Generators are used for many reasons, but emergency power backup during power outages happens to be one of the most common uses. A prevalent cause of power outage is weather issues such as heavy rain & snowstorm. So, you must now be wondering, can generators run in the rain?
No, generators cannot run in the rain unless you protect them from the wet condition somehow. If your generator is well protected, then it will work just fine in the rain.
To know more about this topic and how you can deal with your generator in wet weather, keep reading!
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Why Shouldn’t I Bring My Generator Inside?
If you have a portable generator, then just bringing it inside when it’s raining may seem like the easiest fix to your problems. However, no matter how dire the outside situation is, you should never bring your generator inside. Why? Because generators produce and emit Carbon Monoxide.
Carbon Monoxide (or CO) is harmful to humans. The stories of people getting Carbon Monoxide poisoning by making the seemingly innocuous mistake of keeping their generator inside are far too common.
You may get symptoms of headache, weakness, dizziness, vomiting, upset stomach, and chest pain from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. And if you breathe in too much Carbon Monoxide, it can even kill you.
The worst part is that the symptoms can often be mistaken for the common flu, making detection of Carbon Monoxide difficult.
Hence, never make the mistake of bringing your generator inside. This includes your garage, too. Despite being separate from the rest of the household, the garage can easily transfer Carbon Monoxide to the rest of your home.
Different Steps for Wet Weather Options
You’re in luck. There are various ways in which you can use your generator while it is raining. In this section, we will go over each of them.
Buying a Wet Weather Cover
If your generation is not a very regular use item, then a temporary fix might be more suitable for you.
Many manufacturers make temporary generator covers that pose as mini tents for your generator. Just like a tent protects you from the elements during a camping trip, this cover will keep your generator safe from the weather by ensuring snow or rain do not get near the electrical systems.
The main benefit of this solution is that generator covers are specifically made for this purpose, so are a perfect fit. When a generator is running, there must be an adequate airflow level around it. Also, the generator’s exhaust fumes must be allowed to be expelled.
A dedicated generator cover can make room for these while covering the essential areas properly. When getting a generator wet weather cover, make sure you get one that is made for the generator model you own.
Assembling these is pretty straightforward, much like assembling a regular tent.
These covers come at various qualities, depending on the price levels. We recommend that you get the highest quality you can afford because there is no telling the extent of extreme weather conditions it might face.
Ensure your cover has a sturdy make and can stand up against the wind. Also, ensure its compatibility with your generator’s model.
Building a Permanent Generator Cover
You can even build the generator cover yourself if you do not want to purchase a manufactured one.
If you are going this route, you must consider the generator’s location. Its exhaust fumes, by any means, cannot be entering your home as it is toxic. So, you should keep your generator away from your house at a safe distance. You may place it near the garden shade or your garage.
You can choose either plywood or brick to make the cover. But whatever material you choose, make sure that the cover has proper ventilation and an airflow system in place.
That way, enough airflow will occur and prevent overheating, while the toxic fumes will get safely expelled into the environment.
Buying a Metal Enclosure
If you do not want either of the two previous options, which are a portable generator cover and a permanent fixed cover, you can get a compact generator enclosure instead. They are typically made from aluminum or steel, and they contain exhaust vents and adjustable side vents.
These metal enclosures are of great quality and sturdy. They also look tidy and neat in your garden. You can locate these almost anywhere, which is a versatile and practical solution to covering unsightly generators.
The downside of these enclosures is that they are not easily moveable. Since they are made of metal, they tend to be on the heavier side. Some of them even require being weighed down to the floor. So, these enclosures are only useable if you use them permanently fixed in one place.
The bottom line is that you cannot use these for camping. You may find some lighter ones in the market, but they are not durable.
Standby Generator Installation Cost
Usually, the cost of a standby generator is a few thousand USD. This is definitely a splurge, but if you live in a home that faces power outages often, it might be worth it to spend the money for one.
We understand the cost might be too much, but it can prove to be potentially life-saving during more extended power outages caused by extreme weather. Think of situations like the Texas power crisis of 2021. Most people would be happy to spend over a few thousand on electrical power in such a situation.
Now that you have a detailed answer to your question, can generators run in the rain? We hope you will be able to keep your generator safe and running during the heaviest of rains. Remember also to safeguard you and your family from the harmful CO gases emitted from a generator.
That will be all for today. Catch you next time!