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Tips to Help You Protect Your Generator in Bad Weather

Portable generators provide comfort and livability during power outages, substantial storms, and when simply working or enjoying time outdoors in places where electricity isn’t readily available. There are, however,  many safety precautions one should take when owning, utilizing, and storing a portable generator.

When bad weather strikes, being prepared is key to keeping your family safe and comfortable. Never operate a portable generator indoors or allow it to be exposed directly to the elements. This includes never operating in a shed, garage, trailer, or vehicle – even if the doors remain open. Having a plan and all of the tools that you need to use your generator in a safe manner will help you get portable electricity at your fingertips quickly and as efficiently as possible when the need arises.

While portable generators are lifesavers, they must be taken care of and handled properly. Two main concerns when utilizing a portable generator are carbon monoxide and damage from the elements.


Be aware of Carbon Monoxide.

To safely use a generator, place the generator in an open, ventilated area that is at least twenty feet away from your home and any other enclosures. The distance from your home and any other inhabited buildings is imperative to avoid carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill without any warning. This poisonous gas is emitted from the running generator and can seep into the enclosed areas.  Having a functioning battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home is vital to know if this gas is entering your home.


Protect your family and your generator.

While we look at a portable generator to help protect us, in order for it to do so we must ensure that the generator itself is properly protected from bad weather. According to House Logic, rain and snow can seep into the generator, causing corrosion and worse, electrocution. To mitigate these circumstances, be prepared with a sort of canopy or tarp to protect the generator from the direct downfall of the rain. This makeshift cover should protect the generator from the elements while not actually touching the generator to prevent fire hazards. This sort of functionality allows the carbon monoxide to escape and not build up to unsafe levels. It’s also important to make sure your generator is placed on a level surface.


Some companies have even started to make tents specifically for generators. GenTent created their product so you can run your generator in even the most severe weather. Another option to protect your generator from bad weather is a steel enclosure (a carport with no walls for example). While these are usually more expensive and usually require professional installation, they are more stable and reliable. They are, however, usually not portable.

Portable generators provide power to many who need it to survive during a bad storm or a surprise power outage. They help keep you and your family safe, as well as it keeps your house functioning properly to ensure damage is kept at a minimum. At RE Johnson, we are a proud Kohler Generator distributor. We can help you find the right generator for your needs, as well as repair and service. Contact RE Johnson today to learn more about portable generators.

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