Generators - and wet weather

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:21
ThreadID: 24104 Views:1914 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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Hi all :)

Just wondering how owners of generators use them in inclement weather in regards to safe operation when its raining.

We recently bought our gennie only to use on our property in lieu of power not being available to the temporary caravan we have set up as home - and especially during winter. It worries me using it in wet weather conditions - given that these things output 240VAC. It has to be covered so that it doesn't get wet - but also needs to be able to breathe. I'm also not sure that I like the idea of an extension cord snaking around the ground outside in the wet...or is this worry a furphy as long as both ends are dry?

What do people do as far as a gennie cover when it's raining? I'm thinking of using our (departed) dog's kennel as a permanent cover - but it's made from steel and isn't really well...uhmmm... insulated. It has a big entrance, so the exhaust could be pointed out the entrance leaving it sucking clean air to burn from behind.

Any ideas?

Cheers
Chris
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Reply By: flappa - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:27

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:27
As long as you have a proper Circuit breaker on the Cvan , I cant see a problem with the middle of the cord getting wet.

Caravans do it all the time. Shouldn't matter whether it a Gennie or Mains.

You would certainly want to keep direct rain off the gennie though.
AnswerID: 117047

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:51

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:51
G'day Chrispy,

The kennel sounds like a good idea - just make sure there is enought air to vent the genie as they tend to build up some heat in a confined space.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 117055

Reply By: Member - bushfix - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 14:22

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 14:22
G'day,

yep, i use a (RIP my girl) kennel, marine painted 3ply, at home for the tank pump. Only because my girl ain't above ground anymore, sympathise with you there Chris. Otherwise, much cheaper (and easy) to knock up your own housing. My genset sits in the garage. Funny you posted this today as last night we had a blackout. My six neighbours had power yet I was the only one with sunken power (dug it myself!!! uhhhh) and a genset. Needed it for a couple of hours.

Ditto on the ventilation, and don't forget to earth it.

Re your concern on the cord: Get the longest you can then elec tape over the join and overhand them together (to take up stress if pulled) and keep off ground at the junctions, to minimise seepage into the conductors. Do you have an AC protection switch on the genset, then use it. Otherwise, use a portable RCD.

cheers,

Jeremy.

AnswerID: 117060

Follow Up By: hl - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:46

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:46
Hi,
A portable RCD will do nothing unless the generator is properly grounded.
As for the circuit breaker, it will also do nothing to protect you.
As it may be impractical to ground the gennie properly, it would be best to use only double insulated appliances with it and be extremely cautious.
If you can ground the generator, the an RCD is a must, in my opinion.

Cheers

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FollowupID: 372567

Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 21:13

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 21:13
as i said, "don't forget to earth it"

the situation sounds like grounding/earthing will not be a prob. :)
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FollowupID: 372605

Follow Up By: motherhen - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 23:13

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 23:13
Hi bushfix - how do you earth it?
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FollowupID: 372619

Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:07

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:07
G'day motherhen,

should be an earth/ground terminal on the gennie. from that, run as short a length as posibble of earthing cable (good copper) to a metal stake/"pin" and tap that into the ground firmly, the deeper the better, the firmer the connections the better. some gennies come with the cable and stake, some without.
cheers.
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FollowupID: 372633

Reply By: Vince NSW - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:29

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:29
Agree with all of the above re the cords.
As for shelter for the gennie, I picked up from the camping store a beach wind break. This looks like half a dome tent. We just set it up with the door (Open side) away from the wind. works a charm.
Got it on sale at the end of one summer for $15.
Hope this helps
Vince
AnswerID: 117068

Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:34

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:34
The dogs kennel would be good if you also take a star picket and drive that 500mm into the earth next to the kennel and connect the kennel to the picket. Connect the chassis that the genny is mounted on to the earth picket too and elevate the actual genny to keep it out of the rain soaked grass (couple of lumps of 4x4).
AnswerID: 117069

Reply By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:41

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:41
Thanks for all the replies :)

I think that given I have a spare kennel, I'll use that and ground it with a star picket in the ground.

I do have a beach shelter too.... which will be great if I need to run the gennie in a remote location on the property and it's raining.

Once again - cheers! :)

Chris
AnswerID: 117071

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