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Old 09-15-2008, 06:03 PM   #1
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DIY Generator Encloser


I am looking to build a en closer for my generator. Has anyone done this? If so can you post pictures or email them?

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Old 09-15-2008, 06:04 PM   #2
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I am looking to build a en closer for my generator. Has anyone done this? If so can you post pictures or email them?

What do the instructions that came with the generator say about it? is this a portable or a standby unit?

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Old 09-15-2008, 07:35 PM   #3
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Are you building a fence around it, or a wall? Something for screening it from view? Or something to act as a noise barrier?
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:18 PM   #4
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I work with a lot of generators, most of them are HUGE, the kind that would power half a city. Some are installed inside buildings, some have enclosures around them. A few things to look out for here;

1) Make sure the radiator is very close to the front vent. Remember that a generator will move around a bit while it's running, so allow clearance, but make it so the hot radiator air goes outside, not back into the enclosure. Also, allow enough of a vent in the rear wall to permit adequate cooling air over the unit. This will be considerably larger that the front vent. You can vent the sides, but you'll need some ventilation at the back, because the generator part depends on airflow going into the very back end for cooling.

2) The exhaust, regardless of fuel type, is plenty hot enough to set anything combustible on fire. Allow plenty of clearance, and remember that this vibrates as well.

3) This enclosure will almost certainly be classified as a hazardous area by code. This usually means that anything electrical must be in rigid conduit if it's less than 18" from the floor.

4) Make it big enough to allow for easy servicing, 30" from the frame on the sides and back is about minimum. This includes the top as well. I've seen less room, and they're a royal bear to work on. Or make it easily removable, if it's small enough this can be a hinge to the concrete pad on one end.

5) If you're going to insulate the enclosure, remember that is gets WINDY in there. Anything that isn't securely fastened will end up in the fan.

6) If the generator has a control panel that has metering and status lights on it, consider putting a small window in the enclosure so you can see what's going on without entering the enclosure. It'll be loud in there.

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Old 09-15-2008, 08:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Klint View Post
I am looking to build a en closer for my generator. Has anyone done this? If so can you post pictures or email them?
Are you talking about an "enclosure?"

Most portable generators these days, say to keep it out of the rain.

I'm not sure if I feel like building one, but I considered just buying a deck cushion bench and cutting a hole into its side. Of course, the generator would need to be able to fit inside.

Also, if you live in an area where you think it might get stolen, you can pour some concrete, stick some rebar in it, and use that to chain it up.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:31 AM   #6
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I am sorry it took so long for me to respond. I live in East Texas, and we were hit real hard by Hurricane IKE. So I still don't have power, I am wanting to build a box around my generator (8.5Kw) to sound proof it as much as possible. I am going to add a transfer switch to my breaker box but I wanted a few ideas before I got started. Thank you so much for all your help.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:34 AM   #7
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In all honesty, I've found that bushes do a much better job of reducing sound from generators. Many people build fences around them or box them in, and it is not as effective as bushes.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:42 AM   #8
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You may be right, but that won't work for me :\

Let me know what you think about this...

Siding
OSB board
Insulation
Cement Board (on the inside for fire protection / heat)

One side I am going to install an attic fan
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:02 PM   #9
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Sounds like it would help........ Have you looked into a different muffler?? I don't know your exact situation, but if there's a shop around (intact) that works on small engines, they can probably help you out. An enclosure will probably still be a good idea. I remember a guy at deer camp who built a little shed for his generator which helped, but he ended up changing the muffler too.
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:44 PM   #10
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I have a car muffler around the house, and I heard that they will help out
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klint View Post
You may be right, but that won't work for me :\

Let me know what you think about this...

Siding
OSB board
Insulation
Cement Board (on the inside for fire protection / heat)

One side I am going to install an attic fan

What about building the walls out of a couple layers of concrete block? Or better yet, pouring the walls on a poured slab.

I did put a generator in a building once (in an emergency when the power was down), it had a natural gas hook up and generated about 5,000 kw (feed a 30A UPS). It was a metal building, and the generator had some type of setup designed to pipe the exhaust outside. It wasn't a small building though, it was industrial, and was 10,000sqft of open space. It was loud as hell when it ran, and should have been installed in a sealed off fire walled room or installed outdoors.

Putting a generator into anything short concrete or a industrial metal building seems like a bad idea and likely violates code.

Jamie
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:01 PM   #12
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This is just a house, so "codes" don't have any affect on me. It is a 8500w (7000 running watt) so I am thinking about just going ahead with what I was planing. I was really hoping to talk to someone that had built something like what I am wanting.
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:50 PM   #13
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This is just a house, so "codes" don't have any affect on me.

This is a horribly sad misconception. Virtually every square foot of the USA is covered by codes for building, fire, safety, electrical, HVAC, Plumbing, construction, etc. Commercial, Residential, Industrial, urban, city, in the woods, way out west, pretty much all of it is covered. Are some things different in commercial and residential, sure, but basic safety standards and fire codes apply to all of it. Even your own property, even if your the only one living there or visiting there.

Building things that are not up to code not only puts you and those around you in potential danger, it is Illegal.

Jamie
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:32 AM   #14
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i built an enclosure for mine. just using vinyl sided wood and shingles, i cut the noise WAY down. however, i DID add a fan inside the box to exhaust and cool as it's running. we live in bfe so we lose power a lot out here, and of course, we're last on the list to be fixed after storms.
will post a pic if you want.

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Old 01-06-2010, 01:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
This is a horribly sad misconception. Virtually every square foot of the USA is covered by codes for building, fire, safety, electrical, HVAC, Plumbing, construction, etc. Commercial, Residential, Industrial, urban, city, in the woods, way out west, pretty much all of it is covered. Are some things different in commercial and residential, sure, but basic safety standards and fire codes apply to all of it. Even your own property, even if your the only one living there or visiting there.

Building things that are not up to code not only puts you and those around you in potential danger, it is Illegal.

Jamie
Yes, and if the government didn't charge me an arm & a leg to build just about anything on my property... I'd get permits more often. But, permits where I live are outrageous! $150 to burn a pile of dead wood. $1370 for an approval of a septic tank design (which cost $1100 to design). We are trying to put in a pole barn... they want essentially $13/sqft in permit fees!

This is why people don't bother with permits.

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