No, Generators are not entirely waterproof, and No, generators can’t get wet, because water can get inside, and it can be an alarming situation for people around it. generators should not be used in wet environments or when it is raining outside to avoid electrocution.
Generators are power sources that are available quite conveniently and cheaply. You must have encountered wet weather when you will be left with no option except to use your generator. Or maybe it was camping in an RV park or a race track when the power just went off in the middle of the party.
Provided that, what do you do in such a condition? Of course, this is inadvisable to use a generator in such a condition as it may meet a horrendous end. It can be pretty dangerous. The only option left is to run them inside the house. But manufacturers always put a caution sign to not use a generator in a distance of 10 feet to your home to reduce CO poisoning. Many people already know that it is pretty dangerous to use a portable generator inside the garage or near an open window.
To answer all such questions, here is the detailed article, which will also cover the possible ways to use the generator in wet weather and the generator safety basics.
Table of Contents
Are All Generators Waterproof?
Generators are not 100% waterproof, and it is unsafe to use them in rain or snow. Manufacturers clearly state in the manuals and on the device to not use them under any kind of wet conditions.
Generators produce a large amount of voltage, and if moisture enters their working parts in any way, it might cause electrocution or even an explosion. Most commonly, the water enters through outlets that lead to a disastrous outcome. If this doesn’t happen, there is a high possibility of permanent damage to your generator.
Additionally, you cannot use them in your garage or close places because of CO poisoning.
Since you cannot bring the generators inside, nor can you use them outside in rainy weather, don’t consider that generators are totally useless. There are certain ways which you can employ for continuous power backup with extreme care.
If you can devise a strong and waterproof shield to protect the generator, you can definitely use the generator for a long-term, uninterrupted power supply even outside.
Therefore, if you get a generator shelter, look for the following three features in it.
- Protects all parts of the generator from water
- Allow quality airflow
- Prevent overheating
- Fire resistance
Are Honda Generators Waterproof?
No, Honda generators are not waterproof as well, and you should avoid using them outdoors when it is raining. Never use honda generators in a wet environment because they are not waterproof.
How to Use a Generator Safely During Bad Weather?
Sometimes, it becomes imperative to use the generator during bad weather. Or more precisely, generators are needed the most in bad weather. In that case, you need a waterproof cover or tent. The cover or tent should protect the generator from moisture or rain currents and other major rainstorms. If the cover is not 100% waterproof, it can damage the generator or even cause an explosion.
How to Cover the Generator in Rainy/Wet Conditions?
A generator canopy can be a good way to secure the generator from wet conditions. It can be considered a home for a generator that protects all generator components from raindrops, dust, and other harmful particles while allowing it to operate safely.
It can also handle strong winds of up to 70 mph, so you don’t have to worry even in hurricane or blizzard conditions. These canopies can be used to cover portable, inverter, or industrial generators.
Additionally, soundproof canopies are also available in the market that reduces the sound of the engines. They come in various sizes and shapes, and most of them are highly functional with minimal price.
Another important feature of the canopy is that it doesn’t affect the portability of the generator. You can easily install it and still take down the machine to whatever location you want.
Another point of concern is heat management. Does it allow proper airflow and prevent overheating? Generator canopies are made in such a way that they always maintain quality airflow and promote natural cooling.
Depending upon the quality and material used for the canopy, it costs around $75 to over $300.
Steel enclosure is another very safe system to protect the generator. However, they are a hell of expensive and also require professional installation. For some steel enclosures, you also need to lay a cement layer to install the enclosure.
To ensure that the generator doesn’t overheat, use the louvered openings that allow quality airflow and prevent overheating.
Though it provides complete safety, it doesn’t offer portability. With a base cement layer, it’s quite impossible to move the generator in a steel enclosure. So, you have to use the generator in wet weather without any safety or remain stuck at your home.
Retrofitted Plastic Enclosure
Another kind of enclosure is a retrofitted plastic enclosure. It is a bit cheaper and portable, but there is a grave concern associated with it. The covering can heat up with reduced airflow and can even catch fire.
Another option is to use a generator cover. A good cover can protect your generator from rain, snow and also allow you to operate without any stress. It acts as a waterproof shield that protects even the most vulnerable parts, such as outlets.
The cover also allows the easiest transfer of the machine. You can install it and move the generator within minutes. Though it does not provide extreme protection in hurricanes or blizzards, it can help you overcome general rainy or snowy weather.
How to Always Use the Generator Safely?
Here are some safety tips that you should always comply with while running the generator:
Safe Your Generator from Water
Before turning on your generator, it is necessary to check GFCI and all the electrical components on the control panel. Especially if the generator is outside in a wet, rainy condition, it is necessary to check all the electrical components and GFCI. Also, never forget to use the cover or canopy before turning on the generator.
Do Not Place It Near Water Pool
Trying to turn on the generator near a sprinkler or water pool can be very dangerous. If your hands are wet, this can cause electrocution. Also, water can easily enter into electrical panels or outlets from nearby water pools or sprinklers and cause electrocution. That’s why always make sure that the generator is not near any water pool or another water body.
Don’t Run It In Indoors Or Garages
When you cannot operate the generator in heavy rains or hurricanes, it can be very tempting to use the generator from inside your garage. Many people do this while keeping the garage door open and think that air will circulate effectively with an open door. But this practice can be hazardous. It results in carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide quickly builds up in the garage away from the door and seeps into the house from holes and cracks. If the blowing wind direction is towards the garage, it further accelerates the process and causes poisoning and even death.
Besides, you also need to refuel it regularly after some hours. While refueling, you can be overcome by the fumes. Research also concludes that portable generator engines’ level is 1500 times higher than vehicles engines.CO poisoning from improper use is also among the major causes of death during natural disasters.
So, never operate the generator inside the garage or close to your house windows and doors.
Avoid Using Generator in Hurricanes, Cyclones and Tornadoes
Everyone is aware of the damages caused by hurricanes, cyclones, and tornadoes. When the speed reaches 60-70 mph, the outcomes can be more devastating. Even the heaviest objects do not stick to the ground and are carried away by the wind. If you use the generator in such a condition, there is no doubt that your generator will also be rolling here and there and might be carried away.
Isn’t it better if you can pass this time without using your generator? If you use it, you can end up bearing a heavy loss, while not using it will not cost you anything.
Don’t Run It near Flood Prone Areas
Do not run the generator near an area prone to flooding. It will not only put the machine in danger but also your whole house’s safety. It is a matter of experience because you are probably always aware of the areas prone to flooding.
Touch the Generator with One Hand
Touching the machine with one hand prevents circuit formation through your body. Wearing rubber-soled shoes increases the protection level. Therefore, whenever you attend it, touch the metal parts with one hand and wear rubber sole shoes to break the circuit formation through your body. Especially if the ground is wet, there are greater chances of current flowing through your body as current follows the path of least resistance. Rubber soles help break that path and keep you safe.
Turn off The Main Switch to Start the Generator
Never forget to switch off the main switch before starting the generator. This should be your regular practice whether you start or stop the generator and also when you plug in or unplug the cords of the electric panel of the generator.
When the generator turns on, there may be sudden voltage and amperage spikes. This practice helps the generator take load easily while ensuring your safety and the safety of the appliances. So, it’s always better to be cautious.
What Can Be The Best Place To Put The Generator?
One thing that really gets on nerves when people buy a new generator is where to place it.
Take the help of following guidelines to place your generator at a suitable place to stay protected and functional for a long time.
- Place the generator outside at a flat and levelled surface where water doesn’t pool.
- Don’t place it inside your house and keep it at least 10 feet away from your home and 20 feet away from doors, windows and air intakes.
- Check that the place does not get showered with rain, breeze or snow.
- Don’t place it near flammable material.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Do If the Generator Gets Wet?
First of all, you should never place your generator at a place where it can get wet. And if it gets wet, it can damage its electronic parts. If you turn it on in the wet condition, you have run the risk of life-threatening shock or electrocution. Even if the generator has a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), it poses some risk.
Never ever try to run a wet generator. Please wait for it to get completely dry before turning it on.
Can You Run A Generator In Garage Or Porch?
A porch or garage will keep the rain away from the generator, but it will also accumulate CO in your house, leading to CO poisoning and, finally, severe injury or death.
Can Keeping The Generator In Rain Ruin It?
Rain or moisture falling directly over the steel shed of the generator will not ruin your generator. Many people just mount their generator in an open place where it is exposed to various elements. The problem occurs when you try to start the wet generator. If you allow it to dry completely, no part will be affected.
Can You Protect Your Running Generator If It Starts Raining?
You can cover your running generator with a canopy or enclosure while it’s raining to protect it. Just place the cover or shield over it and do not touch the generator.