Can Portable Generators Be Left Outside?

can portable generators be left outside

Portable generators can be left outside for several reasons, from convenience to safety. They can produce carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that is colorless and odorless, and weighs a hundred times more than air. Because of the gas’s ability to build up quickly, it is dangerous to leave the generator running outside. Also, it is best not to use a portable generator in rainy weather. A portable generator can also be used in a garage.

Propane is better than gasoline for portable generators

One reason why propane is better than gasoline for portable generators is because it does not lose its quality over time. The main drawback of gasoline is that it is harder to get when you need it most. Gasoline stations can be hard to find and may be closed or not open at all. Besides, it is difficult to store gasoline in large quantities and the gasoline will spoil quickly. Additionally, when the power goes out, you might not be able to fill the tank with gas, which will leave your portable generator inoperable until you can get repairs done.

Compared to gasoline, propane is safer and easier to store. Propane can be stored for decades without deterioration. However, gasoline can cause fires due to its high volatility. Propane cylinders must be recertified every decade to avoid rust and corrosion. Additionally, it is more expensive to buy a propane generator than a gasoline one. The downside is that you will have to buy a propane stabilizer to keep the gasoline supply consistent throughout the winter.

Water gets into the outlets of portable generators

Although many portable generators have protective covers, they shouldn’t be left outside in wet weather. This is because water can get into the outlets and cause a dangerous short circuit, and wet electrical panels can be a source of shock and electrocution. Fortunately, many portable generators are equipped with GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) outlets, which will automatically shut off when water reaches them. Still, they should never be left outside, as even a few inches of dew can reach the outlets.

Never place a generator near wiring. The resulting electric current could be lethal if the generator is hooked up to your home’s electrical system. This could cause an electrical shock and injury to utility workers and neighbors. Also, remember to never overload a generator with electrical load. If you do, you might damage valuable electronics and appliances. If you’re not sure whether you need a generator right now, consider the needs of your family before you purchase one.

Using a generator in the rain

Running a portable generator in the rain isn’t a good idea. Rainwater can damage the engine and short-circuit your generator. If you must run a generator during heavy rain, you can cover it with a tent or buy an enclosure for it. Water can also cause damage to the generator, so using an enclosure is a good idea. However, there are many factors you should consider before running your portable generator in the rain.

The generator itself should be kept covered to protect it from puddles. Although a metal frame will help to keep the generator out of the rain, it won’t prevent debris from cutting the air flow. To raise it off the ground, you can place plywood under it. When you’re not using it, you shouldn’t plug in electronics or accessories to it. Water can damage electronics. Keeping a portable generator dry will ensure that you’re able to continue your work during an emergency.

Using a generator in a garage

Before operating a portable generator in a garage, you should follow certain safety precautions. One of the most common mistakes people make is over-using the unit. They don’t read the manual and hook up appliances that exceed the capacity of the generator. When this happens, carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas, can build up and cause an accident. To avoid this, make sure that the generator is properly ventilated.

Besides being an eyesore, carbon monoxide is also a dangerous gas. The gas is colorless, odorless, and toxic. In fact, it is responsible for hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year. Never operate a portable generator indoors, especially in an enclosed space, like a garage or basement. Remember to install a CO detector and check it regularly.

Using a generator in a tornado

Having a backup power generator in your home is a great idea, especially if you live in a tornado-prone area. Power outages can last minutes, hours, or even days. Power outages can affect hundreds of households, and even a weak tornado can damage miles of power lines and interrupt service to thousands of homes. A backup generator is a great option for those without an electrical supply and can keep your essentials powered up until the electric company arrives to repair the damage.

Regardless of the size of the generator, you will need to consider the safety of everyone in your household. Portable generators are ideal for emergencies that require a secondary power source. If your home is not safe enough to stay, you will want to evacuate. If you cannot evacuate, portable generators can help keep fans and refrigerators running for several hours. Be sure to keep the generator outside, however, as exhaust from generators can produce carbon monoxide, which can be fatal if inhaled.