Portable generator grounded to water spigot?

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Old 01-31-15, 09:53 AM
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Portable generator grounded to water spigot?

I recently purchased a 7,000 watt portable generator to be used primarily for emergency power. My home already has a transfer switch. I've learned the generator must be grounded when connected to the transfer switch (versus receptacles). However, I will be unable to ground in the preferred way because rocky conditions will not permit me to go beyond 18" without bringing in equipment. My questions relate to running a ground wire to an outdoor spigot which happens to be near my 30 amp outlet. (I see my house wiring is grounded to a water pipe.) First, can I do it safely? Second, can I just use a connector? Third, must I add wiring to the pipes; they are copper throughout but I understand the solder may not be a good conductor. Finally, if this is not possible, can I just attach the ground to the 30 amp outside box?

Thanks in advance,
Tony P.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 10:02 AM
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Welcome to the forums.


I will be unable to ground in the preferred way
I'm not following you.

If you have a transfer switch then you should also have a four pole twist lock receptacle. The generator ground connects to the transfer switch thru those four wires. No additional outside grounding to the generator is needed.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 10:20 AM
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In this specific situation with a portable generator I would unhook the ground wire from the water spigot and connect it to the ground rod which I drive all the way at a shallow angle seeing that it won't go in easily more than 18 inches vertically. After this winter has passed you can bury a grounding plate or drive the ground rod vertically

Soldered joints make for excellent electrical conductivity. No bonding jumper is needed across them.

The plumbing system is not intended to be part of a grounding path (equipment grounding conductor) for other things.

The plumbing system is not a grounding electrode conductor although some parts (namely a metal cold water pipe exiting underground and running at least 10 feet beyond) may be parts of the grounding electrode system.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 10:36 AM
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This should help explain what you have,Non SDS.
http://www.imsasafety.org/journal/ma03/ma5.htm

Geo
 
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Old 01-31-15, 10:43 AM
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In this specific situation with a portable generator I would unhook the ground wire from the water spigot and connect it to the ground rod which I drive all the way at a shallow angle seeing that it won't go in easily more than 18 inches vertically.

Soldered joints make for excellent electrical conductivity. No bonding jumper is needed across them.

The plumbing system is not intended to be part of a grounding path (equipment grounding conductor) for other things.

The plumbing system is not a grounding electrode conductor although some parts (namely a metal cold water pipe exiting underground and running at least 10 feet beyond) may be parts of the grounding electrode system.
????

If the gen is unbonded, when you hook the gen up its then grounded to the panel. No grounding needed.

If the gen is bonded then you cannot have two bonds per code. You then have an issue..

I recently purchased a 7,000 watt portable generator
What is said make and model of gen???

My home already has a transfer switch.
What is make and model of transfer switch you have?


With this info we can guide you further


Welcome to the forums............
 
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Old 01-31-15, 11:16 AM
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I believe the transfer switch is a Eaton / Cuttler Hammer heavy duty double-throw 200 amps. The generator is a Gnerac RS 7000.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 11:28 AM
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As the Total Harmonic Distortion for Generac’s RS Series generators is above 5%, these products are not recommended for use with sensitive electronics or appliances. Moreover, while the neutral is in fact bonded to the ground, we would recommend contacting the manufacturer of your personal furnace, to ensure that such neutral grounding is appropriate for use on their product.
This was right from Generacs site.

You need to look inside of the transfer switch and see if the neutrals are all connected to one common terminal. Most likely they are and, if so, you are not required to connect your generator to an external ground.

If your generator has a GFCI breaker controlling the 240v receptacle..... you may have to unbond the generator neutral to frame if the breaker trips when connected.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 11:45 AM
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You need to look inside of the transfer switch and see if the neutrals are all connected to one common terminal.



Warning!!! This is live voltage...

Dont know your skill set so use caution or hire a pro...
 
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Old 01-31-15, 12:17 PM
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Agreed. 240 volts is beyond my skill-set. It's obvious, though, that I must get more information on present grounding before I go forward.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 12:40 PM
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Your generator is bonded... I dont see that it has GFI's..

http://gens.lccdn.com/generaccorpora...spec-sheet.pdf

Easiest way if your panel is bonded is to unbond the gen.. This may or may not be easy...

If you can manage this then use the gen with your transfer switch. When you plug into the home the gen is bonded through the panel and no ground is needed.

If its not easy to unbond the gen then You should install a nutral switching transfer switch. This way when you plug the gen into the new transfer switch the generator will have the bond for the circuits you are powering..

Bonding means when the neutral and ground are tied together...

Again you cannot have two bonds...
 
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Old 01-31-15, 12:45 PM
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This video is for reference only....

Dont know if the first part of removing the ground wire from the frame is correct. I dont think this unbonds the gen... I would ignore most of this video but the part about jumper removal...

What I am showing with this video is most gens are bonded with a jumper wire... If you find this jumper and remove it you should be good to go...

As long as you check the transfer switch that it is indeed bonded..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77Q7Yh-JBoY&x-yt-cl=85114404&x-yt-ts=1422579428
 
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Old 01-31-15, 07:37 PM
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Mike, I can confirm my generator does not have GFI's. That being the case, I want to make certain the issue hasn't changed. My interest in grounding the generator was to avoid getting hit with the current in the event of a short. I believe the transfer switch is neutral bonded. If that is the case, is your concern only that the breakers on the generator may trip or is it something more?
 
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Old 01-31-15, 08:28 PM
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My interest in grounding the generator was to avoid getting hit with the current in the event of a short. I believe the transfer switch is neutral bonded. If that is the case, is your concern only that the breakers on the generator may trip or is it something more?
If you read the posts your gen is bonded and your panel is most likely bonded. You cannot have two bonds per code.. You need to either unbond the gen or the panel period... Your coice...

two bonds can energize the ground and cause a shock FWIN...
 
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Old 01-31-15, 08:47 PM
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"... to avoid getting hit with the current if there is a short ..."

The ground fault circuit interrupters already in your house will offer you the same protection with the generator as with the utility power even if the generator is not properly grounded.

With neutrals and grounds bonded in the breaker panel, all of the grounding of receptacles, etc. in your house offer you the same protection with the generator as with utility power even if the generator itself is not properly grounded.
.
 
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