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Old 15-05-2018, 16:19   #31
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

OK this thread is poisoned.

Time for me to move on.
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Old 16-05-2018, 06:27   #32
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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There are other areas even outside of North America
Ain't that the truth :-)
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Old 16-05-2018, 06:55   #33
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Rod,

You are wrong, 'N' and 'L2' are not interchangeable terms in a US 120v single phase system.

On GFCIs, the designation for "Line" refers to the 'set of terminals' where the feed circuit is connected, the individual terminals within that set are 'L' and 'N'. The other set of terminals are labeled "Load" which is the downstream receptacles that are protected by the GF interrupter. The "Load" set of terminals are also labeled 'L' and 'N'.
There is more than one way to depict the ungrounded and grounded conductors in 120 Vac electrical systems in North America.

Please refer to the following GFCI spec sheet...

https://hubbellcdn.com/specsheet/WIR...62SGW_spec.pdf

Ungrounded is referred to as "HOT", grounded referred to as "WHITE" (not "L" and "N").

Also refer to the following wiring diagrams...

WIRING DIAGRAMS

These clearly identify the 120 Vac power connections as "L1" and "L2" (not "L" and "N").
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Old 16-05-2018, 07:47   #34
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Ain't that the truth :-)


It's nice out there. People should explore more.
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Old 16-05-2018, 08:02   #35
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by JiminVA View Post
I apologize in advance for what might be a dumb question, but I clearly am ignorant when it comes to portable generators. If I had a portable generator and I wanted to charge my batteries (instead of running the engine) while at anchor, does it just plug into the boat’s shore power connection? Or is it more complicated than that? I’m not trying to run ac, just charge the batteries.
You probably need an adapter as it's unlikey to have the standard marine 30 amp plug.

Be careful that the unit is secure and that the exhaust can't find it's way into cabin (have a CO detector onboard) but otherwise it should work fine.

Never had out CO detector go off while the generator was running.

PS: running the main motor at anchor has the same issues where exhaust could circle back in the right conditions.
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Old 16-05-2018, 13:52   #36
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

Darn – I’m getting sucked back in.

The topic is of interest to me because I expect to have to answer the same question at some point. Here is my take on a USA 110 volt AC system.

In general we have a source of AC current (generator, shore power, inverter, etc) that feed loads (Air Conditioner, water heater, microwave etc) through a distribution system.

Boats less than about 70’ typically use a 3 wire, single phase AC power system. The 3 wires are Hot, Neutral and Grounding. They use Black, White, Green (or Bare copper) respectively.

Each of these wires serves a different function that has been established by various codes and rules as well as some physics.

The Hot wire is considered the source of the electrical current. No current flows unless there is a closed circuit (loop if you will) and the neutral wire is used to return the current (and thus close the loop) to the source. The grounding wire is used as a safety mechanism.

A key convention and eternal source of confusion is when and where to bond the neutral and grounding wires together.

This link may help:

https://www.proboat.com/2011/10/demy...nd-connection/

The general rule is that the neutral and grounding wires are bonded together only at the source of the current.

In the case of an onboard generator the neutral and grounding wires are bonded at the generator.

For an inverter operating in inverter mode (which makes the inverter the source) the neutral and grounding are bonded together in the inverter. When the inverter is connected to shore power the internal transfer switch disconnects the bond between the neutral and grounding wires. The bond between the neutral and grounding still exists but it is now in the electrical panel of the marinas shore power system.

In the case of an isolation transformer the boat side neutral and grounding are bonded together. See figure 2:

http://www.charlesindustries.com/mar...T-ISOG28-1.pdf

The safety function of the grounding wire is to provide a return path (that results in a dead short typically) for the hot wire supplied current that should trip the breaker when a hot to grounding fault happens (hot to case for example).

At the actual source of current the hot and neutral are interchangeable in theory. They are the same until you designate one as hot and the other as neutral (it is AC after all). But once you decide that this wire is neutral and connect it to the grounding wire they are not the same. The neutral becomes the ground reference for the hot wire. In shore side systems the neutral/grounding wires are actually connected to the ground (as in dirt) through a grounding rod. This connection to the earth takes a floating system and references it to the earth ground. Perhaps too much info there.

So we now have a source of AC current that sends “out” the current through the hot wire and returns the current “in” by the neutral wire. A rule of electricity is that the outgoing and incoming currents are equal but opposite (1 amp out equals 1 amp in).

A GFCI is a device that measures the difference between outgoing current and incoming current (on the load side of the GFCI) and will disconnect the line side (the source of the current) from the load side (the protected side) should the difference in current "in" verses "out" be greater than 5 mA.

The grounding wire on the GFCI serves as a protective system and does not have any bearing on the function of the GFCI.

So let’s take the case where you are working on your boat and you (I have no idea why you would but bear with me) cut white wire. You strip off the insulation on each of the 2 parts of the wire you cut. You know that white is neutral and assume that the wire is “safe”. Being bold you touch one wire and nothing happens, being bolder you let go of the first and touch the other bare wire. Still nothing happens.

At some point you hold onto one of the wires and touch the case of the microwave. Still nothing happens. Then switching wires you again touch the case of the microwave and get jolt of electricity and the GFCI protecting the circuit trips (saving your partner from cleaning up fried bacon). Being intent on keeping the story “alive” you reset the GFCI then you grab one bare wire in one hand and grab the other bare wire in your other hand. The lights dim, your hair stands on end and the smell of burnt flesh fills your boat as you fall over dead.

What happened?

When touching the bare whit wire but with you isolated electrically, in the first case you grabbed the side of the white wire that was the actual neutral wire. No problem. In the other case you grabbed the side of the white wire that went to the load (and was hot!) but because you were isolated electrically you did not complete the circuit and thus no current flows through your body.

Holding the side of the white wire that goes to the neutral connection and also touching the microwave also has no current source so no current flow.

Switching wires and holding on to the white wire side that goes to the load (and is thus hot) and touching the side of the microwave trips the GFCI because the hot current flows through the GFCI and into the load, it returns from the load to the current source through the white wire, but you broke the white wire and thus the current then flows through you and returns to the source through the grounding wire that is connected to the microwave case. Because the return current does not go through the GFCI (that wire is hanging free….) the GFCI sees current through the hot wire but not through the neutral wire and trips. Thus saving your bacon.

Lastly, when you complete the circuit by grabbing both white wire ends you complete the circuit. The current out the hot and the return current (through you!) are the same and the GFCI does not trip. The current through the circuit is set by the total resistance of the circuit. The total resistance is the resistance of the load and of you. You are part of the circuit and the breaker just sees a load and does not trip.

L1, L2, L3, N and G – Focus only on Marina wiring and ignore any internal wiring diagrams of equipment that may use L1, L2 for naming.

N and G are pretty much understood. We are having some confusion on L1 and L2.

Marinas are fed power from a utility company that supplies single phase or in some cases 3 phase power for a big marina. Utilities distribute power at elevated voltages so as to keep the conductor sized down. Remember that as you raise the voltage the current goes down for the same power (P= E * I) and that conductor size is set by the current.

This elevated “distribution” voltage typically is between 4800 volts and 20,000 volts in the USA. The distribution transformer (for a single phase system) typically supplies split phase 240/120 volts to the marina distribution panel. The secondary winding of the transformer has 3 connections. One on each end of the secondary winding and one in the center of the winding. This center tap is grounded and thus becomes the neutral wire. The two ends are name L1 and L2. The voltage between L1 and L2 is 240 volts. The voltage between L1 and neutral is 120 volts. The voltage between L2 and neutral is also 120 volts and is 180 degrees out of phase with L1.

It is important to remember that in power distribution systems that feed our marinas L1 and L2 reference current sources (L1, L2, and L3 in 3 phase systems). In the typical split phase power distribution system that feeds our marinas L2 should never be confused with neutral. To hook L2 and neutral together would not be good.

Phew! You still with me? Moving on to connecting a Honda generator up to the boat.

Here is a link that I found:

Generator Ground-Neutral Bonding | No~Shock~Zone

A key point is that both hot and neutral on the Honda generator and in fact on many if not all portable generators are floating. That is to say that the neutral is not connected to the grounding wiring on the generator. Thus it is up to you to decide where to bond the neutral and grounding wires together.

One solution that I’ve seen in my research is to wire up a cable that goes from your Honda generator and to your boats shore power receptacle with the neutral and grounding wires bonded together at the Honda side plug.

This appears to meet the requirement for bonding the neutral and grounding at the source.

OK, caveats time. I’m sure there are errors, typos and a misconception or two. Please add to the discussion when possible.
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Old 17-05-2018, 02:34   #37
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by evm1024 View Post

The topic is of interest to me because I expect to have to answer the same question at some point. Here is my take on a USA 110 volt AC system.

In general we have a source of AC current (generator, shore power, inverter, etc) that feed loads (Air Conditioner, water heater, microwave etc) through a distribution system.

Boats less than about 70’ typically use a 3 wire, single phase AC power system. The 3 wires are Hot, Neutral and Grounding. They use Black, White, Green (or Bare copper) respectively.
OK, so here's my contribution.

Actually, it is a USA 120 Vac system. The voltage at the distribution panel is a nominal 120Vac. The voltage at the load connection may be a nominal 110 Vac. Many devices are rated at 115 Vac +/- (something).

Because we are defining electrical systems on boats, it would be best to use marine electrical standard nomenclature. For the USA, the predominant standards organization is the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC).

For the 120Vac single phase electrical system, ABYC defines the 3 conductors as "Ungrounded" (insulation colour code = black), "Grounded" (insulation colour code = white) and "Grounding" (insulation colour code = green or green with a yellow stripe).

There are other nomenclature used, by various codes, industries, and manufacturers, to describe the same thing.

The "Ungrounded" conductor may be referred to as "L", "Line", "Hot", "Black", "L1" (or "L2"), "Source", and probably more.

The "Grounded" conductor may be referred to as "N", "Neutral", "White", "L2" (or "L1"), "Return", and probably more.

The "Grounding" conductor may be referred to as "G", "GND", Ground", "Earth", and probably more.

When a 120Vac single phase device uses the "L1, L2, G" nomenclature, it is important to verify, which of "L1" or "L2" is the grounded and ungrounded conductor. (This may vary by device manufacturer.)

Additionally, it is important to differentiate between the "L1, L2, G" nomenclature that may be used for 120 Vac single phase electrical systems and devices, from the "L1, L2, N, G" nomenclature that may be used for 240 Vac split phase electrical systems and devices. The latter which may be found on larger recreational boats.

For very large recreational and commercial vessels, a 3 phase AC system and devices of a variety of voltages may be encountered. For Delta configurations, wiring nomenclature may be "L1, L2, L3, G" and for Wye configurations, nomenclature may be "L1, L2, L3, N, G".

In any event, the "Grounding" conductor should not be bare, but rather with "green" or "green with yellow stripe" insulation.

<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I did not review the balance of the post for technical accuracy.
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Old 17-05-2018, 05:45   #38
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
For very large recreational and commercial vessels, a 3 phase AC system and devices of a variety of voltages may be encountered. For Delta configurations, wiring nomenclature may be "L1, L2, L3, G" and for Wye configurations, nomenclature may be "L1, L2, L3, N, G".
Hmmm, I was second guessing myself how relevant the mention of 3-phase electrical systems is for this forum...

...and then considered that some wind generators (commonly used on cruising boats of pretty much any size), may use a 3 phase electrical system (some are 48 Vac) before conversion to DC for battery charging, and some electric propulsion motors may be 48 Vac 3-phase.
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Old 17-05-2018, 07:34   #39
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
OK, so here's my contribution.

SNIP

The "Ungrounded" conductor may be referred to as "L", "Line", "Hot", "Black", "L1" (or "L2"), "Source", and probably more.

The "Grounded" conductor may be referred to as "N", "Neutral", "White", "L2" (or "L1"), "Return", and probably more.

The "Grounding" conductor may be referred to as "G", "GND", Ground", "Earth", and probably more.

When a 120Vac single phase device uses the "L1, L2, G" nomenclature, it is important to verify, which of "L1" or "L2" is the grounded and ungrounded conductor. (This may vary by device manufacturer.)

Additionally, it is important to differentiate between the "L1, L2, G" nomenclature that may be used for 120 Vac single phase electrical systems and devices, from the "L1, L2, N, G" nomenclature that may be used for 240 Vac split phase electrical systems and devices. The latter which may be found on larger recreational boats.

SNIP

I did not review the balance of the post for technical accuracy.
Great Ron, Thanks for the review. 110 volts just shows my age and the imprecise use of words.

From wikipedia:

Historically 110 V, 115 V and 117 V have been used at different times and places in North America. Mains power is sometimes spoken of as 110 V; however, 120 V is the nominal voltage.

I like the idea of using the ABYC specs. And given that you are an ABYC certified expert please point us to the ABYC code where L1, L2 etc are specified.
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Old 17-05-2018, 07:49   #40
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

The only reference that I have found is in ABYC E8-17 which in part reads:


Power wiring for receptacles must be connected so that the grounded (white) conductor attaches to the terminal identified by the word "white" or a light color (normally white or silver). The ungrounded conductor(s) shall be attached to the terminal(s) identified by a dark color (normally brass or copper) and, optionally, the letters X, Y, and Z or L1, L2, and L3.

As you can see ABYC makes a clear distinction between ungrounded conductors (L1, L2, L3 etc) and the grounded conductor (neutral).

So your assertion that L2 can be neutral is not supported by ABYC.
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Old 17-05-2018, 10:49   #41
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by evm1024 View Post
The only reference that I have found is in ABYC E8-17 which in part reads:


Power wiring for receptacles must be connected so that the grounded (white) conductor attaches to the terminal identified by the word "white" or a light color (normally white or silver). The ungrounded conductor(s) shall be attached to the terminal(s) identified by a dark color (normally brass or copper) and, optionally, the letters X, Y, and Z or L1, L2, and L3.

As you can see ABYC makes a clear distinction between ungrounded conductors (L1, L2, L3 etc) and the grounded conductor (neutral).

So your assertion that L2 can be neutral is not supported by ABYC.
ABYC identifies the conductors of a 120 Vac as “Ungrounded, grounded, and grounding”. As mentioned, different industries and manufacturers (and trades people) may refer to these conductors by different nomenclature.

A rose by any other name....

An ungrounded conductor by any other name, is still an ungrounded conductor.

An underlying premise of ABYC standards is to follow manufacturers instructions unless specifically prohibited by the standard.

If a manufacturer or trades person or boat owner wishes to refer to the ungrounded conductor as “hot” or “line” or “L1” ABYC standards are met.

“L1, L2, and G” are valid nomenclature for depicting 120 Vac “Ungrounded, Grounded, and Grounding” conductors in an ABYC compliant 120 Vac single phase system (as long as the grounded conductor is identified, as I previously indicated.

Repeating assertions that these are not valid, does not make it so. By the same logic, the commonly used ground symbol, (which may actually be illustrated in a variety of ways), would not be ABYC compliant. It is... for all of the same reasons stated.
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Old 17-05-2018, 11:10   #42
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post

“L1, L2, and G” are valid nomenclature for depicting 120 Vac “Ungrounded, Grounded, and Grounding” conductors in an ABYC compliant 120 Vac single phase system (as long as the grounded conductor is identified, as I previously indicated.
Repeating your assertion that L2 can be a grounded conductor does not make it so. This assertion of yours is what myself and others have objected to for obvious safety reasons.

You appeal to authority by speaking of ABYC standards. And I ask again for you to produce the ABYC standard that states that L2 can be used for a grounded conductor.

Please supply such a reference.

ABYC E8-17 clearly states that L2 is an ungrounded conductor.

The ungrounded conductor(s) shall be attached to the terminal(s) identified by a dark color (normally brass or copper) and, optionally, the letters X, Y, and Z or L1, L2, and L3.
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Old 17-05-2018, 13:02   #43
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by evm1024 View Post
The only reference that I have found is in ABYC E8-17 which in part reads:


Power wiring for receptacles must be connected so that the grounded (white) conductor attaches to the terminal identified by the word "white" or a light color (normally white or silver). The ungrounded conductor(s) shall be attached to the terminal(s) identified by a dark color (normally brass or copper) and, optionally, the letters X, Y, and Z or L1, L2, and L3.

As you can see ABYC makes a clear distinction between ungrounded conductors (L1, L2, L3 etc) and the grounded conductor (neutral).

So your assertion that L2 can be neutral is not supported by ABYC.
ABYC identifies the conductors of a 120 Vac as “Ungrounded, grounded, and grounding”. As mentioned, different industries and manufacturers (and trades people) may refer to these conductors by different nomenclature.

A rose by any other name....

An ungrounded conductor by any other name, is still an ungrounded conductor.

An underlying premise of ABYC standards is to follow manufacturers instructions unless specifically prohibited by the standard.

If a manufacturer or trades person or boat owner wishes to refer to the ungrounded conductor as “hot” or “line” or “L1” ABYC standards are met.

“L1, L2, and G” are valid nomenclature for depicting 120 Vac “Ungrounded, Grounded, and Grounding” conductors in an ABYC compliant 120 Vac single phase system (as long as the ungrounded conductor is black and the grounded conductor is white).
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Old 17-05-2018, 13:31   #44
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
You will need a plug adapter——- and an oxygen mask.

I have delivered two boats with portable generators. One I was on without the owner and (long story) had to run the generator for an hour to charge some equipment. The fumes almost asphyxiated me in 10 minutes.

The other was owner assisted and we needed to run the gen to feed the water maker. Same thing.
Thought most people would know to be careful with CO.
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Old 17-05-2018, 13:31   #45
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
ABYC identifies the conductors of a 120 Vac as “Ungrounded, grounded, and grounding”. As mentioned, different industries and manufacturers (and trades people) may refer to these conductors by different nomenclature.

A rose by any other name....

An ungrounded conductor by any other name, is still an ungrounded conductor.

An underlying premise of ABYC standards is to follow manufacturers instructions unless specifically prohibited by the standard.

If a manufacturer or trades person or boat owner wishes to refer to the ungrounded conductor as “hot” or “line” or “L1” ABYC standards are met.

“L1, L2, and G” are valid nomenclature for depicting 120 Vac “Ungrounded, Grounded, and Grounding” conductors in an ABYC compliant 120 Vac single phase system (as long as the ungrounded conductor is black and the grounded conductor is white).

OK, so you do not have an ABYC specification that indicated that L2 is a grounded conductor. Fair enough.

Please then furnish a specific citation where L2 is the grounded conductor (neutral conductor for the rest of us.

And really let's not play the switch game. We are not talking about internal wiring of specific industrial devices but about the AC line power sources. To refresh you memory you said:

Quote:
A ground fault device monitors current through L1 (black, line, or hot) and compares it to the current through L2 (white, neutral). If different (by more than 5 mA) the lost current is assumed to be to ground (which could be through a person) and the GFCI trips.
So clearly you were talking about the AC current source from the distribution panel. And that L2 is an acceptable name for the neutral lead.
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