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Old 06-04-2019, 09:58 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by xrvr View Post
So one of the internet experts here is saying all those thousands of honda generators being used are unsafe. Please sell them cheap, i am interested in a few dozen. They are unsafe! I also have grounding pipes available.
Nice hyperbole. way to read into what isn't there.

"Being unsafe" is a far cry from "being safer".

Just because someone has a different opinion than you does not mean they are an "Internet Expert". funny how some are free with the personal insults when they disagree. I guess the mantra is if you can't argue on the basis of fact, do it on insults.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:03 PM   #82
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Well, my trailer checked out OK. The service center told me to bring it in at 7:00 AM this morning! They checked all the circuits and converter. Everything has passed.

Cool, glad you're OK, glad you're trailer is ok.





Quote:

I will never go on a daisy chain 20 amp circuit again. When we arrived, I hooked up and didn't realize my 50 amp surge protector would work on the lower voltage. My skin was live with 110 AC power!

...


Later, someone must have used to much power and a wire nut melted and shorted against the metal box sending a surge through 7 trailers. It fried two converters, a surge protector and my HDMI cables and monoprice switch. I also had hot skin again.

I'm not buying it. Wire nuts don't just melt because someone used too much power. Whoever wired this up made mistakes. We could speculate as to what those mistakes were in particular, but it doesn't matter, there's a safe way to do this sort of thing and they didn't do it.





Quote:
Lessons learned. Always use a surge protector even if it fries the $375 item instead of the $139 switch. I guess it could have been worse.

It might help, but probably not.


The only complete defense against a hot ground is to use an isolation transformer. They're big and heavy and expensive, but they work. Some marine shore power systems use them. Essentially you isolate the trailer from the incoming power in such a way that you can create your own ground.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:28 PM   #83
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Perhaps the same KOA I have dealt with in the past in Nebraska (Grand Island KOA Journey). The KOA owner saw no problem with an open ground on his system. Was hostile when I pointed it out and asked for another campsite. I finally told his wife she needed to do an internet search on this problem and educate her husband before someone got hurt.
So Ridgerunner, knowing the rules and not wanting get censured...I will not say names, but would not tell you you are wrong. How recently were you there? I was there in September of 2017 - so maybe the bonehead got the message and fixed the electrical since then. But what did the work around was using my 50 to 30 amp adapter and running off the 50 amp side. It was disappointing to me the response given when I pointed out the ground fault issue as it is a very nice property and very roomy. I simply pointed out that an aluminum trailer with a ground fault problem is not good juju. He got in the golf cart and drove away.
But they did have some nice local brews in the store. Hence my conflict about the place....nice in transit place, good sites, good store, just scary electric.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:51 PM   #84
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A little terminology. To me, daisy chaining means power pedestal to trailer 1. Trailer 2 plugged in to trailer 1's external outlet. Trailer 3 plugged in to trailer 2's external outlet. Etcetera. Current to feed all subsequent trailers flows through each trailer. This is a BAD IDEA. I would never allow my trailer to be connected like this.

I suspect what was done at the rally is a power cord with n-way outlet box (lets pick two 15A duplex outlets, for a total of 4 receptacles). Then 4 trailers plug in to that box. The outlet box is plugged in to a 15A outlet which, by code, must be protected by a 15A breaker. There is no way what one trailer does can cause damage in another trailer. Pop the 15A breaker and kill the other three trailer's power, yes, but it will not damage the other trailers. Now if the outlet box is miswired, then yes, damage can occur.

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Old 06-06-2019, 07:03 AM   #85
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Hi

Getting to a root cause always involves carefully collecting data on exactly what went wrong. From that you can work out the why and move to prevention. In this case we really don't have a lot of data. Thus doing a proper analysis ... not so much. Moving on to prevention ... also. not so much. ISO is indeed a pain, but it does get answers. The old approach ... not so much.

That said, I'd bet on a home made box of some sort that had a 240V feed into it and a bunch of 15A 120V feeds out. Neutral wire to the 240 goes loose on that box and you can get pretty much the effects described. Eight trailers on one side get fried, the other eight just have the lights dim.

16 times the "5A per trailer" would be 80A at 120V. Is that a 240V 30A feed with a bit of "hope" involved? Is it a 50A feed with some room to spare? We'll never know. I'd bet on the 50A, only because it's a RV centric group.

Given that you can make that box up very easily / cheaply out of Home Depot sourced parts without a wire nut anywhere in sight .... who knows .....

Bob
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:10 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Ephraim View Post
Nice hyperbole. way to read into what isn't there.

"Being unsafe" is a far cry from "being safer".

Just because someone has a different opinion than you does not mean they are an "Internet Expert". funny how some are free with the personal insults when they disagree. I guess the mantra is if you can't argue on the basis of fact, do it on insults.
By internet experts i refer to several people repeating what another says. They all cannot be experts, but they canbe very proficient at repeating something they agree with whether it is corrrect or not. So you still preach that the thousands of honda generators in use are unsafe ir not safe enough? Or am i missing something!?
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:27 AM   #87
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Ground jumper

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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

First up - indeed, always use a *good* surge protector. The EMS variety from Progressive is a good choice. Yes, they will disconnect you from time to time. That's exactly what they are supposed to do !!!

Fried converter .... hmmm ..... real easy way to do that is to loose the neutral on a 240V circuit. You then get some nutty high voltage on the lightly loaded side of the circuit. The EMS will not detect the neutral going wacky. It *will* detect the leg going above 120V and disconnect for that reason. A normal "non smart" surge protector should do the same thing.

Strange nonsense on the TV cable grounds ( HDMI is on the TV ground) ? That suggests that you either had the ground to neutral or something like that. The "normal" hookup isolates power neutral from power ground. Neutral goes nuts and ground stays solid. If somebody "up the chain" hooked ground to neutral ... yikes ....

To be abundantly clear about this: Page 8-20 in the 2019 Classic owners manual shows the inside of the power center. There is one "lump" labeled "ground bus" another one is labeled "neutral bus". They are separate for a reason. You very much do *not* want to get them confused. If you are playing around in the power center, keep that in mind.

Just to complete things, this is also the reason you put in a ground jumper when you hook up a generator. The trailer does not connect the two lines. It expects them to be connected outside the trailer (at the power source and *only* at the source).

Bob
Uncle bob,
I am not an electrician, could you explain what a ground jumper is and it’s location. I just thought you started the gen and just plugged in the trlr cord.
If there’s an additional action that needs to be done, I want to make sure that I’m following the right procedures.
Thx
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:49 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by xrvr View Post
By internet experts i refer to several people repeating what another says. They all cannot be experts, but they canbe very proficient at repeating something they agree with whether it is corrrect or not. So you still preach that the thousands of honda generators in use are unsafe ir not safe enough? Or am i missing something!?
Your still missing something.

Like I said, Refer to the National Electrical code which is freely available online. The only difference between RV wiring and Home wiring is that RV's generally also have high current, low voltage wiring as well (And they can change primary power sources often).

The code for RVs usually does not specify the neutral/ground bond because of two reasons:

1) The bond is taken care of by the supply (i.e. your pylon's breaker box at the RV park)

2) The number of RV's compared to houses is usually low so it may just be ignored.

If your home is regulated by electrical code, you'll find that the neutral/ground bond is required even if you are running on generator power.

Even if your RV is NOT regulated by electrical codes where you live, it's still a good idea to follow them. The reason RV's don't have that bond internally is because they have to work with RV parks which already have that bond.

The reason your generator doesn't have that bond (unless you purchased the model that does) is because the manufacturer doesn't know how the generator will be used. For example, If you feed your home through the main breaker box, the bond already exists. It's up to you to determine the usage and whether the bond is required or not by following the code for your particular usage.

Just because the majority don't follow the code doesn't mean you don't need it. The code exists for safety reasons.

The generators are not "unsafe". Usage of the generators is "less safe" than it should be and it's easily rectified with a $15 part.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:20 AM   #89
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I keep asking myself.
Where does the ground connection on a generator connect to Mother Earth?
If there is not a groundrod or plane near the generator. How is the generator grounded?
Most if not all small inverter generators (2200 watts or less) have plastic shrouds. Not exactly a good conductor.
How is the trailer connected to Mother Earth ground if not thru a power grid?
Don't tell me thru the tongue or stabilizer jacks. They could be setting on wooden or plastic blocks. Or concrete pads.
If there isn't an 8' copper ground rod driven into the ground to its maximum length a ground does not exist. And sometimes 8' is not enough. Depending on the makeup and moisture content of the soil.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:48 AM   #90
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Portable generators connected only to a single RV are generally not grounded.

Any more analysis than that is "analysis paralysis" to this brain.



FWIW
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Old 06-06-2019, 12:04 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I keep asking myself.
Where does the ground connection on a generator connect to Mother Earth?.

Suggested reading, the generators owners manual.
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Old 06-06-2019, 01:03 PM   #92
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Like i said, i czn sell you a pipe to drive into the ground everytime you use your gen, if you think it is necessary!!???
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:00 PM   #93
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Like i said, i czn sell you a pipe to drive into the ground everytime you use your gen, if you think it is necessary!!???
don't confuse "ground" with "Earth ground". To the powerline people, it's the same thing because that is their reference. To those with generators, it is not the same. Having your generator connected to "Earth ground" is not necessary, especially if you are simply feeding your trailer with it and there is no possibility that it can backfeed into any sort of power network.

with reference to the setup of a small generator connected only to the RV, "ground" is merely a third conductor that provides safety (another return path to the generator.) If your neutral and "ground" are not bonded at the generator, then there is no safety provided by that conductor and you might as well be running only a hot and neutral. You can turn your "ground" into an "earth ground" if you want, but there is not really any benefits in doing so if it's just a gen feeding a single trailer. What is of benefit is having the neutral/ground bond at the generator.

Remember, the point is not to connect the ground to earth reference, but to provide a safety return path for electricity.

Why, might you ask, would this be necessary? Imagine, for instance, a person who (because they don't know any better) mixes up the wiringl in a power too/lgadget and plugs it into your trailer power. without that ground for safety, you may have just created a dangerous condition. If you find the skin of your trailer in this situation, that is most likely the cause. A properly bonded neutral/ground would keep the skin of your trailer from ever getting electrically hot. the breaker would pop first.

Also, with a floating ground, you may find that a high impedance voltmeter reads line voltage on the skin of your trailer when it's not really there.
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:42 PM   #94
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My trailer got fried!

For long term, or more complicated distribution setups with more than one generator, a suitable earth ground rod is always part of the design and setup. Often more than one. For casual use, probably not, but neutral and ground (better referred to as “Safety Earth” as the British call it) bonding on a portable setup is a darn good idea. That’s why I always use my EMS/surge protector when I’m using the generator that sits in the plastic (insulated) bed of my current Tacoma pickup.

In very wet or rainy conditions I would seriously consider pounding in a ground rod and tying it to the provided lug on the generator as a precaution against leakage currents, lightning induced surges, and other possible safety hazards.

Not that I’m paranoid, but I’m a ham radio operator, and safely using radio transmitters and power setups out in the field also includes considering proper grounding techniques. RF burns can be really painful, don’t ask me how I know this.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:17 PM   #95
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In my Honda generator, the green ground wire is connected to the metallic components of the generator but not to the neutral lead. In that configuration the green wire cannot provide a safe path for leakage currents. Current from the hot lead wants to get back to neutral, not the frame of the generator. As long as the neutral lead of the generator has no connection, intended or accidental, to earth ground, then the hot lead has no potential to ground and would seem to not pose a shock hazard.

Just my 0 cents worth.

Al
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:47 PM   #96
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My trailer got fried!

I have a hard wired progressive dynamics EMS/surge protector. It won’t turn on without neutral being bonded to the safety earth (green ground lead) at the source. So I put a neutral bonding plug into the generator.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:48 PM   #97
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I have a hard wired progressive dynamics EMS/surge protector. It won’t turn on without neutral being bonded to the safety earth (green ground lead) at the source. So I put a neutral bonding plug into the generator.

Hi, and this is the only reason to bond the neutral on your generator.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:13 AM   #98
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Yup! Simple.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:31 AM   #99
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I was at Alumapalooza and camped in the generator section so I was not affected by this situation. I am thankful that no one was injured in that situation. I know a fair amount about differing subjects but electricity is a weak link in my knowledge base. It has been interesting reading this thread as I want to be safety conscious; however, I still have not seen an agreement among persons knowledgeable in this area of the forum.

I have a Honda 2000 that I have used on different RV’s for over 15 years and luckily to date have not had any electrical issues. The neutral is not bonded to ground. I also, understand the saying that “ignorance is bliss” so I do want to do what is safe and not press my luck. I have always used my surge protector when my RV is connected to any external power, other than my Honda generator.

With that background, Will I harm my trailer if I,

1. Use a bonding plug, and use my surge protector between the generator and the RV?

2. I am assuming by adding the surge protector in this chain will provide me with additional protection than I have had in the past. Is this a valid assumption or just an unnecessary step?

For my purposes, I would prefer just a Yes or No answer to each question. If the answer is to take a course on electricity, I understand that answer as well.

Again, I appreciate all the responses to date as it appears to be an area subject to differing opinions. I promise I will not ask which is a better tow vehicle, gas or diesel / half ton or ¾ ton..
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:46 AM   #100
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Do not need your "surge protector" or EMS with your generator, but you can use it if you use a bonding plug.
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