A generator is built to be tough. It has to be because it is subjected to a lot of abuse when operating.
But even the toughest generator cannot withstand the elements of nature. An unprotected generator is vulnerable to rust if it’s left out in the rain. On the other hand, the parts wear out if the machine is left out in the sun for a long time. Also, dust and debris can get inside small openings and ruin the system inside.
Knowing that natural elements can damage the generator, it seems logical to place the machinery indoors. However, most people do not want a heavy, noisy machine operating within the confines of a homes or buildings. The machinery should be placed outside.
So, how does one prevent a generator from premature wear and tear from exposure to these natural elements? They should be protected by a generator cover.
A simple generator cover can be purchased cheaply from a hardware store. It is made out of a heavy duty, waterproof fabric or canvas so that rain could not seep in. The fabric allows air to come in to avoid condensation.
A generator cover is also double stitched at the seam so that it can withstand rough handling. The opening is usually elastic so that it can accommodate other generators that are slightly smaller or larger than the cover. For normal household generators, this is quite sufficient.
But what if a generator is a lot bigger than the biggest generator cover sold in the stores? Some of the bigger generators are so heavy that they cannot be moved at all, making it impossible to cover. Therefore, they have to be installed in a fixed position.
For this type of generator, it is usually better to make a shed to protect it against natural elements. The shed is usually made out of wood and roof material. This is actually better than a generator cover made out of fabric in keeping the sun and rain out. The only thing that should be kept in mind is to install the machinery a few inches above the ground. This is to prevent water from seeping into the machine in case of flooding.
Another type of generator cover is called an enclosure. This cover is structured like a box. It is usually made out of metal that is treated to resist sun, rain and wind. The generator can be accessed through moveable metal panels built at the sides of the enclosure.
To combat internal heat build-up, an enclosure has vents. It also has a smokestack above it to let the fumes escape. Since the enclosure is made out of metal, it also reduces the noise that comes out of the unit.
Generator covers are important and should be acquired upon purchasing a generator. It is a small price to pay to maintain an expensive piece of equipment.