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Testing Portable Generator for Ground Neutral Bond

 

BGtestmeterAnother DIY video;

How to test and check your Portable Generator for Ground Neutral Bond, Bonding Check Testing for proper use and wiring of a transfer switch for powering high efficiency gas furnace or use with inverter type generators, Honda Eu and Yamaha types.

Video on how to use an electrical meter to test your generator out to see what kind of bonding you have. It’s recommended to use a neutral switching transfer switch if you have a floating or unbonded neutral generator like the Honda EU2000.

You can also create a G-N Bonding Edison plug, quite easily.

Video;

Comments

  1. david peterson says:

    Hi Rick. I just watched your video about bonded vs floating neutrals on generators. I have an inverter style generator and I wanted to wire it into the house. My plan was to feed it into an RV plug outside. During a power outage I would throw the main breaker at the house panel and all the breakers in the panel. The RV plug is on the same leg as the fridge and some lighting. I would only turn on the breakers for the RV plug, fridge and a few lights I haven’t tried this yet.
    When I tested my new generator, it has a floating neutral but what really confused me is that when it’s running, the hot to ground measures 62vac. The neutral to ground measures 62vac. Hot to neutral measures 120vac. If i use a bonding plug won’t I be grounding out half my supply power?
    Thanks in advance.
    Dave

    1. Rick says:

      Hi David, it sounds strange doesn’t it? I have tested this and have numerous responses from people about using the bonding plug on the Honda’s. Most generators have the 60 volt to ground from the hot and neutral leg. By bonding this with the jumper you will actually create a 120V to ground from the hot to ground thus making the power able to be used on GFCI and other sensitive circuits that have protection like some furnaces. Just a friendly service announcement to look into a main circuit breaker lockout, while doing this.

  2. Joe says:

    Hi Rick, I have a Coleman 5000 Generator, I did read in the manual to put a neutral/ground bonding plug into the 120V receptacle because of the floating ground issue, which I did do. Thanks to your video, I now know how to check if the neutral and ground, if it is or is not truly grounded. I have been back feeding 220V 50A plug off of a sub panel in the garage, which powers up the garage and the residence. I always turn off the main breaker to be disconnected from the line power, as not to back feed them. This kind of hookup is not safe for the novice. I presume this is a ok quality of voltage. (Some day I will spent the money and install a transfer switch). Correct me if I am wrong. Question 2, If I am using a single alone 120V device, such as a vacuum, would you recommend unplugging the male bonding plug. Thanks, joe

  3. hyman says:

    can you connect the generator to a cold water pipe out side the house as long as you do not have plastic tubing as in new houses in wpg mb,canada

    1. Rick says:

      Yes, you can definitely hook it up to a metal pipe that’s going into the ground, even if the house has plastic inside as long as the steel/copper pipe drops 2-3 ft into the ground your good to go. They make grounding clamps for pipes that make this easy to do as well.

  4. Herman Kophoff says:

    Hi Rick,
    My solar system is not using a Generator but an inverter and Battery bank. How do I check if I have a floating ground issue. I read some were that if I have a floating ground it will blow my inverter.
    Your advise will be greatly appreciated.
    Herman.

    1. Rick says:

      Hi Herman, the video shows how to check for the type of ground you have, will work even on inverters. I’m confused by your Question, said you are using an inverter already but your worried about it blowing your inverter? please clarify..are you also trying to use a generator with your inverter system?

      1. Herman Kophoff says:

        I am sorry i was not very clear. I am building a solar system on my home from scratch. and will be using an Inverter and a bank of batteries and was concerned about how to test for a floating ground.
        Pleas advise.
        Herman
        kophoffherman@att.net

        1. Rick says:

          Hi Herman, Ahh I see now. To test for floating ground on a generator you simply use a volt/ohm meter and check for continuity from the Neutral to Ground wire while there is NO POWER turned on, I actually have never done this with an inverter so I’m not sure if it works the same way. If there is continuity then you have a bonded ground, if it is open then you have a floating ground. The other option and I would personally just do this myself is check with the manufacturer of the inverter, it may say so in their manual or you may need to call them.

  5. Debbie says:

    I have a question. Does this GN Bonded Plug only have the white jumper in it then put back together and then plugged into the generator or is this replacement mail plug that is actually on the wire coming out of the furnace. I am a little confused obviously. Does just the plug all by itself plugged in to the generator create the situation I need and then my furnace would actually be plugged into the other outlet on the generator? My knowledge regarding electrical is just enough to be dangerous. I have pigtailed a plug coming out of the furnace to go to the generator and we have an actual cut off switch from the panel. We are in Spokane WA and just went 10 days with no power. We had to use a large noisy generator for our furnace as we couldn’t get the furnace to recognize the ground in the Honda 2000. Your post explains why. I am trying to have this all resolved for the next outage.

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About Rick

I've been an HVAC/R Mechanic working in the Seattle area for over 15 years, specializing in the commercial service industry.. I’m also a Licensed Electrician & Gas Piping Mechanic and have numerous other trade related certifications. I’ve instructed at local trade schools and now continue teaching through this site.

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