Normal off-grid power inverters are not waterproof.
That means you need to know how to protect an inverter from rain.
If you’ve got a small house or apartment then you might be thinking of keeping your inverter outside, somewhere like a balcony.
That might work well in the summer, offering you extra space to run your backup inverter and battery.
But what happens during the rainy season?
Things can get quite wet, especially during heavy downpours and a lack of sun to dry things out.
You certainly don’t want to expose your power inverter to this rain or other adverse weather.
As normal inverters are designed for indoor use, it is important to know how to protect them.
If water gets inside your inverter then it will quickly short circuit and fail beyond repair.
With that in mind, let’s go through the easiest ways to protect an inverter from rain.
4 Ways to Protect an Inverter from Rain
It can be a little tricky to protect inverters and batteries from rain due to their awkward size. They are not always easy to move, plus you need to ensure they are well ventilated to stop overheating.
If you have your heart set on keeping your inverter and battery outdoors then I urge you to think again. These are not outdoor pieces of equipment and you can solve all your problems by mounting your inverter indoors.
It will be much easier to find a dry area with ample airflow inside. Perhaps in a garage, cupboard, or even a shed would do. You won’t have any worries about rain or wild temperature swings.
Use a Waterproof Box
When using an inverter outdoors is your only option there are some solutions. The important point to remember is that you need a waterproof structure that still has ventilation. Here’s a couple of ideas:
Waterproof Electrical Enclosure
The best way is to use a waterproof electrical enclosure. You have probably seen this type of thing more often in commercial areas but it would do a great job at protecting your inverter.
They are designed to guard electronics against rain while still offering vents for cooling. You see the vents are slanted downwards with hoods to stop water from falling inside. Plus you can get them in various shapes and sizes to suit your needs.
Battery Box Inverter Combo
This is a neat solution designed specifically for inverters and batteries. In fact, you can even buy them with preinstalled inverters. Adding to this, there is the extra element of portability. Although, it would be very heavy with a battery mounted inside too.
This waterproof fortress keeps rain out while adding purpose-built hooded ventilation to each end. You don’t even need to open the box to hook up your appliances with dedicated outlets for 120V AC from the inverter.
If that wasn’t enough, it’s designed for use with solar panels with solar connectors to keep your battery charged. That’s a pretty neat solution!
Place Inside a Vehicle
Then always mount your inverter inside the vehicle. If you are temporarily hooking up to your car battery then avoid doing this in the rain.
While you can place items like solar panels on the roof of a vehicle, your battery and inverter should be placed inside. This will protect them from all the outdoor elements while driving, not just rain.
Transport in Waterproof Container
If you’re like me you probably use portable power inverters. They can be brilliant for traveling to get power for your gadgets on the go. Of course, the portability can add to wear and tear, plus add risk of water damage. If you’re worried about this, then get a waterproof carry case for your inverter to keep it safe from splashes, bumps, and knocks.
Do You Need to Keep Grid-Tie Inverters Dry?
One thing I want to mention is the difference between a normal off-grid power inverter and a grid-tie inverter.
A grid-tie inverter is slightly different and is designed to ‘tie in’ to your home electrical systems to use solar panels at home. They convert the solar energy directly into AC power without the need for a battery.
Modern grid-tie inverters are designed to be mounted outside on exterior walls. As such they are designed with waterproof ratings of at least IP65 to protect them from rain. So they will do just fine when mounted outside in the rain.
Final Words on Protecting Inverters from Rain
As you can see it depends on the type of inverter you have as to what protection you need to provide.
If you have a grid-tie inverter then this should be waterproof and safe to mount outside. You should double-check this though!
For a normal inverter that you use with a battery, you need to be more careful. They are not waterproof so you should protect them accordingly.
The best way is to always keep it inside. But in the case that you need to use it outside then you will require a waterproof box with ventilation to keep it safe.
I hope this article has given you some better ideas on how to protect an inverter from rain.
Hi, I’m Michael, the editor here at Watt A Lot.
After years of experience with off-grid power like solar panels, inverters, and batteries I decided I should share my hands-on knowledge with you. In my professional and personal life, I’ve needed to find electrical solutions for remote situations from owning a food truck, to running events at the top of mountains, to my converted campervan. So whether you’re looking for the best products or fixing an electrical problem, you can rest assured my advice comes from real hands-on experience.