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Old 03-08-2015, 10:45 AM   #1
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Generator Grounding

So I picked my rig up at the dealer this week and wanted to check some electrical stuff out so I fired up my Yamaha 2000 Watter and checked the outlets with a light tester and each showed an open ground. Hooked up to shore power and all was well. This makes sense to me at the generator is not grounded. After doing some research the going thought is we would have to pound a six foot rod into the earth to ground the unit, not very doable. We have a lot of sensitive, expensive computers, phones, tables and etc we use in the rig. There would not be a transfer switch involved. Just put the gen on the ground and fire her up.

So my question is:

Given that I will not pound that rod into the ground is it possible that damage might occur because of that? Much of the computer chargers are 3 pronged. Now there is the right thing to do and the thing MOST of us do. I imagine this might turn into some type of debate and that is ok. Below is what OSHA states but that is most probably a safety issue and not something that address's a usage issue.

"...frame of a portable generator need not be grounded (connected to earth) and that the frame may serve as the ground (in place of the earth):

ē The generator supplies only equipment mounted on the generator and/or cord- and plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the generator, and
ē The noncurrent-carrying metal parts of equipment (such as the fuel tank, the inter- nal combustion engine, and the generatorís housing) are bonded to the generator frame, and the equipment grounding con- ductor terminals (of the power receptacles that are a part of [mounted on] the genera- tor) are bonded to the generator frame,

Thus, rather than connect to a grounding electrode system, such as a driven ground rod, the generatorís frame replaces the grounding electrode...."

Opinions and knowledge are welcome.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:55 AM   #2
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Do this mod and everything will be OK....

Generator Ground-Neutral Bonding | No~Shock~Zone
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by fonzie View Post
Do this mod and everything will be OK....

Generator Ground-Neutral Bonding | No~Shock~Zone
What he said
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:41 AM   #4
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X2 what fonzie said.

Ignore TURBS!
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:59 PM   #5
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Thanks Fonzie

Purchased, assembled and tested. Nothing smoked and every outlet now has the correct grounding. Feel much better as we will be using the Gen the next two days and on Friday my wife took delivery of a new $1000.00 computer.

Thanks Fonzie and all the rest of you guys.

This forum is great......
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:01 PM   #6
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Purchased, assembled and tested. Nothing smoked and every outlet now has the correct grounding. Feel much better as we will be using the Gen the next two days and on Friday my wife took delivery of a new $1000.00 computer.

Thanks Fonzie and all the rest of you guys.

This forum is great......
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:16 PM   #7
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If you use a Progressive Surge Protector the warranty is void if used on a Yamaha Generator due to non sinusoidal output.


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Old 03-08-2015, 01:34 PM   #8
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I have a Progressive Industries 50 that I use only when connected to shore power. When I use my Gen I figure the power is clean and correct. Does my little Yamaha 2000 differ from the Honda 2000 on thins sinusoidal output or are all Gens the same?

I am not very good at Elec stuff.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Davidceder View Post
So I picked my rig up at the dealer this week and

Thus, rather than connect to a grounding electrode system, such as a driven ground rod, the generatorís frame replaces the grounding electrode...."

Opinions and knowledge are welcome.
I'm Mike Sokol, author of the No~Shock~Zone articles linked to on this thread. I designed and wrote about the G-N Bonding Plug for floating neutral generators exactly for this situation. Thanks for posting the link here.

I think a lot of the confusion over this grounding thing is that the word "ground" is used for a lot of things that are definitely NOT earth ground. In electrical distribution systems it really means to be "bonded" to the Ground-Neutral connection point which may or may not be "earthed" to the dirt beneath your feet. And that's exactly what 3-light outlet testers are checking for. So these 3-light testers have NO idea if your RVs are actually connected (bonded) to earth. They only test for a Ground-Neutral connection, which a floating generator DOES NOT provide. And that's why my G-N bonding plug works to create a proper power distro. That's all proper and to code since a portable power system doesn't need a connection to "earth ground" at all, as long as its G-N connections are bonded together. The function of the G-N connection is to provide a fault path that will allow a circuit breaker to trip in case of a short circuit in your wiring.

So what does a ground rod do for your house? Well, for any dispersed distribution system (your home) there's still a G-N bond, but also a ground rod connected to the earth. But again, the ground rod really doesn't have anything to do with clearing a ground fault. It's real job is to act as a shunting point for lightning strikes. So when lighting hits your area, instead of the millions of volts dancing around inside your house, it's shorted to the earth (ground) via the ground rod. Because your RV and generator is a small (non distributed system) there's no need for it to be connected (bonded) to a ground rod. As noted, your generator's frame the RV's chassis form a local "ground plane" which should be bonded to the generator's neutral to operate electronic monitoring devices correctly.

I've been pitching the idea of teaching this generator bonding trick as part of an RV electrical safety seminar for Forest River, but haven't gotten any traction with the idea. Please pass this onto anyone at FR who might be able to make that happen.

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mike@noshockzone.org
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:03 AM   #10
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X2 what fonzie said.

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