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Old 06-02-2019, 12:45 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by GOUSC View Post
I am in the same camp as these guys. I would like to know the answer re: the Honda 2000 as well. I thought I had read awhile back that Yamaha generators need the device you are talking about but the Honda does not. Based on all this discussion a definitive answer would be appreciated as my electrical knowledge is limited.
There is no one answer that fits all Honda generators. Some are bonded, some are not. Generally, inverter generators have a floating neutral, not neutral/ground bonded. Your owners manual should address your generator spefically.
I know that my Honda 2000 is not bonded.
I know that my Predator 3500 is not bonded.
I do not, nor have I ever used a bonding plug. I see no reason for it.

Since a portable generator is not connected to earth (grounded), unless a ground rod is driven or some other grounding electrode connected (eg: metal pipe that runs underground), and then connected by a wire to the ground lug on the generator, there is no ground.
Therefore, a plug in circuit tester will not work properly without the jumper plugged into the generator. Adding a bonding plug does not add a ground, it just fools the testing device.

Again for emphasis, there is no ground with a portable generator unless special provisions are made to connect the generator to earth.

The reason for grounding is to shed excessive load to earth (from accident, lightning, or other surge from utility)

ps:
Off subject but:
Confusion happens when 12v DC negative (-) is referred to as ground. A battery DC system does not require a ground (to earth), though ground in an alternating current AC system and direct current DC negative can be, and are, simultaneously connected in our trailers,.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:02 PM   #58
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"Everyone at Alumapolosa, Airstream Life and Airstream stepped up to the plate and said they would cover all the damage."

That's good as far as it goes. But when you were adjusting your hitch and were knocked over by the live 110 V charge on every metal part of your rig, you could easily have been killed--in fact, if the ground had been wet, you probably would have been. There is no amount of money that can "repair" a fatality.

Regardless of whether the event was officially sponsored by Airstream, they should never have allowed this situation to occur on their property. It's a safe bet their insurance company would be horrified if they read your account.
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:22 PM   #59
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One more question when you have two Honda 2200 generators operating in parallel is one bonding plug sufficient?
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:34 PM   #60
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I agree with A W Warn.
Electrical current only flows between a source and a destination for lack of better terms. If there is not a completed circuit current does not flow.
Unless you get between the floating neutral and the hot leg you have no risk of shock.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:53 AM   #61
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Hi

A shorting plug is a very normal looking gizmo that simply has the ground lug connected to the neutral pin. Some generators need them, others do not. We could go on and on about if they should be part of the generator or not.

If you do a continuity check on your generator with your multimeter (we all have multimeters ... right???) you will get zero ohms between ground and neutral on a generator with a "built in short". You do the check with the generator off ... . If yo get zero ohms, then you don't need a shorting plug.

If you don't get zero ohms you get to make a decision:

1) If you only use the generator for RV use, put in a wire inside the generator to short the two together. Label the generator so you remember that's what you did.

---- or ----

2) If the generator has a really weird plug / adapter cable to hook up the RV, rewire that plug to connect the wires. Again, label it so you know what you did. Maybe check the plug with the ohm meter first, just in case it's already shorted.

---- or ----

3) Rig up a plug with the two wires connected and it goes into one of the sockets on the generator. (yes label it and maybe leave it in the generator).

--- or ---

4) Spend money and buy one of the plugs that do the job.

=================

Coming back to the start:

If you don't have a multimeter, go get one now. They need to be part of your tool kit in the RV. There are a *lot* of things to master when you are out and about. Lots of interesting new tools to stock up on. The $20 one from Lowes or Home Depot is "good enough". Yes, something from Fluke is better.

Next is to spend a bit of time with YouTube and learn the basics of measuring this and that. It's less than an hour, including all the random videos you will get distracted by. Better to play with the gizmo and learn how it works *before* you need it for real.

What's it good for:

1) I wonder what my battery voltage *really* is? A multimeter and a temperature / voltage chart is the only way to be sure how well the battery is charged.

2) I wonder if that socket is wired right? (yes a plug in gizmo will tell you some of that).

3) I wonder if the campground power post is wired correctly / working right? (... part of the advanced course ...)

4) I wonder if the generator needs a shorting plug?

5) Is that USB outlet safe to plug my expensive phone into?

6) How much power does this use? (also part of the advanced / clamp amp part of the course = you spend more than $20 for that feature ).

7) Is my converter / charger (or solar charger) working ?

8) Why do I get this tingle when I touch the skin of the trailer ? ( .... and why do I need to fix that before it kills me ....).

9) Whats going on with the left rear turn signal?

....... and on and on ....

Get the multimeter. It's a lot more important than a shorting plug. Use it as an excuse to "learn up" on basic electricity / wiring. You *will* need to understand what's going on at some point down the road. Two hours from nowhere with zero cell coverage is *not* the place to start the learning process ....

Bob
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:15 AM   #62
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Also, ensure that your surge protector has a time delay before it engages, so that when you start your generator it has time to get up to full output before the connection is powered. When I had an AS LY moho with a 6.5Kw genset, there was a time delay relay (60 seconds) in the ATS to allow the power to be stabilized.
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:43 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
There is no one answer that fits all Honda generators. Some are bonded, some are not. Generally, inverter generators have a floating neutral, not neutral/ground bonded. Your owners manual should address your generator spefically.
I know that my Honda 2000 is not bonded.
I know that my Predator 3500 is not bonded.
I do not, nor have I ever used a bonding plug. I see no reason for it.

Since a portable generator is not connected to earth (grounded), unless a ground rod is driven or some other grounding electrode connected (eg: metal pipe that runs underground), and then connected by a wire to the ground lug on the generator, there is no ground.
Therefore, a plug in circuit tester will not work properly without the jumper plugged into the generator. Adding a bonding plug does not add a ground, it just fools the testing device.

Again for emphasis, there is no ground with a portable generator unless special provisions are made to connect the generator to earth.

The reason for grounding is to shed excessive load to earth (from accident, lightning, or other surge from utility)

ps:
Off subject but:
Confusion happens when 12v DC negative (-) is referred to as ground. A battery DC system does not require a ground (to earth), though ground in an alternating current AC system and direct current DC negative can be, and are, simultaneously connected in our trailers,.
There is no magic to an "earth" ground. The power companies use Earth as a common point, but you do not have to with a generator. If you are creating a network of generators, the earth ground is an easy common point because it is a continuous common point, but you could just as easily use wires. the point is to have a safety conductor that is the last to break continuity. (i.e. if you have a misconfigured power pylon that puts voltage somewhere it shouldn't, the power feed line should break before the ground line. that way the return for power always has someplace to go other than through your body.)

A grounding plug on the generator is not fooling anything. It is providing a bond between neutral and ground that would normally occur (due to code) at the breaker box right next to the power meter. since you are not connected to utility power when running a generator, the bonding plug is an OK way to create that bond. the drawback is that it is not a permanent bond and can be removed which creates a potential safety issue since the return line must be the last to break in the circuit. If you don't have that bond and there is an issue (either from a pylon miswire, trailer miswire, or even a broken wire), you may end up like turk123.

by the way, if the ground is smoking because of a ground wire, there are really big problems somewhere. Current should never be flowing through the earth ground.

for those asking, Honda produces the 2000 generator two ways. the "commercial grade" are typically bonded. for most uses, an unbonded generator is OK, but is desirable. If you are tying two generators together, only one should be bonded. the plug is a good thing, but you must know whether it needs to be used or not when using your generator. for our purposes, it generally should be used on an AS trailer.

You can run into issues when using a bonded generator on a trailer that is not yours because you don't know if the trailer has been bonded internally or not.
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:51 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Paprika View Post
"Everyone at Alumapolosa, Airstream Life and Airstream stepped up to the plate and said they would cover all the damage."

That's good as far as it goes. But when you were adjusting your hitch and were knocked over by the live 110 V charge on every metal part of your rig, you could easily have been killed--in fact, if the ground had been wet, you probably would have been. There is no amount of money that can "repair" a fatality.

Regardless of whether the event was officially sponsored by Airstream, they should never have allowed this situation to occur on their property. It's a safe bet their insurance company would be horrified if they read your account.
Yes but if you readback carefully you will see where someone did not follow directions,ie the rules and created thee situation. The short wouldnot have occurred because the system wouldnot havebeen overloaded. See postnumber 18.
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:57 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

A shorting plug is a very normal looking gizmo that simply has the ground lug connected to the neutral pin. Some generators need them, others do not. <<snip>>

Bob
I do not understand the "need" part of your statement.
What is the benefit of bonding ground to neutral in any portable generator used only for a travel trailer?
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:07 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I do not understand the "need" part of your statement.
What is the benefit of bonding ground to neutral in any portable generator used only for a travel trailer?
An unbonded generator should have one if it is the only AC power source feeding the trailer. As per my earlier comment, the point of the bonded (at the power source) ground is to provide a conductor that is the last to break in any real or potential connection. that way, if there is a problem, there is always continuity for the power flow that is somewhere else other than through your body.

A commercial grade generator that is already bonded does not need the bonding plug.

A regular generator with a floating ground/neutral does need the bonding plug.

A second generator in a paralleled generator set does not need the bonding plug.

A generator feeding a trailer that has been inappropriately bonded in the breaker panel probably should not have the plug. In this case, the appropriate action is to remove the bond in the breaker panel and then use the bond at the generator.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:19 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ephraim View Post
There is no magic to an "earth" ground. The power companies use Earth as a common point, but you do not have to with a generator. If you are creating a network of generators, the earth ground is an easy common point because it is a continuous common point, but you could just as easily use wires. the point is to have a safety conductor that is the last to break continuity. (i.e. if you have a misconfigured power pylon that puts voltage somewhere it shouldn't, the power feed line should break before the ground line. that way the return for power always has someplace to go other than through your body.)

A grounding plug on the generator is not fooling anything. It is providing a bond between neutral and ground that would normally occur (due to code) at the breaker box right next to the power meter. since you are not connected to utility power when running a generator, the bonding plug is an OK way to create that bond. the drawback is that it is not a permanent bond and can be removed which creates a potential safety issue since the return line must be the last to break in the circuit. If you don't have that bond and there is an issue (either from a pylon miswire, trailer miswire, or even a broken wire), you may end up like turk123.

by the way, if the ground is smoking because of a ground wire, there are really big problems somewhere. Current should never be flowing through the earth ground.

for those asking, Honda produces the 2000 generator two ways. the "commercial grade" are typically bonded. for most uses, an unbonded generator is OK, but is desirable. If you are tying two generators together, only one should be bonded. the plug is a good thing, but you must know whether it needs to be used or not when using your generator. for our purposes, it generally should be used on an AS trailer.

You can run into issues when using a bonded generator on a trailer that is not yours because you don't know if the trailer has been bonded internally or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ephraim View Post
An unbonded generator should have one if it is the only AC power source feeding the trailer. As per my earlier comment, the point of the bonded (at the power source) ground is to provide a conductor that is the last to break in any real or potential connection. that way, if there is a problem, there is always continuity for the power flow that is somewhere else other than through your body.

A commercial grade generator that is already bonded does not need the bonding plug.

A regular generator with a floating ground/neutral does need the bonding plug.

A second generator in a paralleled generator set does not need the bonding plug.

A generator feeding a trailer that has been inappropriately bonded in the breaker panel probably should not have the plug. In this case, the appropriate action is to remove the bond in the breaker panel and then use the bond at the generator.

For the most part, everything you said agrees with what I said.

I understand the need for grounding and bonding when power is suppled from a utility.

I know that grounding a portable generator connected to a single travel trailer and bonding its neutral to ground sets up the potential for the hot skin condition. So, doing this actually sets up a hazard.

What is the "need" for bonding a portable generator when connected to a single travel trailer?
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:22 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
. . .
What is the "need" for bonding a portable generator when connected to a single travel trailer?


Other curious folks would also like to know.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:31 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
For the most part, everything you said agrees with what I said.

I understand the need for grounding and bonding when power is suppled from a utility.

I know that grounding a portable generator connected to a single travel trailer and bonding its neutral to ground sets up the potential for the hot skin condition. So, doing this actually sets up a hazard.

What is the "need" for bonding a portable generator when connected to a single travel trailer?
If the trailer is NOT bonded in the breaker panel (as it shouldn't be), You do not set up the danger. You actually alleviate the danger.

IF you have a neutral conductor failure so that the ground carries current, your trailer skin should be floating in relation to earth ground unless you are powered by the utility pylon. Bonding the Neutral/Ground at the generator does not create an unsafe path for the electricity unless you have something else seriously misswired. Floating does not mean that it will carry current (that's the reason birds can land on a power line without being electrocuted). Bonding your generator puts you in the same safety arena as being powered by a utility pylon. It's the safest condition.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:55 AM   #70
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You keep mixing your answers with combinations, regarding utility power and generator power. Let's stick to the generator part.

If a generator is grounded and bonded, in the event of a fault within the trailer there is a potential circuit through a human body, trailer skin to earth ground.

If a generator is not grounded and bonded, there is no potential circuit through a human body to ground through the trailer skin, therefore that hazard does not exist.

ps
I do not agree with "Bonding your generator puts you in the same safety arena as being powered by a utility pylon. It's the safest condition. "
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