I have a 3500 watt Chinese generator. Seems ok, runs fine. It says not
to run it during wet or rainy conditions. That's reasonable I guess,
since I don't want electricty flying all over. But, if I happen to
have a power blackout and it's raining for a day or two, I figured
that maybe I could throw a tarp over the deck in the backyard and let
the generator run underneath it? The deck has about four feet of
ground clearance and extends far enough from the house so I'm not
worried about carbon monoxide.
I have power cords back there that power the fountain and even a
heated birdbath during the winter, and those are fairly unprotected
from the rain/snow. Those don't short out the house (GFI of course).
I put mine under the garage over hang. Transfer box is right next to
panel near the garage opening. May get a few drops but remains dry.
If need be, I can close the garage door leaving generator outside, of
If you're not worried about CO poisoning, other problems to consider
would be if there would be enough Oxygen to run the generator after
the space fills with CO and will the heat from the Generator cause any
fires or other problems. I am not sure you can back feed into a GFI,
but if you can, you should be good to go.
Also, usually a generator of that size will have 220. You might want
to think about using that by installing a breaker and outlet. My 3500
(4000 peak) has a RV plug. I run mine in my detached garage with the
doors open and backfeed 220 into the house. By putting 220 into the
house, everything will work except the Water heater and cloths dryer.
Apologies to the regulars for restarting a perennial no-win thread, but
not only NO, but Hell No!. Never backfeed with a 'suicide cord' or
whatever. If you are too cheap to set up a proper transfer switch, put
pigtails on your furnace and well pump, etc, and run a PVC pipe with a
threaded cap through the band joist above the sill, and pass an
extension cord down into the basement to run critical systems.
Do it right, or don't do it.
Sorry, didn't mean to imply that I was going to backfeed into the
house current. I just meant that I already have unprotected (outdoor
rated) extension cords back there and that isn't a problem during rain
or snow. My plan was to run one or two high-rated extension cords from
the generator to inside the house and plug stuff into those.
An electrician has already installed a switch on the furnace to use
either house current or power from an extension cord.
Extension cords are molded plastic/rubber, and sealed from moisture.
The generator head on your cheap chinese unit is NOT sealed from
Big difference. Can you see it?
All you need to do is shelter the generator from the rain. It's not
rocket science. Your tarp idea will work fine as long as it is not
smothering the generator and there is a way for the exhaust to escape.
An umbrella is another alternative, as would be a purpose built
shelter, a piece of steel roofing material, or a pop-up canopy. It can
be as crude or as sophisticated as you want as long as most of the
water stays off the generator.
Whatever you choose, odds are good that you'll be using the generator
during a storm where there are high winds. Make sure you secure your
shelter against that wind.
On Wed, 6 Apr 2011 14:00:07 -0700 (PDT), firstname.lastname@example.org
Right, but the cord plugs into an outside outlet and a multiple-outlet
plugs into the other end of the cord. Then onto a timer, fountain,
birdbath, lights, and even a useless mosquito trap. While all are
designed for outside use, none is really sheltered from the rain.
Water can certainly get into the outlets or the spaces between the
I worried about that at first, and even taped a sheet of plastic
around the outlet so that it would stay dry. But the connections
between all the other devices were essentially open to the weather.
Only once has the GFI outlet tripped in the two years since I had it
installed. I would think that all those connections being open would
short out something but it doesn't seem to do so.
I'd be a bit nervous running the generator on morning like today,
where it wasn't even really raining any more but it was very foggy and
you can just feel the water in the air. Still, if folks here say to
just keep the rain off of the generator, that's ok by me.
You can always put it in the garage and pipe the exhaust outside. Or put
it in the basement and pipe the exhaust into the chimney. If it's good
enough for the wood stove it's good enough for the generator.
I believe he mentions the outlet by way of indicating that the area
stays dry enough to not be an issue for other power outlets. Not
because he is thinking about backfeeding with it. Which woul not work
anyway because it's a 110 outlet.
Most people do what lsmft suggested. A piece of plywood on top of it
works fine. Under your deck would wor ok too if you do something to
protect an area above it like a small tarp. Just about all these have
a muffler that is "directional", point it out.
On backfeeding. Glad to know I'm in the .0001 percentile of something.
I have one in my head- and I can't believe I can't find a similar one
on Google. 40 yrs ago I was on a telephone line crew waiting for the
power company to finish hooking their crap to a pole. 2 guys in
rubber suits working the line hot were outlined perfectly by an aura
In the pictures above, the young woman and her friends were severely injured
by lightning just a few seconds after this picture was taken. Notice that no
rain was falling, clearly illustrating that lightning can strike up to
several miles away from the thunderstorm.
Red headed girl touching what looks like a Van de Graff generator.
Lightning hitting (and lighting up every branch) on a tree.
Ouch! Man's torso showing scars from lightning strike.
My deck has about 6 feet of ground clearance. I'm storing my son's
riding mower under the deck, up against the house.
I attached a 2 x 4 to the underside of the joists about 5 feet from
the house. I then used some spare sheets of Fiberglass roofing like in
the link below to build a "roof" over the mower. One end of the panels
are attached directly to the joists near the house, the other ends are
attached to the 2 x 4, resulting in a sloped roof.
The roof basically hangs off the bottom of the joists.
I covered the mower with a tarp but it's made it through a fall and a
winter and not one drop of water has hit the tarp. I've even got some
kindling for our firepit on top of the mower and it stayed perfectly
dry throughout the winter.
Fiberglass roofing sheets:
On Thu, 7 Apr 2011 13:03:29 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
But it all just sits on dirt that can get wet right? I wanted to put
my mower under the deck as well but worried that just being out in the
damp would cause it to rust even if no rain fell directly on it. It's
a small electric mower since it's a small backyard.
The dirt never gets wet. It's graded away from the house, so the front
part under the deck does get wet, but it drains out into the yard, not
back towards the mower.
It stays dry under the mower.
Sure, I guess there's some moisture coming up from the ground
naturally, but I'm not going to worry about that. Hopefully my son
will be back in a house real soon and he can take it back.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.