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Grounding my generator

  1. #1
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Grounding my generator


    So I has a transfer panel put in my house 3 years ago by a licensed electrician but have never had to use it.

    Tonight prepping the generator I came across the wording that the generator need to be grounded for use.
    I vaguely remember the asking the electrician if I needed to ground the generator while In use of the transfer panel and I vaguely remember a no

    Is there a way I can simply confirm this ?
    Im not a an electrical guy and well I could always just use some wire and a spike to be sure but Id rather not drive down to Lowes if not needed

    Any insight if I need to ground or the transfer panel by default negates the need ?

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    hmmmm......

  2. #2
    Lifer
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    Does the cable connecting your generator to your panel have a ground? If so, I would imagine it is grounded through the grounding system of your home. You would have to take the dead front off in your panel to be sure.

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  3. #3
    Lifer
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    The twist lock should have a ground.

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  4. #4
    ....................... PinHead's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    There should be a ground lug on the frame of the gen., you should use a #8 solid copper wire to ground it. You can put an 8' ground rod into the ground near where you want to put the gen. when you are using it, that should cover the ground requirement. On the ground rod side they make what we call an "acorn clamp" that you would use to connect the wire to it.

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  5. #5
    Lifer
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    Quote Originally Posted by PinHead View Post
    There should be a ground lug on the frame of the gen., you should use a #8 solid copper wire to ground it. You can put an 8' ground rod into the ground near where you want to put the gen. when you are using it, that should cover the ground requirement. On the ground rod side they make what we call an "acorn clamp" that you would use to connect the wire to it.
    Might be hard to drive an 8' rod in these conditions. A 45 degree angle is permitted, right? Isn't this supplemental grounding protection? Is the cable to the panel not enough?

    - - - Updated - - -

    And the full 8' and acorn need to be buried.

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  6. #6
    ....................... PinHead's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    By code you don't need one because it is a "portable" generator. A ground rod will only help "bond" it to ground in case something happens.

    250.34 Portable and Vehicle-Mounted Generators.

    (A) Portable Generators. The frame of a portable generator
    shall not be required to be connected to a grounding
    electrode as defined in 250.52 for a system supplied by the
    generator under the following conditions:
    (1) The generator supplies only equipment mounted on the
    generator, cord-and-plug-connected equipment through
    receptacles mounted on the generator. or both, and
    (2) The normally non-carrying metal parts of equipment
    and the equipment grounding conductor terminals of
    the receptacles are connected to the generator frame.

    (B) Vehicle-Mounted Generators. The frame of a vehicle
    shall not be required to be connected to a grounding electrode
    as defined in 250.52 for a system supplied by a generator
    located on this vehicle under the following conditions:
    (1) The frame of the generator is bonded to the vehicle
    frame, and
    (2) The generator supplies only equipment located on the
    vehicle or cord-and-plug-connected equipment through
    receptacles mounted on the vehicle, or both equipment
    located on the vehicle and cord-and-plug-connected
    equipment through receptacles mounted on the vehicle
    or on the generator, and
    3) The normally non-current-carrying metal parts of equipment
    and the equipment grounding conductor terminals of
    the receptacles are connected to the generator frame.

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  7. #7
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    8 feet ?!?!?! Wow. I dont think u could do that even in summer maybe 5 in this soil and shale we have here


    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    Might be hard to drive an 8' rod in these conditions. A 45 degree angle is permitted, right? Isn't this supplemental grounding protection? Is the cable to the panel not enough?

    - - - Updated - - -

    And the full 8' and acorn need to be buried.

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  8. #8
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    Cant seem to load a pic thru the phone. But its a reliant transfer panel. No twist lock cable just plug for panel and genny. 4 prongs on the cable.

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  9. #9
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    4 prongs have a ground.

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  10. #10
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    And with that answer. I can go to sleep without worrying tonight. Thx

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  11. #11
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    Might be hard to drive an 8' rod in these conditions..
    I drill pilot holes thru the frost with an impact drill to set 5/8 rebar for property corners, drilling thru frost is generally a lot easier than drilling thru concrete or granite, so a cordless, or even corded, it's not like you're doing it a mile in the woods like me, I have an obsolete Ryobi 2stroke gas powered impact drill, uses SDS bits, I even use a larger 3/4" bit to make a pilot hole for wood grade stakes.

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  12. #12
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    First the neutral white wire and the ground are the same thing for 120V in your main box

    2nd DONT WORRY BE HAPPy

    or

    Worry you have enough fuel

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    Last edited by Stromper; 01-04-18 at 10:40 AM.
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  13. #13
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromper View Post
    First the neutral white wire and the ground are the same thing for 120V in your main box
    Dear lord!

    Nobody ever listen to this guy. Ever.

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  14. #14
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    Take the cover off your breaker box and look where the whites are connected.... then publish an apology

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  15. #15
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    You'll get no apology from me.

    Ground and neutral are BONDED in the primary load center in a home. That does not by any whackjob definition of the word equate to "are the same thing". You should never bond ground and neutral in multiple places. It should be bonded in exactly one place in a given system. If you have sub-panels they should be grounded through the main one. Your generator should be grounded through its various sub-panels to the primary as well.

    Your advice is at the very least a great way to introduce a grounding loop. Possibly worse.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 01-08-18 at 08:33 AM.

  16. #16
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    Before you start stabbing each other with frozen fish and for the other people like me who don’t know Dick about household electrical (but have a backup generator).

    The Neutral and Ground are generally connected together at your service panel, not at your devices.

    At the device, neutral is the path for return current. All the current that comes "from" the hot leg "returns" through the neutral wire. I'm using quote marks because current actually alternates directions in an AC system. Hence the name AC!

    Anyway, the ground wire should only carry current in the case of a fault condition. In the USA, residential ground wires are often just bare, uncovered copper. When plugging in a grounded appliance or other device, the ground wire gets attached to the chassis.

    Say, for example, that the insulation on your hot wire gets damaged and the conductor comes into contact with the metal body of your washing machine. The current shorts through the chassis and then through the ground wire. This high current causes your circuit breaker (or fuse) to trip. If you didn't have the ground wire then the mains voltage would electrify the entire chassis. Then the next person touching it becomes the return path

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    Last edited by Garandman; 01-08-18 at 08:36 AM.
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  17. #17
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    You'll get no apology from me.

    Ground and neutral are BONDED in the primary load center in a home. That does not by any whackjob definition of the word equate to "are the same thing". You should never bond ground and neutral in multiple places. It should be bonded in exactly one place in a given system. If you have sub-panels they should be grounded through the main one. Your generator should be grounded through its various sub-panels to the primary as well.

    Your advice is at the very least a great way to introduce a grounding loop. Possibly worse.
    Idiot electrician who wired our facility decided to bond a 200 amp 208v 3 phase sub panel. It took a while but it melted the backplane of the breaker panel along with a few breakers. I’ll try and find that picture. Keep fighting the good fight Bubs.

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  18. #18
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: Grounding my generator

    The service big wire is in the buss bar
    The naked grounds are in the buss bar
    The white insulated wires are in the Buss Bar
    The Ground Stake is in the Buss Bar

    I was in a small plane once that did a ground loop

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