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Old 05-29-2011, 07:14 PM
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Default Generator Grounding Question

I've got a question for all you long time campers that have a lot more experience than I have.

I just took delivery of a Yamaha 3000 iSEB generator. It'll be used for additional backup at the house but mainly for power when we're camping. I haven't put any hours on it yet apart from initial startup but it seems like a nice unit. I'm going to take it over to the farm tomorrow, hook her up to the 5th wheel and see what happens.

At the farm I'll drive a ground rod and hook it up to that but it occurred to me, "What do you ground it to when you're actually camping and need the generator?". It'll be sitting in the back of the truck and you obviously can't be driving ground rods all over the place so there has to be somewhere on the RV to ground it to, right? ... but where? I'll obviously figure it out tomorrow but I hoped that some of you knowledgeable guys could save me some time and probably a little grief.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

http://www.campercommunity.com/forum...generator.html
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

Thanks Dave, that helped .... I think.

What it's telling me is that if I use the generator to power the trailer through the trailer's power cord then I don't need a ground on the generator as it is already grounded to the trailer frame.

If the generator frame is sitting on the ground and the outlet grounds are bonded to the frame then I don't need a ground on the generator.

I'll have to read the link again and more slowly but what if the generator has a mobility kit with rubber and plastic wheels so the frame doesn't touch the ground? In that case it would seem that you do need a ground rod and wire to the generator.

I think that I'll just drive a ground rod at the farm and the house and hook it up. When I'm camping with the generator in the back of the truck, I won't use it as I'll be connected through the trailer power cord.

If you see anything wrong with that plan let me know.

That was an interesting site by the way. I'd never seen that one. Thanks.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastTexFrank View Post
Thanks Dave, that helped .... I think.

What it's telling me is that if I use the generator to power the trailer through the trailer's power cord then I don't need a ground on the generator as it is already grounded to the trailer frame.

If the generator frame is sitting on the ground and the outlet grounds are bonded to the frame then I don't need a ground on the generator.

I'll have to read the link again and more slowly but what if the generator has a mobility kit with rubber and plastic wheels so the frame doesn't touch the ground? In that case it would seem that you do need a ground rod and wire to the generator.

I think that I'll just drive a ground rod at the farm and the house and hook it up. When I'm camping with the generator in the back of the truck, I won't use it as I'll be connected through the trailer power cord.

If you see anything wrong with that plan let me know.

That was an interesting site by the way. I'd never seen that one. Thanks.
what you have described is bonding grounding is a different story the corect answer is to drive a ground rod would i d it every time i set up a camp or fired up the generator? you can guess the answer
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

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Originally Posted by dds View Post
what you have described is bonding grounding is a different story the corect answer is to drive a ground rod would i d it every time i set up a camp or fired up the generator? you can guess the answer
That's what I thought and I must admit that's what I'll likely be doing. When I go to the farm tomorrow I'll drive a grounding rod out by the pole barn so I can hook it up to the fiver with some semblance of safety. I've got a couple of grounding rods about the house already but I'll drive another two in positions that I'm likely to be running the generator. When it's in the back of the truck running the trailer I think that it's likely to go without. I don't think that Walmart would be too pleased if I was to be drilling holes through their blacktop and whacking in 8 foot grounding rods. I just thought that it was strange that both Yamaha and Honda sell these super silent, high dollar generators for "recreation" purposes and neither of them really address the question of grounding other than to say that they should be grounded. When I read the owner's manual (OK, pull my man card) what they described was essentially using it for a backup generator on a residence and not for the purpose that they tout it for ... camping. Apart from that, I'm happy with my purchase so far. We'll have a better idea tomorrow after we put a few hours on it but I will say, that puppy is quiet and that was my wife's main criteria. The noise of out present generator drives her nuts while I look on it as background noise and find it kind of comforting knowing that, as long as I can hear it, everything is just fine.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

I'm looking for a service manual on my 2150 w yardworks portable generator?
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

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I'm looking for a service manual on my 2150 w yardworks portable generator?
Here 'ya go.
https://www.dixiesales.com/ipl/1145/55-0331%20Eng.pdf
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:58 AM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

Thank you bczoom
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

I took her to the farm yesterday. I got the grounding rod driven and hooked her up. I never took it out of the back of the truck as it is a little too heavy to go lugging around all over the place. I guess that fueled up it's approaching 170 pounds or so.

Everything worked just fine. It easily powered everything in the fiver including one a/c unit. I didn't try the second unit as I thought that might be a bit much for it. I worked in and around the fiver for about 4 hours moving the dining table and couch around to meet female specifications and the temperature got to tolerable in about 30 or 40 minutes. It was about 95 outside and a lot hotter inside so that wasn't too bad.

I sat in the front bedroom for a while and you couldn't hear the generator running outside over the noise of the a/c running in the living area. I think that I'm going to like this thing.

Now all I have to do is get 20 hours on it so I can get the first oil change out of the way.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

I came across this page tonight in my web browsing.

http://yarchive.net/car/rv/generator...onization.html

While this has a whole bunch of interesting info in it, a posting about half way down sounded interesting regarding your situation.

Quote:
If the generator is grounded and the neutral bonded to ground as is usual with
utility power, if you're grounded and you touch something hot then you get shocked.
If the system is floating, you're grounded and you touch something energized, nothing
happens, as the circuit is not complete. Actually you will feel a tingle because
there is capacitive coupling between the generator winding and ground (and probably
within some appliances too) but it won't knock yer pecker in the dirt. Just a
warning to check things out and find out what's wrong.

The usual argument against this is "well, what if the hot leg gets accidentally
grounded?" Answer is that on a floating system there isn't a hot and a neutral. Both
legs are equal. If one leg gets grounded then by definition it becomes the neutral.
To get shocked, one leg would have to be inadvertently ground AND you'd have to touch
the other.

This is a situation where you play the odds and make your choices. In my book, the
odds of getting shocked on a grounded system are so much higher than with a floating
system that I choose floating when I'm using a generator.
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

Thanks Dave.

When at the farm, I hook it up to the grounding rod but when on the road I just run it.

By the way, we had a power outage this week and I ran the little generator to get to get it up to it's initial oil change at 20 hours. That little thing continues to impress me. It'll run 2 fridge/freezers at once without a problem and it is QUIET. It also ran for about 12 hours on approximately 3 gallons of gas. Not too bad. Looking forward to our trip to Durango in August.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

If they ever freaking show up, I will ask the electricians who are to hook up my new generator. I bought a Yanmar diesel 65kw generator to run my entire place and it has Deep Sea Electronics all built in which includes automatic transfer switch and just 'flip a switch' to go from single to 3 phase. If I remember right, it put out quite a bit more power in 3 phase according to the manual. Oh well, I won't ever need 3 phase anyway, so that doesn't matter. Anyway, I'll ask them whenever they finally show up.
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

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I bought a Yanmar diesel 65kw generator to run my entire place and it has Deep Sea Electronics all built in which includes automatic transfer switch and just 'flip a switch' to go from single to 3 phase.
At what that monster cost, it better not only power the whole house but make breakfast, lunch and dinner as well.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

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At what that monster cost, it better not only power the whole house but make breakfast, lunch and dinner as well.
Well....we're not going to talk about costs now. However, the last time our power was off for a couple of weeks I did break some implements clearing ice and snow and needed to use my plasma cutter and welder to make the repairs. At least now I will be able to do that and still not have to worry about shutting anything off in the house.
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: Generator Grounding Question

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Originally Posted by Dargo View Post
Well....we're not going to talk about costs now. However, the last time our power was off for a couple of weeks I did break some implements clearing ice and snow and needed to use my plasma cutter and welder to make the repairs. At least now I will be able to do that and still not have to worry about shutting anything off in the house.
I can understand what you mean. I remember a while back when you told us just how much power it took to run your house and buildings. I was shocked but that's why it's so difficult to advise anyone on sizing a generator because everyone's needs and requirements are so different and unique.
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