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Old 01-28-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
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Generator not grounded?

I noticed that the circuit checker device that plugs into my electrical receptacle is not showing a Ground when the trailer is hooked up to my running Yamaha EF3000iSEB generator. There is a stud on the panel where I have hooked up a 2' stranded wire, wrapped it around a nail and stuck it into the ground.

Is there a more appropriate way to ground the generator or am I doing something wrong? What gauge wire is needed or do I need to use a steel spike?


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Old 01-28-2007, 11:55 AM   #2
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I think you need to use a much longer nail, made out of copper.

Even then, I don't know if it will read properly on your tester because the ground and neutral are not bonded.

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Old 01-28-2007, 12:10 PM   #3
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local code will determine how long a rod you would need. You should be fine with 6 to 10 feet depending on soil conditions. markdoane raises an interesting question about the circut teater and not being tied together. In your home the ground is tied to nuetral at one point in the service pannel. The instructions for my Honda EU1000i recomend that you have a certified electrician perform any grounding required.


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Old 01-28-2007, 12:29 PM   #4
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I agree with Markdoane, the tester will not indicate a proper ground if the neutral and ground are not bonded in the generator. I don't believe that driving any kind of ground rod into the earth will help at all unless you also bond the trailer to it or drive a separate ground rod into the earth for it. Lacking that you could bond the ground connection on the generator to the trailer and then see if it indicates properly.

The same question came up about a 10 KW WWII surplus generator that our local amateuir radio club uses. We protected the supply to the two 120/240 volt outlets with a 120/240 volt 50 amp ground-fault interrupter typically used for a spa. The ground and the neutral were bonded to the frame of the generator prior to the connection to the ground-fault. Also each cable carries both 120/240 hot leads, neutral and ground out to the junction boxes that supply power to our equipment.

However, now that you have mentioned it I will have to check my EU 2000i and 3000i generators to see if the ground and neutral are bonded.
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Old 01-28-2007, 12:50 PM   #5
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RV genset grounding has its own codes. See Wiring your generator ground
and genset grounding at the SNUZE weblog or the OSHA 2 page factsheet Grounding Requirements for Portable Generators
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