Do Not Use Your Generator In Rain Without Reading This Guide!

Thunderstorms and hurricanes are some of the leading causes of blackouts on the planet. 

In such cases, generators are a necessity, even if they are prone to extreme damage due to water and moisture. However, you can prevent it from potential harm or destruction.

What you need is a long-term solution for your sloppy situation, and we are here to provide you with it!

Here’s a detailed manual for how to use your generator efficiently every time it rains, without any inconvenience:

Is Water Harmful To Your Generator?

Customers often utilize portable generators in locations prone to rainwater. Tailing, hiking, and RV camping are outdoor activities with heavy use of generators.

This exposure is often the result of disastrous weekends

When a generator is used during a drizzle without proper precautions, moisture can enter the electrical outlets. Furthermore, water contact with inner electrical parts and mechanical components due to leakage is possible. 

This is how a generator gets wet and causes endless problems for you.

Yes, It is!

A wet generator can cause its malfunction to the point of no return. However, that shouldn’t be your initial concern.

When in unnecessary contact with water, electrical devices end up costing you a lot of money. And in the worst-case scenario, the lives of innocent people. 

Let’s take a look at what a drenched and dangerous generator has to offer:

Unstable Air Flow, Unstable Generator

An air inlet allows a stable flow of air in any device, and it connects to a passage leading to the engine and is protected by a filter. 

This filter is porous, which increases the chances of water escaping into the generator’s core. 

When this happens, the fuel and air in the generator, needed in perfect form for combustion, are compromised. The water contaminates these combustion ingredients and stops the engine from functioning. 

The Exhaust System

An exhaust system’s interaction with moisture would damage the generator similarly to the air inlet.

The fuel and air mixture will not settle well with the seeped water and result in a shut-off of the engine. 

No Spark, No Function

The generator kicks into its internal operation due to a spark plug. This component allows the initiation of the combustion of the fuel and requires a dry and bare environment. 

However, it fails to function efficiently when dampened. Due to the wet surface of the plug, the flash required to lighten the combustible up is not produced. 

Hence, the generator fails to run and produce power.

Additionally, liquid may damage the spark plug electrically and result in a short circuit.

Zap! – Electric Shocks Ain’t Fun

It is a well-known fact that water and electricity do not sit well. While electricity flows through it with ease, it results in several problems. 

When water enters a generator’s frame, it wets the panels and wrecks the programming. Moreover, the wet surface of the device is now an electrifying disaster… 

Any naked touch could fatally harm a person.  

You will end up getting electrocuted and burn your body inside and out.  Electrical shocks due to wetness should not be taken lightly and must be prevented at all costs. 

Explosions – When Your Generator Goes Kaboom!

Your backup power source is a ticking time bomb in the rain, and you are completely unaware of it!

When a liquid enters the generator, it disrupts the exhaustion and elimination of heat from its body, and this causes an internal build-up of energy within the device. 

The accumulation and thus suppression of heat can result in a pressurized environment internally, resulting in a blast. 

This is why you need to find ideal protections for your power sources to keep yourself safe.

Here Are Your Solutions!

Generators are needed because of the power outages occurring during storms, hurricanes, etc. 

This means you need a permanent and reliable solution that allows you to use your generator peacefully.

Steel Enclosure – Your First Choice

Image of a steel enclosure by Ali Baba.
Image source: alibaba.com

Steel enclosures are custom built to meet the needs of your generators. These include a wide area for your device to rest easily and window-like structures to allow ventilation

A generator exhausts fumes throughout its usage and requires a good ventilation system to avoid a build-up of any sort. Steel enclosures are also fire-resistant and waterproof, so they are ideal for protection during a heavy pour.

However, these metal enclosures have their shortcomings. Additionally to the hefty cost, it requires professional installation and is not portable. 

Plus, it restricts mobile usage for portable generators. If you need to use your generator elsewhere,  you will require to purchase secondary protection.

Wood Enclosures – You May Have To Think Again!

While wood may seem like an acceptable material for a protection box, it is not ideal in this situation. There are chances the wood might get heated up and burn due to the continuous exhaustion of hot fumes. 

Furthermore, a wood enclosure will not keep water out for long periods, ergo failing its purpose.

Plastic Sheds – Another Viable Option?

Image of a plastic shed by No Outage.
Image source: nooutage.com

One of the preferred options for water-resistant covers is plastic sheds. Such a shed enables a safe housing for the generator while allowing a smooth flow of air and fumes in and out of the engine. 

It can be a bit expensive; however, they are sturdier and more robust than a cloth covering. Plastic sheds are ideal for home standby generators, as the covering is preferable for permanent structures. 

Plastic sheds need to be installed at a distance from the device’s body. You need to ensure that the size of the shed is at-least one-third greater than the heated engine. 

This is because proximity ends up melting the plastic and harming the environment. 

Canopies – The Perfect Portable Protection

Image of a canopy manufactured by GenTent.
Image source: gentent.com

A canopy is a roof-life structure with a cloth covering and protecting from various weather conditions. It is tent-like coverings that allow a generator to operate in weather conditions due to its ability to resist water. 

Canopies are made up of tarps that provide extra protection to electrical panels in generators. The tarps are a lightweight cloth; it is advisable not to use them in extremely windy conditions, as the canopy might just fly away.

Furthermore, canopies allow stable protection for portable generators and do not suit large devices.

You need to consider the height and a firm frame for the protector when buying a canopy. Like a plastic shed, it needs to be at a distance from the generator’s surface to prevent any damage from heat and allow easy ventilation.

Much Needed Precautions

Even after protecting your generator against direct water contact, there are several other aspects you need to take care of for safe usage. 

These preventive measures may save you a lot of trouble and time and aid you in suitably maintaining a generator. 

GFCI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

GFCIs are electrical components that ensure the water damage does not result in electrocution. These devices spring into action when water seeps into the outlets. 

They provide safety by automatically turning off the outlets and interrupting the flow of electricity. The outlets do not receive a power supply once they contact water.

This is a common piece of equipment in portable generators and is a reliable solution to electrocutions. However, even generators equipped with GFCI are not safe to operate without other precautions. 

Remember, you should never reset a GFCI when it’s pouring because it is in a dangerous state and leads to an electric shock.

Give It Some Space

Operating a generator too close to your residence opens many risks. These risks include induced fires, damage from the engine explosion, and suffocation from fume built-up. 

Distance is vital when you are installing a home standby generator in your backyard or working with a portable generator beside an RV bus. 

Let Your Generator Be Free

It is a given that running this power source in an enclosed area is a call to death. 

Trust us; it’s not an exaggeration.

Confined spaces housing devices as ventilated as generators could lead to a poisonous accumulation. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and toxic gas that can harm you chronically, and it is one of the top emissions from a generator. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning is due to the lack of proper ventilation. A garage with windows and an open door will not suffice. You need an outdoor dry and open area to run your generator safely. 

Furthermore, other fumes and missions could travel through the vent system in your residence and harm individuals in other rooms, causing severe illnesses. 

You need a distance of at least 20 feet between the generator and the living area. Your health should be your priority and treated as such. 

Extension Cords – Find A Better Connection

Extension cords are the cheapest method to connect a generator to the main circuit panel of a building. Cords run across the ground freely and can be dangerous during a rainstorm. 

A cord unprotected outdoors can wear off with time and, when near water, can result in extreme electric shocks. Furthermore, an extension cord is a tripping hazard. While this may not be as serious as a concern in daily life, it can lead to disasters in times of crisis.

Connection through an extension cord is not permanent and requires manual labor every time a power outage occurs. This is why you need a safer solution, called a transfer switch. 

A transfer switch is a device that allows automatic connection to your generator when an electrical blackout occurs.

Maintenance – You Will Be Grateful!

Often, you owe your life to a simple regular chore that you didn’t know was extremely vital. Maintenance is a similar concept, especially for sensitive electronics like generators.

You should change the oil and run the generator at least once every month if it has been idle for too long. Moreover, replacing the fuel with a fresh batch before starting the generator must also be on your to-do list.

A user’s guide should accompany your generator to provide extensive details about your device’s routine care. 

This extra step will enhance the machine’s performance and increase its lifespan by years. 

It is easy to forget as it is just an old piece of junk in your backyard; however, putting in a slight effort can go a long way.

Summary

Generators are the backbone of a house in times of crisis, so it is impractical not to operate them during a heavy storm or flood. 

However, running an unprotected generator during a downpour is a risky bet, and this is why you need to find a reliable and long-term solution to protecting your generator. 

It could be a covering, a shed, or proper maintenance that saves the day.

You Just Need To Find What Works The Best For You!

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