Grounding a generator

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Grounding a generator

Postby MizFurball » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:38 am

Hi everyone. I need some advice. My friend died and left me $500. I bought a heavy utility cart and a 4000W propane generator on which to put it. No way I could budge that thing on my own. This is for emergency use, like if we get a bad storm and the electricity is out for more than a few hours. It is not yet set up because I keep finding additional things I have to do. In small type it says I need a grounding wire and grounding rod. I went to the store and bought grounding rod that is maybe 8 or 10 feet tall. They said that has to be pounded into the ground with 1 foot left above the earth. I also bought stranded copper wire (no insulation, just copper). My problem is (aside from finding someone to pound in the rod) how do I attach the wire to the rod? If I just wind it around, it will slide down. Any ideas? Did they forget to sell me something? Do I have the wrong wire? :?
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Re: Grounding a generator

Postby bondo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:07 pm

I never heard it has to be 1 foot above ground, just pound it down enough for a stub to attach a ground clamp to(buy it at lowes etc). Also use a thick copper bare wire(unstranded), not stranded wire.
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Re: Grounding a generator

Postby MizFurball » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:58 pm

Thank you, Bondo. I am the one who told them stranded wire (I thought I had read it in the manual, but it didn't say that in the manual). I will get some unstranded wire. They had four people helping me but none of them seemed to be very knowledgeable.
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Re: Grounding a generator

Postby Greg » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:59 pm

Here is the ground wire clamp, it goes over the rod and clamps the wire to it.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_48043-12704-770 ... facetInfo=

Check around your home near where the power or phone comes in, there may already be a ground rod you can use. there should be one already in the ground somewhere close by.

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Re: Grounding a generator

Postby MizFurball » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:48 pm

Electric comes in at a place about 4 feet from the side of the house. There is a phone box and that may have a ground rod, but it is too far away.

It says in the manual to not let the generator get wet. It will be in the car port, but snow and rain do blow into there, so I don't see any way to prevent it from getting wet. It will be sitting on a utility cart with rubber wheels, so it will not be on the ground.
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Re: Grounding a generator

Postby Greg » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:48 pm

We have about 20 in our rental fleet and I can tell you that NONE of the have stayed dry, many will ride around in the back of a pickup or sit on a jobsite. A carport would be a tropical vacation for our's. I would just keep it covered (grill cover will work) when you're not using it.

Make sure you use a gas stabilizer and if possible find some NON ETHANOL gas (usually high test) to run in the generator and any small engine. Ethanol gums up the carb. when it is sitting not being used.

Looks like you may have to find a kid in the neighborhood that wants to pound in a ground rod. The only other idea would be to ground it to the frame of your home if that is grounded to a rod.

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Re: Grounding a generator

Postby MizFurball » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:51 pm

No need to worry about gasoline, Greg. It's a PROPANE generator. I didn't want to hassle with gasoline. Also, when there is an emergency, everyone is lined up to get gas, but hardly anyone is lined up to fill their propane tank. Costs about $11 to fill.

I will look around in the areas near the carport to see if I can find one. Otherwise, too much snow for a visual inspection.

I will store it in the shed when it's not in use and that's why I bought the utility cart. I have 2 canisters of propane and will probably get another one when I have some money. Generator really set me back because every place where I could get it for a decent price was out of stock because of Sandy. So, I had to order the same one for about $120 more cuz they charged $75 shipping from Norther California to Southern Oregon.
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Re: Grounding a generator

Postby MizFurball » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:07 pm

Hi Greg,
It is an 8-foot grounding rod and we still have over 2 feet above ground and can't get it to go any further. Do you think this will be okay?
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Re: Grounding a generator

Postby Greg » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:23 pm

Should be fine, I would take a hacksaw and cut it down so it is not a safety hazard should anyone trip & fall on it.

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