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

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

said by alkizmo:

said by Frink:

is there any way I could circumvent that neutral to ground requirement or build a junction to do that in between the gene and the heater?

Now I'll probably get grilled for this, but:

Find a 3-prong plug that you can "dispose" of, as in, you don't care.

Cut off the cable on that plug while leaving a good 3 to 6 inches of cable still on it.

Strip the green and white wires inside that cable, and join them together with a wire nut. (Cut off the "hot" prong and cap the "hot" wire). Then plug that into a free socket on your generator. That will make a "removable" neutral/ground bond.

Now if it's "safe", I don't know, I just know it's not the proper way to do it, but I'm guessing you're in an "emergency" situation.

So, in theory of course, I would plug that modified plug in to one of the two 120v outlets on the front of the generator, then the second would go straight to the water heater, correct? ...and wouldn't connect anything else for the period of time the heater needs to run, then remove the modified plug once complete. Thanks.


alkizmo

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

The modified plug would join the ground to the neutral. Your WH is looking for that bond so it can know it was properly grounded.



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

said by alkizmo:

The modified plug would join the ground to the neutral. Your WH is looking for that bond so it can know it was properly grounded.

Got it, so if I have two 120v 3 prong outlets on my generator, one gets the modified plug, and the second just goes to the WH?


alkizmo

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

said by Frink:

Got it, so if I have two 120v 3 prong outlets on my generator, one gets the modified plug, and the second just goes to the WH?

Yes exactly, you gotta sacrifice one outlet for the modified plug.

If you can wait, I would hold out until one of our pros come to comment in this thread. I'm not even sure if I would do this modification myself without having my generator's chassis grounded to the house's ground.


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

I`m an AO Smith warranty service agent, and I can honestly say I havent run into this situation yet.

The control needs a good ground to prove flame properly. If you bond the water heater to the ground rod, it may work. (ie-- run a #14 conductor from chassis ground on the heater to the ground rod)

I know generators can provide noisy power. I have seen noisy power/bad power kill a powervent control. Hope you dont let the smoke out..

good luck, stinky :P

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)