Make sure you always get an owner’s manual when you buy generators or other mechanical or electric devices. These little booklets are a wealth of important information that will always help you when it can. When they do not have the information you need, just ask a dealer, etc.
The fuel tank should hold 2.6 gallons at one time. However, be careful about over-filling the fuel tank as any leaking fuel may cause a fire. The refill spout is on top of the generator, above the oil access panel.
To learn more about the Predator 3500 and the fuel situation, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can get the right fuel every time you fill up. Take a few minutes to get this information.
The fuel tank or gas tank holds a fair amount of gas. It is said to be able to hold up to 2.6 gallons at one time although you may not get that amount inside per the instructions from the manual.
The manual holds a lot of warnings when it comes to checking and refilling the gas tank. It is advised that you read those warnings first if you are serious about keeping the Predator 3500 generator around for a long time.
When you go to refill the tank, after you are done, make sure to wipe up any spilled gas that may have taken place. Making sure the generator does not catch fire from spilled gas is essential for proper generator maintenance.
These generators are not cheap to replace so you will want to be careful every step of the way when refilling the tank. Filling a generator’s gas tank is exactly like filling a car’s or truck’s gas tank. You want it full but not too full.
Then make sure to use the right fuel which we will discuss in an upcoming section.
This is one piece of information that does not seem to be in the owner’s manual. After our strong words in support of those booklets, we discovered that the company did not put the gas capacity in its pages.
However, it does state that you need to only fill the tank to about 1 inch below the fill neck. So you may or may not get exactly 2.6 gallons of fuel in the tank. That is its capacity.
There are warnings in the manual like making sure to refill the tank in a location that has good airflow. Also, you need to wait till the engine is cool before adding any more fuel.
What this means is that if you are boondocking and need the generator, you may have a spell where you have no electricity while the engine cools. Be prepared for such inconveniences.
Also, when refilling the gas tank, make sure to clean the area around the refill spout. Then remove and clean the strainer before adding new fuel. Make sure to put the strainer back in before you add the new gas.
These simple steps should help you keep your generator around for a long time. Careful maintenance will be the key and watch out for any spilled or leaking fuel.
This activity is measured by the load. The word load used in this context means how much electricity is being used by your RV’s, etc., appliances, and other electrical devices. It is not measured like vehicles in MPG ratings.
Most durations are measured at 25% or quarter loads. In the case of the Predator, it can run for 11 hours at 25% load. That gives you an idea of how long the fuel will last if you go to a higher load.
The full load will not last that long. You will see a significant drop in run time between 25 and 50% load. The latter will only bring you 5 hours of power. So do not expect to get more than 2 hours on 100% load.
We caution you about some of the websites you may come across on the internet. They provide different times for the same factors. The manual does not provide a run time for the fuel tanks or at what loads.
What it does tell you is that you should not let the generator run out of gas while using its generated power. The generator is known to spike in electricity near the end of the fuel supply. Those spikes can damage electrical components.
The manual does specify this important item. The company designed its generators to run on unleaded gas. But not just any unleaded fuel. If you are in an area that sells ethanol, the ethanol content should not go above E10 or 10% ethanol.
They very strenuously said not to use E85 ethanol fuel. The manual also says to add fuel stabilizers when you are filling the tank. It also warns about using gas stored in a metal gas container or a dirty fuel can. The particles inside those containers can harm the carb.
Then when you go to buy fuel for your generator, you need to buy unleaded fuel that is rated 87 octane or higher. Not just any unleaded gas will do. Some owners may say otherwise but we do not know how long their generators lasted or if they had to do a lot of repairs because of this gas violation
One more word about the gas tank size. Those same websites that claim the Predator can run a lot longer than we reported and at higher loads. They also reported the Predator 3500 had a larger gas tank than the 2.6 gallons we mentioned.
We double-checked the specs and our information is correct. So be careful when you do your own research.
We checked the troubleshooting page for this issue. There is not one instruction telling you how to drain the fuel from the generator. Usually, this needs to be done if you got bad or contaminated fuel in the tank.
The troubleshooting pages do say to have a technician diagnose and service the engine. In other words, you should not be draining the fuel if you can avoid it.
However, according to one YouTube video, there is a way to drain the fuel from the tank. You need to set the dial to run and remove the plastic cover before you get started. There is a drain tube that comes out of the bottom of the generator.
That location means you need to set the device up high, like on a tailgate of a truck before you get started. Once you are all set up, you look for the hose screw behind the hose. Just turn the screw and the gas should drain easily.
When you are done, do not forget to tighten that screw again. Be patient as the gas may not drain that quickly.
The best information we got on this topic had to deal with the evap canister. If you fill the gas tank above the red fill line, you will be blocking the evap canister and allowing fuel to be sucked into that part. This will starve the generator of air making it run badly.
No one, not even the manual is talking about venting the gas cap on these generators. In the troubleshooting section of the manual, the most consistent repair advice given by the company is to let a technician handle the problem.
There were extended gas caps available at one time but they may not be available. If the vent is the little nipple on the side or top of the gas cap, there should be a hose attached to it.
It is okay if the hose comes off, just do not let that nipple get clogged. We say if because this information came from a 2004 Polaris Predator, not a current Predator 3500 model.
If there is a little vent hole on the gas cap, make sure it never gets plugged. Use a small thin piece of wire or something similar to get any clogs out of the way.
It would be nice if the manual covered every situation and every topic thoroughly. But if they did, the cost to print them would be too high. Sometimes you need to follow the manual and sometimes the best repair is to talk to a technician.
Or you can go to those RV discussion forums that talk about the Predator generator and see what they say. There is always good information out there, the key is having the time to find it. Just be careful of misleading websites.