Any time you are using a generator, you need to consider the impact of any fuel leaks or spills. Particularly in the outdoors, where leaking fuels could easily enter the environment and damage ecosystems, you should be using some kind of drip tray to catch leaks and spills.
Read on for our guide to generator drip-trays.
The basic drip tray is similar in form to a paint tray; the generator is placed in a relatively high-walled plastic tray, which collects any leaks and spills.
The good: basic trays are the least expensive kind of generator drip tray, they are easy to use and reusable (simply empty your tray out into a suitable container when full). Even the most budget-friendly options will be made from a toughened plastic, meaning they can take some impacts without issue.
The bad: not great for prolonged outdoor use, as any rain can quickly fill the tray and cause collected liquids to overflow. Emptying or moving the tray can be an issue as well – there’s no absorbent material, so the fuel or oil can easily slosh around and come over the sides.
Plant Nappy drip trays are the current popular choice. They are essentially a tray with absorbent materials that repel water – ensuring that they only collect the oil or fuel. Plant Nappy tray walls can quickly filter rainwater and allow it to flow away, and the bases are multi-layered for rapid oil-absorption.
The good: designed for use outdoors, with rain filtering and hydrophobic properties to stop them from becoming saturated with water. They are UV-resistant to ensure no damage from exposure to sunlight, and fire-resistant (handy if the collected liquids ignite). The side walls in Plant Nappy trays are flexible so it is easier to position your generator correctly. You can also get removable liners to prolong the life of your Plant Nappy tray.
The bad: these are the most expensive drip tray solution, due to those extra features. Plant Nappy trays are not available in over-sized options, so if you have a larger generator you might not be able to use these. If a full spill occurs, plant nappy trays may not have the capacity to store all the liquid as the walls are quite shallow.
A new addition to the spill tray marketplace, Spilltector products combine the best features of both the other types. These products consist of flexible trays with drainage holes and hydrophobic absorbent mats.
The good: British-made, flexible and robust. They are super-easy to use, you can drag your generator over the side if you really want – the walls will just pop right back up into place. Mat inserts repel water but are highly absorbent for fuel and oil, and the Spilltector range is markedly less expensive than Plant Nappy. The range also includes larger sizes.
The bad: while they are cheaper than Plant Nappy, Spilltector trays are more expensive than a basic drip tray. You will also need to make sure that you have the absorbent mats available for use, otherwise the tray is ineffective.