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Old 07-07-2012, 08:24 AM   #46
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


Thanks for the information. I will definitely check out the other thread and read up.

Thanks!

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Old 07-07-2012, 11:50 AM   #47
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


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Originally Posted by tjnoff View Post
There was a further discussion of this here: A discussion on the Proper grounding for portable generators

The consensus was that the best solution for wiring a portable generator to your main power panel (where neutral and ground are bonded together) was to run all four conductors (both hots, neutral and ground) from the generator through the inlet box to the power panel, and connect both neutral and ground to the panel's bus bar, but only if ground and neutral are UNbonded on the generator. This is probably a couple of wires in the actual generator part of your portable generator.

Also, were you ever to use your generator stand-alone, to power tools in the field, for instance, you MUST rebond neutral and ground on the generator.
I have an almost identical situation so this helps, but I have a question about the power inlet box itself.

I have the back feed breaker installed in my main breaker panel box now and the interlock kit to prevent the main and gen breaker from operating concurrently (I got tired of my transfer switch always being a few breakers short and didnt want to pay to upgrade to another transfer switch). My Honda generator previously had the neutral and ground bonded, but fortunately honda provides supplemental instructions on unbonding them and applying a sticker to warn they are now unbonded. I have already removed the bond, because my previous GenTran transfer switch required it to prevent the GFCI from tripping at the generator.

It's my understanding from the previous discussions that with an unbonded generator, and a bonded main panel that I should continue the ground connection through the generator power cord and then wire a ground from the power inlet (along with the other three wires) all the way to my main panel and tie it into the ground bus bar on the panelboard (which is bonded to the nuetral bar there via the little connecting bar and screw).

Finally, my question is in regards to the power inlet box itself (L14-30). When I remove it from the cover it already has a green ground wire coming from the back of the 4 prong inlet and is tied into the power inlet box cover plate via a screw. Do I remove this already supplied green ground wire from the power inlet box and run the seperate ground wire to the main panel, or do I leave it there and also install the ground wire to the main panel. It seems in that case it would be grounded at the power inlet box and at the main panel. Which way is the proper way?

1. remove the supplied ground wire attached to the power inlet frame and the g slot of the inlet connection and have the ground wire to the main panel connection ONLY?
2. Keep the short ground wire attached to the power inlet box frame and install the second ground wire to the main panel, having two ground wires connected to the G slot of the inlet connection?

Last edited by graydogg51; 07-07-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #48
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


You definatly want the inlet box to be grounded! There are several ways to do this. You could just bring the ground wire from the main panel and terminate it on the ground screw along with the one going to the inlet. Another way would be to bring the ground wire from the panel and use a wirenut to join it with one wire going to the ground screw and another to the inlet itself. If you used metal conduit to connect the box to the panel, I dont believe a ground wire is required at all because the conduit serves as the ground conductor.

P.S. The inlet is only rated for one wire per connector. Puting two wires in the G slot would be "double lugging" and is a big no-no.

Last edited by Auger01; 07-07-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:44 PM   #49
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


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... bring the ground wire from the panel and use a wirenut to join it with one short length of wire going to the ground screw and another to the inlet itself...
Do it this way if two wires want to go under one screw or if one wire wants to go under two screws.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:17 PM   #50
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


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If you cannot remove the N-G bond at the generator, then you must switch the grounded connector at the transfer switch.
I have a bobcat 225 welder woul like to use in emergency is there a way i could break into where neutral is grounded at frame with some sort of toggle switch for on or off for bond and neutral so when I used for home backup I would turn off and when I'm using welder and generator to work with I could turn the bond back on thanks

Last edited by Kpack; 08-04-2012 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:31 PM   #51
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


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I have a bobcat 225 welder woul like to use in emergency is there a way i could break into where neutral is grounded at frame with some sort of toggle switch for on or off for bond and neutral so when I used for home backup I would turn off and when I'm using welder and generator to work with I could turn the bond back on thanks
Personally, i would keep the internal bonds in tact, statistically, this is a safer mode of operation.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:19 PM   #52
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


Well I like that idea but if i use square d homeline interlock breaker and back feed I would be bonded on both ends The other thought that I have come up with is a sub panel move only breakers i need and take neutrals and grounds that go with those circuits in the sub panel they would be a separate ground bar the feed for the sub would be 50 amp inlet male plug. main panel feed for sub would be 50 amp female plug if I wanted to use generator the plug would be unplugged from main to sub and plug there to the feed the sub from generator that plug would be my transfer switch when using gen I could stay bonded and totally of main. If I use the back feed method with interlock and stayed bonded in main and at generator what are my potentional dangers that way thank you
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:46 PM   #53
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


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If I use the back feed method with interlock and stayed bonded in main and at generator then what are my potentional dangers that way thank you
Now I believe there are none.

If you can get an interlock compatible for back feeding the panel via a breaker set then you might not want to go through the trouble of installing a subpanel and rearranging into a group the circuits that will receive generator power.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:03 PM   #54
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpack View Post
Well I like that idea but if i use square d homeline interlock breaker and back feed I would be bonded on both ends The other thought that I have come up with is a sub panel move only breakers i need and take neutrals and grounds that go with those circuits in the sub panel they would be a separate ground bar the feed for the sub would be 50 amp inlet male plug. main panel feed for sub would be 50 amp female plug if I wanted to use generator the plug would be unplugged from main to sub and plug there to the feed the sub from generator that plug would be my transfer switch when using gen I could stay bonded and totally of main. If I use the back feed method with interlock and stayed bonded in main and at generator what are my potentional dangers that way thank you
if your going to install a new panel then why not just use one of these
http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/s...&storeId=10051

keeps everything neat and tidy and you can fit 12 slim lines in them which is usually more than enough for most people.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #55
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


I am very interested here but still don't quite understand. It seems several electricians have differing opinions on the neutral/ground in this thread. Or maybe you don't and it's I that don't follow.


I too am using an interlock kit on a 1983 SquareD QO Panel and am installing a standard 2 pole 30 amp breaker to serve as the backfeed breaker.


1) Is a standard breaker is sufficient as long as it is secured by the bracket provided by the kit?


2) My panel seems to have one neutarl/gound bar and both the bare wires and neutrals are connected there. Must I also connect both the ground and neutral from the 10-3 wire that runs from the outside inlet box to the backfeed breaker to that bar?


3) Should I unbond the ground in the generator or leave the green wire disconnected as stated above somewhere between the generator and the panel?


Thanks
Mike
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:15 PM   #56
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


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I am very interested here but still don't quite understand. It seems several electricians have differing opinions on the neutral/ground in this thread. Or maybe you don't and it's I that don't follow.
No, you're right, there are differing opinions on bonding/unbonding N-G at the generator in this thread.

Quote:
I too am using an interlock kit on a 1983 SquareD QO Panel and am installing a standard 2 pole 30 amp breaker to serve as the backfeed breaker.


1) Is a standard breaker is sufficient as long as it is secured by the bracket provided by the kit?
Yes, that's what I used and it tested fine.

Quote:
2) My panel seems to have one neutarl/gound bar and both the bare wires and neutrals are connected there. Must I also connect both the ground and neutral from the 10-3 wire that runs from the outside inlet box to the backfeed breaker to that bar?
I did, but I know this is a point of discussion here (see my next answer). But, again, I tested the system and ran the fridge, lights, TV, etc. All ran fine.

Quote:
3) Should I unbond the ground in the generator or leave the green wire disconnected as stated above somewhere between the generator and the panel?
Based on all of the very good input I got here on both sides of the discussion, I had the generator's N-G unbonded and the neutral and ground lines connected from the generator all the way through the inlet connection to the neutral bus bar in the power panel when I went to test this setup, but nothing in the house was getting power. I reconnected the N-G bond in the generator, left the neutral and ground lines connected between the generator and the bus bar, and everything in the house that I tested powered up.

I know there is still the open point about possible current on the ground line with neutral and ground bonded at two points, so I can't say it's 100% without risk, but others here have claimed to do it this way without issue. You'll just have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself as I did.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #57
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


Thanks TJ,

For confirming it's an issue still under debate. I will then connect the neutral and ground from the generator to the neutral bar in my panel. Course I've read enuff that somethings definitely work but remain with a potential for a problem even if the odds of a problem are negligible.

Can I double up the connects to the bar as ther are no open slots and I see that some slots are doubled up while some have only a single white or bare wire in a slot.

And thanks for confirming the standard 30 amp breaker is fine cuz I read only once in a forum that a standard breaker will trip or overload (or something to that effect). I think the only difference between the std and the special generator B/F Breaker is the special breaker has screws to secure it instead of the retaining clip one would use for the standard breaker.

Going to call Champion's hotline on their opinion and warranty. I noticed they have technical bulletins about unbonding at the generator.

I don't know alot about electricity but seems odd that the gen would not power your circuits with the ground unbonded.

Thanks again
Mike
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:43 PM   #58
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


As long as your leads have good physical contact when secured to the bus bar, it should be fine doubled up, although mine had space for extra connections, so I had no need to double any up.

My interlock kit came with a zip tie to physically secure the feedback breaker to the adjacent breaker in the other row. Other than that, it's just a standard dual-pole 30A breaker.

Not sure why I didn't get power with the N-G unbonded at the generator, but as soon as I bonded it, I had power.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:44 AM   #59
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


Perfect.

Did you find kits for less than the $150 on InterLockKit.com? Price is pretty steep for two plates, a retainer and stickers. Does look like soimething that can be homemade.

Price wise when you add up the cost of the kit, backfeed breaker, piggyback breakers, inlet and generator cord; it's not a big savings over the 10 circuit transfer switch KIT at Home Depot. Though the flexibility to use any circuit with the interlock is nice as long as you don't over load the Gen.

Thanks once again!
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:45 AM   #60
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Wiring Generator to Backfeed Breakers - Neutral and Ground Wires?


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N-G unbonded at the generator, but as soon as I rebonded it, I had power.
Was unbonding neutral and ground in the generator as you did it according to the generator instructions?

Maybe you were not supposed to unbond N-G in the generator, and the generator center taps and other neutral related conductors were fundamentally connected to the frame with the neutral conductor to the receptacles also connected to the frame.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-22-2012 at 08:49 AM.
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