Your purchase of a portable generator is a great start to being able to provide power during an outage. Get familiar with the generator and its operation so that when the time comes for its use, you will be comfortable with its operation. Once you begin using this new tool, you will most likely find that there are accessories you can purchase to make this suit your needs.
The market for portable generator accessories is as varied as the market for the generator itself. Before you rush out and pick up attachments for your newest toy, take a moment to go over these categories and consider which portable generator accessories are right for you.
Generator Accessories: Mobility
You could have bought a large generator that sits on a concrete pad outside your home, but you didn’t. You bought a portable generator and the important word in that phrase is “portable”. If you’re going to be moving this around at all, from the garage to the yard, to the truck, to the jobsite… You’ll want wheels to be the first portable generator accessory you pick up.
Most manufacturers sell wheel kits made just for that particular frame, other manufacturers can match them up with similar styles, and still others offer custom built wheel assemblies. The important thing is that maintain level operation, get proper ground clearance and the ability to wheel this large and heavy tool from storage to use location without straining your back by heavy lifting.
Some of the larger generator frames come with wheels attached already. Even in these cases, you may want to assess these wheels for long term use according to your needs. Pneumatic tires offer a smoother ride, but can go flat at the most inopportune times. Solid rubber tires can square off during extended storage. Plastic wheels can degrade with prolonged exposure to UV light. No matter which wheels you choose depending on your planned use, we recommend adding the proper wheels as your first portable generator accessory addition.
Notes Regarding Generator Protection
You spent a pretty penny on this tool, the second entry on your essential portable generator accessories list should be a cover or enclosure to protect it. You will need to protect it from exposure to the elements as well as from damage or theft. The more you keep your generator shielded from exposure, the longer it will run clean and reliably.
A cover is the bare minimum portable generator accessory. This can be a simple plastic or canvas cover that is draped over the generator when not in use protecting it from dust in the garage or rain on the back porch. Think of this like the cover for your grill. You take the cover off during use and cover it off when cooled off.
A weather enclosure is more like a pop-up tent accessory that protects your portable generator while in use. Large and umbrella-like, this makes it possible to operate your generator during inclement weather without exposing it to the rain or snow.
Just because your generator is portable doesn’t mean your protection has to be. It is common to have a solid enclosure that protects your generator from the elements and theft but still allows you to remove your generator for maximum portability to another location as necessary. A cover is minimal but an enclosure is one of the better portable generator accessories you can purchase.
Volume Control With Your Generator
Generators are loud. You can spend the money on top brands that promise fewer decibels, you can go with a smaller engine that produces less noise, you can hide the generator on the other side of the house, but the fact is, these wonderful tools come with an unfortunate side effect that is volume.
Fortunately, one of the common portable generator accessories on the market today is an external muffler. This simple clamp-on attachment is made to fit the output of your engine’s exhaust and filter it through internal chambers until it comes out the other side considerably quieter than it went in. No muffler can reduce the sound to zero, but with proper placement, a solid enclosure, and a quality external muffler, your generator can be as quiet as possible for your operation.
Use caution when purchasing this portable generator accessory. You do not want to choke out the generator’s output. It is not only venting noise, but also toxic fumes and vapors that can be dangerous if misdirected or constricted. Be sure to consult your manual or a small-engine professional when connecting an external muffler to your portable generator.
Generator Accessories And Connections
One of the common reasons for purchasing a portable generator is to be able to power up critical services and appliances in your home during an extended power outage. You may not think of a permanent electrical panel as one of the standard portable generator accessories, but the ease and safety of a quick connection during a storm may change your mind.
Be it your home or your recreational vehicle, you may want to use a generator to supply power but opted to go with a smaller portable generator rather than a larger “whole home” model because of cost, or interchangeability. If you only need the generator to be on stand-by during hurricane or blizzard season, you can use your portable generator for other uses elsewhere throughout the remainder of the year.
A transfer switch will be a single point connection that allows you to connect your portable generator and then with the flip of a switch, supply power to select outlets and appliances in your home without the need for dragging heavy extension cords throughout the halls. This permanent transfer switch is one of the perfect portable generator accessories to keep you powered while maintaining the ability to keep your generator truly portable.
Now let’s take it as a given that you’ve already ventured into the portable generator accessories aisle and picked yourself up some wheels, an enclosure, a muffler, and even the transfer switch. Now let’s talk convenience because a tool like a generator is only as good as it works for you. So make it work just the way you want it to.
Remote starters are often built in to the more expensive models but can come as an aftermarket add-on for the smaller engines. Depending on your intended usage, this may be one of the portable generator accessories you want the most. Imagine camping with your portable generator as your only available source of power, and being able to start or stop the engine without leaving the comfort of your sleeping bag.
The ability to remote start your portable generator is not only convenient, but also a safety concern as well. The ability to stay safe, warm, and dry inside the comfort of your own home and remotely turn the generator’s power off and on while the storm that caused the power outage is still raging outdoors is a benefit no other portable generator accessory can offer you. The remote starter can be seen as a frivolous convenience but can also be viewed as one of the important portable generator accessories.