Generator Grounding - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-01-2018, 05:11 PM   #1
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Name: Rod
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Generator Grounding

I finally bought a new generator and the manual (yes, I did read it) mentions to be sure to ground it. Now I realize that I haven't really paid attention, but I don't remember seeing a ground wire to earth ground on the few portable generators I've seen operating. Please advise if that if really necessary. It's not going to be a problem, but it is one more thing to remember and that seems to be getting harder as the years charge on.
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rod D View Post
I finally bought a new generator and the manual (yes, I did read it) mentions to be sure to ground it. Now I realize that I haven't really paid attention, but I don't remember seeing a ground wire to earth ground on the few portable generators I've seen operating. Please advise if that if really necessary. It's not going to be a problem, but it is one more thing to remember and that seems to be getting harder as the years charge on.
Can you tell me what kind of generator it is Rod? Make and model? If it's one of the more common 2000W inverter generators, external grounding isn't really necessary. However, you can rig up a "gen plug" which is nothing more than an edison plug with a wire between the neutral post and the ground post inside. That plug is then inserted in an unused receptacle on the generator, which bonds neutral to ground. Doing this allows you to use an EMS if your trailer is equipped with one.

If you want to externally ground it, you can use a rod pounded into the ground attached to the grounding post on the generator, but I've used generators like the Honda eu2000i a ton and never found it necessary.
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:35 PM   #3
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A generator is a separately derived system and the neutral conductor is not grounded
Power supplied from a utility has an intentionally grounded neutral
Small portable generators are normally not intentionally grounded
If you are concerned drive a 1/2” x 8 ft ground rod and bond the generator but that kind of takes away the portability .
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:07 PM   #4
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the portable DC inverter generators we're using, the neutral is NOT connected to the chassis ground internally, so ideally you use a plug adapter that bonds ground to neutral. These can very easily be made, and plugged into an empty outlet on the generator. http://noshockzone.org/generator-gro...utral-bonding/

If your RV has a EMS like the Progressive used optionally on Escape's, then you MUST use one of these, or your EMS will trip a ground fault.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:26 AM   #5
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the portable DC inverter generators we're using, the neutral is NOT connected to the chassis ground internally, so ideally you use a plug adapter that bonds ground to neutral. These can very easily be made, and plugged into an empty outlet on the generator. Generator Ground-Neutral Bonding | No~Shock~Zone

If your RV has a EMS like the Progressive used optionally on Escape's, then you MUST use one of these, or your EMS will trip a ground fault.
The adaptor plug you describe may fool the EMS but it does not ground the generator IE ; The generator is not intentionally or effectively connected to an earth ground .
Again a generator is a separately derived system similar to a transformer
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:44 AM   #6
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You will want to check your trailer frame is grounded as well, especially if you start adding ground rods. A fault to the frame needs to open the breaker.
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Old 06-02-2018, 01:12 PM   #7
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trailers aren't grounded anyways, they are sitting on rubber tires... the jumper will bond the generator neutral to the ground wire, which on the trailer side is connected to the trailer frame. this is no different than an RV with a built in generator.
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Old 06-02-2018, 01:27 PM   #8
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trailers aren't grounded anyways, they are sitting on rubber tires... the jumper will bond the generator neutral to the ground wire, which on the trailer side is connected to the trailer frame. this is no different than an RV with a built in generator.
There are two types of ground. Earth gound which involves ground rods etc. and chassis ground which is simply using the metal chassis as a wire. Both are being talked about here which adds to the confusion. I am not advocating the use of ground rods with an RV but commented because it was mentioned earlier. My point is, the system be wired so should the trailer frame become energized, a breaker will trip.
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Old 06-02-2018, 02:44 PM   #9
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a GFI won't even work without ground-neutral bonding somewhere....
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:23 PM   #10
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Gen Question Thanks

Thank you all for your help in determining the grounding of the generator. FYI it's a Westinghouse iGen2200, so it should be pretty much the same as all the other portables. Your answers explain why I couldn't remember seeing anyone add a ground wire to earth and I don't expect to do so either. I will need to add the adapter to bond the circuit as I have both an EMS and an inverter that indicates it needs one as well. Again, thank you; I knew you guys would help me out!
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rod D View Post
... will need to add the adapter to bond the circuit as I have both an EMS and an inverter that indicates it needs one as well. ...

Testing a Generator for a Floating Neutral
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:48 PM   #12
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a GFI won't even work without ground-neutral bonding somewhere....
WHY ? A GFCI does not require an equipment ground to function
I have installed hundreds of GFCIs on old knob & tube systems and the installation was fully code compliant and functioned as intended .
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Old 06-02-2018, 04:06 PM   #13
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The thing that trips the GFCI is a difference on the power and neutral return.
Current through the ground instead of neutral at 5 mA or more should trip the breaker two wire or three.
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