Generators provide power when it is not available from the electrical grid. That means you’ll need an external fuel source stored nearby so you can power up the generator when necessary. Since generator fuel is flammable and can contaminate soil and water there are certain safety concerns surrounding fuel tanks.
Types Of Fuel Tanks
Fuel must be stored in specially designed tanks to prevent leakage, spills, and fires. There are three primary types of fuel tanks used with generators:
- Sub Base Tanks fit above the ground but below the base of the generator set. They are a good option if you are storing less than 1,000 gallons of fuel on-site.
- Underground Storage Tanks are used if more than 1,000 gallons must be stored. These tanks are the most expensive to install and repair, but they also last the longest. The tanks are surrounded by concrete to protect the surrounding area from leaks and spills.
- Above Ground Storage Tanks are also used to store more than 1,000 gallons. The biggest concern with above ground tanks is flammability. These tanks must be installed at a minimum distance from facilities to prevent the spread of fire if it breaks out.
Several safety features are built into tanks or must be added when the tanks are installed in order to minimize hazards like fire or contamination from spills and leaks. Features include:
- Double-wall construction.
- Heavy-gauge, corrosion-protected steel or fiberglass reinforced tanks.
- Piping and fitting attachments to control fuel supply and return, ventilation, pressure and fuel alarms.
- Installation at minimum distances from other structures.
- Dikes built around the tanks to help contain spills and leaks.
- Protection from the elements for sub-base and aboveground tanks.
- Protection against ground and water contamination is needed for underground tanks.
- Approval for installation must be obtained from the State Fire Marshall. This applies to large commercial or industrial generators as well as domestic generators and small business generators.
- Safety and Fire Codes must be followed during manufacturing and installation of generator fuel tanks.
Learn More About Generator And Fuel Tank Safety From Critical Power Exchange
Contact the experts at Critical Power Exchange for advice on safely storing fuel for your backup or prime generator. Our team can assess your generator needs, recommend an appropriate fuel tank, and advise on its safe installation.