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KE2KB 01-01-2013 05:07 PM

Portable generator grounding
 
Hi;
Portable generator instructions are to connect ground terminal on generator to ground rod outside house.
Does this apply if the generator is not connected to any of the permanent house wiring; using extension cords (#12 3-wire outdoor cord)?

I cannot see how grounding the generator will reduce my chances of being electrocuted. As a matter of fact, I would think it would improve my chances of being electrocuted, since now I have a ground reference, and if I should be standing on the ground outside and come in contact with a hot wire, there would be a circuit between hot and neutral through me!
If the generator is not grounded, then that path is less direct. Yes; if the generator is sitting on the ground, and the chassis is bonded to neutral, then there will still be a path through me, but a higher resistance than if the generator is connected directly to earth via grounding rod.

FW

Speedy Petey 01-01-2013 05:33 PM

Using just the receptacles on the generator you DO NOT need or want to connect to a ground rod. It will serve NO purpose or benefit.

KE2KB 01-01-2013 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 1084123)
Using just the receptacles on the generator you DO NOT need or want to connect to a ground rod. It will serve NO purpose or benefit.

Thank you.

FW

brric 01-01-2013 06:08 PM

http://gfretwell.com/electrical/port...tor_ground.jpg
Here's an interesting twist.:whistling2:

retired guy 60 01-01-2013 06:25 PM

When I encounterred the instruction to ground my generator purchased during Hurricane Sandy, I assumed it had something to do with a lightning strike. It sounded similar to the instruction to ground my TV antenna and in fact I used the same grounding pole which I drove into the ground about 8 ft. (I no longer have the antenna since I picked up cable.)
Sounds like I was wrong. Correct?

dougp23 01-01-2013 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brric (Post 1084143)
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/port...tor_ground.jpg
Here's an interesting twist.:whistling2:

Oh. My. God.

LOL!

KE2KB 01-01-2013 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brric (Post 1084143)
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/port...tor_ground.jpg
Here's an interesting twist.:whistling2:

Portable ground. Love it! Works on the same principle as "wireless ESD strap", right?
Thanks for the post. That image made my day!

KE2KB 01-01-2013 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by retired guy 60 (Post 1084152)
When I encounterred the instruction to ground my generator purchased during Hurricane Sandy, I assumed it had something to do with a lightning strike. It sounded similar to the instruction to ground my TV antenna and in fact I used the same grounding pole which I drove into the ground about 8 ft. (I no longer have the antenna since I picked up cable.)
Sounds like I was wrong. Correct?

Well, if I ever do install a transfer switch and connect the genny to it, I can just run the ground to the same rod as the SE uses. My antenna (2 meter amateur) is connected to that same rod too.

FW

retired guy 60 01-02-2013 09:51 AM

I won't be using a transfer switch. But during the Hurricane Sandy, I did wire my generator directly to the washing machine for a period of time which I know has a grounded plug. If anyone can help explain how the washing machine would operate more safely by not grounding the generator, I would appreciate it. It is my understanding that grounding provides an alternate direction for current to travel in the event a hot wire in the washing machine (actually any major appliance) should touch the appliance's frame. As I understand it, and I could be wrong, grounding the generator serves the same function as grounding the service panel. For the purpose of this question we will assume there is no GFCI outlet being used in conjunction with the generator.

Oso954 01-02-2013 12:05 PM

Some light reading for Retired Guy. http://oshaprofessor.com/Portable%20...rds%203-05.pdf

retired guy 60 01-02-2013 02:34 PM

Oso954:
Thanks for the light reading. I did read it carefully. I also checked the booklet that came with my Powermate generator. I won't copy the entire paragraph but the booklet says, "The National Electric Code requires that this product be properly grounded to an appropriate earth ground to help prevent electric shock." Then it goes on to say that a minimum 12 AWG wire be connected to a copper rod driven into the ground. I tried to question the manufacturer by phone but got tired being on hold.
I don't doubt the accuracy of the document you referred to but I noticed that it specifically refers to generator use on a worksite where the worker is holding a drill with a fault while standing on the ground near the generator. I am not nitpicking but could the warning about not grounding the generator apply strickly to the circumstances cited and not to an extension cord enterring a home and powering indoor heavy appliances?
Rest assured I am not questioning your explanation nor the opinion of Speedy Petey. I am just trying to understand how the manufacturer of my 6000 watt generator (Powermate PMO126000) could give advice that appears to be dangerous and then justify that advice by citing the NEC.
It does say at the end of the paragraph, "However, consult with a local electrician to insure that local codes are being adhered to." I guess this is the escape clause in the event a consumer bites the dust.

Speedy Petey 01-02-2013 03:29 PM

The earth IS NOT and should NOT be a path for fault current back to the source. Connecting a genset to the dirt it sits on will do NOTHING in the case of a fault to your washer case and will only send voltage into the dirt.
The instructions that say to connect to a ground rod to prevent shock are erroneous at best, and the NEC says nothing of the sort.

Oso954 01-02-2013 03:35 PM

As long as you are talking about using it as a portable generator (extension cord and drill or appliance plugged into the ext. cord), just consider it an overstatement by whoever wrote it.

Jason34 02-16-2013 12:26 PM

I think thats the exact same generator as what I just bought. Mine is black with some purple on it. Might not be the exact same thing but mine is also a 6000 watter. It does say in the instructions about grounding it. I have mine wired up to a generator ready load center using an power inlet box thats out in my shed. So in my case I would need to use a grouinding rod. I was thinking of digging a 2 1/2' deep by 8' long trench to bury the rod. Then run a ground in which would come in from the floor and have a plate there. I could then run the ground wire from the frame to that plate. I wanted to do it this way just incase I wanted to move the generator to a different location (maybe outside the shed or whatnot) and wouldnt have a super long wire I had to disconnect.


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