Step-by-Step Guide on How to Get Gas Out of Portable Generator?

By Alex McGill

Navigating the intricacies of portable generators can be a daunting task, especially when faced with the challenge of dealing with excess gas. Picture this: you’re in the midst of an outdoor adventure, relying on your trusty portable generator to power up the essentials, and suddenly, you find yourself grappling with the question of how to get gas out of portable generator.

Fret not, for our guide is designed with you in mind – the adventure-seeker, the camping enthusiast, the everyday hero yearning for a solution. Join us as we unravel the secrets, offering practical insights on efficiently managing and extracting excess fuel from your portable generator.

Main Points

  • Take safety precautions when using a portable generator, such as using approved containers for storing gasoline and storing containers outdoors away from ignition sources.
  • Properly drain and refill the generator tank before use to remove excess fuel and particles and ensure maximum efficiency.
  • Shut off the fuel supply and disconnect external fueling devices before draining and refilling the tank.
  • Follow proper fueling guidelines and additional maintenance steps, such as using a clean container for fuel storage, checking the battery and fluid levels, and inspecting the electrical system and components.

How to Get Gas Out of Portable Generator?

To get gas out of a portable generator, follow these steps:

  • Turn Off the Generator: Ensure the generator is completely turned off. This eliminates the risk of any electrical mishaps during the process.
  • Locate the Fuel Valve: Most generators have a fuel valve that controls the flow of gas from the tank. Locate it and switch it to the “Off” position. This stops the flow of gas.
  • Prepare a Container: Get a suitable container to collect the gas. It should be clean, safe, and have the capacity to hold the amount of gas in the tank.
  • Disconnect the Fuel Line: If possible, disconnect the fuel line leading from the tank to the carburetor. This step ensures a controlled flow of gas into the container.
  • Tilt the Generator: Gently tilt the generator towards the side where the fuel cap is located. This encourages the gas to flow towards the fuel line.
  • Remove the Fuel Cap: Unscrew the fuel cap from the tank. This allows air to replace the space occupied by the fuel, facilitating a smoother flow.
  • Drain the Gas: Carefully pour the gas from the tank into the container. Take your time to avoid spillage or wastage.
  • Reassemble and Dispose: Once the gas is removed, reassemble any disconnected parts. Properly dispose of the collected gas according to local regulations.
Fuel Extraction Guide | How to Get Gas Out of Portable Generator

Step-by-Step Process of Draining Gas Out of a Portable Generator

Draining gas from your portable generator is a crucial task to ensure its proper maintenance and longevity. Whether you need to store your generator for an extended period or replace the fuel, the process of draining gas is straightforward but requires attention to detail.

Gather Necessary Tools and Materials

Before embarking on the process of draining gas from your portable generator, it’s essential to gather the appropriate tools and materials. Ensuring you have the right equipment in place will contribute to a smooth and safe procedure.

  1. Wrench Set: Having a wrench set is crucial for disconnecting the fuel line from the generator’s fuel valve. Different generators may have varying sizes of bolts and nuts, so having an adjustable wrench or a set with various sizes ensures you can tackle any fastener on your generator.
  2. Fuel Container: A fuel container is necessary to collect the drained gas. Choose a container with an appropriate capacity, ensuring it can hold all the fuel from the generator’s tank. It’s also advisable to use a container specifically designed for fuel storage to prevent any potential hazards.
  3. Safety Goggles: Safety goggles are a non-negotiable part of the process. When dealing with potentially flammable substances like gasoline, protecting your eyes from splashes or fumes is essential. Choose goggles that provide a secure fit and have adequate ventilation to keep your eyes safe throughout the task.

Turn Off the Generator

Now that you’ve gathered the necessary tools and materials, the next step is to prioritize safety by turning off the portable generator.

  • Safety First: Always prioritize safety when working with power equipment and flammable materials. Ensure the generator is completely turned off before proceeding to drain the gas. This includes shutting down the engine and allowing it to cool if it has been running.
  • Disconnect from Power Sources: To prevent any accidental starts or electrical shocks, disconnect the generator from any power sources. This may involve unplugging it from electrical outlets or turning off the circuit breakers connected to the generator.
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By following these initial steps diligently, you set the foundation for a safe and effective gas drainage process from your portable generator. Taking these precautions ensures a secure working environment and minimizes the risks associated with handling fuel and power equipment.

Locate the Fuel Valve

To begin the process of draining gas from your portable generator, you first need to locate the fuel valve. This crucial component is responsible for regulating the flow of fuel from the tank to the engine. Here’s a detailed guide on how to find and access the fuel valve:

  1. Generator Inspection:
    • Turn off the generator: Ensure the generator is completely turned off, and disconnect it from any power sources for safety.
    • Visual examination: Inspect the generator for any covers, panels, or housing that may conceal the fuel valve. Manufacturers often place the fuel valve in a strategic yet protected location.
  2. Identifying the Fuel Valve:
    • Refer to the user manual: If available, consult the generator’s user manual for specific information on the fuel valve’s location. The manual typically provides diagrams and instructions to facilitate the identification process.
    • Look for fuel-related markings: Manufacturers often label components for user convenience. Search for markings such as “Fuel Valve” or symbols indicating the fuel system.
  3. Removing Covers or Panels:
    • Use appropriate tools: Depending on the generator model, you might need a screwdriver or wrench set to remove covers or panels obstructing access to the fuel valve.
    • Inspect for screws or fasteners: Look for screws or fasteners securing the cover or panel. Carefully remove them to reveal the internal components.
  4. Accessing the Fuel Valve:
    • Visual inspection: Once the cover or panel is removed, visually scan the generator’s components for the fuel valve. It is typically connected to the fuel line and positioned near the fuel tank.
    • Follow the fuel line: Trace the fuel line from the fuel tank to the engine. The point where the fuel line connects to the generator’s internal components is likely where the fuel valve is located.

Disconnect the Fuel Line

Now that you’ve located the fuel valve, the next step is to disconnect the fuel line. This is a critical step in the gas-draining process, and attention to detail is essential to prevent fuel spillage. Follow these detailed instructions:

  1. Prepare for Disconnection:
    • Safety first: Ensure the generator is turned off, and wear safety goggles and gloves for protection.
    • Position the fuel container: Place the fuel container in a convenient position to catch any residual fuel that may spill during the disconnection process.
  2. Using the Wrench Set:
    • Select the appropriate wrench: Choose the correct size of wrench from your wrench set. The size may vary depending on the generator model and the fuel line’s fittings.
    • Loosen the connections: Carefully loosen the connections securing the fuel line to the fuel valve. Use gentle but firm movements to avoid damaging the components.
  3. Disconnecting the Fuel Line:
    • Separate the fuel line: Once the connections are sufficiently loosened, gently separate the fuel line from the fuel valve. Be prepared for some residual fuel to flow out, which is why the fuel container is strategically placed.
  4. Catch Residual Fuel:
    • Direct fuel flow: Direct the fuel flow into the fuel container to minimize spillage. Tilting the generator slightly can help ensure that as much fuel as possible is directed into the container.

By successfully locating the fuel valve and carefully disconnecting the fuel line, you’ve completed essential steps in the process of draining gas from your portable generator. These actions contribute to the proper maintenance of your generator and ensure safe and efficient operation.

Fuel Extraction Guide | How to Get Gas Out of Portable Generator

Drain the Fuel Tank

After successfully disconnecting the fuel line from your portable generator, the next critical step is draining the fuel tank. This process ensures the removal of any remaining gas and prepares the generator for storage or maintenance.

  • Position the Fuel Container: Place the fuel container in a secure and easily accessible location beneath the fuel tank’s outlet. Ensure the container has enough capacity to hold the remaining gas.
  • Tilt the Generator: Gently tilt the generator to facilitate the drainage process. Tilting helps to pool the remaining fuel toward the fuel outlet, allowing for a more efficient and thorough removal.
  • Allow Gravity to Work: With the fuel line disconnected and the generator slightly tilted, gravity will naturally guide the remaining gas out of the fuel tank and into the fuel container. Be patient during this step to ensure the maximum amount of fuel is drained.
  • Monitor the Draining Process: Keep a close eye on the draining process. Once the flow of gas slows down or stops completely, it indicates that the fuel tank is effectively emptied. This step is crucial for preventing any fuel spillage or residue.

Run the Generator

After draining the fuel tank, the next step is to run the generator to expel any residual fuel from the system. This is a vital precautionary measure to prevent issues during storage and ensure the generator is ready for future use.

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1. Start the Generator: Following all safety protocols, start the generator. Allow it to run, operating on the remaining fuel in the system until it completely runs out of fuel.

2. Observe the Exhaust: As the generator operates and expels the remaining fuel, observe the exhaust for any signs of lingering gas. Once the generator exhausts only air without traces of fuel, it indicates that the system is clear.

3. Prevent Fuel Residue Issues: Running the generator until it exhausts the remaining fuel helps prevent any fuel residue from causing issues during storage. This step is particularly important for maintaining the integrity of the generator’s internal components.

4. Turn Off the Generator: Once the generator has run out of fuel, turn it off and complete the process by performing a final check to ensure no fuel leaks or issues are present.

Store Fuel Properly

If you plan to reuse the gas, it’s essential to store it in a manner that prioritizes safety and prevents contamination. Follow these steps to ensure proper storage:

  • Choose a Suitable Container: Select a fuel container designed for gasoline storage. Ensure it is made of high-quality, durable materials that are resistant to corrosion and leakage.
  • Label the Container Clearly: Clearly label the container with information such as the type of fuel, date of storage, and any additives present. This ensures that you can easily identify the contents and monitor the fuel’s condition over time.
  • Seal the Container Tightly: Airtight sealing is crucial to prevent the escape of volatile fumes and maintain the quality of the fuel. Use the container’s cap or lid securely and check for any potential leaks before storage.
  • Store in a Cool, Well-Ventilated Area: Choose a storage location away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and potential ignition points. A cool, well-ventilated area helps maintain the stability of the gasoline and reduces the risk of vapors accumulating.
  • Follow Local Regulations: Be aware of and comply with local regulations regarding fuel storage. Some areas may have specific guidelines on the quantity of fuel you can store at home and the type of containers allowed.

Perform Safety Checks

After draining the gas from your portable generator, it’s crucial to conduct a comprehensive safety check to ensure the overall well-being of your equipment and the surrounding environment. Follow these steps:

1. Inspect for Leaks:

Carefully examine all fuel lines, connections, and the fuel tank for any signs of leaks. Leaking fuel poses a significant fire hazard and should be addressed immediately.

2. Check for Loose Connections:

Ensure that all connections, including those detached during the gas-draining process, are securely tightened. Loose connections can compromise the generator’s functionality and safety.

3. Examine the Fuel Tank:

Inspect the fuel tank for any damage or corrosion. A damaged tank can lead to leaks and should be repaired or replaced promptly.

4. Assess the Surrounding Area:

Look around the generator’s location for any spilled fuel. If fuel has come into contact with the ground or other surfaces, clean it up promptly to prevent slips and falls.

5. Confirm Proper Ventilation:

Verify that the generator is in a well-ventilated area to disperse any remaining fumes. Adequate ventilation is essential to prevent the buildup of potentially harmful gases.

By following these steps for proper fuel storage and conducting thorough safety checks, you ensure the continued reliability and safety of your portable generator. Regular maintenance practices contribute to the longevity of your equipment and minimize the risk of accidents.

When to Drain Gas from Your Generator?

Generators that utilize gasoline as their fuel source often encounter issues related to fuel degradation over time. When a generator sits idle for an extended period, the gasoline within its system can break down, leading to the formation of varnish and deposits. These deposits can clog the fuel system components, including the carburetor, potentially causing starting issues or affecting the generator’s overall performance.

Draining the gas from your generator is recommended under certain circumstances. If your generator is expected to remain unused for an extended period, it’s advisable to drain the fuel tank to prevent fuel-related issues. This is particularly important for seasonal use generators or backup generators that might not be in operation frequently.

Additionally, if you plan to store your generator for an extended duration, draining the fuel becomes essential. Fuel left in the system can attract moisture, leading to corrosion within the fuel tank and other components. By draining the gas, you reduce the risk of moisture-related problems and ensure a smoother start when the generator is needed.

Thus, knowing when to drain gas from your generator is a proactive step in generator maintenance. Regular checks and appropriate measures can safeguard your generator’s functionality, ensuring it’s ready to provide power when you need it most.

How can I Fix a Generator that has Old Gas in it?

If your generator has been sitting idle with old gas in it, you might encounter issues when trying to power it up. Old gas can lead to varnish and deposits, clogging essential components and affecting the generator’s performance. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address this common problem.

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To fix a generator with old gas, start by draining the old fuel from the tank. Use a siphon or drain valve to remove as much old gas as possible. Once the old fuel is drained, dispose of it properly according to local regulations.

Next, clean the carburetor, a crucial component that is often affected by old gas. Remove the carburetor and clean it thoroughly using carburetor cleaner. Pay attention to the jets, passages, and other small openings where deposits may have accumulated.

After cleaning the carburetor, replace the fuel filter. Old gas can cause the filter to become clogged, hindering fuel flow. A new filter ensures proper fuel filtration and helps prevent future issues.

Consider adding a fuel system cleaner to the fresh gas you’ll be using. This can help break down any remaining deposits in the fuel system and improve overall performance.

Finally, start the generator with the fresh fuel. Allow it to run for a few minutes to ensure the clean fuel circulates through the system. If the generator was equipped with an electric starter, make sure the battery is charged.

In summary, fixing a generator with old gas involves draining the old fuel, cleaning the carburetor, replacing the fuel filter, adding a fuel system cleaner, and starting the generator with fresh fuel. Taking these steps will help restore your generator’s functionality and ensure reliable performance when you need it.


In conclusion, understanding “how to get gas out of a portable generator” is a fundamental aspect of generator ownership. By following the outlined steps, you’ll be equipped to handle maintenance and storage with confidence. 

Remember, safety is paramount, so always work in a well-ventilated area and exercise caution around flammable materials. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you’ll have the peace of mind that your generator is well-maintained and ready to serve you reliably whenever the need arises.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Fuel Should I Use in My Generator?

When choosing fuel for a generator, consider the type of fuel it requires and ensure that it is stored in an appropriate container. Be aware of the different types of fuel available and the level of experience needed to safely use each one. This knowledge will help you make an informed decision when selecting the right fuel for your generator.

Is It Necessary to Replace the Fuel Line Every Time I Empty the Tank?

Maintaining fuel lines is essential for storing fuel safely. Replacing the fuel line each time the tank is emptied can help keep your generator in optimal condition and ensure it functions properly. Expert advice should be sought to ascertain if regular line replacement is necessary.

How Often Should I Drain and Refill the Fuel Tank?

Studies suggest fuel tanks should be drained and refilled every 2-3 months for long term storage. Adhering to this schedule helps ensure safety precautions are met. Taking the time to properly drain and refill your fuel tank can save you from costly repairs or accidents in the future. This process is essential for proper maintenance and continued use of your generator.

What Is the Recommended Fuel-To-Oil Ratio?

The recommended fuel-to-oil ratio is typically 40:1, meaning 40 parts of fuel to one part of oil. This ratio helps protect the engine from corrosion and damage while repelling fumes and preserving fuel storage.

Can I Use My Generator Indoors?

Generators should not be used indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Safe storage and storage precautions should always be taken when using generators, including maintaining them outdoors in well-ventilated areas. To ensure safety, it is important to use generators as instructed by the manufacturer.

Can you get gas out of a generator?

Yes, gas can be extracted from a generator. One common practice is to drain the tank at least once a year, especially when the RV generator is used for the last time in the season. This involves opening the drain screw on the carburetor, allowing the fuel to flow through a hose into a designated container. The collected fuel can then be poured into the vehicle’s tank.

How do you remove stale gas from a generator?

To eliminate stale gas from a generator, acquire a large gallon gas can. Start by disconnecting the fuel line from the carburetor and drain the old gas into the gas can. Clearly label the container as “bad” to avoid accidental use, and dispose of the stale fuel properly. If the gas has been sitting for an extended period and is in large quantities, it is recommended not to rely on fuel additives at that point.

How do you drain a gas tank without removing it?

The most straightforward method to drain a gas tank without removal involves using a hose. With a hose and a suitable container, initiate the process by inserting the hose into the tank and creating a siphon. This can be done by drawing on the other end of the hose. The fuel will start flowing, allowing it to be collected in the container for proper disposal.

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