Portable generator grounding


Old 08-09-13, 05:23 AM
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Portable generator grounding

I have a Yamaha EF2000is portable inverter generator and I am quite confused regarding whether I should be grounding it in some fashion. The manual states that I should. But, when I read the OSHA guidelines, they (maybe) indicate I don't need to.

I am using it at events where we are only setup for a couple hours at a time so it's not feasible to drive an 8-foot rod for those short durations. I am powering computers and related equipment all via drop cords plugged into the generator.

I see where OSHA states a portable generator doesn't need to be grounded if it's only supplying power to things plugged into the built-in receptacles and:

"The noncurrent-carrying metal parts of
equipment (such as the fuel tank, the internal combustion engine, and the generator’s
housing) are bonded to the generator
frame, and the equipment grounding conductor terminals (of the power receptacles
that are a part of [mounted on] the generator) are bonded to the generator frame,
§ 1926.404(f)(3)(i)(B). "

Upon doing my research, I've found that my generator has a "floating neutral". Does this mean that mine does not meet this 2nd criteria? Or, does it still meet it?

If not, then what can I do that would be feasible when only setting up for a couple hours at a time in all different locations?
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Old 08-09-13, 06:07 AM
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Upon doing my research, I've found that my generator has a "floating neutral". Does this mean that mine does not meet this 2nd criteria? Or, does it still meet it?
Not an electrician but its probably safer to have a floating nuetral and using the gen as a stand alone... But thats just my opinion....

I gues to make it code compliant you need to make a bonding jumper... This will bond the nutral to ground...

Called an edison plug...

Wait for the electricians to comment....
Old 08-09-13, 12:27 PM
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For the usage that you stated the floating neutral probably is not a problem. The equipment grounding connection IS connected to the machine's frame so no worry there.

The connection to the earth is mostly for lightning protection and is generally not necessary in portable applications. The manufacturer includes mention of it in the manual as a CYA move.

Installing the bonding plug suggested by Lawrosa might be necessary for the proper operation of surge suppressors, in any case it won't hurt and it does add an additional layer of protection from line-to-ground faults.

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