When can portable generators be used in the rain? The answer is no, because water can easily get into the electrical panels of a generator. Not only can this damage the generator, but it can also cause electrocution. Thankfully, many portable generators have GFCI outlets, or ground fault circuit interrupters, that will automatically shut off electricity when they get wet. However, you should be aware of the potential dangers of being near one of these outlets.
Despite the warnings of doctors and public health officials, people often fail to place their portable generators in well-ventilated locations. In addition to being exposed to CO poisoning, portable generators can also be in direct contact with refrigerators. This study is consistent with the results of a recent review of CO poisoning reports. In fact, many participants in the focus group disregarded the risk of CO poisoning by claiming they lived in an all-electric house and had no other gas-powered appliances. However, they admitted to owning gas log fireplaces and gasoline-powered generators.
In one case, a Maryland family of eight was killed when a gasoline-powered generator hooked up to heaters in their home. Another incident was reported in Madison, Wisconsin, where portable generators filled a wedding venue with carbon monoxide. In another case, a portable generator flooded the venue at a wedding reception and required the entire crowd to evacuate. The National Fire Protection Association reports that more than 900 deaths have been attributed to portable generators.
Having proper ventilation for portable generators is essential for their proper operation. While portable generators are typically left outside during inclement weather, certain parts are sensitive to the presence of moisture and must be protected from it. The best way to do this is to purchase a purpose-built steel enclosure that is able to withstand the elements. Generators are engines, and air must enter the piston in order to create a combustible mixture. This air then needs to exit the enclosure so that it doesn’t contaminate the air. Improper ventilation will cause the generator to overheat and generate fumes.
Install louvered events on the top and sides of the enclosure. Depending on the generator model, you may want to buy a custom one. Make sure to select one that fits your generator’s specifications. If the enclosure is too large or too small, you can always purchase one that fits better. Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a jigsaw, you can use a Dremel to cut the vents. Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to make the cut lines straight and spaced evenly.
A portable generator is usually not a good candidate for an outdoor storage space, but a steel enclosure will keep it dry in rainy weather. The best place for a generator enclosure is on a level, non-porous surface such as gravel or concrete. If there is no concrete surface nearby, you can use concrete blocks that are pressed together with mortar. Concrete blocks will provide a stable base for the generator enclosure, but you must protect the generator from any moisture or heat.
While steel buildings are more secure than plastic ones, they may be too heavy or cumbersome to move. The base cement layer will make it difficult to move and is a poor choice for outdoor storage. Steel enclosures also do not provide enough ventilation for proper operation of the generator, so they can overheat. Plastic enclosures are often cheaper and more portable, but they may not keep the generator cool enough.
Some portable generators are designed for rainy conditions. However, it is not advisable to operate them in wet weather. Rain can enter the generator’s outlets and cause it to malfunction, and can also be dangerous, as it can lead to electrocution. Portable generators often come with GFCI outlets, which are a good option as they prevent the risk of electrocution if the power source gets wet. However, you should still ensure that the generator is ventilated as any leak in the enclosure could result in overheating and fume buildup.
In order to protect your portable generator from the elements, it’s advisable to construct a shelter. You can also install a cover over the generator. While this option is less convenient than a commercial generator shelter, you can customize it according to your requirements and the direction of the prevailing winds. Additionally, make sure to build the canopy high enough so that the exhaust fumes do not accumulate under the canopy. This can be dangerous because of Carbon Monoxide buildup.