Can Generators Get Wet? [The Correct Answer You Must Know]

So, you live in rainy weather, or maybe you’ve accidentally sprayed your generator with your hose. You’re thinking to yourself – ‘can generators get wet?’ Is it dangerous for generators to get wet?

Well, in this article, we’ll cover that and a lot more.

No, generators cannot get wet. This poses as a danger to you and may destroy the generator. This doesn’t mean you can’t take it out in rainy weather. You just need to take certain precautions.

Let’s dive into more detail.

No, you cannot get your generator directly wet. This is dangerous because you put yourself at risk for electrocution or, more likely, severe damage to the generator. 

All types of outlets can get wet – even GFCI outlets.

It is important to protect your generator with a generator tent before putting it through wet conditions. This will ensure it does not get wet and everyone stays safe.

There are more safety precautions you can take, but that is the most important precaution you can take to secure yourself and your family.

What Precautions Should I Take During Rainy Weather?

There are various things you should take into account. Some of which are to:

  • Never use your generator indoors – this is terrible for you
  • Use a generator tent that protects it from rain, snow, hail, and more
  • Put your generator on higher ground, where it isn’t prone to water pools
  • Install a transfer switch on your generator or use grounded extension cords
  • Do not operate your generator with wet gloves or hands
  • Use one hand to touch your generator
  • Do not stand over the muffler when refueling your generator
  • If there is flooding and water is bound to reach your generator, do not use your generator
  • Avoid fuel clogging by making sure the valve is shut down when refueling
Follow these guidelines very closely when using your generator. If you use your generator indoors – that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning – these mistakes are lethal. Write them down somewhere and stick them up on your wall.

Why Protect Your Generator?

Generators output a tremendous amount of energy, often needing a 220-volt outlet. If this gets wet, the risk of a fire or electrocution is high. 

There are many elements that can get this wet outdoors, from rainy or snowy weather to some sprinkles from your hose.

You should probably not use your generator in the rain, but if you must, then use a cover. Most covers don’t cover the entire generator since gas can build up, so if you think a flood or a pool of water may form, do not use your generator.

Should I Use My Generator in Bad Weather?

Although a generator cover can help limit the risks, there’s always a risk of water seeping into it since there need to be holes in the cover so the generator does not overheat.

If you want no risk, it’s best not to use your generator in bad weather because there will always be a risk in that. 

For extreme weather conditions like tornadoes or hurricanes, do not use a generator at all – this is because the wind can cause your generator to crash into your house.

Different Types of Generator Covers

So, now that you know you need a generator cover to operate your generator in wet conditions, here are the different types of generator covers.

Specific Covers

If your generator is common, the company probably made a specific cover that fits just right. This often has no big advantage over general covers, but they exist.

You can buy them from your manufacturer, or your manufacturer may have given you the cover with the generator.

General Covers

These are simple covers that can cover almost all generators. 

Below is the general cover I use since my generator didn’t come with a specific cover:

DIY Cover

If you don’t want a cheap cover from Amazon and have the spirit to build up a cover yourself, you can do it with some poles or chairs and a tarp.

This does pose some risk in windy weather, because the tarp can touch the generator and it may not be super sturdy.

Other people also make use of wood instead of poles or chairs.

Hardcover Enclosures

You can also purchase sheds or plastic covers for your generator.

These are typically sturdy and safe for your generator but can be much more costly. An additional problem is that if the plastic melts due to the high temperature, that can create toxins.

Where Do I Put My Generator?

I personally put my generator on my porch since it cannot form any pool of sorts, and it would be really tough for a flood to reach that.

A shed is also a good option for most people, as long as there isn’t any flammable material around. This is safer since the chances of carbon monoxide leaking into your house is lower.

But, some people don’t have porches, so as long as you follow these guidelines, you should be fine:

  • An outdoor location
  • Flat surface
  • Do not put your generator near flammable material like a propane tank

What to Do if Your Generator Gets Wet

If your generator does get wet, back off and wait for it to dry down. If you unplug and plug your generator during rainy weather for example, you put yourself at risk for electrocution. So, do not reset your outlets while it is wet.

So, your best bet is to put the cover on the generator.

If it just started raining, though, you can try to put the cover on the generator without touching it to secure it. If you touch your generator while wet, you may be electrocuted. 

No guarantees it hasn’t already went bad, though. Putting the cover beforehand is the choice you’d want to make.

Final Words

So, can you get generators wet? No, you cannot. You can avoid getting your generator wet by putting a generator cover on beforehand.

There are many different generator covers you can choose from. But, it is important not to use your generator in extreme weather – even if you have a generator cover.

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