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Old 03-01-2021, 08:23 AM   #1
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Generator grounding question.

I just purchased a pair of Ducar 2000 generators and the parallel kit. What do others that have a similar system do for grounding these? In theory a 4 foot copper rod is required, but in most place I camp, you would spend more time trying to put the rod in the ground than you would enjoying the time camping, not to mention the removal process. I always leave one stablizer jack, or the electric jack, touching earth when camping, even in campgrounds with electrical service. Am I worrying about nothing? With my old 3500 Honda, the steel frame was on the ground and I never worried. When connecting the parallel kit I will use the ground wire on the gen sets. Any and all thoughts appreciated!
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:05 AM   #2
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Ok, you'll get a lot of advice here.Some of it, won't be good.
There's a reason a copper grounding rod, driven 4 feet into the ground, with correct connection to generator,is proper earth grounding of a device generating 120 - 240 Volts.
If you read any generator Manuel ( which most dont)that is in there, per grounding code.
The #1 rule in electrical work, is don't become the pathway to ground.
People jump out of perfectly good aircraft from 1,000s of feet.They also have great reasons for that, similar to what I'm sure you'll see soon here.
Just like a combination vehicle with too small of a tow vehicle, everything is fine, until suddenly it isn't....
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:07 AM   #3
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Grounding a portable generator to earth accomplishes nothing, totally unnecessary. The generated power is not trying to go to the earth, it is trying to go back to the generating source. That's what makes it a complete circuit.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:14 AM   #4
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Grounding a portable generator to earth accomplishes nothing, totally unnecessary. The generated power is not trying to go to the earth, it is trying to go back to the generating source. That's what makes it a complete circuit.
Here they come...
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:10 AM   #5
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Just put on your tin foil hat and you will be fine!
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:45 AM   #6
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How does an onboard generator get grounded in a motorhome? IIRC my Honda EU3000i has rubber feet and mentions consulting a qualified electrician before connection to ground.
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:47 AM   #7
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Just put on your tin foil hat and you will be fine!
Mine is always on, ( special construction) in the event of a EMP or unusual Space weather, I'm grounded ..
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:52 AM   #8
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How does an onboard generator get grounded in a motorhome?
It is bonded to the MH chassis. This will clear a fault should a hot wire come into contact with metal parts of the RV, because the current always returns to the source, it never returns to the earth because it did not come from the earth. It has to return to the source or it wouldn't be a complete circuit and it would not be able to do any work.

Grounding and bonding is a much mis-understood subject and it takes a solid understanding of electrical theory (mainly Ohm's law) to understand it. It is a subject filled with mis-understanding and mis-information even by electricians and by equipment manufacturers.

Watch a few videos on the subject by Mike Holt, one of the world's leading experts on grounding and bonding.
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:26 PM   #9
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I have never rod grounded our portable genset's. 35 yrs SFSG.

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Disclaimer.... I have an open neutral and am perfectly grounded.⚡️😂
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:01 PM   #10
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At work we had 25 Honda EU 3000is. We never grounded them unless it was to eliminate electronic noise.
I'm not saying that's textbook, but nobody died. Now I have one and I won't be grounding it either.
Guess what? my 80 year old home has some ungrounded outlets. <gasp>

I want to watch as a customer drives that 4' copper rod through a campground water line or worse, direct burial electric cable. Bzzzzzzzz.
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:09 PM   #11
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I don't know where this 4' rumor originated but NEC requires a ground rod to be 8' long minimum and 5/8" diameter minimum, installed at no greater than a 45 degree angle. We have driven hundreds of them and in over 30 years the only mishap was driving one right through a clay sewer line. We do get a Blue Stake before hand but private utilities are not included. NEC allows for up to a 45 degree angle or buried in a trench at least 30" below grade.
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:41 PM   #12
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Actually contrary to my statement in post #3 that grounding a portable generator to earth accomplishes nothing I should have said "it accomplishes nothing besides creating a hazard that didn't exist". If anything powered by the generator has a fault to a conductive case, the user could be standing on wet ground barefoot and as long as the generator is isolated from that wet ground he will feel nothing unless he touches the metal parts of the generator. Now introduce a ground rod and you have given a path for some of the fault current to return on and electrons will move through the person's body and follow this path back to it's source. The amount that flows will be proportional to the resistance of the path including the person's skin but it takes less than 10 milliamps to cause cardiac arrest.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:01 PM   #13
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I prefer to get electrical information from folks who have significant background. Mike Sokol writes a blog about RV Electricity. Here is a quote from him followed by a link to the full discussion.


"You DO NOT need to use an earth “grounding rod” for any portable generator that’s powering a single RV."


https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-electric...nding-bonding/
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:45 PM   #14
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So, I am understanding that I don't need to drive a copper stake into the ground to be safe! I assumed that with the gen sets running and grounded to the parallel kit, which in turn would be connected to the Airstream by the 30 amp cord, and grounded to the Airstream, I would be safe. Not being an electrical guru and reading in the instructions that the gen set should be grounded, I figured best to ask people in the know. Thanks everyone.
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Old 03-03-2021, 09:26 AM   #15
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I’ve never seen anyone driving a rod into the ground to use a generator.
I would think they would get kicked out of the parking lot (such as Charlotte Motor Speedway, or Daytona, etc) for doing so.
Hit a pipe or a wire and you’ll not be popular with the management.
Pulling it out when you leave is going to be a problem, too.
It’s just not done.
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:58 PM   #16
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There is absolutely no point in grounding portable generators. Doing so will, if anything, literally introduce 'potential' issues.

My qualifications for saying the above: I cannot name it here, but I am the author of what is almost certainly the world's top selling book in the RV electrics area (and now in its 22nd year). The major Australian trade training institute (TAFE) adopted it as the manual for auto-electricians many years ago - and still use the current edition. It is used also in the USA.

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Old 03-03-2021, 08:42 PM   #17
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stakes are for Buffy.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:58 PM   #18
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There is absolutely no point in grounding portable generators. Doing so will, if anything, literally introduce 'potential' issues.

My qualifications for saying the above: I cannot name it here, but I am the author of what is almost certainly the world's top selling book in the RV electrics area (and now in its 22nd year). The major Australian trade training institute (TAFE) adopted it as the manual for auto-electricians many years ago - and still use the current edition. It is used also in the USA.

Collyn
That's a statement which is incorrect.Do you know what a transfer switch is? We arnt in Australia.50Amp + 30Amp transfer switches are commonly in use in North America.
"If the portable generator is providing power, via a transfer switch, to a structure(Home,office,shop, trailer, or similar) it must be connected to a grounding electrode system, such as a driven ground rod."
Grounding requirements for generators connected by transfer switches are covered by Article 250 of the National Electric Code (NEC)
You also arnt taking into consideration a failure of the integrity of connections between generator frame, and the grounded equipment circuits,of power receptacles.
Maybe a connection vibrates loose, or a rat or a dingo chews a grounding or neutral wire.Or Cousin Eddy worked on the receptacle.
Thats one reason why generator manufactures go with driven ground rod recommendation, in owners manual.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:56 PM   #19
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Yes - I do know what a (USA) transfer switch is.

It is an electrical switch that switches between either of two sources.

It has nothing whatever to do with grounding a portable generator that is powering an RV directly - and only that.

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Old 03-04-2021, 09:25 PM   #20
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Technically, the ground wire does go through the transfer switch box... just saying...
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