The type of gas you use in a generator and how you care for that gas will affect its performance.
Westinghouse Generators use unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87 and maximum ethanol content of 10%. The best type of fuel for a generator is ethanol-free fuel.
Follow all safety precautions found in the Westinghouse operator’s manual. Always work on the generator in a well-ventilated area. NEVER run the generator in enclosed areas as gas fumes are dangerous.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Choose the Right Gasoline for a Westinghouse Generator
When sourcing fuel for your generator, it is important to use fresh gasoline with low ethanol content. I also recommend using a fuel additive to help minimize the negative effects fuel can have on the fuel system and engine.
Low Ethanol Content
Ethanol is an alternative fuel made of high-starch plants like corn. It is added to gasoline to make it more environmentally friendly.
Because it is plant-based, it naturally attracts moisture to the fuel system. When the ethanol and water mixture evaporates, it leaves behind varnish and gummy deposits that can cause fuel restrictions and component failures.
Due to the negative effects of ethanol on the fuel system, always choose gasoline with an ethanol content no greater than 10%. Never use fuels sold as E15, E30, or E85. These fuels contain up to 15%, 30%, and 85% ethanol.
Use Fresh Gasoline
Gasoline can begin breaking down as soon as 30 days after purchase. It is best to only purchase the amount of gasoline you are able to consume within 30 days.
I know this is easier said than done. You may only use your generator during power outages. You never know when that is going to happen and how long you’ll be without power.
If you purchase more gas than you can use within 30 days, add a fuel additive to stabilize the gas so it lasts a little longer before it begins to break down.
Add a Fuel Stabilizer
Like the typical homeowner, I don’t use my portable generators regularly. I use them for power outages and football tailgates. So I add a product called Sea Foam Motor Treatment to every tank of gas.
Sea Foam not only stabilizes gas for up to two years but also cleans the fuel system and reduces moisture. It helps minimize problems that can develop from running old fuel. Another good fuel additive alternative is STA-BIL.
Fuel stabilizer must be added to fresh gas. It cannot reverse the effects of old gas. If you find old gas in a generator, drain it and add fresh fuel with a stabilizer mixed in.
Ethanol-Free Fuel (Optional)
Using an ethanol-free gas will avoid the negative effects ethanol has on the generator. While ethanol-free gas is best to run through your Westinghouse, it is the more expensive fuel choice.
Ethanol-free gas can be purchased at some fuel stations. It is sold as recreation fuel or REC-90. It can also be bought in canisters at your local hardware store or online like this 4-cycle fuel by TruFuel.
The canisters are a convenient option to keep on hand.
Tips for Purchasing and Storing Gas for Your Westinghouse Generator
Using the wrong kind of gas or old gas in a generator can cause starting and running problems. Follow these quick tips when choosing and storing gas:
- Always use fresh gas and consume it within 30 days.
- Use unleaded gasoline with a minimum 87 octane rating and a maximum 10% ethanol content.
- Add a fuel stabilizer when you are unable to consume gas within 30 days.
- Store gasoline in a dry cool location away from combustible products.