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Old 07-23-2010, 01:42 PM   #1
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Do you ground your portable generator?

Just bought a portable generator and the instructions say to ground or earth it each time it used. Do you ground and if so how?
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:00 PM   #2
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hi charlie

a few threads on this issue...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...put-22562.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ded-29653.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ing-33203.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...not-42337.html


cheers
2air'
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:47 PM   #3
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simple answer: no.

A portable 120v genset that powers things via plugs and provides less than 5 kW does not need earth grounding nor does it need a neutral to chassis ground connection (it has no neutral by code definition).

There is a lot of bad information on this topic. Do be careful. See Watch out for supposed experts for more on this with links to OSHA and electrical code sources.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
simple answer: no.
Even when the manufacturer indicates it should be grounded?
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JakeSpoon View Post
Even when the manufacturer indicates it should be grounded?
If your out boondocking you will have to drive a 8ft copper ground rod into the ground to ground to.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:56 AM   #6
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re: "Even when the manufacturer indicates it should be grounded?" -- read the instructions carefully and look for the circumstances and conditions, especially the ones that are not explicitly stated. Try to determine the 'why.' Distinguish between what must be and what should be and what a manufacturer recommends to cover his ... .

The key item on this topic is the 'separately derived system' that is not connected in any way to the grid.

The idea of a portable genset becomes a farce if you need to install an extensive earth ground for every use. That kind of conundrum also needs to be considered.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:53 AM   #7
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This OSHA Fact Sheet is pretty clear. http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurr..._generator.pdf
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:27 AM   #8
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Head is spinning spinning spinning, this topic always gets my head spinning. If you read the OSHA fact sheet posted on this tread, it seems we should all be hammering a 6' copper grounding spike into the ground, which is then connected to the ground lug of the generator, whenever we go camping. I know other folks dispute this. Of course if you read the manual that came with your genset, it will likely recommend grounding to a spike using a qualified electrician. I guess I better trade my AS for a bunk house SOB so I can carry the electrician and his family with me when I go camping.

Head is spinning, spinning, spinning. I do have an extra spike on my electrical pile, maybe I should start using it http://www.airforums.com/forums/imag...lies/blink.gif

Of course others will likely say I will die if I use the spike. Spinning spinning spinning...... http://www.airforums.com/forums/imag...lies/blink.gif
Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a funny topic, it's just one that gets beat to death on forums like RV.net and after years I still don't feel like a definitive answer has been given, although I am sure many feel that they have given it! (with best intentions).

May go with the spike this weekend, but darn the ground is dry and hard around here....http://www.airforums.com/forums/imag...lies/angry.gif

I'm getting dizzy......

If we all are supposed to use a ground spike, there is room perhaps for a cottage industry to make some sort of spike that can be hammered into the ground but would also incorporate some sort of handle to pull it out.

And on a more important topic, why aren't my emoticons showing up, all I see is the hyperlink?
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:02 PM   #9
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...If you read the OSHA fact sheet posted on this tread, it seems we should all be hammering a 6' copper grounding spike into the ground, which is then connected to the ground lug of the generator, whenever we go camping...
not true.

"...frame of a portable generator need not be grounded (connected to earth) and that the frame may serve as the ground (in place of the earth):

• The generator supplies only equipment mounted on the generator and/or cord- and plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the generator, and
• The noncurrent-carrying metal parts of equipment (such as the fuel tank, the inter- nal combustion engine, and the generator’s housing) are bonded to the generator frame, and the equipment grounding con- ductor terminals (of the power receptacles that are a part of [mounted on] the genera- tor) are bonded to the generator frame,

Thus, rather than connect to a grounding electrode system, such as a driven ground rod, the generator’s frame replaces the grounding electrode...."



now, FUDGE around with screwy genset diy stuff and all bets are off.

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Old 07-27-2010, 12:12 PM   #10
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2 Air: I see that part that I was reading pertained to generators running through a transfer switch. It's still confusing as the generator companies (CYAing) require a ground spike.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:27 PM   #11
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why are u even THINkING about transfer switches.

transfer switches got NOTHING to do with rv-genset use or even plugging stuff IN at home...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soyboy View Post
It's still confusing as the generator companies (CYAing) require a ground spike.
really? which ones...

not honda...

Click image for larger version

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cheers
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:42 PM   #12
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I know it doesn't have anything to do with RV Gensets, I was reading the wrong section. geezzz.

Also, my Yamaha specifically recommends grounding the generator and IIRC my Robin Subaru did also. Yamaha: "Be sure to ground (earth) the generator" Page 6. "make sure to ground (earth) the generator" Page 11.

Still spinning 2Air.....

I respect your input, but I don't really see that this will ever get cleared up and that is kind of my point, you read what you can and make your decision on how to proceed. But of all the topics I have read, in all the years I have RVed, this is one topic (well Marathons might be second) where folks seem to disagree the most......BTW I'm a Maxxis man....
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:57 PM   #13
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... I don't really see that this will ever get cleared up and that is kind of my point...
it's ok to declare being personally confused.

but confusion isn't a requirement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soyboy View Post
...you read what you can...
seems 2me the ideal is READing what applies directly 2 your own bits and pieces...

Click image for larger version

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yams are apparently different (besides being blue and louder) on this issue.

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and it's ALWAYS all in the details...

chas the OP didn't ASK if it's code, requirement, regulation or a danger/safety thing...

he simply asked "do you and how" and some do, while most don't.

he also didn't specify intended usage (grid backup vs rvn)

or brand of genset or even model/type of generator.

for yams even the HOW is explained in the owners manual.

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Old 07-27-2010, 01:38 PM   #14
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