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Old 09-09-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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Danger - Hot skin on gen.

Granted this is not likely to occur for most. Son and I were doing a lot of post summer trip maintenance and in process of testing gen I unplugged shore cord at power post and laid plug on WET grass and still attached at RV. We ran gen under load and while it was running he touched a metal part and was shocked. Got meter out and sure enough 60 volts between wet ground and chassis. Turns out the male plug connectors were providing connection to wet ground. When I find time I will look into gen wiring and see if it is fixable.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:30 PM   #2
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Danger - Hot skin on gen.

Your son is very lucky. Glad he wasn't hurt. You may have a problem with your Transfer switch. I could be wrong but I think that if your receiving power from one side you should not be able to back feed the other.
I'm also wondering what would have happened if you were still plugged into the post when you flashed up the Genny.

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Old 09-09-2014, 02:00 PM   #3
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Ok, IS IT FIXABLE: likely no but cutting the green/bare lead (Safety ground) on the generator, if said lead exists, might fix it.

Second and more important: IS IT DANGEROUS: likely not. You see, it is not voltage that kills, it is current, and though you present rougly 1,000 ohms of resistance to an electrical charge, and thus with 60 volts a maximum of 60ma will flow, which is more than enough to kill you. There is "Source impedance" to consider. And that can be quite high in this case.

Where did this 60 volts come from? (Now that is an even better question) Answer:
A voltage divider consisting of two capacitors made up from 3 pices of wire (one commen to both capacitors) sperated by insulation.. or in short, several hundred feed of ROMEX cable.

Your electrical diagram is thus

Neutral---||--Ground--||---Hot 120vac

Ground in this case is "Chassis" ground, not earth ground.

The ground pin on the power cord was 60 volts due to the action of the wires acting as a voltage divider the skin on the generator was in fact at zero.
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