Do Portable Generators Need to Be Covered?

  • By: Umer.A
  • Date: May 27, 2022
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Yes! It will help if you cover the portable generators when not in use as they’ll start getting rust in a damp environment.

When you’re keeping your generator in an open area, it might get damaged by rain, snow, storm, or there may be excessive hot days that can severely damage the generator’s electrical components. So, it is essential to keep them covered.

Importance of Protecting the Generator:

Generators can get wet from rain, storms, heavy dew, or flood water, so you need to protect them and keep them covered. Generally, it’s best to keep the portable generators in dry conditions to avoid adverse weather situations.

To operate the generator in such conditions, keep them enclosed or covered. However, ensure that the generator is placed in an area with proper air circulation and well-ventilation. Thus, it prevents overheating and accumulating carbon monoxide. It is because of this reason that all coverings are not safe for portable generators. Ensure to keep the generator on a dry, flat surface with less than fifteen degrees.

Different Options for Protection:

Wondering which options are best for protecting the portable generators? It is highly recommended to use a special tent, enclosure, or canopy to protect portable generators.

Several canopies and tents are available on the market, which is easy to assemble, lightweight, and inexpensive for erect assembly. These tents open quickly with a round bottom allowing enough air to circulate. However, such open bottom canopies do not protect the generator against water flowing underneath the generator. In addition, they are lightweight, so you need to anchor them securely.

Another solution to protect your generator is to get your hands on the special enclosure, which can be professionally installed or constructed yourself. However, such enclosures allow enough air to flow around, keeping rain and dew outside with a sturdy, durable base.

There are plastic enclosures too in the market, but they might deform when you run the generator. Such enclosures are, however, permanent, and they remain stationary. You can only keep the generator in one spot while using these enclosures.

What Happens If You Cover a Generator Whilst It’s Running?

It depends on the type of generator cover that you use. If your portable generator is within the protective metal housing, you can cover it. This metal protective shell protects the elements against any water and allows enough air circulation. However, most portable generators are placed outside, which is why you need to cover them.

Wondering whether you can cover the generator while it’s running?

It all depends on its design. The waterproof cover should not entirely wrap the generator when it’s running.

If you use a tent for a generator covering, it will cover the sides and top, allowing enough air to flow and keep the generator running while it’s covered.

What might happen if you cover the generator that is not offering enough airflow?

This might lead to the startup of your generator, but the engine will shut down eventually if it doesn’t get enough air.

If it continues running with reduced oxygen levels and high particulate debris, it may lead to clogging and interference of motor functions.

When Should You Cover a Generator?

When operating portable generators at times of snow, rain, sleet, or dust storm, cover the generator to keep it protected against any moisture or dust particles. It is because the humidity can lead to short circuits or rust. Also, if you store the generator, you need to keep it in a dry, cool place to enhance its shelf life and protect it against flooding or water spills.

If you leave the generator for a few days or a month, drain the fuel line and gas tank to prevent them from clogging.

It’s best to protect the generator against debris and dust. You can use a mini-shed for protecting the generators. Moreover, you can opt for enclosures made from wood that prevent generators from any damage.

How Do You Protect a Portable Generator from Rain?

To use the generator during rain or hurricane, you can use a rain tent or generator cover. These covers prevent the generator from moisture at times of storm or hurricane. Rain can severely damage a generator’s significant components.

There are Champion covers in the market for all sizes of generators. Also, avoid running the generator indoors as they emit gas which can be deadly for us.

Can You Run a Generator When It Is Inside a Wooden Shed?

Yes, you can run the portable generator when placed within the wooden shed while keeping the doors open. However, the wooden sheds are flammable, so you don’t want to keep the generators operating within the wooden shed. There is an ultimate fire risk if there are any gasoline or chemical spills within the wooden shed.

If there is no fire risk, there might be some issues within the wooden shed regarding proper ventilation. If there is insufficient airflow, it can severely damage the generator and shorten its lifespan. The ultimate solution to enhance the lifespan of a generator is by running it outside.

Can You Store Your Generator in A Wooden Shed?

When not in use, store it within the wooden shed. Such conditions include semi-sheltered sites like garages with a five to six feet clearance distance on all generator sides. In addition, you should avoid keeping the generator close to the parked car.

Moreover, the shed is unable to maintain stable weather conditions with optimal temperatures. In addition, most people cannot keep the wooden sheds well maintained as they are prone to moisture intake through their gaps and cracks.

Can A Portable Generator Get Wet?

Yes, a portable generator can quickly get wet, which is why you need a protective cover for keeping it safe against any moisture. Moreover, check whether the generator is dry before you operate it. And if you find it wet, let it dry out.

Can I Protect a Portable Generator with A General Tent?

The general tent is not suitable for covering the portable generators as it cannot offer enough ventilation. Large tarps can, however, lead to some protection for the generators. For example, suppose your tarp cannot protect the generator against moisture with an open bottom allowing enough air to circulate. In that case, you can use the tarp to offer protection to the generator.

Avoid wrapping the tarp around your generator similar to the portable cover at times of not running. This will strain it before it dies, leading to excessive overload over the generator, causing short operating life.


Portable generators are the ideal choice to meet all your needs. RV campers make use of portable generators to power the campsites. Moreover, portable generators are a lifesaver during times of hurricanes or natural disasters. So, covering them is very important.