Do You Cover Your 803?

CT-Mike

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I currently have mine covered with a canvas tarp and plastic over that, held in place with some bungee cords. It is permanently installed on a concrete slab next to the house so the portable trailer setup is not an option.

The reason I do this is because of the vented opening on the top that provides air to the radiator.

I am looking for a more permanent solution. What does everyone else do?
 

dependable

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I keep my MEPs in a shipping container most of the time, and put them on slab when I think I might need them. Like I just did because of this storm.

This does require a machine with forks though. The only problem with the tarps is they do not keep out the mice. A plywood box might be a solution. There were several threads about custom enclosures when the 002s and 003s were first showing up, if you look back on the forum a few years. These were also to quiet sound, which you don't need so much, but there were some nice solutions if I recall.
 

CT-Mike

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A plywood box large enough to cover the 803 would be too heavy for the wife to remove if she needed to start it while I am at work.

I was thinking about buying some Sunbrella fabric and sewing up a cover with some snaps to attach it. I understand mice could chew through the fabric but it would be easily monitored.
 

DieselAddict

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You might consider building a frame around the generator using PVC tubing or thin galvanized conduit. That would give you an air gap around the generator and with your custom fabric solution allow you to run it with the flaps rolled up.
 

Korgoth1

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They are fine to leave outside, the enclosure is weatherproof. But I have mine on harbor freight casters, just push it out the shop when needed.
 

CT-Mike

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They are fine to leave outside, the enclosure is weatherproof. But I have mine on harbor freight casters, just push it out the shop when needed.
I don't like the idea of the air intake for the radiator filling up with rain and snow. That water would have to go somewhere, and eventually it seems to me that it would cause issues. I suppose I could just snap a cover on the top to cover the air inlet and the exhaust flapper.
 

kloppk

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As I recall there are 2 small drains at the base of the radiator exhaust. The two drains can easily get clogged with debris as they are quite small. Mine were clogged with sand and debris when I picked it up. Snow and ice would certainly be an issue for the drains though.

I too have mine on a frame with industrial casters so I can roll it out of the garage when needed.
 

Korgoth1

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I don't like the idea of the air intake for the radiator filling up with rain and snow. That water would have to go somewhere, and eventually it seems to me that it would cause issues. I suppose I could just snap a cover on the top to cover the air inlet and the exhaust flapper.
As mentioned, they do have drains and they do get clogged, at which point water will flow through the radiator, into the bottom of the set, and out a large drain hole in the center of the set.

Before I had mine on castors I had to leave it out for a couple months, I taped every inlet/outlet and the drain hole in the bottom of the set with gorilla tape(I didn't worry about the small drain holes or cracks where panels break, door cracks etc..) and mothballed it, I was afraid mice would get in. It worked well, no moisture buildup, and was mouse-free when I opened it up. The blower motor in my wife's car was packed with mouse nest though!

The large drainhole in the bottom center of the set has(when new) a piece of foam covering it to try and keep mice out, noise in, still let water drain out. The foam gets gone/damaged however, and if missing would be an attractive opening.

Also, on one of the sets I have come across, someone had taken the top panel over the control panel off at some point, and did not silicone it back, they did however silicone the drains closed:cookoo: and this had flooded all the black boxs.

Even if you don't plan on leaving the set outside, it would be wise to clear all the drains, be sure the control panel has sealant in the right places, in case you have to run in the rain.
 
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Korgoth1

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If I HAD to leave mine outside, I would lay a piece of plywood on top(or gorilla tape again) and keep it mothballed. Paint the plywood camo.

If you like your tarp setup, I would suggest using tyvek, it may prevent as much moisture from building up.
 
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Ratch

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I have a fine mesh screen (basically window screen) over the air exhaust grid which keeps out large debris, and I keep a piece of plywood siding over half the opening.
So hopefully, the drains will not clog because no debris should get through the screen, and snow will only fill half the cavity, allowing airflow through the other half to blow snow off the open part, while the heat builds and melts the snow out.

I don't think much needs to be done with these units to keep them weatherproof. I kept an 802 outside for a year or two with no issue at all. I only added the screening to the 803 after excessive tree nuts came down this fall and make it through the factory air grid.
 

NormB

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MEP-802a here, and I keep a 4x8 foot heavy-duty tarp on it held down with 1 pound lead weights I cast for bullet-making (.45 Colt, .38 S&W as I tend to go through several thousands of them every year, more when my wife and/or kids shoot with me), just drilled 1/4" holes in them and ran black zip-ties through grommets. Amazingly, tarp's stayed in place despite some really high winds here - upwards of 60mph gusts - that pulled tarps off the woodpile held down with bricks/logs.

I had an old muslin bag (like Bull Durham tobacco used to come in - does it still?) I filled with mothballs and I hang it inside the generator as mouse-repellant.

I think it works. No mouse poop seen since I first bought the machine and vacuumed out a pile and a nest.

Spring project involves disassembling the generator so I can strip and repaint it (someone used house paint to do this so it matches someone's house, not my idea of what a milspec genset should look like), check all the wiring harness connections.

Come to think of it, I should put some mouse bait/poison in the thing just in case.
 

Haoleb

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I keep mine in my walk out basement and just roll it out when I need to use it. I plan on keeping the gen longer than the house so no point in making a slab for it and installing it permanent... Sure its made to be outside unprotected but why not just take care of it and keep the elements out all together?! You could easily enough build a shelter for it and install a couple of large vents that has a large vent fan to draw air into the shed and back out again that only runs when the generator runs.
 

csheath

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Mine sits under an open shed but I would venture to say it's whole life prior was probably spent outside. They had taped over the exhaust flap after putting it out of service.

under-shed.jpg
 

dav5

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My apologies to the military purists but my wife wouldn't let me put a Dessert sand generator that had been painted with a brush in Afghanistan next to the house so I had to repaint it. My new 803A has a very nice camo pattern she may let me keep it. I had the local truck tarp guy make this up out of vinyl [18 guage I think] that they use for commercial truck and trailer tarps. It cost $80. It is totally waterproof with standing water. Tarps will not keep standing water out. I put a piece of plywood on top of the top mesh before I put it on. I made some stainless steel inserts to cover the side vents and milled some aluminum to hold it. I have had no mouse problems. There is a rope in the photo but I guess I will use bungees to hold it down if severe weather is forecast. It has never come off the way it is. IMG_0705.jpgIMG_0706.jpgIMG_0706.jpg
 
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dav5

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I don't like the idea of the air intake for the radiator filling up with rain and snow. That water would have to go somewhere, and eventually it seems to me that it would cause issues. I suppose I could just snap a cover on the top to cover the air inlet and the exhaust flapper.
The 803a's were designed to be outside but once they have been stacked or had heavy stuff stored on them the top gets bent down and water flows into the electrical compartment. I thought the joint was siliconed but I just won a mint 2006 and was surprised when I took the top panels off. No sealant at all.
 

CMPPhil

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.......think of it, I should put some mouse bait/poison in the thing just in case.
Only problem with d-Con and other bait poison is the do kill but the also attract the critters and the carry the poison pellets off and store them. I've had them carry the pellets off and store them up the exhaust and store them under the exhaust valves.

Agree with you whole heartedly one the mothballs.

Cheers Phil
 
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dav5

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I was putting batteries in my new 2006-803A and noticed that the foam that goes over the lower drain hole sits about an inch above the floor. My 2004-803A has the foam right against the floor. I don't know if it was installed improperly or if it is a design change but it certainly won't keep varmints out [I doubt the foam right on the floor will either for that matter]. I lifted the generator up and there is a 6x6 hole. I could get my fingers in all the way around. So in addition to making up inserts for the side vents like I did for my old 803A [see photo in previous post] I installed a piece of perforated stainless steel I had to keep the mice and squirrels outIMG_0724.jpg
 

Firebrand

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Since I received my -803 in the Winter months, I have placed a piece of rubber roofing material over the radiator vent opening to keep out snow and ice. When I build my more permanent working location, I plan to have a weather shield over the top of the enclosure to keep direct moisture out. I'll probably place mothballs inside to keep out the critters but I have a 17 pound cat that likes fresh meat so I'm sure he'll be on the job!
 

csheath

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I put mothballs in mine but I have recently developed doubt in their effectiveness. Haven't seen any evidence of mice where I put them but tried to get an armadillo to leave from under my shed with them and it didn't go. Have had several people tell me mothballs had no effect on mice.

Have had a mouse problem in my backhoe so I'm going to put some Rat X in it.
 
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