Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

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Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Fiver » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:24 pm

I know it's not rainy really out there at TTITD but back here in the real world.. What are people's experiences with using generators in the rain? I have a eu3000is and was wondering if it is bad. This is just use for a night, not long term outside storage. Gonna try and put a little cover on it while it's running, maybe a trash bag over the outlets but will a little rain do any real harm? As long as I don't block the air intake or exhaust I should be ok right?
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby jkisha » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:48 pm

Is this a real question? What do you thhink your generator is generating? Does water and electricity ever mix? if it rains shut the damn thing off.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Nipple » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:53 pm

He's asking if the plastic housing is any protection from rain at all. A lot of generators are built for environments outside of the house. Seems like a perfectly valid thing to ask.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby jkisha » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:47 pm

Seeing water dripping over plugs and outlets is a definite sign to turn off the generator, or risk getting shocked or having fuses trip or the generator shorted out. Most generators come with a similar warning.

If the generator is properly housed and elevated up off the playa, that would be a different story, provided there are no electrical chord plugs laying out in the rain.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Bob » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:48 pm

RTFM.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby trilobyte » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:15 pm

What Bob and jkisha said.

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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Fiver » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:26 am

I only ask here because in general I trust the hive mind. Did some google searches on it and the general consensus is "No problems at all, runs fine in a typhoon." Everyone just says don't store it unprotected.

It's just, you know, we here have a habit of running equipment in harder conditions then most.

I have the 3000, not the 2000, and it's got the wheel kit so it's up off the ground.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby moonrise » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:41 am

I own a Stanley generator and it's designed to run in the rain and snow. It's still new in the box and I can try to look for the exact model name but I recall it's called an "all weather" generator. I also bought the accessories kit and there's a cloth & metal frame type tent in the kit for rainy/snowing conditions. Fingers crossed it works (and I live! I like breathing air!) bc we lose power often in the Sierras. YMMV
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby EspressoDude » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:51 am

playa dust + rain + electricity = severe corrosion and shock hazard, but as foxfur says "keep burning man potentially fatal"
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Rice » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:09 am

EspressoDude wrote:playa dust + rain + electricity = severe corrosion and shock hazard, but as foxfur says "keep burning man potentially fatal"


Uh, yah. After the rain/dust storm that we had on-playa a few days after the temple burned I understand that concern. We had several fuses trip. Lost power to 2/3 of the Black Hole. Got more than one shock trying to restore power. It is amazing how conductive the playa actually is!! In the end, some sun & heat - combined with a team of troubleshooting Jerks was all it took.


I have used a generator in both rain storms and snow storms. As long as the generator slightly shaded from the rain, one should be fine! (I am lucky that there is some shelter when I need to use a generator @ the lake.)

YMMV
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:24 am

The dust can also get in the fuel lines and clog them.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Rice » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:36 am

theCryptofishist wrote:The dust can also get in the fuel lines and clog them.


I am curious how this would actually happen?? Would that not mean that there would be a bunch of playa dust in the fuel too?? Please explain...
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:42 am

I can't. We had two generators stop and this was discovered to be the cause. I was not the person working on them. Perhaps this is wrong.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Rice » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:48 am

theCryptofishist wrote:I can't. We had two generators stop and this was discovered to be the cause. I was not the person working on them. Perhaps this is wrong.

ah. Do you know if the generators were serviced prior to going on-playa? Clogged fuel lines are not exactly a playa-only issue.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:53 am

I don't know, but they were generators owned by two different people, both of whom use them for more than just the playa. (Which I presume means that they take care of them.) And they went out during the same dust storm.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby illy dilly » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:52 pm

That is interesting.
I'd imagine that the issue was actually the gas it self being in a container that was not completely sealed prior to being put into the generator.

As for running a generator in the rain, as everyone has said, keep it elevated and under something.
Also keep the ends of all your extension cords and power strips off the ground and protected.

Something else to consider is buying plastic covers for all the outlets, like the ones folks use to 'baby proof' a house. I've seen hard plastic ones for 220v and 30A/120v but can't seem to find a google image.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Fiver » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:07 pm

I hadn't thought of the leftover playa dust aspect. Since I got back the genny did get a full cleaning. (Hosed it off, wiped it down etc...) It worked fine after I let it dry out overnight. Just never used it in actual rain before.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Bob » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:54 pm

Actually, wish I knew more, but I've flunked out on small engines. I'm convinced a combination of dirty generator power (both small & trailer-mounted) and playa dust destroyed my set of yellow cordless tools (guess the brand) plus a corded sidewinder saw. Somebody should expand the org's page on generator use to go beyond simple generator etiquette and try to help people prepare for common scenarios and pitfalls, including what a safe & secure generator shelter might look like that doesn't hamper smooth running, etc.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby gyre » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:02 pm

Guessing here, Bob, but low voltage is more likely to kill an electric motor than dirty sine wave signal.
The starting load can be high and as voltage drops, motors strain and die, same as with long cords.
A straight electric motor is pretty tolerant of a dirty signal, but any electronics involved may not be.

Cordless tools? Charging issues?


Water?
Pure water is a poor conductor, but contaminants can conduct sometimes.
Carbon conducts well, so if something starts burning, it can hasten failure.
While sealed contacts are ideal, I've run cords for long periods of time outside.
I've only had one failure and that was a heavy duty triple tap by woods that shorted across plugs and melted.
Did no damage and I pulled it before it became a serious problem.
I never run anything less than 12 gauge or 10 gauge.

As mentioned, playa is a contaminant.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby knowmad » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:17 pm

Fiver wrote:I only ask here because in general I trust the hive mind. ....


HAHAHHAHAHHAAH!


Don't really come here often do you?

Actually something you might want to be asking yourself; mostly because it's more relevant, is: Should I run my Gennie in the Blazing sun? The Answer is...


NO!!!


You should also not re-Fuel it while it is hot.
Now that you know how to use the googley and have RTFM it will be apparent.
other things you might want to add to your FFAQ is:
Should I Put my Genie in a Tent to keep it dry and out of the sun?
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:34 pm

I thought that a bottle was the best place to keep your genie.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Nipple » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:25 pm

This thread has jammed MacArthur Park in my head since yesterday.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby CornMan » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:12 pm

I'd keep the generator out of the rain such as under the rental truck and treat the cords like I normally would at a construction site on a rainy day. Don't let any junctions dip in any puddles. I guess you could wrap the junctions with plastic mover's wrap to make it a little safer.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby BBadger » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:12 am

ePlaya is also an excellent place to seek high- hive-minded medical advice.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Bob » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:31 am

Reminds me -- you won't have to worry about people lighting up by the generator because smoking will be banned under Nevada law next year.
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby dragonpilot » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:02 pm

Not being generator savvy...I heard it said to drain gas from the carburetor for long-term storage, gets gummed up otherwise. True? And do generators come with a carb drain valve?
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Elliot » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:56 pm

Drain the fuel tank with a $3,- siphon device from an auto parts store. Then run it until it runs out of fuel.

Even better, pour a dash of Sta-Bil into the tank before you run it dry. Sta-Bil is a fuel additive that helps keep gasoline fresh.

Between the Sta-Bil and running it dry, you should be in good shape.

(My EU3000 sat for two years and started on the FIRST pull.)
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Fiver » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:05 pm

So it poured rain on the day as predicted, and the generator ran just fine outside. Made a small cover over the area where the outlets are to prevent them from getting wet, but besides that it ran just fine for 5-6 hours.
Checked inside afterwards and the area where the air filter is was bone dry. (and still rather playa dusty, need to clean that out!)
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Rice » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:12 pm

Fiver wrote:So it poured rain on the day as predicted, and the generator ran just fine outside. Made a small cover over the area where the outlets are to prevent them from getting wet, but besides that it ran just fine for 5-6 hours.
Checked inside afterwards and the area where the air filter is was bone dry. (and still rather playa dusty, need to clean that out!)

I am happy that you genni behaved itself! (A post-playa tuneup is probably a good idea!)
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Re: Generators in the rain. (My case: Honda eu3000is)

Postby Elliot » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:16 pm

I should add, for short term storage:
With the EU-3000, you can run the carbonator dry by shutting off the manual fuel valve. That valve is there for a reason.
You can apparently accomplish the same with the EU-1000 by shutting off the vent on the fuel tank cap. Seems to serve the same function, only in a different way.
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