Just purchase a new power back up and asking yourself can generators get wet? Can I leave it outside in a storm? We can help answer that question.
On average generators should not get wet or left out for extended periods of time to the weather. Having a portable generator under some sort of open style rooftop is important as they need to be well ventilated. Having said that permanent style whole home generators usually come in a rain tight enclosure which remains outside year round.
Portable generators can be tricky to know how much you can enclose them before it becomes a hazard to read on and we will help you understand.
1.Can Generators Get Wet
Portable generators can get wet from rain, snow, wind, or dew. It is important to keep them dry for a number of reasons. You can void your warranty, cause it to malfunction, get water in your fuel etc. You will want to run your generator in a covered area, not open, with good airflow and open sides. Your generator will be more likely to dry out faster in a well ventilated area.
If you are going to be at home while you have your generator running, set the level of your garage ceiling so you have a place to remove the unit in the event it needs to be removed from the garage in an emergency. Don’t put it too high up or it will be difficult to retrieve it in a dark situation.
Generator tip: Is it A Good Idea to Put My Generator In My Backyard?
Do not place a generator in your back yard and cover it. It can get very hot under the cover and hot enough to melt the cover.
2.Can Generators Get Wet Or Covered In Snow
Portable generators under a permanent style roof do not usually get too wet due to their structure, but if one is used in a garage or under any type of awning type cover then they can become water logged. A portable generator under a cover can make you keep using the power source much longer than you had expected to which can become a safety issue if it overheats or goes offline due to the roof or even worse start a fire.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking a cover for a portable generator is good for all occasions, never use it in the rain, during heavy snow, or in humidity. A cover can turn a portable generator into a much larger hazard if you are not careful.
3.Is it safe to leave a generator in the rain?
Some generators are not designed to stay outside for extended periods of time. It is a good idea to have your portable generator at least partially sheltered from the weather when you are not using it. If you are not the type of person to always be outside the house it may be difficult for you to figure out the safest way to use your portable generator.
The ideal option is to keep a portable generator in your house and then just have it to roll outside as you need it. never run a generator inside of your house. This will ensure that the air flow is never shut off while you are not home.
When Is It Safe to Put it Outside?
When the ambient temperature is around 80° the output of your portable generator can be dangerous to keep outside without other ventilation systems. Using a ventilated enclosure is preferable. This means it has some sort of a roof with no sides on it.
4.What happens if my generator gets wet?
Generators will continue to work when they are in dry conditions. Generators will lose their ability to generate power when they become wet, such as from rain, snow, or hail. This is not a safety issue, it is just the way it works. Your generator will still work, however it will not generate as power as the breaker will most likely trip out due to the moisture. This is when you will need to use your generator and plug it into a home outlet.
In the case of a snow storm, your generator will need to be equipped with anti-freeze, de-icer, and heated ventilation. When snow falls, de-icing agents have a long term effect of decreasing the life of your generators by inhibiting air flow. Also, by using anti-freeze on your generator, it will prevent corrosion of parts and reduce the risk of engine failure.
If the generator gets too wet or waterlogged. It will simply not work and you will have to take it to a repair shop as you will have most likely void any warranty you had.
5.Where do you put a generator in a storm?
Have a generator at home but don’t want to just throw it out in the rain? That may sound simple. Some people go with a storage shed or in a garage. Here is where things can get a little tricky. Any storage or garage in Florida can be subject to flooding. Even if your power goes out before a hurricane you are still at risk of flooding the basement. It is actually common to see portable generators floating around basements with or without the generator.
If you go with the garage option it can be a challenge to keep the garage door open to vent the space.
We usually tell people to roll it up that the exhaust points out the main roll up garage door. In the center of the door. Common sense it needed for this one.
After hurricane Andrew back in 1992 generators were considered high value. People had generators everywhere they would have a chance of getting a cell phone signal.
6.Can you store generator outside?
You can store a generator outside yes as long as you cover it. Do not mistake this for using the generator which in this case should not be directly covered with anything. Permanent stand by generators are a different story. They usually come with a metal or fiberglass enclosure built right over them for protection from the elements.
These larger generators have factory cut ventilation for running and usually their own internal cooling system.
7.Can you put a tarp over a generator?
You can’t put a tarp over the generator without a completely enclosed unit so when the temperature rises too high they can get burned. And we all know how dangerous that is.
A tarp should only be used for storage situations.
In the event that you have a tarp on the top of your generator before the first fire occurs, you may be putting yourself in a worse situation because the amount of air being sucked up by the tarp can cause the generator to overheat.
OK, this is getting too complicated, you may have to just stick with open side generators.
8.How do you make a rain cover for a generator?
1. Ask yourself, “Can a generator ever get wet?” No it can not. The only times a generator can get wet is if it was left outside in a torrential downpour and suddenly gets pulled into a tree or a ravine or something of the kind. (General non weather related problems)
2. The most common design on a generator enclosure is a cover where the blades or anything touching the motor is covered. However, covering the motor with a heavier piece of material can cause the motor to seize up and possibly damage the cover.
3. Avoid covering your generator with loose fiberglass plastic bags as they will break if they are wet. If you are considering this type of covering for your generator try to look for a material that is guaranteed not to rot.
You may be into a situation where you will need your local contractor to build you a safe enclosure or otherwise commonly know as a dog house.
You can purchase small sheds metal type is the best. However it is recommended to pull the generator out when running or using it.
9.Can you run a generator in the garage with the door open?
In a garage you can put a portable generator and be ok because the outside air is circulating. However having the garage door opened is good for the generator. While closed the air may get too stale for the gas inside and that can cause it to lose power.
How Can I safely park in a garage with the generator open?
Portable generators are safer when parked under cover of the garage door, which can be difficult when the garage door is not removed. There are two methods to get the generator under cover:
Using a U-Shaped garage floor lift kit that lifts the entire garage floor up and away from the generator and lifting the garage door when in storage to allow the generator to remain secured in the garage.
10.Can you run a generator on a porch?
Some areas have areas you can run generators without permitting, but in most, you must do so within a municipal zone. In some areas, a permit will even be required. The whole issue comes down to regulations and dictates on how you must control your property. Having a portable generator without a special permit is not something you want to do.
When you are shopping for a generator make sure you understand what your priorities are. What will it be used for, will it be running 24/7 or just for a period of time? Will you be using a lot of gas, and do you have to charge it for an extended period of time. You need to figure out what you will need it for and how much you want to spend and you need to understand the rules of those areas you are moving into.
11.Should you use a generator during a hurricane?
At HFBC we don’t recommend generators during a hurricane but if you have a generator that has a 90-day warranty from manufacturer we encourage you to use it for as long as possible and then take it inside when the weather is really bad. A long lasting used generator could actually last up to 10 years if properly maintained.
So the most important thing about using a generator during a hurricane is being safe and not damaging your home.
Using a generator after a hurricane to restore power is more preferable. As the rain from a hurricane tends to fly sideways any enclosure with a roof and open sides would be useless.
12.Where should I store my generator?
Portable generators are typically built to be used outdoors or as a portable power source. As a general rule, portable generators should be kept indoors or near an interior open area (such as a garage or an enclosed porch) during a sustained power outage.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests to keep generators at least 30 feet away from combustibles, structures and combustible materials, with at least 15 feet between the generator and your home. Portable generators should never be operated inside the home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any other structure unless it is completely covered or insulated.