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Generator Parts and Frequently Asked Guestions

armandh

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
09/02/2010
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

in the post above copied material suggested that
the generator frame sitting on the ground is sufficient grounding
this assumes no rubber tired wheels I presume.

bonding is a separate issue.
doing things wrong because statistically fewer people get killed
may be right with a lot of things plugged in that have poor maintenance.

of my 4 generators only one is under 5KW
I can see this for the plastic cased hand carried gen sets.
 
Last edited:

Power

Registered
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

I still don't see how groundinng the generator can be more dangerous.
I tried to paste the pictures from the link - won't.

In short - their position is if someone comes in contact with the hot side - equipment fault - whatever, and gen is grounded, they complete circuit from hot to ground and suffers consequences. They show a stick figure being electrocuted.

If gen is not grounded and person contacts hot side, it is like they are on a rubber mat - no current path. Stick figure does not get shocked.

We could have a long discourse on various what if's. As I said, used to ground them, now do it the OSHA way.

Post 39 - re your electric log splitter. Any tool that is not double insulated should have a ground connection. In a 120v system, that is the green wire to the plug u terminal.

Newer 240 volt dryers & plugs have a 4 wire system with the 4th wire being the ground. Old homes have 3 wire plug in which the neutral is bonded to the dryer frame with a jumper strap at the connection block. This is no longer allowed because there were situations where the dryer frame became live. It is now suggested that the jumper be removed and the cord/plug be replaced with 4 wire or a separate, non current carrying ground be installed.

If your log splitter motor is not double insulated, you would want a wire from the frame to the electrical system ground. Unlike the neutral wire, this wire does not carry current except briefly in the event of a fault.
 

David K

Registered
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

however, a little planning can go a long way to avoid illegal back feeds......

putting gas or oil fired furnaces on a short heavy plug and cord to an outlet
where there formerly was a switch [now switch and single outlet combination]
makes extension cords workable feeding appliances. [avoiding the house wiring]

wells are a little trickier but doable.
This is exactly what I am in the process of doing.......My oil fired house heater will be connected with a short, heavy cord/plug. Unplugging it totally seperates it from the utility company. Same thing with the refrigerator, sump pump, a couple lamps, etc.......totally unplugged/disconnected from the utility company. I have never and will never back feed thru the house wiring. I am fully capable of doing it but refuse to.

But now the questions....... What about the well pump? I want to set that up with a heavy cord/plug also. What about the water heater (also oil fired, only a small 120v blower motor)? All the plumbing in the house is plastic but the water in the pipes does conduct electricity which effectively "grounds" the well pump, water heater, and all the plumbing. What is the safest way to connect these things?

FYI....There are rubber vibration isolation mounts between the generator and the frame. And the frame sits on a concrete floor in the barn.

I do not connect the generator to a grounding rod (which seems like the right thing to do until the well pump, etc gets involved in the equation, that changes everything).

Should I put all the generator output thru a GFCI?

Thanks for any help.

Dave
 

Power

Registered
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

Should I put all the generator output thru a GFCI

In my opinion, trying to follow the OSHA fact sheet recommendations is a very good idea - newer gensets are required to have all 120 volt outlets mounted on the gen GFCI protected. I would spend extra and use a GFCI f0r each device, that way if one trips, yu do not loose all. If your pump is a deep well submersible, you may have trouble operating it on GFCI.

Re house heat - I put my house heater on cord plug too, but am not sure that is an approved method. I have not found anything in the codebook I interpret as forbidding this, but asked electrical inspector, and he said he would not approve it.
Someone else on this forum may have a definitive answer.
 

armandh

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
09/02/2010
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

re 240 volt plug in stuff and GFI

I have seen 240 volt GFI breakers [common with hot tub connections]

but first megger the well system

most permanent appliances are exempt from GFI outlet requirement

and keeping one from tripping may be a problem if there is any leakage
[assuming submersible pump]
 

David K

Registered
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

It's a shallow well pump. 1/2 hp, 120/240 volt setup for 120 volts so i can run it on my generator.

Dave
 

1215

Registered
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

I generally disagree with the idea of this FAQ.
My brother in law is a lineman and we've never seen eye-to-eye since I met his sister.

Am I too new to make comments like that? :D

*** Because I'm new, for anyone reading this who didn't get it, if you plug a generator into your home breaker box without disconnecting from the lines coming in from the pole you will "back-feed" power back into the grid --so you can literally kill the lineman trying to fix the wires five miles down the road.
 

len k

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/12/2018
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

Old thread but I want to bring up a point.
I'm no expert on NEC code, but I remember reading something in EMC magazine. Said something along the lines of code doesn't allow "permanently" installed appliances to be powered from a plug, they wanted it hardwired. Guess over the years a regular plug would sag, pull out, and make a poor connection. Vibration, getting bumped.

Would guess a furnace and well are considered permanent. Might explain why they sell one circuit $95 transfer switches for a furnace.
 

Power

Registered
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

Old thread but I want to bring up a point.
I'm no expert on NEC code, but I remember reading something in EMC magazine. Said something along the lines of code doesn't allow "permanently" installed appliances to be powered from a plug, they wanted it hardwired. Guess over the years a regular plug would sag, pull out, and make a poor connection. Vibration, getting bumped.

Would guess a furnace and well are considered permanent. Might explain why they sell one circuit $95 transfer switches for a furnace.
Now you got ME confused!!!!!

When installing cooktops/ ranges we are required to install a range outlet in the wall, and use a range cord with plug.

When installing electric dryers, we are require to mount a dryer outlet and use a plug and cord to dryer.

When installing dishwashers and garbage disposals, we are required to go cord and plug.

My understanding is this is for convenience and safety of appliance repair person.

Aren't above permanently installed?
 

len k

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/12/2018
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

I did think about the garbage disposal example, it seems the most obvious gray area.
It might be plugged because they do go bad, and some come with cord and plug from the factory. Think ours did.I used it with and extension cord when needed till rotor rusted off the motor shaft.

Seems stand alone (stand on floor) stoves and ovens should be plugged as they are easily removeable. Our built into counter top stove-top and built into wall oven are hardwired. Our house is 59 years old, codes likely change over the years.
 

Birken Vogt

Email NOT Working
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

Now you got ME confused!!!!!

When installing cooktops/ ranges we are required to install a range outlet in the wall, and use a range cord with plug.

When installing electric dryers, we are require to mount a dryer outlet and use a plug and cord to dryer.
Not permanently installed

When installing dishwashers and garbage disposals, we are required to go cord and plug.

My understanding is this is for convenience and safety of appliance repair person.

Aren't above permanently installed?
DW and GD are specifically excepted in the code. Probably because it has always been done this way with no problems.

Every device needs to have a disconnecting means cord and plug if allowed can serve as that means.

I do not believe that by code a forced air unit is supposed to be cord and plug although it usually makes sense to install it that way anyway.

When having this type of discussion the only thing that really works is code citations but I am too lazy to look it up right now. Ask me again and I will though....
 

armandh

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
09/02/2010
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

still married and in our 5th house [#3 being the biggest]
still using breaker interlock and portable generators for emergencies.
the good news is that the mains power is very reliable.

also new

rather than several smaller AC units in house #3,
there is a 5 ton [60,000 BTU] here.
it starts with the help of a "soft start" controller
http://www.hypereng.com/
this works super for high torque start situations
 

Power

Registered
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

Seems stand alone (stand on floor) stoves and ovens should be plugged as they are easily removeable. Our built into counter top stove-top and built into wall oven are hardwired. Our house is 59 years old, codes likely change over the years.


I know codes do, Len. When I first worked as an electrician in the 1960's-70's, we hard wired everything. Dishwasher, garbage disposal, dryer, stove & countertop. No way would builder pay for cords and outlets. Do it cheapest way that electrical inspector will approve.

Romex to the stove and dryer. Only 3 conductors because the neutral was bonded to the frame inside the appliance. Today 4 conductors are required - a dedicated ground. Neutral to frame bonds no longer allowed.

When it was said that cord and plug furnace is illegal, it got my attention.

Retired, so I no longer get code books or attend code seminars.
I have my furnace cord and plug - 2- 1/20 hp hot water pumps and hot water "boiler" controls. We rarely have power outages - last one of any duration was Sandy, so transfer switch or interlock not worth it.

I run cord and plug during occasional outages. 3KW 115 volt Onan in driveway 30 feet from house with 10/3 to house. Outlet box on end of 10/3 has 2- 15 amp breakers feeding surge protectors feeding 2 duplex outlets.

I was planning on leaving the heating system cord/ plug so future homeowner could power it in a power outage.
IF it is definitely against code, and home inspector will flag it, then I can change it to hard wired before selling.
 

len k

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/12/2018
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

I believe the original ECM artical was talking specifically about furances not being ok to be powered from a cord and plug, maybe 3 years ago.

I believe the context was a discussion about people, maybe during Sandy, un-hard wiring the furnace to put a plug on it to connect to extension wire to emergency gen. Then latter adding a utility outlet by furnace and plugging it in.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

Interesting about cord and plug connected air handlers / furnaces. They all seem to be that way around here, houses ~30 - 50 years old. Rewired one that burned about ten years ago and put it back how it was- cord and plug connected. Maybe code has changed since then?

Power failures are so rare here and we're not planning on staying so transfer switch or interlock are not justified. Power failed at my care home just today. By the time I was in the car got the message that it was back on. Yawn.

Mom's was off for an hour, but I don't keep any of my collection over there :D

Keith
 

ThorPowerUnits

Registered
Re: Generator parts and frequently asked questions.

I have a 5.5 KW generator head and am looking to use an electric motor to turn the generator/alternator
If a 5.5KW generator is 5500 Watts and 1 Horsepower is 746 watts, this means I would need 7.37 Horsepower to get the 5.5Kw. Not much left over. If horsepower is always good even if you don't intend to use it, should I get a 10 HP electric motor?

Also to run the 10 HP motor I will be using 12 volt batteries. Will I need a bank of 6 batteries to keep it spinning at 1800 RPM?

The batteries will be charged by solar panels.
Thank you in advance for your imput...
 
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