Author Topic: Grounding portable generators  (Read 127 times)

Offline ewosbor

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Grounding portable generators
« on: June 01, 2017, 01:32:48 PM »
I own a Compact 27 and decided to buy a portable generator (2000w).  We have been spending more nights on the hook.  I am planning to use the generator from either the cockpit or up on deck.  The manual says I need to ground the generator.  Not sure what is the easiest way to ground the generator. I'd appreciate any help. Earl

Offline Tney88

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Re: Grounding portable generators
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 06:10:00 PM »
I've used many portable generators over the years, both recreationally and as a career fire service member.  I've never grounded one to ground when using it for portable tools, lights, etc.  It's my understanding that as long as you use a 3 wire cord so that your tool is grounded to the generator frame, you're safe.  The only time I know of that you should ground a generator is if your are using it to supply a grounded system such as a building (for example when using a backup generator during a power outage).  That may be what led you to believe you needed to ground the generator.  But a boat that is on the hook (i.e. not hooked to a shoreline) isn't grounded, so I think you're fine with just using a 3 wire cord, which includes a ground wire. 

Here's a link to an OSHA bulletin that says the same thing:

https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/grounding_port_generator.pdf

Terry Ney
SV Paradiso


Terry Ney
CP 27 "SV Paradiso"
Veneta, OR

Offline ewosbor

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Re: Grounding portable generators
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 07:56:09 PM »
Terry,

Thank you for your very helpful response.  I knew the manual was probably being overly careful, but I states in three places that the generator must grounded.  It even says that to charge electronic devices the generator must be grounded.

Thanks,
Earl

Offline relamb

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Re: Grounding portable generators
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 09:16:36 PM »
I've never grounded my portable generator ever.  In the boat, in the camper, or out in the barnyard.  It should have it's ground connection for the receptacles grounded to it's own frame internally and not need an external ground.  ...unless like mentioned, you are using it to power building wiring.
Rick
Rick
CP16 CP23 CP27
Zionsville, IN