The Best Ways to Cover a Generator in the Rain

by Anna

Generators are valuable assets, providing essential power during emergencies and serving various other purposes, from camping to job sites. However, one of the biggest concerns for generator owners is how to protect their equipment from the elements, particularly rain. Exposing a generator to rain can lead to electrical issues, corrosion, and even safety hazards. In this article, we will explore the best ways to cover a generator in the rain, ensuring its longevity and reliable performance when you need it the most.

The Importance of Rain Protection

Before delving into the methods of protecting your generator from rain, let’s understand why it’s crucial to do so:


Electrical Safety: Rainwater and electricity don’t mix well. A wet generator can pose serious electrical hazards, risking damage to the equipment, and more importantly, the safety of those nearby.


Corrosion Prevention: Water exposure can lead to rust and corrosion on critical generator components, such as the engine, alternator, and electrical connections. Over time, this can compromise the generator’s functionality.


Reliability: A wet generator is less likely to start or run efficiently, potentially leaving you without power when you need it most. Protecting it from the rain ensures it remains in working condition.


Extended Lifespan: Properly sheltered generators are more likely to have a longer lifespan. Rain can lead to premature wear and tear, resulting in costly repairs or replacement.

Now that we understand the importance of rain protection, let’s explore the best ways to cover a generator in the rain.

1. Use a Generator Enclosure or Shed

One of the most effective ways to protect your generator from rain is to house it in a generator enclosure or shed. These structures are designed to shield the generator from all types of weather, including rain, snow, and strong winds. Here’s what you need to know about using an enclosure or shed:

Pro: Provides complete protection from the elements. Some models are designed to muffle noise, making them suitable for residential use. A generator shed can also deter theft and vandalism.

Con: Requires additional space and installation. It may be a costly option compared to some other alternatives.

2. Generator Canopy or Cover

A generator canopy or cover is a specially designed protective cover that fits over your generator, shielding it from rain and other environmental factors. Here are the key points to consider:

Pro: Canopies and covers are relatively affordable and easy to install. They are available in various sizes to fit most generator models. Some canopies have built-in ventilation to prevent overheating.

Con: While effective at keeping rain off the generator, they may not provide the same level of security against theft or vandalism as an enclosure.

3. DIY Generator Shelter

If you prefer a cost-effective solution and have some DIY skills, you can create a custom shelter for your generator. Here’s how to go about it:

Pro: Allows you to design a shelter that precisely fits your generator’s dimensions. You can use materials like wood, metal, or PVC to construct the shelter.

Con: Requires time, effort, and DIY skills. You must ensure proper ventilation to prevent overheating, and it may not offer the same level of security as an enclosure.

4. Generator Tent

Generator tents are portable, weatherproof shelters designed to cover your generator. They are easy to set up and provide excellent protection from rain and other elements. Here’s what you need to know:

Pro: Highly portable and easy to set up. Generator tents come in various sizes and are designed to be lightweight, making them suitable for outdoor activities and camping trips.

Con: While effective against rain and wind, they may not be as durable as permanent solutions like enclosures or sheds.

5. Generator Rain Cover

A generator rain cover is a specially designed waterproof cover that fits snugly over your generator. It is a simple and cost-effective solution for rain protection. Here are the key points:

Pro: Affordable and easy to install. Rain covers are available in various sizes and are often made of durable materials like nylon or polyester.

Con: May not provide as much protection against strong winds or theft as some other options.

6. Elevate the Generator

Regardless of the method you choose to cover your generator, it’s essential to elevate the generator itself. Placing the generator on a raised platform or stand can prevent it from sitting in pooled water during heavy rain, reducing the risk of water ingress.

7. Ensure Proper Ventilation

While protecting your generator from rain is essential, it’s equally crucial to ensure proper ventilation. Generators generate heat during operation, and inadequate ventilation can lead to overheating and damage. When designing your shelter or using a cover, make sure there are openings or vents that allow for the free flow of air around the generator.

8. Regular Maintenance

No matter how well you protect your generator, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance checks. Inspect the shelter or cover for signs of wear and tear, and clean the generator’s air intake and exhaust areas to ensure unobstructed airflow.

9. Be Mindful of Exhaust Fumes

When covering your generator, be cautious about blocking the exhaust outlet. Generators emit carbon monoxide (CO) gas, which is lethal if inhaled in high concentrations. Ensure that any shelter or cover you use allows for the safe dispersal of exhaust fumes away from enclosed spaces.

10. Invest in a Waterproof Generator

If you’re purchasing a new generator or considering an upgrade, you can opt for a model that comes with a weatherproof casing. These generators are specifically designed to withstand rain and other outdoor elements without the need for additional covers or shelters.


Can I use a regular tarp to cover my generator in the rain?

While a regular tarp can provide temporary protection from rain, it may not be as effective as a specially designed generator cover or canopy. Generator covers are designed to fit snugly and provide better protection against wind and moisture.

Do I need to cover my generator when it’s not in use?

It’s a good practice to cover your generator when it’s not in use, even if it’s stored in a shed or enclosure. This extra layer of protection helps prevent dust, debris, and moisture from accumulating on the generator.

Can I build a generator shelter close to my house?

You can build a generator shelter near your house, but it’s essential to follow local building codes and safety regulations. It should have proper ventilation and adhere to the required distance from your home to ensure safety.

How often should I inspect and maintain my generator cover or shelter?

Regular inspections and maintenance checks should be performed at least once every few months, depending on your climate and usage. Check for wear and tear, ensure proper ventilation, and keep the shelter clean to maintain its effectiveness.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when covering my generator?

When covering your generator, be mindful of the exhaust fumes. Ensure that the shelter or cover allows for the safe dispersion of exhaust gases away from enclosed spaces to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.


Protecting your generator from rain is essential to ensure its reliability, safety, and longevity. Whether you choose a generator enclosure, canopy, cover, DIY shelter, or tent, the key is to shield your generator from the elements while providing proper ventilation. Regular maintenance and safety precautions, such as elevating the generator and monitoring exhaust fumes, are also crucial to keep your generator functioning effectively. By taking these measures, you can be confident that your generator will be ready to provide power when you need it most, rain or shine.

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