Portable generator accessories are essential components and parts that come separately or in-built with your portable generator and are crucial to its proper functioning.
From silencers that reduce the generator’s noise levels to weatherproof covers that protect your investment, generator accessories bring a host of benefits.
The best way to decide what generator accessories you need is to ask yourself how and where you’ll mostly use your portable generator. Will you be moving your generator around a lot say in work sites or with your RV? Then you’ll most certainly need a wheel kit to make the process more manageable. Is your generator a heavy-portable one, and will it be in one spot or stored for most of the time? In that case, you’ll most certainly need a weatherproof cover to keep it safe from the elements.
Here are our top ten most useful portable generator accessories that will go a long way to optimizing the performance of your generator.
Portable Generator Accessories
1. Transfer Switches
A transfer switch is one of those generator accessories that you must consider having for your portable generator. This switch is essential because it changes the load from one source of electricity to the other, and in the case of portable generators, from the mains electricity supply directly to the generator and vice versa.
Crucially, this piece of kit prevents two power sources from simultaneously feeding into the generator’s circuit, which can be extremely dangerous. In the United States, a transfer switch is a non-negotiable; it’s a legal requirement for portable generators connected to any home or building. It is also required that transfer switches always be installed for RV and residential backup generators.
There are generally two types of transfer switches:
- Automatic transfer switches
- Manual transfer switches
Both switches are suitable for a portable generator. With a manual switch, you will be required to flip a switch when there is a power outage or when mains power resumes, to transfer the load to and from to the generator. However, with an automatic switch, which is programmable depending on the size of your generator, the electrical load is transferred automatically.
The type of switch you choose will mostly depend on your preferences and budget.
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Allows you to easily perform a portable generator transfer switch installation, whether it’s for your home or office. This way you can safely use back up power, in case there is a power outage.
- can support generators up to 7,500 maximum watts
- it comes with 10-foot power cord, 30A power inlet box, wire connectors and extra 20A plug
- comes with 5 year warranty
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This is a safe and universal transfer switch, which prevents back-feeding. It can be used with any portable generator, by simply using the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected outlets.
- Can support home standby generators up to 11 kW
- Easy to use, simply switch from utility to generator mode by pushing one button
- Comes with 5 year limited warranty
- Includes power inlet box and 10-ft cord
Heavy Duty Extension Cords
Generators need to breathe. As per recommended practice, they must be placed at least 15 feet away from any buildings or large immovable objects. The exhaust pipe must be positioned in such a way that the fumes released do not pollute nearby doors, alleyways, corridors, or windows. The poisonous carbon monoxide fumes from the generator engine exhaust can drift indoors, presenting a health hazard.
Extension cords are useful generator accessories that help you to properly install your generator in an ideal location while ensuring that electricity delivery from the generator is safe. As most portable generators operate outdoors, these cords should be heavy duty to handle any extreme weather conditions. They should also be able to carry the same amperage as your generator.
This generator accessory must also have two different plugs, one for the transfer switch outlet, and one for the portable generator outlet. Make sure that it is of a reasonable length for convenient installation and operation.
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This is a high quality power cord by Conntek and comes in different lengths, all of which are UL certified. The heavy duty 10 AWG wire is made of 100% pure copper. It’s certified for outdoor use and can be used in hot or cold weather conditions. The power cord has a NEMA L14-30 plug and receptacle.
- Provides power at 30 Amps 125/250 Volts with a maximum rating of 7,500 Watts.
- Choose between: 10, 20, 25, 40, 50 or 100 feet cords.
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The triple outlet lets you plug in the cord to your generator and power up to 3 appliances or tools at the same time. When the cord is powered, a LED indicator lights up, so you can easily locate the triple outlet in the dark. Can be used in hot or cold temperatures from -35 degrees F to 125 degrees F. The cord resists kinks and tangling. It’s UL listed and can be used in indoor or outdoor conditions.
- Rated for 15 Amps, 1875 Watts
- Comes with a lifetime warranty covering any manufacturing defects
- Choose between: 6, 15, 25, 50 or 100 feet cords.
2. Maintenance Kits
You may be surprised to know that generators are engines, and like any engine with moving parts, your portable generator requires regular servicing and scheduled maintenance.
Maintenance kits contain all the tools needed for portable generator service. A good maintenance kit is one of those accessories that will undoubtedly keep your generator in mint condition. These kits usually contain:
- Air filters to replace dirty ones. Air filters ensure the proper circulation of clean air within the generator
- Oil to change up any dirty used-up oil
- Mechanical, sedimentation, magnetic, centrifugal, or high-efficiency oil filters to help cool the generator by transferring excess heat
- New spark plugs to replace worn-out spark plugs
- A chamois cloth to clean the surface and other components
- A pre-cleaner to protect the generator from dust, dirt, and other pollutants
- Funnels to fill and pour out the generator oil
- A feeler gauge that can measure a .040 gap
- Preventative maintenance reminder stickers
As with car or airplane engines, run times and fuel usage determine the frequency the generator engine requires service. As a rule of thumb, you should perform maintenance on your portable generator as follows:
- Clean the generator, checking for any leaks ideally once a month
- Air filters should be replaced every six months to one year. The frequency will depend on how often the portable generator runs or if the surroundings are particularly dusty
- After 100 hours of run time, replace the spark plugs
- After 50-60 hours of run time, perform an oil change, replacing all the oil filters
- Check the battery’s general status and power level, making sure there is no visible leakage or corrosion on the battery or its connections. This check should be done ideally once a month.
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If you have not used your Generac generator for more than 2 years or 200 hours, then it’s recommended to do some maintenance work. This way your home generator will be maintained in good condition and ready to be used when the time comes.
- Compatible with 20kW and 22kW air cooled standby generators manufactured 2013 or later (999cc engine)
- The kit comes with pre-cleaner, air filter, oil filter, oil funnel, (2) spark plugs and blue cloth
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This maintenance kit includes 5W-30 fully synthetic motor oil, which is used to perform maintenance work on 20kW Generac, Guardian, Centurion, Honeywell, Siemens, & Eaton Evolution home-standby generators.
3. Fuel Stabilizers
Generator fuel is a liquid and can go bad if it stands still for an extended period. Fuel stabilizers are vital generator accessories for generators that run on natural gas like diesel or gasoline because they keep the fuel from going bad. This accessory prevents gum build-up in the fuel preventing harmful corrosion. They vary widely, coming in different brands and price points.
Without a fuel stabilizer, you’ll have to drain your generator tank when it’s not running, inconvenient to say the least. These stabilizers are added every time you refuel the generator, and most fuel stabilizer mixtures will preserve fuel for one year. If you increase the fuel stabilizer dosage, you may even get more extended protection.
When using fuel stabilizers, you must first read the manufacturer’s instructions, to ensure that you don’t damage your generator fuel tank.
- Measure out the correct amount of fuel stabilizer and pour it into your portable generator’s fuel tank.
- Distribute the fuel stabilizer, evenly mixing it with the diesel or gasoline to ensure that your fuel tank takes in as little air or water as possible
- Run the generator engine for at least 5-10 minutes to allow the fuel stabilizer to reach all parts of the fuel system
You’ll never have to worry about storing your portable generator with fuel once you’ve added fuel stabilizers.
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This fuel stabilizer by STA-BIL will keep the fuel in your portable generator fresh for up to 24 months while it is stored away. It ensures that the engine will start quickly and easily after it has been stored for a long time. You can buy a variety of bottle sizes from 4 Fl. oz to 128 Fl. oz.
- It’s effective for all gasoline and ethanol blended fuels
- Prevents the build up of gums and varnish
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If you’re using your portable generator rarely, then this fuel stabilizer is a good option to consider. It prevents gasoline break-down while the engine is not in use and stored away. You will need to apply 1 ounce of the fuel stabilizer to treat 1 gallon of gasoline.
- Prevents gasoline break-down
- Can be used in all grades of gasoline and in all 2 and 4-cycle engines
4. Cold Weather Kits
Cold weather kits are vital accessories if you live in cold weather areas. They include:
- A battery warmer
- An oil heater
Batteries will tend to stop working once temperatures dip below zero, and the oil thickens, almost solidifying, preventing it from moving through the portable generator. A battery warmer will heat the generator’s battery to get it up and running again, and an oil heater will heat up and liquefy the oil within the generator.
Cold weather kits can extend the life of your generator. Cold weather wreaks havoc on engines or any machine with moving parts. Having a cold-weather kit handy gives you that added peace of mind to know that in case of a power outage, you will safely and conveniently be able to start up your generator. These generator accessories are essential to keep your family warm and safe in the cold weather during extended power outages. Check out these valuable tips that will keep your generator disaster ready.
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If you want your generator to operate smoothly and reliably during the winter months, then having a cold weather kit is a good idea. It automatically starts once the temperature drops below 25 degrees Fahrenheit and will keep the engine of your generator warm.
• It’s compatible with Briggs & Stratton 16kw-20kw generators
• Includes battery and oil warmers
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If you live in an area where the winter season has extreme cold weather conditions, then you might want to consider getting the Generac extreme cold weather kit. It ensures that the generator engine starts quickly.
- comes with block heater, mounting hardware, and step by step installation instructions
- for Generac 22, 27, 36, 45 and 60 kW automatic standby generators
5. Silencers and Mufflers
Silencers perform similar functions for combustion engines, in this case, generator engines, as the muffler does for automotive engines. They facilitate the quiet operation of your portable generator. Neighbors in shared buildings or camping sites may not be amused by loud noise levels every time you power up your generator. For this reason alone, it is essential to install a muffler on your generator.
There are three designs of silencers:
- Absorptive Silencers – these silencers consist of E-glass or fiberglass insulation. The generator’s exhaust noise dampens as it flows through the insulation, reducing high-frequency sound waves.
- Reactive Silencers – these silencers consist of three chambers connected by a tube. The exhaust noise bounces between the chambers, hence reducing output noise.
- Combination Silencers – these silencers combine the noise reduction technology of both absorptive and reactive silencers. The noise absorption material is fixed into the chamber design of the reactive muffler, allowing for noise reduction of all frequency designs.
For a portable residential generator, these generator accessories give the generator an exhaust noise reduction range of 20-25 dBA. Silencers vary significantly in style, and may not always be available in all grades.
A silencer’s style, production cost, and capacity dictate the grade availability. Manufacturers have put some thought into reducing generator noise by pre-installing silencers in some generator models. You may also want to consider upgrading to the quieter inverter generator to bring the noise levels further down.
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Lower the exhaust noise of your Briggs & Stratton generator by installing a super low tone muffler. It’s compatible with 5 HP horizontal engines.
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If own a Generac generator and want to lower its engine exhaust noise, then this is a good option to consider. This is a replacement part with side outlet/inlet.
6. Remote Wireless Start
More advanced than either pull or push-start the wireless remote start. These accessories allow you to start the generator even if you’re not in its vicinity, by clicking on a remote key. It comes as a remote connected by a long length cable from the generator or as a wireless remote that can operate the generator from as far as 80 feet away.
No one fancies going outside in the middle of a late-night thunderstorm or hurricane. Apart from the potential exposure to danger from flying objects, turning on a generator in these harsh conditions can be frustrating. Remote wireless starting power sources solve this problem. They enable you to stay in the safety of your home still power up your portable generator.
This remote start capability takes care of your generator power supply at the push of a button, and without having to leave your house. It is also useful on worksites, for people with mobility problems (for instance the elderly), or for portable generators that are not easily accessible — convenience at the push of a button.
This remote controller allows you wirelessly start and/or stop an electric start generator remotely, from a distance of 10-100 meters (depending if there are any obstacles in the way). It’s suitable for 1-3 phase gasoline and diesel gensets. It can be mounted on the front panel.
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This is a wireless remote control system, which will allow you to turn your Honda generator on and off wirelessly from a distance. It has single button operation and controllable duration choke. It comes with all documentation and support, so you can install it successfully.
7. Wheel Kits
Wheels are convenient accessories for your portable generator; they make life easier! Fixing a wheel kit to your generator makes it easy to wheel around, and non-flat wheels are the best as they are low-maintenance.
This flexible accessory ensures that your generator is more manageable, handling the weight of your portable generator on any terrain and under any weather conditions. Crucially, they are fitted with vibration mounts to reduce vibration as you move the generator from one place to the next.
These pieces of kit are easily stored as they’re lightweight, yet functional and robust. They have convenient transport straps and retractable handles that stow away after moving the generator.
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This wheel kit will allow you to easily move and transfer your DuroStar DS4000S generator to different locations, depending where you want to use it. It includes 2 never flat tires with axile length of 22 inches, convenient center pull handle, hardware and tools for installation, support legs, and installation manual.
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This is a very easy to install wheel kit, designed to fit a WEN 4050-Watt Generator (models 56400 and 56400-CA). By installing the wheels, you’ll add mobility to your heavy generator. The kit includes two wheels, two handles and cushioning plugs. Plus all the wrenches, nuts and bolds necessary for the assembly are also included.
8. Automatic Voltage Regulators (AVRs)
AVRs are vital if you have sensitive appliances to power up using your generator. An AVR will maintain the portable generator’s voltage at a stable rate. This feature is critical for practical usage with delicate electronics and home appliances.
These small electronic devices are located on the alternator monitoring the power output. They automatically maintain the generator’s electrical output terminal voltage within manufacturer-set parameters.
Automatic Voltage Regulators are generator accessories commonly found on all new diesel generators. These devices help to maintain constant voltages by power conditioning your generator and by making sure that the generator power load to the sensitive electrical devices or site equipment remains constant. Without a functioning AVR, generator output will vary widely and could cause damage to any equipment or appliances connected to the generator.
Look out for any anomalies in AVR malfunction regularly to keep your generator in optimal condition. If your portable generator erratically surges or hunts, this could be an indication of the generator is under load and points to a malfunction with the AVR.
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This Automatic Voltage Regulator can be used with 4KW to 7.5KW rated power generator driven by gasoline engine from 9HP, 11HP,13HP and 14HP. It also works with diesel generators. There are a total of 6 wires (4 wires in one connector and 2 single wires). It comes with a 1 year warranty.
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This Automatic Voltage Regulator from Thunder Parts works with generators 4 KW – 6.5 KW at 160V-260V. It’s very easy to use and install, there is one blue positive wire and 1 yellow negative wire connected to the carbon brush. It comes with a 3 month hassle free return and money back policy.
9. Battery Chargers
Generator battery chargers are useful accessories to have because they allow you to quickly and quietly charge your generator battery.
These generator accessories are inexpensive and quite affordable. However, many people skip them as they feel they may not need them. This can be a mistake in a case where your generator battery runs out, and you won’t be able to start your generator, leaving you without a power supply backup.
How do you know which battery charger is right for your portable generator? Look for these features when getting one.
- Consider the battery charger’s output? Will you need a charger with a 12V or 24V output! This factor is determined by the size and capacity of your portable generator
- If you keep your charger connected during the generator start-up, you will need to consider short-circuit protection
- How will you mount the battery charger onto your portable generator? Will you leave it loose, bolt it to the panel, or install it on a DIN rail?
- How far from your house or work site will your portable generator be situated? If your generator is in a remote location and rarely subject to inspections, you’ll need a charger with a fail alarm. This alarm will send an alert to your generator’s controller, which then relays the fail message to you, telling you there’s a problem.
The more volts your battery charger and portable generator produce the faster the battery will charge up. Battery chargers should also lower the voltage when the generator’s battery reaches a fully charged state, so they don’t damage the generator’s battery. Many can charge large batteries found in trucks, boats, or cars.
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Keep your generator fully-charged and in good condition even if it has been stored away and not used for a long time. If your battery has been left uncharged for a long period of time, there is a “Repair Mode” which reverses any damaging effects that might have occurred. The NOCO Battery Charger is versatile and safe charger, which has spark-proof technology, and protects against reverse polarity.
- It’s compatible with all types of 12-volt and 24-volt lead-acid batteries and 12V Lithium batteries
- It charges 2 times faster than ordinary battery chargers
- Choose between: .75 Amp, 1.1 Amp, 3.5 Amp, 4-Bank 4.4 Amp, 7.2 Amp, 15 Amp or 26 Amp.
- Comes with a 5 year limited warranty
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This is a fully automatic 12V – 1.25A battery charger, which will fully charge a battery and maintain it, without causing any of the damaging effects caused by trickle chargers. It has reverse polarity protection. Once your battery has been fully charged, it will automatically switch to float mode, without overcharging. It comes with ring terminals and alligator clips.
- Compatible with all lead-acid, flooded or sealed batteries
- Charges as fast or faster than any 3-amp charger
- Comes with 10 year warranty
10. Weatherproof Covers
Portable generators are mostly used outdoors and could easily get damaged when exposed to the elements. A generator cover is a useful accessory that protects your portable generator from the elements while it is in storage.
Portable generators are not waterproof. Generator covers must be manufactured with weatherproof materials as these materials keep away dust, dirt, rust, pollen, and other environmental pollutants, by acting like a protective layer. They also keep the machine dry; rainwater and generators are not a good mix as most of these generators are not waterproof.
Furthermore, large and heavy portable generators are more cumbersome to move around. It is more convenient to keep them situated in one spot with a weatherproof cover for added protection. Make sure that when you purchase your generator cover, it comfortably matches the size of your generator to give it the total protection coverage it requires.
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This generator cover is water-resistant and made of durable polyester fabric, keeping your generator completely dry. There is an elastic hem cord and bottom strap, so you can tighten the cover. This way the cover will fit securely around your generator and will protect it during high winds and severe weather, as well as other conditions such as: snow, UV rays, dust, etc.
- It is compatible with most generators 5500-15000 watt
- Available in 3 sizes: up to 26″(L)x20″(W)x20″(H), up to 32″(L)x24″(W)x24″(H), up to 38″(L)x28″(W)x30″(H)
- Available in 3 colors: black, grey or light tan.
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This generator cover by Leader Accessories, is made of polyester fabric with a PVC coating and will keep your generator 100% waterproof. Its design includes double stitched seams, velcro, elastic hem cord and bottom buckle. This means the cover will securely fit your generator perfectly and will protect it during severe weather and high winds. There is an air vent which helps air circulate and provides proper ventilation.
- Available in 4 sizes which fit generators: up to 20”(L)x15”(W)x17”(H), up to 26”(L)x20”(W)x20”(H), up to 27”(L)x25”(W)x25”(H), up to 31”(L)x29”(W)x28”(H)
- Comes with a 3 year warranty
Wrapping It Up
Portable generators are affordable and reasonably lightweight machines that meet your power needs at the most crucial of times. When the main power grid experiences interruptions, a portable generator provides timely help for your home, business, or RV by still being able to generate electricity.
Generators can sustain business operations or save your family from hypothermia in cold weather conditions, hurricanes, or thunderstorms, or any weather conditions that may cause power outages; they’re that important.
They come with a host of useful generator accessories, and without these valuable pieces of kit, the operation of your portable generator will not be optimal. This situation will leave you inconvenienced and without an emergency power backup for your home, business, worksite, or RV.
Be sure to carefully consult with your salesperson, to see which generator accessories are right for you. You may not need to buy all of them depending on your usage, personal needs, location, and generator storage location, and these considerations will save you money.