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Can A Generator Run In The Rain?

rainy home powered by standby generator

Can A Generator Get Rained On?

Lightning strikes, ice storms, high winds, heavy rain, and more weather-related disturbances can cause unexpected power outages. A home generator should never be inside the home, but can a generator get rained on? If your home’s generator is outside, then it will inherently have to brave the elements. However, the question is, can a generator run in the rain?

Heavy rains or blizzards can create the very conditions that can leave you in the dark in your home. However, generator manufacturers advise against using a generator during inclement weather because electricity and water can create electrical shocks.

Why Shouldn’t I Bring My Generator Inside?

Generators emit carbon monoxide, which is why it’s of the utmost importance to keep your generator outside. That includes your garage! Individuals can quickly fall ill to a generator running in an enclosed space. However, that presents a frustrating problem. How can you keep a generator running outside in the rain when manufacture recommend that they are not used in wet weather?

The best solution is to install a permanent backup generator. It limits the risk of dealing with a generator and ensures immediate power restoration. Make sure you know exactly what to do when the power goes out, especially when it comes to handling a standby generator.

Although some generators are marked as all-weather machines, you should be advised that even these should not be mixed with water as they are not 100% waterproof. Generators produce powerful voltage if this is mixed with water, it can lead to electrocution or even an explosion.

2 Ways To Protect A Standby Generator From The Elements

Since you can’t bring your generator inside, how can you operate this machine safely and effectively? Luckily, there is a temporary and permanent option for using a generator in wet weather.

  1. Use a wet weather cover. If your generator only gets used a few times per year, then a temporary fix might be a sufficient solution to keeping your generator safe from the elements. For this kind of fix, there are special generator covers that can be used to ensure water or moisture enter the mechanical or electrical components of the machine. This tent-like cover will allow or adequate air flow and simultaneously exhaust fumes to be properly ventilated. Purchase a cover specific to your model and size of your generator to guarantee the best fit. For this temporary cover, a base is strapped to the corner of a generator frame using a brace. This creates a structure that is then used to insert a flexible pole into each corner, creating a dome structure. A waterproof cover is then securely tied down to the corner of the braces with straps to ensure a secure fit.
  2. Build a permanent generator cover. If your generator is a permanent backup system, then consider building a permanent generator cover. A permanent cover will mitigate the need to take on and off the cover every time there’s a storm. The most important consideration when building a permanent home for your generator is the location. It’s recommended the generator is located far enough away from your home so that toxic fumes won’t seep into your home. The cover itself can be constructed from brick or plywood, but ensure that you properly research how to build your own generator cover or hire professionals to install your standby generator and cover. This ensures that the permanent cover allows for adequate ventilation and airflow to ensure that the unit does not overheat and harmful fumes are properly expelled.

Standby Generator Installation Cost

A standby generator typically costs a few thousand dollars. Although this luxury comes at a premium, if your home constantly loses power, then you might want to consider this option.

There is a very compelling case for buying a home generator. The standby generator is located outside of the home and looks very similar in size to an AC condenser. Although the standby generator installation cost is on the pricier side, it could potentially save your life during extreme weather power outages.

So, can a generator run in the rain? Although most generators come with warnings against use during wet weather conditions, adequate shelter allows you to use your generator in the rain. Consider the value of standby generators for home if you need a backup power source during power outages, especially in northern Virginia.

Rain Or Shine, Trust Your Generator To John C. Flood

No matter what storm your home has to endure, trust John C. Flood to make sure you’re never out of power for too long. Call John C. Flood at (703) 752-1266 if you’re ready to install a standby generator for emergencies.

We specialize in attic and bath exhaust fans, backup generators, ceiling fans, dedicated circuits and subpanels, fixture replacement, fuse panel replacements, short circuit repairs, smoke detectors, surge suppression and much, much more.

Read more about our electrical services page or schedule service now.