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Frink
Professor
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Scotch Plains, NJ
reply to tp0d

Re: Generator doesn't work with Direct Vent Hot Water Heater

said by tp0d:

what ground are you using for your building service? If you dont have a rod now, it would be a very good upgrade, and not too expensive to put the proper 2 in the ground. Safer..

when all this shit blows over, of course..

-j

Honestly I am not sure where the ground is in my home. I have not found any rods in the ground around my house, and I know my home pretty well. The only thing I have seen that comes close are green wires connecting to my water lines...definitely something I will be looking into when things are looking better.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to sk1939

said by sk1939:

Sure they can be bonded at the transfer switch, but then it's classified under "Separately Derived Power Generation" in the NEC when you do that.

Neutral switching is only required if the grounds are tied together, to avoid having the neutral above ground potential.

Yes you're right that it is classified as a Separately Derived system, but you're wrong about why neutral switching is required.

In a non-neutral-switching transfer switch, you still have to join the generator's ground to the house's ground.

You still have to bond the ground and neutral at only one place.

Neutral switching only serves to disconnect the N/G bond from the main panel when the generator already has a N/G bond.

said by sk1939:

I know exactly how a transfer switch with neutral switching works, and not all transfer switches work that way.

I know, maybe I should have said "SOME" transfer switches switch neutral, but you did say this...

said by sk1939:

As far as the N/G bond, it's not at the generator with a transfer switch, it's bonded at the panel.

You made it sound like N/G bond is never at the generator when connected to a transfer switch.

said by sk1939:

Don't ask to "learn" and for people to explain things when all you do is shoot down things that go against your preconcieved notions and ideas. It's similar to a child asking "why" to everything, that's just not how it's done is the simplest explanation.

I know plenty to understand the complicated explanation.
I shot down explanations that weren't correct, such as:

- N/G bond creates a potential path to ground which is more dangerous than with house wiring (That is not true, it is not more dangerous, it is AS dangerous).

- A short to grounded items such as copper pipes will not trip the breaker (That is not unique to generators with N/G bond, house wiring works like that as well).

My issue is that you guys made it sound like its riskier than if you used a transfer switch. A transfer switch simply prevents backfeeding. Grounding and neutral bonding can be done properly without the need for a transfer switch, you simply don't connect the hot to the house's panel's hot.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Frink

said by Frink:

Honestly I am not sure where the ground is in my home. I have not found any rods in the ground around my house, and I know my home pretty well. The only thing I have seen that comes close are green wires connecting to my water lines...definitely something I will be looking into when things are looking better.

Look at where your utility's neutral (Entrace cable) connects to your panel, then look for another big wire (But likely to be no bigger than #6, either colored green, or bare copper) attached right next to it (And that they aren't isolated from each others, so they probably are on the same metal bar). That should be your grounding conductor that goes to your ground electrode (copper pipe or rod).


GenNewbie

@rr.com
reply to sk1939

Re: Generator doesn't work with Power Vent Hot Water Heater

By that you mean back feeding the panel? I am not doing that.

I am currently running 1 new 10 gauge outdoor type extension cord. I would plan to use this new short GFCI cord between that cord and the generator to "protect" the connection. If that works, it would seem like $30 very well spent.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

said by GenNewbie :

By that you mean back feeding the panel? I am not doing that.

I am currently running 1 new 10 gauge outdoor type extension cord. I would plan to use this new short GFCI cord between that cord and the generator to "protect" the connection. If that works, it would seem like $30 very well spent.

You'll be fine. The GFCI does add some peace of mind and protection, good idea. The N-G bond "jumper cord" enables it to work with your WH, that's fine, too. Good luck on your outage!

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to GenNewbie

Re: Generator doesn't work with Direct Vent Hot Water Heater

said by GenNewbie :

The issue is that the electrical service and panel and water supply come in one side of the house and the furnace and hot water heater are on the opposite side near the buried propane tank, so I'd either have to run a 45 foot extension cord or 45 foot ground wire or somehow try to split the difference. By using the jumper "ground" on the HW heater I can use a 10 foot extension cord and ground wire and be on the side of the house out of the way (north side) and right outside one of those small basement sliding windows. It is very convenient to hook it up and keeps the fumes and noise away from windows and doors and length of runs for extension cord and ground wire down, which I understand to be helpful and safer?

I am very confident but not 100% sure the cooper is continuous. There is one short run of about 3 feet that I can't see but they would have had to piece something in and mixed copper and plastic which would make no sense and probably not up to code. Of course some things I do make no sense.

I gather the bare #6 copper is the ground wire of choice? Is there a suitable insulated ground wire that is acceptable. I think I've seen # 10 at Home Depot but not # 8 or #6 but I am not sure. Is the #10 OK? Thanks!!!

Number 10 is fine for your generator and it sounds very much like the water pipe jumper is a solid ground, but if I had my druthers I'd put the ground onto the panel's ground wire. Can you get a longer piece of wire?


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by garys_2k:

but if I had my druthers I'd put the ground onto the panel's ground wire. Can you get a longer piece of wire?

It depends what is easier/closer.
In my case, I tied my generator's grounding conductor (The one that attaches to the generator chassis) to the copper wire that exited my main panel and went to the copper pipe, using a split bolt.

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

Neutral switching only serves to disconnect the N/G bond from the main panel when the generator already has a N/G bond.

Again, depends on your transfer panel. Some only flip between
main and generator lines, rather than in between each circuit, like this one.

»www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R···ApBhrY4Y

said by alkizmo:

You made it sound like N/G bond is never at the generator when connected to a transfer switch.

Perhaps I should have clarified that in general it is at the panel, but it may be at the tranfer switch depending on your switch. For 95% of homes it is still at the panel.

said by alkizmo:

My issue is that you guys made it sound like its riskier than if you used a transfer switch. A transfer switch simply prevents backfeeding. Grounding and neutral bonding can be done properly without the need for a transfer switch, you simply don't connect the hot to the house's panel's hot.

My issue isn't with the use of a transfer switch, it's with the half-assed neutral-ground solution you suggested. That is what is dangerous for a variety of reasons. Yes it can be done without a transfer switch, but the majority of people aren't going to know how and will do it wrong, the extension cord plug trick included.

said by alkizmo:

I shot down explanations that weren't correct, such as:

- A short to grounded items such as copper pipes will not trip the breaker (That is not unique to generators with N/G bond, house wiring works like that as well).

Never said it was, don't fill in the spaces yourself.

said by alkizmo:

Grounding and neutral bonding can be done properly without the need for a transfer switch, you simply don't connect the hot to the house's panel's hot.

The point of that is what exactly then? Some generators provide the ability on the genset itself to bond the neutral to ground. It dosen't really matter if you use an extension cord with a GFCI, or are powering things that don't have a high risk of shock, like a lamp. It's still important to have a ground though, via ground rod.


GenNewbie

@rr.com
reply to garys_2k

Re: Generator doesn't work with Power Vent Hot Water Heater

Thanks very much. It will be great to have hot water and know that we are (mostly) safe. As always, I will be as safe as I can, use decent materials and try to be smart about things. I just never thought about the GFCI being in line in an extension cord. Genius!

I really appreciate the help!