Can You Run a Generator in the Rain?

Whether you bring your generator camping or keep it at home as a backup power source for emergencies, you want to know that it’s safe to use in all conditions—including when it’s raining.

So, can you run a generator in the rain? The answer is yes, but there’s more to it. At DuroMax, our generators are easy to run in heavy rain with proper protection, but should never come in direct contact with moisture.

To run your generator safely in rainy weather, take a look at the precautions and best practices discussed below.

5 Tips for Using a Generator When It’s Raining

Is a storm cloud threatening to turn your camping trip into a wet weekend? Don’t worry. Once you understand general generator safety tips , these five tips can help you keep a running generator in times of wet weather.

#1. Cover Your Generator

Whether it’s a light mist or a torrential downpour, rain can lead to generator damage. And wet generators are a liability. Even minor generator damage can increase the potential for injury or costly repairs. 

To keep your power source safe in wet conditions, your first priority should be to keep it covered. You can protect your family and your investment with:

  • A steel enclosure – For a smaller footprint, you can install a steel enclosure on your property. These heavy cases are built to house only the generator. Unless you have experience, it may be best to have a professional install a generator enclosure for you.

#2. Keep the Entire System Dry

Covering your generator is the first step, but it’s not enough to keep it 100% dry. There are two other places where moisture can make its way into the system:

  • Human interaction – If you’ve been out in the rain, your hands could be wet. It’s crucial that you only handle a generator with dry hands (or while wearing dry gloves). Otherwise, you run the risk of electrical shock.
  • Cables – Any cables running from the generator are also a liability. Perform routine checks to ensure cables are not broken or fraying. When cords are open to the elements, the possibility of an accident increases significantly.

#3. Ensure There’s Adequate Ventilation

Generators burn fuel to stay powered on, and the resulting fumes are harmful to breathe in. Anytime your generator is in an enclosed space, carbon monoxide (CO) is a concern.

If your generator is in a steel enclosure, ensure that the exhaust leads out of the space. Purpose-built enclosures usually have shutters for ventilation already in place.

Excess heat can also build up in enclosed spaces, which can cause your generator to overheat. When temperatures rise within an enclosed space:

  • Your generator may stop working or run at a lower capacity
  • Nearby products could melt
  • The generator enclosure could catch fire

This makes adequate ventilation a must-have for your covered generator.

#4. Purchase a Well-Made Generator

Generators exist for one purpose: to generate electricity in times of need. And, as you probably know, water and electricity don’t mix.

With that in mind, no generator will be able to withstand heavy rain. However, in the case that your rain coverage springs a small leak, a high-quality generator will fare better than a budget brand.

We want to stress that keeping your generator dry at all times is the only way to avoid all damage to your product or injury to yourself. Still, with a premium generator, you can have peace of mind knowing the sensitive parts of your machine are better protected.

#5. Don’t Run Your Generator During Extreme Weather Events

A running generator is a vital tool during an emergency. However, when it comes to a generator for hurricane  season or a winter storm, they are best to use in the aftermath, not during the peak of the bad weather condition. Why?

While it may be tempting to start your generator as soon as your power goes out, it’s best to hold back until the worst of the winds die down. Most tornadoes last for less than ten minutes, so you shouldn’t have to wait long.

Don't Let a Power Outage Rain on Your Parade

Power outages are often accompanied by rain. Thankfully, as long as you take every precaution and keep your generator dry, covered, and well-ventilated, you shouldn’t have any problems.

When you buy a generator, you want assurance that it will be reliable—rain or shine. With a home generator and weatherproof cover, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to weather any storm comfortably and safely.