Running a Portable Generator in All Weather Conditions

Posted by Laren L. on Nov 1st 2023

Running a Portable Generator in All Weather Conditions

Portable generators can't run in inclement weather conditions like snow and rain — they require a quality protective covering.

The GenTent Safety Canopy raises the bar for portable generator covers, having undergone rigorous lab testing in numerous conditions. GenTent offers generator tents rated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These covers self-attach to portable and inverter generators, allowing large and small units to operate safely in nearly any weather.

Below, we'll look at various weather conditions the GenTent can withstand and how we've tested our solutions against them.

Where to Put a Generator During a Storm

Keeping your generator inside your home or business is incredibly dangerous, as it increases your exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). Even running your generator from your basement, porch, shed, garage or carport is too risky. Additionally, opening doors and windows doesn't offer enough ventilation to hinder lethal CO buildup.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), your generator should be at least 20 feet from your home. Operate your portable generator outdoors, directing its exhaust away from your home and surrounding buildings. Remember to keep windows and other openings closed while they're in the path of the exhaust.

When running your unit during a storm, an NFPA-rated generator tent lets you safely store it outdoors without exposing it to snow or rain damage. As an independent lab-tested safety product, GenTent sets the industry standard for generator tents and protective covers. These canopies let you operate your generator even in the harshest weather conditions, from torrential rains and flurries to high winds.

Can You Run a Generator in the Snow?

With proper reinforcement, yes. Take the GenTent, for example. Its dome design is carefully sloped on the sides to keep large amounts of snow from piling up on the canopy. While snow can accumulate on the GenTent's center, it easily sheds away from other areas of the canopy.

To mimic a sizeable amount of snow buildup, we drilled a hole through a 2-inch by 8-inch board to provide clearance for the separator. We then placed a 50-pound bag of salt crystals on the board, totaling 55 ½ pounds for an equivalent of 18 inches of snow.

The GenTent supported the weight with no damage to the rods and clamps. Shortly after we removed the board and bag, all elements returned to their original shape.

Can You Run a Generator in the Rain?

Yes — we manufacture our waterproof portable generator covers with military-grade, dual-coated vinyl and welded seams. GenTent Safety Canopies offer ample defense against blizzards and rain, protecting the control panel and outlets from harmful moisture.

Even in storms with 12 inches of rain per hour, GenTent’s sturdy construction prevents moisture from reaching or damaging your generator, staying watertight even in downpours and sideways rain.

Can You Run a Generator During a Hurricane?

The GenTent can remain attached, undamaged and fully operational in extreme winds. It is rated for sustained wind speeds of up to 70 MPH from all sides. It can withstand hurricane-force precipitation of 12 inches per hour. Bear in mind that during hurricanes and severe storms, officials advise only using portable generators when necessary, such as for powering critical equipment.

Can the GenTent Safety Canopy Cause Overheating?

GenTent is engineered to maintain the generator’s cooling profile. Beyond offering reliable protection against severe weather, the GenTent can also provide impeccable heat resistance. Its durable, ventilated construction helps keep your portable generator from overheating.

All system components are classified as flame-retardant, with the main canopy adhering to NFPA Standard 701. They won't auto-ignite, even when exposed to surfaces typical of a hot muffler. In turn, the GenTent cover provides an additional protective layer and even more peace of mind.

As you can see, we've carefully engineered the GenTent to hold up well in a variety of conditions. However, you can confirm these claims for yourself, too — see the GenTent in action or check out some of our performance demonstration videos.

Find a Cover for Your Portable Generator Today

At GenTent Safety Canopies, we care about protecting and maximizing your generator's performance as much as you do. That's why we specialize in high-quality generator tent covers to mitigate damage from even the roughest elements, keeping you, your family and your belongings out of harm's way.

We also make it simple to find the right fit for your generator. All you have to do is enter your generator make and model, then let us take care of the rest. Skip the guesswork and find the perfect cover for your generator the first time. Whether you have a portable generator, a fully encased inverter unit or a large generator over 10,000 watts, we have a solution for you.

Choose GenTent for all your portable generator protection needs. Browse our portable generator covers and order yours today!

Graphic stating - "Find a Cover for Your Portable Generator Today" showing a generator with a GenTent cover along with a link to browse the selection.