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Old 08-18-2019, 11:47 AM   #15
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What do you guys do in lighting storms just make sure everything’s disconnected?
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:17 PM   #16
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Lightning comes from miles in the atmosphere to strike what ever it decides to. Distance of its strike is the only protection.

There is nothing but hope that it don't get you or your rig.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Lightning comes from miles in the atmosphere to strike what ever it decides to. Distance of its strike is the only protection.

There is nothing but hope that it don't get you or your rig.


Well it’s not like we got hit by lighting our power just went out during a storm figured it might have been a lightning strick close by. I was in a camp site surrounded by other RVs no one else had issues
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:39 PM   #18
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Ok, you said your main breaker tripped. That would indicate something went wrong.
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Well it’s not like we got hit by lighting our power just went out during a storm figured it might have been a lightning strick close by. I was in a camp site surrounded by other RVs no one else had issues
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:54 PM   #19
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Yeah I figured it was the combination of the freezer chest and the AC running at the same time so from then on I ran the freezer box on a separate extension cord to the power box. The night it finally blew for good the freezer box was plugged back to the rig.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:19 PM   #20
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“Then my breakers tripped.” Can you be more specific? Did the breaker on the generator trip? Did the main 30 amp TT breaker trip? Did the 15 amp branch circuit breakers trip?

That much smoke and fire requires high current through the wires. It could be the results of a lightning strike.

Applying 230 volts to a 115 volt circuit could cause damage, but it usually damages appliances and trips circuit breakers. Lots of smoke and fire are not common.

A short circuit through wires not protected by circuit breakers can easily cause smoke and flames. Full output of the generator applied through TT small internal wires could smoke. A miss wired adapter or power cord could cause a direct short under certain circumstances.

Whenever this happened, I expect you would have smelled smoke inside your TT.

Miss wired adapter or power cord cases:
Adapter L1 high wired to neutral and neutral wired to L1 high
Generator ground is not connected to generator neutral (normally delivered condition)
TT ground is not connected to TT neutral (normally delivered condition)
In this case there is no ground protection, but it would not cause smoke and flames.

Adapter L1 high wired to neutral and neutral wired to L1 high
Generator ground is connected to generator neutral
TT ground is not connected to TT neutral
This case would not cause smoke and flames.

Adapter L1 high wired to neutral and neutral wired to L1 high
generator ground is not connected to generator neutral
TT ground is connected to TT neutral (not according to wiring code)
This case would not cause smoke and flames.

Adapter L1 high wired to neutral and neutral wired to L1 high
generator ground is connected to generator neutral
TT ground is connected to TT neutral (not according to wiring code)
Breaker in 30 amp 115 volt generator should trip after a short while.
Breakers in TT would not trip.
This case could cause excessive smoke and flames. Neutral wires, ground wires, and common buss would be subject to high heat. Likewise shore power cord and adapter would be at risk of high heat.

What Predator generator model did you use?
The Harbor Freight Predator 2000W inverter generator has two 115 volt sockets for output. It does not have a 30 amp socket or a 230 volt socket.
The case of generator is plastic.
The ground pins in the 115 volt sockets may or may not be connected to the neutral pins in the sockets. Usually they are not.
Your TT ground is probably not connected to your TT neutral, but it could be.
https://www.harborfreight.com/2000-watt-super-quiet-inverter-generator-62523.html
This generator probably does not have enough power to fry multiple TT wires without tripping the generator’s internal circuit breaker.

The Harbor Freight Predator 3500W inverter generator has two 115 volt sockets and a 30 amp twist lock connector.
The ground pins in the 115 volt sockets and the 30 amp twist lock socket may or may not be connected to the neutral pins in the sockets. Usually they are not.
https://www.harborfreight.com/3500-watt-super-quiet-inverter-generator-63584.html
This generator has enough power to fry small wire branch circuits without tripping its internal circuit breaker.

The Harbor Freight Predator 9000W power generator has four 115 volt sockets one 30 twist lock socket and one 230 volt four pin sockets. This one is not an inverter generator.
https://www.harborfreight.com/9000-watt-max-starting-extra-long-life-gas-powered-generator-epa-iii-63970.html?_br_psugg_q=predator+generators
This generator has the power to fry lots of circuits before tripping its internal circuit breaker.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:19 PM   #21
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Reverse polarity wouldn't have burnt up the neutral wires, unless........the neutral and ground was bonded inside the panel, which it shouldn't be unless the previous lightning strike had melted them together. With the trailer unplugged, all breakers on, check for continuity between the neutral blade and ground prong, do the same for the hot blade and ground prong. If you have continuity, turn off all breakers, test again. If there is still continuity, its in the panel or cord, if there is no continuity, turn on one breaker at a time until it starts reading continuity, then you have narrowed down the bad circuit or appliance.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:24 PM   #22
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Its a bit late for that test. The OP found the bus bars melted.
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Reverse polarity wouldn't have burnt up the neutral wires, unless........the neutral and ground was bonded inside the panel, which it shouldn't be unless the previous lightning strike had melted them together. With the trailer unplugged, all breakers on, check for continuity between the neutral blade and ground prong, do the same for the hot blade and ground prong. If you have continuity, turn off all breakers, test again. If there is still continuity, its in the panel or cord, if there is no continuity, turn on one breaker at a time until it starts reading continuity, then you have narrowed down the bad circuit or appliance.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:48 PM   #23
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Reverse polarity wouldn't have burnt up the neutral wires, unless........the neutral and ground was bonded inside the panel, which it shouldn't be unless the previous lightning strike had melted them together. With the trailer unplugged, all breakers on, check for continuity between the neutral blade and ground prong, do the same for the hot blade and ground prong. If you have continuity, turn off all breakers, test again. If there is still continuity, its in the panel or cord, if there is no continuity, turn on one breaker at a time until it starts reading continuity, then you have narrowed down the bad circuit or appliance.
This explanation confuses me since even if the neutral and ground were bonded in the panel, which others have already said is a code violation, it still wouldn't smoke a hot neutral since there is nothing special about a hot ground as long as there is no ground rod, which there isn't. A bonded generator would only make the generator chassis equally hot under these conditions, but still no current would flow to ground since the generator chassis is isolated from an earth and there would be no relationship between the ground and the hot lead. In short, everything is isolated by tires and rubber generator feet. Or am I missing something. There is really nothing that would make the hot generator lead drive current into an isolated ground.
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:18 PM   #24
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This explanation confuses me since even if the neutral and ground were bonded in the panel, which others have already said is a code violation, it still wouldn't smoke a hot neutral since there is nothing special about a hot ground as long as there is no ground rod, which there isn't. A bonded generator would only make the generator chassis equally hot under these conditions, but still no current would flow to ground since the generator chassis is isolated from an earth and there would be no relationship between the ground and the hot lead. In short, everything is isolated by tires and rubber generator feet. Or am I missing something. There is really nothing that would make the hot generator lead drive current into an isolated ground.
It is a lot more complicated than it seems. Certainly a ground rod has its uses in discharging accumulated charge so people don't become the conductor. However, ground wires are also used to trip circuit breakers when a hot wire contacts a metal appliance housing or a metal electrical box.

Connecting the neutral wire to the ground wire at the generator is the correct wiring. Since there are no wires on high poles, the earth ground may not be necessary.

Connecting the TT neutral to the TT frame performs some of the same function in some cases, but it can cause problems in other cases. That is why this connection is forbidden when connected to shore power. Some transfer switches do connect TT neutral to TT ground for generator power, however the generator must not be grounded for this use.

Only one ground for a system is allowed. Shore power is grounded at its service entrance.

See my previous post for how an improper ground can cause smoke and fire instead of protecting people.
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:42 PM   #25
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It is a lot more complicated than it seems. Only one ground for a system is allowed. Shore power is grounded at its service entrance....See my previous post for how an improper ground can cause smoke and fire instead of protecting people.
I understand all that, especially when dealing with a center tapped power transformer and the ground bonding required to bring the neutral to ground at the service entrance.

This seems a little different. The generator is "creating" 120 volts AC between two leads. No current will flow unless there is a path between those two leads. Neither has any potential relationship to earth ground so, in effect, we are dealing with a situation not unlike an isolation transformer. Switching the "hot" and the "neutral" really doesn't change anything and standing in a puddle of water and touching a lead should not cause any current to flow.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be difficult. I know the codes well and am a physicist by training so I am working from first principles here trying to figure out what might have gone wrong. In a split phase system, not grounding the neutral will cause it to float above ground...but here...I just can't see it.

Probably should have done this by PM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:25 PM   #26
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:47 PM   #27
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Sorry I couldnt get a photo of the wires not pulled out of place. I happend to be close to my dealer so when I didnt have power I brought it straight there in the morning. They pulled the panel off and started pulling wires out. They said looks like the wires are all in the right place. Must have been lighting which is a insurance issue not under warranty. I dont think it was lighting cause it worked for over a week after the last storm that went by. I said, I do have an inventor generator ( predator 3500w) that is displaying reverse polarity he said that would do it.
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:37 PM   #28
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I'm confused reading through this. There is mention of being plugged into the "box" with some items connected to an extension cord, and to using the generator to supply power to the rig. If so, potential earth ground through this cord? Probably just me but I'm not clear of configuration and sequence of events.



I have a 3500 watt predator inverter generator. The front panel has a twist lock 30amp receptacle, and it comes with an adapter to plug in a 30amp rv type plug. Mine trips out with a load of around 32 to 33 amps after a few seconds, and trips more quickly with higher loads. Recommended max is 25amps. Mine outputs approx 120 volts until the load starts getting up there a bit then drops down to 116 to 117 or so as you max it out. As to the requirement for an edison plug type ground adapter you do indeed need one with this generator, or in my case the Progressive EMS won't apply power for and open ground fault.
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