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Old 01-11-2011, 09:32 AM   #1
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


I believe a portable generator connected to a house's electrical system must be grounded. Correct?

I cannot reach the earth ground rod which is under a porch. This prevents me from grounding the generator to ground. Can I sink another copper ground rod and connect the existing rod to the new ground rod using copper ground wire? Distance will be about 12 feet.

Generator is connected to the house via a 200 amp transfer switch.

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Old 01-11-2011, 09:47 AM   #2
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


I see no reason why not, but I could be wrong too. But why not just ground the generator straight out?
That'd accomplish the same result, would it not?

DM

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Old 01-11-2011, 10:10 AM   #3
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


Hi DM,

The generator is for emergency power outages. Only connected if needed.

I'd roll it outside, connect the ground, then power cable to the transfer switch. Start the generator and transfer gneerator power to house loads.

Haven't needed it yet. The ground issue was on the work list. I just want to be sure the ground addition is within the electrical code.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:32 AM   #4
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


I'm doing sort of the same thing, I plan on using a jumper-cable clamp locked onto the ground rod so it can be easily attached to ground the machine, but easily removed to put it away when done. If there is anything wrong with this idea, let me know, OK guys?

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Old 01-11-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


The portable generator requires no ground rod. Only an equipment grounding conductor for the loads attached. This is facilitated through the ground wire in any cord and plug arrangement.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:44 AM   #6
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


My system may be a bit different though. I ran a few dedicated outlets that are in no way connected to the grid, completely separate from it. No transfer switch, since it is not needed. Is MY grounding the machine not going to help? Or am I correct in assuming I SHOULD ground it? I have a spot where the old TV antenna was mounted and there's a ground rod right there where I usually run the generator when it's needed.
Earnie: Sorry if it seems I'm hijacking your thread, but this may help you as well.

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Old 01-11-2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


When I wired up one for my father-in-law, I made a jumper cable that came from the generator and went to an outlet with sufficient sized wire for the load to a breaker in the main panel. when power went out, he shut the main off and then switched on the gen breaker and connected the generator and started it. works like a charm. the outlet is in the garage and he can run the gen out there.

rod
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
My system may be a bit different though. I ran a few dedicated outlets that are in no way connected to the grid, completely separate from it. No transfer switch, since it is not needed. Is MY grounding the machine not going to help? Or am I correct in assuming I SHOULD ground it? I have a spot where the old TV antenna was mounted and there's a ground rod right there where I usually run the generator when it's needed.
Earnie: Sorry if it seems I'm hijacking your thread, but this may help you as well.

DM
DM,

Please post what you need. I'm learning from it too.

If not required by Code, I guess it won't be wrong to ground the generator. Maybe it was mentioned in the generator owner's manual.

Last edited by Earnie; 01-11-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:39 PM   #9
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


Thanks!

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Old 01-11-2011, 01:49 PM   #10
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


Quote:
Originally Posted by rditz View Post
When I wired up one for my father-in-law, I made a jumper cable that came from the generator and went to an outlet with sufficient sized wire for the load to a breaker in the main panel. when power went out, he shut the main off and then switched on the gen breaker and connected the generator and started it. works like a charm. the outlet is in the garage and he can run the gen out there.

rod
Just an opinion, but I don't think that things such as this should be shared here.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:01 PM   #11
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


In a public forum, anything can be shared.
Whether it's an advisable thing to do or against code is a different matter.
Double male plugs are never advisable, for obvious reasons.

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Old 01-11-2011, 02:04 PM   #12
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


Quote:
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Just an opinion, but I don't think that things such as this should be shared here.
noted
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:25 PM   #13
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


Quote:
Originally Posted by rditz View Post
When I wired up one for my father-in-law, I made a jumper cable that came from the generator and went to an outlet with sufficient sized wire for the load to a breaker in the main panel. when power went out, he shut the main off and then switched on the gen breaker and connected the generator and started it. works like a charm. the outlet is in the garage and he can run the gen out there.
I FULLY agree with Dexter.

While this may "work" for you, it is still VERY dangerous and VERY illegal. Especially to an inexperienced and over confident DIYer.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:26 PM   #14
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I FULLY agree with Dexter.

.
ok, FULLY noted
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:32 PM   #15
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Portable Generator Electrical Ground


Quote:
Originally Posted by Earnie View Post

If not required by Code, I guess it won't be wrong to ground the generator. Maybe it was mentioned in the generator owner's manual.
A portable generator is not required to be connected to the home's grounding electrode system. Doing so will be of no benefit either.

A permanent generator, hard wired to the house DOES require a grounding electrode.



250.34 Portable and Vehicle-Mounted Generators.

(A) Portable Generators.
The frame of a portable generator shall not be required to be connected to a grounding electrode as defined in 250.52 for a system supplied by the generator under the following conditions:

(1) The generator supplies only equipment mounted on the generator, cord-and-plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the generator, or both, and

(2) The normally non–current-carrying metal parts of equipment and the equipment grounding conductor terminals of the receptacles are connected to the generator frame.

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