Generator Ground

Old 05-30-15, 11:54 AM
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Generator Ground

I've spent the last few days reading dozens of threads and I've learned a lot, but I still have a couple of questions. First off my house has a 200 amp service, there is a main breaker outside the house, below the meter, that feeds the main panel inside, which also has a 200 amp main breaker in it. Next to the main panel is a smaller sub panel wired to a 60 amp breaker in the main panel. I assume the neutral bond must be outside by the meter as this is where the grounding rod is connected and I don't see any bonding connection in the main panel. I'm also on a well and the underground pipes are plastic so think this ground rod is the only connection to earth.

I've been looking into setting up a transfer switch to connect a Generac 6500 watt generator I have to the house. This generator has an internal neutral bond. Ideally I'd love to have a 200 amp 3 pole transfer switch and call it a day, but those are more then I want to spend on this little project so I think what I'll do is move the important circuits over to the smaller sub panel, mainly sump pumps, furnace, a few lights and probably the fridge. I'll then look for a 60 amp 3 pole transfer switch.

Now my questions. Do I need/should I put a ground rod in by where I plan to hook the generator up so as to ground the generator frame, or is this accomplished through the existing ground rod by the service entrance? What are the follies of not hooking up the ground wire between the generator and transfer switch, then using a 2 pole transfer switch? I know this leaves the generator side un-grounded to earth, could this be remedied by still adding a ground rod to the generator? or does this produce some type of problem? Not sure what a ground loop is.

Reason I ask is I'd love to power the main panel with the generator so I could shift power around the entire house during a prolonged outage, and doing so with a breaker and mechanical interlock looks pretty easy, but that won't switch the neutral.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Old 05-30-15, 01:42 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I have a manual transfer switch in my house. I only have a 100A service which is fine for me as my house is 100% natural gas. My Honda generators do not have 240v GFI breakers. I have left the neutral bonded to the frame of my generators as I rent the generators and don't always get the same one back.

The only time you really need to be concerned is if your genny has a 240v GFI breaker. If it does.....then you must address the neutral issue.

You do not need a ground rod at the generator.

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