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Old 05-30-2008, 03:38 PM   #15
2006 F350 V10 Ext. Cab LB
 
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1998 30' Excella 1000
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Summary

Hi again,
I'm attaching a summary of what I've found and, with help from all of you posters, understand now. It's in a PDF to try to maintain the structure & graphic -- hope it works OK.

Some further thoughts:
1) I don't know if there are ground fault circuit interceptors in my 1998 Excella 1000, but from other reading I see they are in newer trailers. Do they trip when generator power is hooked up? If not, why not? Do they use some different mechanism vs. my line monitor's for detecting the fault? This thread, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...s-21082-4.html , post #56 (From herrgirdner) seems to touch on this possibility.
2) Why not bond the neutral & ground at the generator so it would be like shore power hookups? Would that then require grounding of the generator?

Over59 - Your 1st response, "I don't think they work with the generator", seems to have been right ON! Yes, non-problems are especially difficult to solve. I suppose the real problem is my low level of understanding and wanting to understand better.

azflycaster - That tent peg probably was a bad idea in trying to set up a ground (Much too little contact).

C Johnson - Interesting to hear about the power line at the rally site. So you have a monitor of some sort with the "ground fault light in my trailer". Did any breakers trip?

Leipper - Thanks for the elaboration, your patience with me, and the focus on what's going on.

Regards to ALL,
Walt
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Honda_GroundFault.pdf (78.6 KB, 774 views)
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver1

C Johnson - Interesting to hear about the power line at the rally site. So you have a monitor of some sort with the "ground fault light in my trailer". Did any breakers trip?


Regards to ALL,
Walt
Hi Walt, Yes I have a monitor lamp in my trailer on the power control box which is separate from the breaker box. The lamp will be off if eveything is ok. On when hot and neutral are switched and dim when running off a genset. The power control box just decides whether I am running off the battery or the convertor. No I didn't have any breakers trip. I also have a central GFCI protecting all outlets on the trailer. They did not trip, but then there wasn't anything plugged into them either.

FWIW, I have seen the same monitor lamp on newer (newer than mine)trailers. Some on the outside near the cordset some on the inside.
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
When you used the word 'probably'

being defensive: My 'tone' seems to offend some and all too often (it seems) they start playing one-upsmanship and go on a crusade to find fault or flaw. So the caveats, conditions, and other such stuff are for them.

You should see 0v between unconnected leads but stray capacitance and even your own body as an antenna can create points where voltages can be measured with a high impedance voltmeter. You can often test for live circuits with one of those neon bulb testers by holding one terminal in your fingers and probing the wiring with the other- Not enough current to feel but enough voltage to fire the neon.

Quote:
Why not bond the neutral & ground at the generator so it would be like shore power hookups? Would that then require grounding of the generator?
Again, leave the earth ground out of it. That is not necessary. Don't confuse earth ground with the chassis ground or frame of reference.

As long as the genset has no problem with it, it is a good idea to connect the neutral and chassis or frame ground together if you are not connected to anything else.

If you are plugged into shore power and do not have a transfer switch, then the neutral and ground are connected at the shore power service point and ground checking things will work as intended.

If you are not connected to shore power but running AC off a genset, then you might connect the neutral and chassis ground yourself - if the genset manual says it is OK. I worry a bit about the inverter electronics but I'd guess they should handle this with no problem.

For gensets with plugs (e.g. the Honda 2000i) the neutral to chassis connection is not necessary except to make a test device happy. Even for wired in gensets like in my B-Van with a transfer switch, the test devices are left to complain (saves one pole on the switch, I guess). In either case, an earth ground is not needed either for the test device nor for any other reason.
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver1
Hi again,

I grounded the generator to our house ground (Scraped to bright copper and held connection with a Vice-Grip). Then fired up the Honda and then plugged in the digital monitor. The result is the same ground fault.

Leipper, having the same result seems at least consistent with your statement "You do not need an earth ground with a portable genset...".

But, since the neutral and ground are not bonded together in the generator, I understand that I should NOT see a ground fault. Please correct me if I'm misunderstanding.

Does anyone else have a Honda eu2000i & Technology Research Corp. Digital Line Monitor model# AECM20020 (For specs try Technology Research Corporation / Select 'Other Products' / Select 'Digital Monitor -- Bought at Camping World) to try to duplicate what I'm seeing?

Thanks,
Walt
I couldn't tell if you got the answer you were looking for. A simple three light receptacle tester will always show a ground problem when plugged into a Honda generator, i.e. mine indicates an open ground. This is because the regulations for portable generators are not the same as the regulations for home and commercial wiring or fixed or permenant generators.

Page 17 of the EU2000i manual states "Honda portable generators have a system ground that connects generator frame components to the ground terminals in the AC output receptacles. The system ground is not connected to he AC neutral wire. If the generator is tested by a receptacle tester it will not show the same ground circuit condition as for a home receptacle."

The manual for the EU3000is has the same or similar language.

You will get the same results when you have your trailer hooked to the generator and test the receptacles in the trailer. It will show an open ground. There are advantages and disadvantages of this design but we can't change it. I do seem to remember that the Canadian regulations do require the neutral and ground to be bonded in portable generators but that is not the case in the US.

It may be a mute point, the main reason to use the receptacle tester is when you plug in at RV parks and other commercial power sources; if the hot wire is switched with the neutral and or ground you could get a shock touching the trailer and devices within or outside the trailer.
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:55 PM   #19
2006 F350 V10 Ext. Cab LB
 
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Hi Leipper,

When you say "As long as the genset has no problem with it, it is a good idea to connect the neutral and chassis or frame ground together if you are not connected to anything else", I have to wonder why the generator manufacturers don't do it. It seems it would give them bragging rights to the effect that their product is the closest match to shore power. This seems like such a trivial change that I doubt the cost differential comes into play. Can you think of some other reason they just don't do it?

Alternatively, maybe there's an opportunity to make a plug adapter that would do the bonding right there at the plug. Hmmmm.

Regards,
Walt
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:20 AM   #20
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AC open ground fault when on Honda genset...

This is how I corrected the false reading...

I got a 30amp pigtail,(short 30amp extension with one male end), open wires on other end.
Female 30amp replacement plug.
Install female end and add jumper between the green ground and white neutral terminals inside plug. Black is HOT. Terminals in plug should colored, black silver and green.

Plug your modified extension into the generator, and the coach power cord into that. The extension is not needed on shore power.

Now I am able to test ac circuits in coach with a plug in tester.
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