Generator Do’s and Don’ts
Many considerations are made by Florida Power Solutions and the customer during the estimating process and site survey. Once the generator is installed, there are some basic guidelines for the new owner of a standby generator. Of these guidelines, the most important are regarding the future of the generator’s location and how that space is managed.
Once the final inspection has passed, the restrictions are lifted on how the customer can treat the location of the generator. However, some customers make decisions about landscaping, noise abatement, and concealing the generator that greatly reduces the generator’s lifespan.
Some customers may find that they dislike the appearance of their residential standby generator, or are required by their HOA to hide its location with plants, shrubs, or trees. Hiding or masking a generator’s presence with landscaping is fine, but consideration must be taken in choosing the kind of plants and their proximity to the generator enclosure. Intrusive roots can damage or shift a concrete base, and we advise against planting or relocating trees in close proximity to a generator installation. Plants and shrubs with long, thin leaves and branches can quickly create a problem if they grow too close to the enclosure and its vents. Plant material near or inside of the enclosure will wick moisture towards the engine and electronics, and humidity needs to be kept to a minimum as much as possible. If the generator is located beneath a mature tree, falling leaves and seeds will hold moisture and should not be left to pile up on top of or around the generator enclosure and frame.
The impact of wildlife on your generator
Depending on the brand and size of your standby generator, the enclosures and frames can vary. A generator ideally will sit flush on a concrete slab or aluminum frame, but that isn’t always possible. Florida Power Solutions strongly recommends to its customers that they either have us choose a method of sealing the bottom of the generator or that they do it themselves. Rats, mice, squirrels, and small birds will often nest or attempt to store their food and nest-building materials inside the enclosure through even the smallest spaces. Wire mesh and a thin aluminum sheet are two options that work quite well. Florida Power Solutions can cut and mount aluminum sheets to the bottom of most if not all of our larger generators. Models with composite or plastic bases typically do not need to be sealed from beneath like the larger, steel or aluminum frame units.