If you’re planning to purchase a generator to back up the power supply in your house, then you need to learn how to build a portable generator enclosure. Why? We’ll tell you several reasons why every portable generator needs an enclosure. Remember, generators burn fuel and give off carbon monoxide and several other harmful gases. So, it should never be installed inside your living apartment.
In addition, installing it outside will prevent the generator from taking up some space at home. Now that you have decided to install yours outside, you have to worry about some other things. First, you have to worry about the weather. You don’t want your generator to be drenched by the rain. High winds can also hurl stones and other objects at your pricey generator, and you don’t want that.
You may also consider the noise of the generator. Having it in an enclosure can reduce its noise as the enclosure will absorb some of the noise and make your generator less noisy. An enclosure will also keep squirrels and rodents away from the generator since they can gnaw through the wires. It is needless to remind you that peeled wires are dangerous to have around. Additionally, you don’t want to deal with animal droppings on and around your generator.
Last but not least is security. Portable generators are handy enough to be stolen. So, you need an enclosure that can be locked to protect your generator from theft. After all we’ve just mentioned, we’re sure you’ll agree that an enclosure is necessary for portable generating sets. Let’s go into the business of the day immediately.
Why You Should Build a Portable Generator Enclosure?
As mentioned above, a generator gives off fumes while working because it burns fuel. And carbon monoxide, a deadly gas, is one of the gases that a generator gives off. As such, it should never be installed inside your house. Another reason why you should install your generator outside is that it won’t take some space in your apartment.
Since you have to place your generator outside, it should be in an enclosure to prevent it from rain and heavy winds. In addition, the enclosure will also protect it from rats, squirrels, and other pests that could chew the wires of your generator. Once a wire is exposed, it becomes a death trap, so you have to replace it. You don’t also want to see bird droppings on and around your generator.
Furthermore, being in an enclosure will reduce the noise of your generator because the enclosure will absorb some of the noise. Finally, another good reason for you to put your portable generator in an enclosure is security. The enclosure will prevent it from being stolen.
When Planning to Build a Portable Generator Enclosure? 8 Factors to Consider
Here are some important factors to consider when planning the enclosure for your portable generator.
You need to find out how much it will cost you. There are different types of enclosures and their prices vary widely. You have to go with the one that is within your budget.
You need to take the dimension of your generator before you decide on the size of the enclosure. You don’t want to build an enclosure that will turn out to be too small for your generator. We will advise you to build an enclosure that is much bigger than your generator in case you buy a bigger generator later on.
You need to also deliberate on the exact spot you want to place your generator. Many people take this decision as an afterthought, but you should think it through first, even before buying your generator. If it is too near to your window, the noise may be too much. And the chances of the harmful gases entering your house may be high.
At the same time, you don’t want to place it too far away from your house because it will cost you a lot of wires. At this juncture, we’d like to remind you that wires are sold per yard in length.
Another important consideration is the possibility of pipes running underneath. You have to dig the spot where the legs of your enclosure will be buried. You have to tread cautiously to avoid destroying an underground pipe. For all these reasons, you need to select a well-thought-out spot to place your generator. That’s exactly where you’ll install the generator enclosure.
If you bury the legs of the enclosure without cementing them to the ground, it will be easy for thieves to pull out the entire enclosure and make away with your generator. In other words, you need to concrete the surface of the spot where you want to place your enclosure. It is for security.
If you live in a very hot region, it might not be a good idea to build a steel enclosure. Steel conducts heat and the generator also gets very hot while working. There may be overheating when using your generator in the afternoon, under a scorching sun. A wooden shed should be a better idea for hot regions.
6. Proper Ventilation
Remember we told you that your generator will radiate heat while working. It also emits harmful gases. So, the generator shed should be well-ventilated to allow adequate airflow. This will keep the temperature of the generator low and also prevent the gases from accumulating.
7. Power source
We have been focusing on generators that are powered by fuel. If you plan to buy an inverter generator that can be charged with electricity or solar panel, you might install that one inside. In that case, an enclosure isn’t mandatory.
The noise level is another point to consider. The noisier your generator is, the further you’ll want to place it. And if the generator is not so noisy, you might decide to place it closer. However, you need to understand that it’s likely to get noisier as it gets older. Make room for that now. Otherwise, you may be forced to reposition your generator house later on, when it gets noisier.
Portable Generator Enclosure Shed:
Of course, there are mass-produced generator enclosure sheds. Instead of building yours, you may want to buy one of them. We understand that buying one of the sheds will end up gulping more money than building yours. So, if you’re not under any budgetary constraint, it may be a better option for you to buy yours. They are available in various designs, sizes, and prices.
In addition, they are made with wood, plastic, steel, or a combination of materials. So, you’ll have access to a wide variety of options to choose from. You may even get to read some reviews about your preferred generator shed before paying for it.
Finally, if you’ve never constructed any shed before, the chances are high that you’ll get something wrong during the construction. So, buying a generator enclosure kit may be your best choice.
You can construct either a wooden shed or a steel shed. Your choice will determine the essential tools that you’ll need. If you are planning to construct a wooden shed, you’ll need a hammer, a saw, a power drill, several types of nails, a pincer, a pair of pliers, and a tape rule for measurement.
On the other hand, if you want to build a metal or steel enclosure, you’ll need a power drill, a welding machine, a cutting machine, a hammer, a tape rule, and a pair of pliers.
The required materials also depend on the type of enclosure you plan to build. For a wooden shed, you’ll need some pieces of wood and some corrugated iron sheets. You may also need a strong hasp for security. A hasp is a thing metal plate that is fitted over a staple. Then, you can lock the pair up with a padlock. If you prefer a metal enclosure, you’ll need some sheets of steel or metals.
How to Build a Portable Generator Enclosure – 8 Easy Steps
Here, we will talk about building a wooden generator enclosure.
Step 1 – Take the time to decide where you intend to place the generator. Consider its noise level and also think of the length of wires to buy. Remember, the longer the wires, the more expensive they’ll be.
Step 2 – Take appropriate measurements of the generator. Take note of the height, width, and length. If there’s a possibility of buying a bigger generator in the future, you may have to add some extra space to the length, height, and width.
Step 3 – Get the required tools. Refer to the tools listed above. Go and purchase the required planks, nails, and corrugated sheets.
Step 4 – Start building the base of the enclosure. The base has to be strong enough to bear the weight of the generator when it is filled to capacity with oil.
Step 5 – Construct the four legs of the shed and see how they’ll support the base.
Step 6 – Build the four walls of the enclosure. We will advise you to pad the base and the walls outside with a corrugated sheet to prevent the rain from soaking and weakening the wood.
Step 7 – You can now build the roof. Don’t forget to pad it with an iron sheet too.
Step 8 – Finally, you need to create some vents for adequate airflow.
1. Earmark work area
For safety reasons, you should set aside a place where you want to carry out all your work. And lock your pets or children away from the place to prevent them from running into you while working.
2. Don’t use electrical equipment in the rain
Electrical equipment like a chainsaw, welding machine, or drill should never be used in the rain. Once it starts raining, take them away from the rain. Water could damage them or cause an electric shock.
3. Always clear your work area
When you are through for the day, it is necessary to clear your work area as kids could play around the spot later. For instance, if you leave some nails around, it could injure your pets.
4. Wear protective gear
Before you start working, it is necessary to wear covered shoes to protect your feet, gloves to protect your hands, thick clothes to protect your body, and glasses to protect your eyes.
5. Don’t work in a hurry
If you’re almost late for an appointment, stop the project and continue another day. Don’t rush the work. If you work in a hurry, you’ll likely make a costly mistake. And you may not follow safety rules. In that kind of situation, accidents are likely to occur.
Whether you’ve just bought your generator or you’re planning to buy it, have it in mind that you’ll build or buy a shed for it because you can’t place it indoors. Generators make noise and emit fumes. And when your generator is outside, you have to protect it from inclement weather, destructive squirrels and rodents, bird droppings, and theft. For these reasons, every generator requires an enclosure.