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Old 03-28-2018, 06:38 PM   #1
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Grounding a generator?

I was reading the owners manual for my new Firman 3300i invertor generator and it recommends that I ground it with a copper wire and stake. Does anyone else that uses a generator do this? This is my first time using one with my trailer.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Adair1965 View Post
I was reading the owners manual for my new Firman 3300i invertor generator and it recommends that I ground it with a copper wire and stake. Does anyone else that uses a generator do this? This is my first time using one with my trailer.
Most of the generators I've seen (all brands), have a grounding lug but I can say I've never seen one grounded to earth.
The grounding issue is mostly manufacture CYA I think. The Onans in our RVs aren't grounded to earth but the RV does have a GFCI for protection in wet areas.
Pleasure boats have generators and they aren't grounded to earth so it's a gray area at most.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:04 PM   #3
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Thanks, thats what I've been reading, but I wanted to check with people here as well.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:50 PM   #4
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Would not hurt but driving a 6 - 10 foot copper rod each time you use it would be a definite pain.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:13 PM   #5
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Depends on the way the generator is wired. Some have a bonded neutral, some have a floating neutral. And I can't remember which one requires grounding.

Our company has a policy to ground all generators, we try to use existing grounds on the buildings we are working on, as a last resort we will drive in a proper ground rod. We did an exhaustive review of the manuals of all the different brands of generators in the company, 14 different brands and sizes IIRC, the bulk of them said to ground the generators per local electrical codes, a few of the larger ones, 14kw and up called out to have proper grounding. The largest we have is a 20kw 3 phase diesel, smallest is a 1200 watt inverter.

As long as you have GFCI on your camper and they will trip and reset while on generator you should be good to go, grounded or not.

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Old 03-29-2018, 12:51 AM   #6
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Depends on the way the generator is wired. Some have a bonded neutral, some have a floating neutral. And I can't remember which one requires grounding.

Our company has a policy to ground all generators, we try to use existing grounds on the buildings we are working on, as a last resort we will drive in a proper ground rod. We did an exhaustive review of the manuals of all the different brands of generators in the company, 14 different brands and sizes IIRC, the bulk of them said to ground the generators per local electrical codes, a few of the larger ones, 14kw and up called out to have proper grounding. The largest we have is a 20kw 3 phase diesel, smallest is a 1200 watt inverter.

As long as you have GFCI on your camper and they will trip and reset while on generator you should be good to go, grounded or not.

Aaron

Floating neutral would need to be grounded and bonded. Neutral is the return path line for the electricity back to the generator. Neutral is a current carrying conductor. Green ground is a non current carrying conductor but terminates at the neutral bus bar or a separate bonding bar in the panel.

Floating neutral is known as delta feeds like 480 delta. Not very common.
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:47 PM   #7
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Set it on the ground and run it.
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:49 PM   #8
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set it on the ground and run it.
^^^ this ^^^
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:48 AM   #9
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I have to ground my portable genset it my GFCIs will fault. I use a 6ft piece of solid copper wire connected to a 3ft piece of rebar that I drive in to the ground at an angle for ease of recovery. If for some reason I can't recover it, disconnect the wire, drive it in the ground flush and carry on.
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Adair1965 View Post
I was reading the owners manual for my new Firman 3300i invertor generator and it recommends that I ground it with a copper wire and stake. Does anyone else that uses a generator do this? This is my first time using one with my trailer.
I went through this exact thought process last year. There's a long winded discussion on this forum if you search generator ground and/or my username.

I don't use a ground rod. I did buy a neutral-ground plug for GFI purposes.

Haven't shocked myself yet.

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