Safe to run generator in detached shed? - Hurricane Sandy Discussions - Long Island Firearms

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Safe to run generator in detached shed?

safe to run generator in detached shed

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18 replies to this topic

#1 jetfan1616

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Posted November 19 2012 - 10:48 AM

I'm trying to decide where to set up my generator for the next time we'll inevitably need it. Is it safe/legal to run one inside a detached storage shed? I can't find anything in NYS codes that differentiates between an attached garage and detached shed.

Some info about the shed:
- shed is 10' from the closest wall of the house.
- has 2 opening windows on the front, as well as ridge and eave vents.
- WOOD construction (I would cover the corner around the generator with sheet rock and flashing just to be safe)

I'm hoping that the shed will help to muffle the noise, as well as provide shelter for the generator and whoever is filling it in a storm. Also allows me to deadbolt the door so the generator is secure.

Edit to add: I would of course mount a CO monitor in the shed and leave the door open for extra ventilation BEFORE entering.

Edited by jetfan1616, November 19 2012 - 10:52 AM.

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#2 VietVet

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Posted November 19 2012 - 11:08 AM

This was posted here before but I couldn't find it so...................




#3 Captain Will

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Posted November 19 2012 - 11:19 AM

There is nothing that I know of in NYS or any local codes that specifically prohibits this, provided that there is no actual electrical service or installed wiring in the shed (no transfer switch, local disconnect, etc.)

In a garage type X drywall is required (fire rated) but that is for residential attached garages,, not required for detatched or outbuilding AFAIK.

IMO a secondary enclosure lined with Type X and incorporating ventilation might be a good idea- like vented to exterior by a return air grill or something with a lot of cross section. Of course, this will allow more noise at exterior.

you also need to be wary of storing gasoline anywhere near a running generator, or in any kind of space where vapors from a spill can build up- but you alreadty know that.

And DO check your local municipal codes, don't take my word for it- I've been wrong before ha ha.

#4 foxfire

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Posted November 19 2012 - 11:24 AM

I'm sure I posted it as I bought one and had it outside my house for the last 2 or 3 years. BUT stay away from it, it's a POS. Up until Sandy I never ran the generator for more than an hour, so I never got to see the full use of this enclosure. After running a generator in it for a couple of hours the exhaust started to melt the enclosure where the exhaust vents to the street. The magnetic exhaust extention fell apart under the heat and also literally melted.
I believe they had a good idea but practically speaking it doesn't work. It's reviews tell the story and I guess we should really believe them as they are all true. I spoke to the engineers at the manufacturer and they seemed dumbfounded at my findings but when told the reviewers all found the same thing they started back peddling and had no real answer. Long story short stay away mine is in the dumpster.

#5 jetfan1616

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Posted November 19 2012 - 11:29 AM

There is nothing that I know of in NYS or any local codes that specifically prohibits this, provided that there is no actual electrical service or installed wiring in the shed (no transfer switch, local disconnect, etc.)

In a garage type X drywall is required (fire rated) but that is for residential attached garages,, not required for detatched or outbuilding AFAIK.

IMO a secondary enclosure lined with Type X and incorporating ventilation might be a good idea- like vented to exterior by a return air grill or something with a lot of cross section. Of course, this will allow more noise at exterior.

you also need to be wary of storing gasoline anywhere near a running generator, or in any kind of space where vapors from a spill can build up- but you alreadty know that.

And DO check your local municipal codes, don't take my word for it- I've been wrong before ha ha.


As I said, I would properly fireproof the shed and vent the exhaust. Gas would be stored in a different shed.

I'm sure I posted it as I bought one and had it outside my house for the last 2 or 3 years. BUT stay away from it, it's a POS. Up until Sandy I never ran the generator for more than an hour, so I never got to see the full use of this enclosure. After running a generator in it for a couple of hours the exhaust started to melt the enclosure where the exhaust vents to the street. The magnetic exhaust extention fell apart under the heat and also literally melted.
I believe they had a good idea but practically speaking it doesn't work. It's reviews tell the story and I guess we should really believe them as they are all true. I spoke to the engineers at the manufacturer and they seemed dumbfounded at my findings but when told the reviewers all found the same thing they started back peddling and had no real answer. Long story short stay away mine is in the dumpster.


I was concerned about heat in a 6 x 10 wooden shed, I could only imagine what a generator would do to a plastic enclosure like that.

#6 minuteman1970

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Posted November 19 2012 - 12:27 PM

I just bought a generator last week, and had the same thought. Lowe's is going to have a small plastic shed on sale this Friday for $100 (normally over $200). You can find a few videos on Youtube showing custom generator enclosures, some of which were made from such a shed and seem to be elaborately vented for use while the structure is closed.

While I like the enclosure idea, I've decided against it due to the additional cost and time involved in modifying the shed. I may just build a simple hinged cover for mine, to protect it from rain/snow while in use. I will also be chaining my generator to a tree to discourage theft.

#7 jetfan1616

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Posted November 19 2012 - 12:36 PM

I just bought a generator last week, and had the same thought. Lowe's is going to have a small plastic shed on sale this Friday for $100 (normally over $200). You can find a few videos on Youtube showing custom generator enclosures, some of which were made from such a shed and seem to be elaborately vented for use while the structure is closed.

While I like the enclosure idea, I've decided against it due to the additional cost and time involved in modifying the shed. I may just build a simple hinged cover for mine, to protect it from rain/snow while in use. I will also be chaining my generator to a tree to discourage theft.


I'm only considering it because I have the shed already, and I'll be storing the generator in that shed so there is room. Might as well put a little more effort into it and make it a permanent spot. If I had to buy/build the shed around the generator, I'd probably just let it run outside.

#8 willgrah

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Posted November 19 2012 - 12:40 PM

I would not really worry about the heat from the generator with ample clearance and windows open. The exhaust is the hottest point an the gas must be forced out of the structure or it will get ugly in there fast. Can it be drawn out with a fan, possibly, but a direct hose running out of the building like gas stations use when they work on cars is probably better. There is a good amount of mechanical noise coming from the genset but the majority of it comes from the muffler/exhaust. With the windows open and the exhaust being forced through a straightpipe you will only make it so quiet.

When the weather gets better I am going to put together a dog house for my generator. Using steel studs, fire rated sheetrock and insulation on a small concrete slab. I figure there will be little chance of the thing melting or burning down. Proper venting will be the hardest part, that is going to take some thought.

#9 Nordon

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Posted November 21 2012 - 07:25 AM

Many gen sheds have a built in fan that plugs into one of the available sockets. Used for cooling and exhaust venting.

#10 T.Webb

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Posted November 21 2012 - 07:41 AM

The hotter the engine and generator get, the shorter its life will be. So, you'd need something very well vented to say the least.

I was thinking about getting something built with louvered walls and doors, and even a chimney to bring the exhaust up and out. And maybe even sacrificing one of the outlets on an exhaust fan to draw the heat out of the enclosure.

#11 Macrosill

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Posted November 21 2012 - 07:51 AM

As long as you vent the exhaust out of the shed and get some decent ventilation it should be fine.

#12 Captain Will

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Posted November 21 2012 - 07:51 AM

Many gen sheds have a built in fan that plugs into one of the available sockets. Used for cooling and exhaust venting.


They are also lower than six feet tall which exempts them from municipal code compliance in most places. OP wants to put a generator IN his shed, and will likely be constrained to no wiring. So, any exhaust fan wired to the generator should be (for the sake of compliance) mounted to the generator frame instead of the shed wall. Sounds stupid and maybe pedantic, I know. Just calling it as I see it.

#13 NRATC53

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Posted November 21 2012 - 07:54 AM

It's fine. Vent it (Small fan as said above) and gas storage sep.

#14 NRATC53

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Posted November 21 2012 - 07:56 AM

Set up fan high so it pulls hot air out, have fresh air vent low to bring cool air in, saves generator as most are air cooled

#15 BowhuntNY

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Posted December 08 2012 - 10:07 PM

My uncle's hunting cabin upstate relies on generator power 24/7 and the entire place is propane run. All our neighbors do the same either running on propane or gas (why gas I don't know.) Our generator shed is a simple 2x4 frame construction sheathed with corrugated sheet metal. It has doors on either side and we keep them open when the generator is operating. The floor is coarse bluestone and the generator is anchored to the ground on 4x4 posts we set in the ground 3' deep. We ran the supply to the breaker panel underground in pvc conduit. Been running it like that for 10 years with no issues at all. The shed dimensions are about 6' square and it's roughly 8' tall. In the summer when temperatures reach the 80's or even 90's we run 30W oil in the engine. All other times we run 10W30. Never had any overheating issues or starting issues at all.

#16 Clayshooter631

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Posted December 10 2012 - 12:30 AM

Look online for a 120V "Muffin Fan", the lower the amperage draw, the better . You can plug right in to a 120V outlet on the Gen. IMHO - I don't know what the volume of the shed is, but size the fan for for enough CFM to keep the air flow at 3 1/2 X volume of the shed per minute - This should cover you even during the Summer months.

Also, be sure to install eve vents or some other form of inlet for proper circulation.

#17 grifhunter

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Posted December 10 2012 - 12:53 AM

I just put mine under the glass picnic table on my deck. I can't figure out why you want/ need a box.

#18 PeepSight

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Posted December 10 2012 - 04:26 PM

Saw plenty of generators at COSTCO yesterday...one even had a remote start (8kw). Get them before the next disaster.

#19 Yanobi

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Posted February 11 2019 - 03:25 AM

Guys, you can't operate propane generators indoors for your safety, it's pretty dangerous! Consider buying an inverter generator. Look at some of these models: https://lawngardento...rter-generators, it's the best 2019 can afford.







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