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Old 02-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
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Well Pump to Generator Question

I know there are previous threads on this topic, but none that answer my particular question. I want to run a Franklin Electric 1/2 HP 220V well pump with a 5600 (8600 surge) portable generator (not currently grounded). I don't want to backfeed the house so I put in an L6-30P on the line to the well control (Hot, Hot, Ground) and that is connected to a L6-30R going to the panel. Everything works fine to this point.
I made a 10/3 SOOW cable with an L6-30R on one end and a L14-30P on the other. The hots and ground are connected respectively and there's nothing on the neutral terminal of the L14-30P (I've read conflicting accounts on whether this is correct or not...some say to connect the neutral AND the ground on the generator to the ground wire going to the pump control).
Using a multimeter I get apx 240V across the hots and apx 120V between each of the hots and the ground. This is true on the new receptacle I installed going to the panel and the cable from the generator.
To test it I turn off the breaker going to the pump control, unplug the pump control from the house wiring and plug it into the generator cable.
When the pump isn't running, a current sensor on the wires from the control shows both hots have current and the ground does not. However, when the pump kicks on my current sensor shows the ground gets current and one hot loses it. Even the generator chassis shows a hot reading. Before I shut everything down I was able to tell pump worked perfectly and started and shut off when it was supposed to. I just didn't want to do anything else to risk cooking me, the pump, or the generator.
I've double and triple checked all the plugs and receptacles I made and checked all the wiring in the new and existing circuits and I don't think anything's wired wrong.
Does anyone see anything wrong with the current set-up? Does the neutral at the generator need to come into play? If so how? According to the generator owner's manual "The system ground is connected to the AC neutral wire (the neutral is bonded to the generator frame)". ould the ungrounded generator be the issue?

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 02-11-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
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When the pump isn't running, a current sensor on the wires from the control shows both hots have current and the ground does not.

Not possible to have a current reading without a load running/operating. At least not load side of the pump control.

It is possible that you have a bad motor or shorted motor that is putting current on the ground wire but if that is a good solid short or ground fault it should trip the breaker on your generator.

What are your current readings in amps on the ground with the motor operating. Everything else sounds ok to me as far as your cord connections.
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