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Old 11-18-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Question Generator neutral ground bonding

I have a EU2000i generator that does not have the neutral bonded and the 5th wheels are not bonded also. I was told there has to be one neutral bonded. When in the parks their power systems are bonded. I was going to make a short extension cord with the male end having the neutral ground bonded. Is this a safe way to do it.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:50 PM   #2
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For portable gensets that have plugs on them (like yours), neutral to bond grounding is not required.

The only place this bonding should occur is at the service entrance which is also where there is supposed to be a good earth ground as well (and usually the meter). Since your RV isn't a service entrance but a sub panels, it keeps ground and neutral separate.

I would not do anything special for a 2kw genset. Just plug it in and go. Do use 3 wire cords and such so the chassis grounds are connected together but don't worry about neutral to (chassis) ground bonding or even earth ground unless you have some special circumstance to deal with. Some gensets don't like you making these kinds of connections, either.

If you do feel the need, use a proper transfer switch to handle the connections appropriately for various power feeds.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:07 PM   #3
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There is no reason to bond the neutral and ground on a generator..

THOUGH I will state this

if you play with the wires HOT (As I have done) and the neutral is NOT bonded you may find voltage neutral to ground on the neutral wire.

I got a slight tingle. not enough to harm me but it was annoying. This was while actually touching the wire.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
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re: "I got a slight tingle" - that's usually a mA or two - which you should expect between hot and neutral with a high resistance, such as dry skin, and small surface area. Hot and neutral are the two sides of the power circuit.

The issue, though, is hot or neutral to the green wire, which is the chassis ground. If there are no 'leaks' and there is no neutral to ground bonding, neither hot nor neutral should complete a circuit through the chassis ground via the green wire. All you will see is a coupled voltage which is a high impedance circuit and can only provide microamps current.

The code, I believe, has a threshold of about 5 kw for gensets. This is where it starts to consider potential coupled circuits sufficient to possibly create a low enough impedance to allow a dangerous current.

For small gensets, it is generally safer to have the two power wires isolated from the chassis ground. Which of the two 'hot' wires is considered hot and which is neutral is mostly just a matter of how the plug is wired.

Gensets like the Honda 2k, and all modern gensets if I understand right, must have GFI circuitry. That will trip if there is any imbalance in current between the two power circuit wires.

It is also never a good idea to mess around with live hot wires!
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