Can a Generator Get Rained On?
It would be dangerous to touch a generator in the rain. Simply touching the frame could cause a life-threatening electric shock. Anyone standing in a puddle would only need to be close to the generator to risk electricity going to them and causing a serious shock. Even accidentally touching the generator with wet hands could cause a significant electric shock.
The secondary danger of using a generator in the rain is the potential to damage the device. Running the generator too close to the house can be hazardous, as it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have a stationary generator, you should have professionally installed it as far from the house as your instructions and local codes require. But for a laptop, the threat of carbon monoxide from an odorless, invisible gas can be deadly.
Tips for Safely Operating a Portable Generator: Avoid Running It in Rain or Humid Conditions
Keep it away from doors and windows. Never start it in a garage, even if the doors are open. The instructions for a portable generator warn you not to run it in the rain. To protect it from moisture, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends operating it on a dry surface under an open canopy-type structure.
It is generally not advisable to operate a generator in humid conditions and should be avoided. If there are adverse weather conditions, try to wait for it to pass and run the generator only after the conditions have been cleared. However, situations can arise where you need to run a generator in the rain. Generators are designed to produce a powerful voltage and when moisture enters the outlets or seeps into the engine, it can cause an electrocution or explosion.
Tips for Safe and Efficient Use of Generators in Inclement Weather
We have demonstrated that many factors must be considered with regard to the site and construction of any cover or enclosure for a generator. High winds could be powerful enough to sweep the heavy generator and cause it to collide with you, a family member, or your home. Inverter generators tend to be more efficient and compact than traditional units, but they also tend to be more expensive. So, whether your generator uses gasoline, diesel fuel, or propane, you should have enough on hand at the first sign of a storm.
When comparing the operation of a generator to using a car in the rain, thinking about it a little, it should be obvious that a car engine is in an enclosure. Otherwise, carefully designed rain will enter the connection areas and prevent the generator from operating at its full potential. These special models aren't usually more water resistant than other generators; if you want to keep yours in good shape and safe, you'll need to keep it dry. Now, if your generator is soaked in water or completely submerged, you need to do more than just dry it.
Tips for Safely Operating a Generator in Wet Conditions
On the one hand, it is very important that you do not allow the generator to get wet while it is running. The GFCI is a quick-action circuit breaker designed to cut off electrical power to the generator in the event of a ground fault. Wet generators pose a shock and shock hazard if you try to plug or unplug items when they are wet. Splashing gas into the hot exhaust, near the spark plug, or anywhere else in a working generator could easily cause a fire.
This does two things: it protects the generator from rain or snow and allows a lot of air to flow around the generator, allowing the exhaust to escape safely. But if your generator is small and lacks a 220 volt outlet, the only possible connections are through extension cables.