Burying a generator vault into a bank

   / Burying a generator vault into a bank #1  


Elite Member
Apr 21, 2012
Cascade Mtns of WA state
Kubota B-series & Mini Excavator
Winter is coming and the forum is slowing down so here's a project for ya!.
This was done over the last 2 weeks and is not finished yet.


The Cedar log.


Cedar boards 1 1/2" x 13". Appx 160 board-feet. At $5to 10 bucks per bf that stack of Cedar could be worth $800-1600.


Solid cedar generator vault. This whole structure was cut from that one Cedar log in the first photo.


The hole in the bank.


Wrapped the cedar with black plastic. Setting the vault into the bank.


Wiggling the tractor out from between the containers.


Generator vault covered over with dirt.


Trimmed and ready for the doors.

Gonna have questions about grounding. I'm using the generator in a 3-wire configuration. So do I just ground the frame of the generator to a ground rod? It's about 60 feet of 10-2 wire to the one outlet in the building. There is no "panel", it's basically just a 60 foot extension cord to an outlet screwed to a post. It runs four 0.35A LED shop lights off one leg. So 1.4 amps off one leg for lighting.

I dont yet have a plan how to plumb the exhaust and air inlet thru the door. The exhaust seems easy. I'm thinking I will use 6 " or 8" heating duct to plumb the cool air inlet to the generator fan.


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   / Burying a generator vault into a bank #2  
Don't forget to engineer a way for that cooling air to get back out.

I don't understand the purpose of all that effort, but then I don't have to.
It will be quiet and out of sight I guess, so long as you don't fry it.
   / Burying a generator vault into a bank #3  
If your only running LEDs, perhaps a suggestion. Can you install a battery with an inverter? To simply run low draw LEDs, it seems it might be more effective to use the generator and a battery charger to recharge a deep-cycle battery periodically and then the rest of the time you can use your LEDs powered off the battery with silence.
   / Burying a generator vault into a bank
  • Thread Starter
Buried it for the quiet. I use it for power tools and welding. When NOT needing lots of power I use batteries & 12v LEDs, sometimes a little Honda EU2000i. But this generator in the vault is much quieter than the little Honda (if nearby). I like the silent aspect of battery power - just under the excavator boom you can see a solar panel on the tree. :D


I can put the little Honda in the vault too and run with just one leg (in circles). :laughing: :laughing:
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   / Burying a generator vault into a bank #5  
I would also be worried about keeping the generator cool. If that is air cooled they need a lot of airflow to keep from cooking.
   / Burying a generator vault into a bank
  • Thread Starter
Hmmmm maybe need a 120v fan running all the time the gens running to ensure ventilation.
   / Burying a generator vault into a bank #7  
Yep. You should have put some type of cross ventilation to get good air in and bad air out. Otherwise; the engine will run rich and compound the heat problem. You might want to run the engine exhaust to the outside of your "cave" as well as add some forced air ventilation in the door.
   / Burying a generator vault into a bank #8  
A duct to draw in air directed to the fan?

My uncle built a bunker of concrete set into a hillside where only the door was visible... he did have and intake duct and venting duct... little 1960 Winco 2500W gas generator that was military surplus.

It was quiet and always cool being in the hillside.
   / Burying a generator vault into a bank #9  
If I were using it in that shed, I'd just wheel it around so that the exhaust is pointed directly toward the very open door and run it as is. You have lots of ventilation in the height of the doorway.

Beautiful log, by the way. :thumbsup:
   / Burying a generator vault into a bank
  • Thread Starter
Yes Cedar is beautiful. :) I sort of "rescued it" out in the woods. I found it bulldozed into a pile of brush, as waste. It had no rot. It felt good to cut it into beautiful boards.

The entire purpose is to reduce the noise of 16HP. Pretty sure venting / cooling ducts / exhaust thru the door is not rocket surgery but I'd like to see how others have done it. Retaining the 'quiet' with holes in the door probably IS rocket surgery.

Wish I knew how the grounding should be done.