Storing Diesel: How to Maintain Fuel for Your Diesel Generator

Standby generators that are powered by diesel are one of the most reliable sources of additional power that you can get for your home. While it tends to be priced a little bit higher than gasoline or natural gas, it also has a higher energy density – meaning that more energy can be extracted from diesel over other fuel sources, per same volume.

In vehicles, diesel can provide a better driving experience at higher mileage, making it the clear choice for heavy-duty transportation, lifting and other essential equipment. There are plenty of benefits associated with other standby generator fuel sources, but this article is going to focus on what to do with diesel.

How Does a Diesel Engine Work?
The main distinction between diesel and other engine types is its specific type of ignition. While gasoline engines operate on a spark ignition, diesel uses compression-ignition, which is a process where air is brought into the mechanism and subjected to high compression pressure that will heat it up.

How Long Will Diesel Last in Storage?
Diesel fuel does not remain fresh forever and without proper additives, you fuel source will begin degradation somewhere between 6 and 12 months of the time of storage. It will begin to react with the oxygen and begin to take on a gummy consistency, which can clog fuel filters and other engine problems. Gummy fuel won’t burn properly and can create a layer of dirt and carbon on the inside of the engine, which will need professional maintenance to remove.

How to Properly Store Diesel Safely and Maximize Shelf-Life
It’s important to remember that diesel is a flammable substance and should be treated thusly. It should be well out of any children or pet’s reach in order to best avoid any hazardous incidents. Even adult access should be limited to those who need access to refuel or perform maintenance on the tanks.

Fuel should be stored away from residences in an isolated and secure location, like a shed or other type of storage building. This helps prevent any water from coming into contact with the tank and prevents heat from escaping. Even though diesel has a higher ignition point than gasoline, it is absolutely critical that you store it away from any potential heat sources, electrical outlets. No smoking should be allowed within 100 feet of the storage area, just to be safe.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose Briggs and Stratton generators, or one of the many other varieties of standby power generators, it is absolutely important that you know how to store and maintain an effective amount of fuel. Even though the shelf life of diesel is right around a year, which may seem like a long time, it can go quicker than you might expect. You don’t want to get caught with a useless supply of fuel during an emergency situation where you will need it the most.

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