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GENERATOR ELECTRICAL question

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fcoccia
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8 Penna.
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2006-09-29          135552


The setting: Cabin 8 miles from any public power source. So, there is little chance in my life that public electric will ever be available. SO, when I wired the cabin, I set up the electric service box just as I would if it was being served from a power company, and bonded the Neutral and Ground bars together, then run to an external ground rod. I supply power to the box via a 240V 50Amp breaker wired from a 6-gauge 2wire plug. (2 hots, 1 ground std welders plug).
This has worked just fine no problems.

THE QUESTION: I just got a new generator that has a 4 wire plug on it, (2 hots, seperate neutral, ground). I know the right answer is to spend the money and change my setup from the current 2/1wire to a 3/1 wire setup, but given the expense of that heavy wire and that I need 25ft of it, I'm wondering since the neurtral and ground are bonded in the box(thus they both go to ground), why can't I just buy the appropriate 4-prong plug to plug into the generator but jump the nuetral to the ground in the plug there, thus I could still use my current wiring.

Basically I'm just wondering why I can't pass the neutral to the ground in the plug at the generator since that's whats basically happening in the main electric box????

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GENERATOR ELECTRICAL question

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2006-09-29          135553


I suspect there is a small difference in the internal wiring of the generator, in your new generator the case/frame are not bonded to the ground wire, they are seperately wired through that 'extra' wire.

Since your genset and cabin's wiring are miles from the grid, I can't think of any reason why you can't merely put the new twist lock plug on the old wire and just use a small jumper cable to connect the 'extra' wire on the new plug to the neutral.

If you check the owner's manual it may even tell you to do this in a circumstance like yours. I seem to recall seeing something like that in mine, but it's 120 miles away so I can't look it up right now.

Best ofluck.

....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
GENERATOR ELECTRICAL question

View my Photos
fcoccia
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8 Penna.
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2006-09-29          135558


Thanks for the reply Murf. I figured as long as I'm just feeding the main utility box with this it would be OK, you confirmed my thoughts. For added precaution, Since this is a PTO generator I will also have a seperate ground rod that attaches to the Generator frame outside next to the generator, so that any residual energy that would possiblly travel thru the neutral jumped to the ground would have a path directly to the Physical ground via the generator case being physically grounded. If I do that, I can't imagine why I should have any problems. ....

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