No doubt generator is a lifesaver in extreme weather like hurricanes or ice storms. During the hurricane and ice storm season, power outage is very common. But it is too difficult for us to live without electrical home appliances. Almost all household appliances are electric devices these days.
You should not run the generator inside of your house or in a confined place like the garage, porch, or even the detached garage. Generator engines produce carbon monoxide that is hazardous for health.
It is dangerous to run the generator in heavy rain and snow. But you can run your generator by using cover during the light rain and snow without affecting your machine. Of course, you have to take some preventive measures.
I have discussed all the tips and tricks to run your portable generator outside during the rain and snow safely. So keep reading.
Can A Generator Run in The Rain?
Don’t run your generator in the rain. It will damage the generator engine and result in potential electrocution of the people. If the rainwater penetrates the engine cover, it will result in a short circuit.
So, how can you run your generator in the rain? You could run your generator in the rain by using a tent or something like that. There are so many ways to cover your generator. so, don’t worry.
Can A Generator Get Wet?
A portable generator is susceptible to water rather than other small engines. Generators produce electricity and deliver the electricity through the outlets. If the rainwater or moisture gets into the outlets of GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt), your generator will stop the supply of electricity.
So, if your generator gets wet, there is a high risk of electrocution. So, don’t allow to get wet your generator. It is a dangerous situation indeed.
GFCI Vs Circuit Breaker
You should have an elementary knowledge of GFCI and circuit breakers. Because the maximum portable generator comes with the GFCI features.
Well, let me explain first. GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. Both the GFCI and Circuit breaker are protection devices. but their function is different and detects the different issues.
The circuit breaker protects the appliances from the supply of overcurrent. If the supply of current exceeds the amp of the circuit breaker, it will automatically shut off the fuse. In this way, they protect the electronics device.
On the other hand, GFCI detects leaks of electricity and changes the path to the ground other than the targeted supply like the generator. leaks are usually caused by different accelerators like water, moisture, dust, worm, or human skin.
GFCI will trip and shut off the generator to protect you from shocking, burning, or damage of the generator.
How To Run Generator In Rain And Snow?
Now come to a solution. It is important to know how can you protect your generator from rain and snow. Here is a step-by-step guide to run your generator in rain and snow.
Special Generator Cover
Among all the options to run the generator in the rain, a specialized generator cover is the best solution. You will find different types of generator cover in the market. Some brands offer dedicated weatherproof cover to run the generator in the rain. You could purchase from them.
A good quality generator cover protects your generator from dust particles. Besides, you can run your generator during the light rain outside. This type of generator cover is designed for a portable generator. so, you can move your generator with the cover without any hassle.
Additionally, the generator cover will not increase the temperature inside. Even, you can run your generator while the wind blows with the cover. So, this one is the safest and coolest option.
If you are looking for a cover for your Predator generator, read this article.
Pop-Up Canopy is another good solution to run the generator in light rain. Actually, this one looks like a tent. It covers your generator from light rain, snow, and light wind. Even you could use this pop-up canopy on sunny days to protect your generator from direct sunlight.
The main drawback of the pop-up canopy is its vulnerability to the wind. You can not use the pop-up canopy in the strong wind. The basement is not strong enough to support the infrastructure of the canopy.
Apart from this drawback, Pop up canopy is good for outdoor use.
People use the steel enclosure, especially for the permanent generator. They are safe and long-lasting indeed. the frame is of the enclosure is made of steel. But this is not the solid shit of steel.
The steel shit has a ventilation system. So the air can easily pass through the infrastructure. So, there is no ventilation issue here.
You can place a steel enclosure on a particular side of your yard or lawn. Then you could place your portable generator there. Don’t place the steel enclosure on a down area where water will stand.
A plastic shed is another option to run the generator in the rain. But personally, I don’t recommend them at all. Because there is no ventilation system here. your generator will be in an enclosed area.
Yes, it is a good option than running your generator on the porch or garage. But for maintaining the optimal temperature for the generator this is not a good option at all.
DIY generator cover
You could use the DIY generator cover. It is not a very hard task indeed. you could easily make a DIY generator tent with the help of a PVC pipe and trap. You could follow this video to learn how to make a DIY generator cover.
Build Your Enclosure
If you want to build rainproof housing for your generator, you could follow this step-by-step guide.
Tips To Run Generator Safely During The Rain Or Snow
Don’t Run Generator In The Indoor Or Garage
Don’t run your generator in the garage or indoors. Generators produce carbon monoxide gas that is lethal to the human body. Even, you should not run your generator on the porch.
Don’t run the generator in wet condition
Generators supply the electricity through the outlets. If the moisture can enter the outlets, there is a high chance of electrocution. Though most of the generator comes with GFCI features these days.
Check The Carbon Monoxide Level In The Air
You should have a portable carbon monoxide checker to check the CO level in the air. Generator fume creates carbon mono oxide gas in the air. Whether you run your generator in the open shed or outside, you should check the co level in the air while refueling the generator.
Don’t Use The Generator In The Hurricane Or Tropical Storm
It would be lethal to use the generator during the storm. If the speed of the storm is more than 60 km per hour, it could blow away the light infrastructure. So, don’t take the risk to run your generator during a hurricane or tropical wind.
Place The Generator On Open, Dry, And High Place
It is important to place your generator in a dry and open place. since you want to run the generator during the rain, you should place your generator in a high place so that water cannot stand there.
Use A Wooden Basement For Generator
You could use a wooden basement for your generator. It will keep your generator safe from the water.
Use Transfer Switch
You should use a transfer switch for safety. You know, back feeding is illegal and lethal in particular cases. A transfer switch is the safest option to run your house appliances with a generator.
How Do I Use A Generator Safely During A Hurricane?
You should not use your generator during a hurricane, tropical storm, or other natural disaster. You know water is dangerous for a generator. if you can not cover your generator perfectly, there is a high chance of penetrating the moisture in the outlets of the generator.
Anyway, if you still want to run your generator for a special purpose during the storm, Champion has a good solution for you. they produce a storm-resistant tent for the portable generator. you could try their item.
Apart from the storm, you could use the tent all around the year. So, it will be a good investment.
A long story short, you should not run your generator during the heavy rain. You could run your portable generator during light rain or snow time. you have different options to run the generator. if you are enthusiastic to build something new, you could create a DIY generator cover.
If you don’t have enough time to build one, you could buy a tent or enclosure from the local market or Amazon. They are also a good solution indeed.
Water is dangerous for the generator. It could occur in the worst case. so be careful while running the generator in the rain.
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