Can A Generator Get Wet? (Or Run In The Rain)

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No, a generator can not get wet. This can lead to generator damage, electrocution, or even an explosion in some cases.

Getting running generators wet involves the biggest risks but you also want to avoid this when the machine is not in use.

At the same time, it is worth noting that it is still possible to run a generator in the rain if you protect it sufficiently from getting wet.

There are also standby generators that have their own covers to protect them from the rain.

You can protect your portable generator with a generator cover or a custom-built shed.

Keep in mind that your generator still needs enough ventilation. Don’t run it inside or too close to the house.

Can a generator get wet while running?

No, a standard generator can not get wet while running.

Similarly, inverter generators can not get wet either, even though they may look more waterproof.

Getting these generators wet while running can cause damage to you and your machine.

These pieces of equipment are not made for coming into contact with this fluid.

On the other hand, it is worth noting that many whole-house standby generators are made to be able to deal with water.

More specifically, these types of generators tend to have covers that can deal with somewhat less optimal weather conditions.

At the same time, you still want to check the manual or customer support of the specific standby generator to see whether it can get wet or run in the rain.

You definitely want to play things safe when it comes to this topic.

Keep in mind that these guidelines apply to your body too.

You should handle a generator with dry hands or gloves to avoid the risk of electrical shocks.

Similarly, make sure the extension cords connected to your generator are either waterproof or do not come into contact with this fluid.

Can a generator get wet if it is not running?

No, a generator can not get wet if it is not running either.

The safety and damage risks involved in this are not as high while running.

However, you still want to keep your generator dry when not in use to avoid things like rust or a potential generator battery short circuit.

So getting a generator wet when not in use is not as bad but it can still severely shorten the lifespan of your equipment.

You definitely want to avoid starting a wet generator too.

Can you still run a generator in the rain?

Yes, you can still run a generator in the rain if the weather is not too bad and you take the necessary safety precautions.

First of all, making sure your generator is still well-ventilated is one of the most important things to keep in mind.

In simpler words, you can still not run a generator indoors. Even if it is raining.

Instead, you want to sufficiently cover your portable generator from the rain.

Before going into how to do this and what equipment you can use, keep in mind that running a generator in severe weather conditions is not recommended with a light cover.

How to cover a generator in the rain

Some of the main ways to cover a generator while running it in the rain are:

  • Steel or plastic sheds: These types of generator covers tend to be more sturdy but are also less mobile, sometimes pricier, and involve more effort to install.
  • Generator tents: As the name implies, generator tents are made specifically for covering these machines. The tents tend to be somewhat more budget-friendly and easier to set up. However, they are not for severe weather conditions.
  • Regular generator covers: There are more minimalist generator covers too. These tend to be somewhat sturdier than generator tents but also involve a certain risk of getting the machine wet if not installed correctly.

Which of these generator covers for running the machine in the rain is better depends on details like the weather conditions, your budget, your preferences, etc.

To actually cover a generator in the rain you want to take the following steps:

  1. Cover the generator while it is still dry. Follow the setup guidelines carefully so the machine can not get wet.
  2. Move the generator with cover to a safe position through the rain. Put it far enough away from the house etc. You can skip this step if you already have a shed in a safe location.
  3. Follow the typical steps to start a generator with extra attention to not getting the generator wet. Be especially careful with wet hands.

Running a generator in the rain still involves a certain risk. However, leaving your generator outside while correctly using a cover makes things a lot safer.

Can a generator get rained on?

No, a standard generator can not get safely rained on. Even if it is one of the best hurricane generators.

Without any generator cover, this involves a risk of damage and electrocution.

And this is not just the case with rain.

You want to avoid your generator getting wet when fishing at a creek on a sunny day too.

At the same time, there are standby generators that are built in a way where they can get safely rained on.

When in doubt, you definitely want to check your generator manual or customer support to see whether it can deal with something like rain.

What happens if water gets into a generator?

If water gets into a generator you risk damaging the internal parts and put yourself in danger of electrical hazards like electrocution.

Getting a gas generator wet can even lead to an explosion.

It should go without saying that you want to avoid these things and in turn, avoid getting water into a generator.

What to do if a generator gets wet

If a generator generator gets wet you want to take the following steps:

  1. Shut off the generator if you can safely do this.
  2. Dry off the outsides and insides of the generator after the rain is done.
  3. Inspect the inside of the generator before using it again. It might be necessary to get help from an expert for this.

Preventing your generator from getting wet is preferred.

However, it is sometimes possible that you can still use your machine after following the steps above.

FAQ

Are generators waterproof?

No, generators are typically not waterproof. In fact, water can damage generators a lot, up to the point of causing an explosion.

Can water spoil my generator?

Yes, water can spoil your generator in the sense that it can damage your equipment and involves safety risks.

Does a generator need to be kept dry?

Yes, a generator needs to be kept dry to function properly and avoid damage. Both while running and when not in use.

Can you run a Honda generator in the rain?

No, you can not run a Honda generator in the rain on itself. To be able to do this you need to protect it from getting wet with something like a generator cover.

Can you run a Ryobi generator in the rain?

No, you can not run a Ryobi generator in the rain without protection. You will need to make sure it does not get wet.

Can you run a Champion generator in the rain?

No, you can not run a Champion generator in the rain without protection. A suitable generator cover could be enough to make this happen.

Can you run a Firman generator in the rain?

No, you can not run a Firman generator in the rain without precautions. To do this, you need to invest in a cover or something similar to protect it from the rain.

Can you run a Predator generator in the rain?

No, you can not run a Predator generator in the rain on itself. You need some type of generator cover to do this safely.

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Author:

Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.