make sure the power has a good chance of staying on.
Also not sure if it makes any differance, but they somtimes run at 1800 rpm instead of 3600 rpm of the smaller gas engines.
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On Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:07:36 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

KLikely water cooled engines. Air cooled engines are loosey-goosey when cold and should never be loaded to full load before warming up ( which gets the clearances down)
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