Generator ground


Old 10-16-00, 05:42 AM
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I just bought a portable generator (5000W) and am curious about grounding. Obviously it will be run outdoors, and I will only be using it for emergency power. The problem is, the book that came with it only BRIEFLY mentions grounding, and it's a generic users manual. The recommendation is to drive a rod 8 ft (minimum) into the ground and run a ground wire to it. Am I wrong, or does this seem excessive? That doesn't make it very portable, either... Also, it doesn't mention what guage wire to run between the generator and ground source. Any ideas?
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Old 10-16-00, 05:54 PM
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Your absolutely right...8 feet is excessive and doesn't make a portable generator very portable...hahaha

Anyway, what I suggest you do is use a steel rod like a piece of rebar about 3 foot in length. Sharpen one end to a point and carry it with the generator.

When you want to use the generator, pound the rod into the soil about 2 feet and clamp on the grounding wire.

For grounding wire I used ordinary 12 gauge wire found in a left over length of romex house wire. Cut the romex casing and remove one wire for this.

There should be a place to attach the wire on the generator using a crimp fitting on one end of the grounding wire. On the other end of the wire I installed a one inch wide grounding alligator clamp. This is available at any hardware store.

If you have a clothes line or old kids swing set etc. in the yard, those poles make an excellent grounding source too.

Good Luck,
Old 11-06-00, 07:18 PM
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Hi rrakows,

You can buy copper clad grounding rod and clamps at most home centers and hardware stores. I drove a long grounding rod into the ground next to my house where I set the generator when I use it for emergency power.
I also carry a shorter rod along when I am using the generator as a portable power source as Tom suggested. You may want to post this question on the "Electrical" bulletin board for more specifics.Proper
grounding is extremely important.

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