Can You Refuel a Diesel Generator While It Is Running?

While a machine is running and runs low on fuel, it may be tempting to refill its tank during operations. But is this safe when it comes to diesel generators? Find out below.

Can I fill a diesel generator while it’s running?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. You can refuel a diesel generator while it is running, but you need to be very careful when doing so. If you are not careful, you could end up causing a fire or an explosion.

It is best to not add gasoline or diesel to an engine when it is running or hot. Once the generator or engine has cooled down fully, fuel may be added. In order to avoid the risk of gasoline or diesel fumes starting a blaze, never keep fuel in a tank.

This is why that when refueling a diesel generator, it is recommended to always shut off the engine first. However, an extremely heated atmosphere is required for it to start igniting, so you may be safe to do so.

Do I need to turn off my generator to refuel?

You must first switch it off and let it cool gasoline or diesel-powered device before replenishing it. In the event of an accident, dousing the operating generator with gas might quickly ignite a fire.

Can I add gas to a generator while it is running?

Always shut off the engine before adding more gasoline. Before adding gasoline, let the generator and engine cool completely. A generator with fuel in the tank should not be stored near an open flame, spark, or pilot light. Do not smoke near a fuel source or a generator.

How long should I wait to refuel a generator?

After just 25 hours of use, most new generators need their initial oil change. Refilling every 50 or 60 hours will be necessary after that.

What happens when a diesel generator runs out of fuel?

Fuel pressure in diesel engines is incredibly high, as you may well know. When the fuel runs out, the engine’s ventilation system must be “bled” to remove the accumulated air.

Recommended Diesel Generator

Generac 6864, 5000 Running Watts/5500 Starting Watts, Diesel Powered Portable Generator

Related Questions and Answers

Can you move a generator while it running?

You should wait twenty minutes before transferring the generator if it has just been used. Make use of the handholds on the machine and maintain it upright, since flipping it over might cause serious harm in addition to spilling gasoline on the ground.

Do portable generators have fuel pumps?

As part of a generator’s gas system are a fuel tank, a fuel line to the engine, a venting pipe, and an overflow connection that drains excess gas from the tank to the drain.

What happens if a generator runs out of oil?

Running your engine with little or no oil may severely damage and wear out various engine components. Checking the oil level with a dipstick might help you fix a low oil level. Add extra oil if the oil seems clean but the level is low.

How do you get rid of an airlock in a diesel engine?

The main fuel filter will be linked to your fuel lift pump. Keep an eye on the bleed screw as you begin to pump the lever or plunger. As the system empties, bubbles will begin to develop. Soak up the dripping gasoline with rags or other absorbent materials you may have on hand.

What causes a generator to explode?

Generators may, in fact, catch fire and explode. If the generator overheats and ignites the fuel tank, the gasoline gets into touch with heated motor components, or a short circuit produces a fire, a generator explosion is not unheard of, although it is very uncommon. Most of these problems may be avoided with proper generator maintenance and storage.

Can you check the oil while the generator is running?

Oil checks are required every 12 hours for generators that operate for extended periods of time. Remove the generator from its enclosure by removing the cover. On the side of the generator, there is a breaker that looks like a home breaker. Unplug it. However, the lights and loads will be extinguished, but the generator will continue to operate.

What are some common diesel generator issues?

This video provides some details:

Do Honda generators have a fuel pump?

Honda inverter generators that already have a vacuum fuel pump are often modified to provide this feature.

Recommended Honda Inverter Generators

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator with CO-Minder – 49-State

Honda EU7000ISNAN 7000-Watt 120/240-Volt Inverter Generator with CO-MINDER – 49-State

Honda EG2800i 2800W 120V Full Frame Portable Inverter Gas Generator

Will an airlock clear itself?

It’s not worth taking a chance with airlocks, even if they sometimes self-repair. In hot water and central heating systems, airlocks may form when air is trapped in the system. Because the gas is less thick than the water in the system, it might get trapped at a high point of the pipes.

What are the symptoms of having air in the fuel line?

The engine may stall or refuse to start if there are air bubbles in the fuel line. For smooth generator operation, make sure your fuel lines are clear of air.


While it may seem safe to refill a generator while it is running, it is not recommended to do so. For the safest result, shut the generator down and let it cool off before refilling.

Can you run a generator overnight?” is a question that has been asked before. The answer to the question is no, you cannot refuel a diesel generator while it is running.

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James Sylvester
About James Sylvester

James S. Sylvester is an experienced OSHA Safety Supervisor with years of experience in the construction and oil & gas industries. He focuses on workplace safety, occupational health and safety systems. Learn more about James' here or connect with him on Twitter