I recently bought a propane generator to use during the periodic blackouts we get in California now. I have a large crawlspace underneath my home and it would be fairly easy for me to place it down there and run a cable up through my floor to my house.

My question is - will this be safe? I know that generators produce carbon monoxide and I don't want to... kill everyone in my house. Would it be safe to run it under my house or should I look for a location outside?

  • Yeah, PG&E is driving lots of people to buy generators. I wish they'd look into solar instead. Solar used to be all grid-tied, but now there are dual-mode options available. Nov 19, 2019 at 20:35
  • I put mine outside just to avoid the exhaust smell. I put the power line through the wall , not a window. Nov 19, 2019 at 20:47
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica - I looked into solar. Both a house system and a generator. For the house system they told me they'd be happy to set me up, I'd just have to cut down the 200 year old oak tree that shades my house. Hard pass. 90% of the solar generators I saw don't provide enough juice to power my refrigerator which is my main concern. The few that did cost close to ten times as much as my propane generator.
    – Brh
    Nov 19, 2019 at 23:11
  • @Brh yeah that oak tree is cheap A/C. "Solar generators" are a rather silly product and should be 100% ignored. . I too have struggled with finding the 1 KWH/d needed for a fridge. A generator isn't it for me, though. Nov 19, 2019 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


CO production is certainly one concern, and you'd need to ensure that the exhaust system is properly ducted away.

But equally important: any fuel-based generator (internal combustion engine) is a major fire hazard and should be placed something like 2 meters away from any structure -- in all directions. I do not know the local code where you live, so that number may be different, and quite probably a non-flammable material may need to be placed covering a wall between the generator and the house proper.

All in all, for the cost of a few dozen meters of power cable, I would recommend installing away from the house and running a conduit into/thru your crawlspace.

  • Good info thanks. Extra cabling isn't my main concern though it would be convenient. I mainly liked the idea of have a place to run it where it won't be out in the weather. A sheltered place that is close to where I need to use it would be pretty sweet if it worked out.
    – Brh
    Nov 19, 2019 at 23:13
  • 2
    They make generator-tents for portable generators to use to shelter the generator Nov 20, 2019 at 1:32
  • @ThreePhaseEel - ahh that's good to know. Have any links handy?
    – Brh
    Nov 20, 2019 at 15:50
  • @Brh -- simply google "generator tent" and you'll find plenty, I'm sure :) (even the borgs have them) Nov 20, 2019 at 23:57

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