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Old 30-08-2012, 09:53   #1
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Honda Generator Powering Boat Problems

bought a honda EM 6000GP propane generator. wanted to be able to store in cockpit and run to ac panel to power my air conditioners. Trial run on dock: unplugged both line 1 and 2 (30 amp) from pedistal and plugged line 2 (air conditioners) into genny and fired up. panel gets power, through breaker, all looks good until I through breaker for 1 unit of 3. Reverse polarity light comes on. checked wiring schematic of genny, loooks good. never had this issue on land, must be generator. did some reading, maybe potential difference of genny and boat. hooked volt meter to ground of genny and ground of boat and fired up genny, 0.0v volts on line 2 and 0.16v on line 1. therefore no potential difference. hooked wire from ground on genny to ground on boat. fired up genny, fired up ac, same issue, reverse polarity. I am new to electrcity and learning as I go, but something doesnt seem right. Local shops have heard of this, but no answer. One shop will look at it for a deposit of $500 and $100/hr. Would like to see what the experts, you all, have to say about this problem. I have a 9 month pregnant wife that wants to go sailing on the hook this weekend, but not going to happen in south FL with no air conditioning. Safety is important, therefore any help would be appreciated.
happy sailing
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Old 30-08-2012, 10:55   #2
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Re: Honda Generator Powering Boat Problems

I think you may need to read the two manuals very carefully before you go out. The one one baby delivery at sea & that should take you a month then check P16 of your honda manual re the earth connected only to the frame & not neutral at the generator. Check with your supplier about adding the link neutral to earth within the generator. One the other.. your on your own!!

Check the 240v bit is not an issue.

(I am sure you can run it as it is for this weekend until you check/add the link)

Best for your new arrival.

Regards Bill
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Old 30-08-2012, 11:37   #3
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Re: Honda Generator Powering Boat Problems

If you do some digging here you will see that others have had this same issue of the reverse polarity light. They continue to run their generators without issue reportedly. Not saying that is the right answer but it is a known issue without incident so far that I have heard of.
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Old 30-08-2012, 11:43   #4
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Sorry posted twice
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Old 30-08-2012, 11:43   #5
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Ours has triggered rev polarity light von the last two boats. Never had an issue.
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Old 30-08-2012, 11:56   #6
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Re: Honda Generator Powering Boat Problems

Bill Good: thanks for the reply. Which 2 manuals are you referring to? I have read the Honda and as mentioned, not that up on ac power, so a lot of it is hard to understand. She was a delivery nurse, she is not worried. J So connecting ground (earth) to neutral will help? I don’t need the 240v so I am not using it, nor have I tested it. The more I learn, the less I see as a risk.
Jacob30: You are right, I have seen that and have come to same conclusion. “shouldn’t be an issue” but that is what worries me as well. Pregnant wife and a 2 year old aboard already, I cant take chances. This is my home as well. I am trying to learn as much as I can. If I know the limitations, that will make the risk lower. Like no swimming around the boat when its on. Don’t touch the generator and metal on the boat at the same time, especially wet standing in a pool of salt water, those kind of things. True, haven’t heard anything, but doesn’t a dead sailor tell no tales J
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Old 30-08-2012, 16:27   #7
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Re: Honda Generator Powering Boat Problems

Quote:
Like no swimming around the boat when its on. Don’t touch the generator and metal on the boat at the same time, especially wet standing in a pool of salt water, those kind of things.
Not to be preachy, but this attitude/mind set is not the way to deal with a potentially dangerous problem. Get the issue sorted out and use a professional if the subject matter is such that your reach exceeds your grasp.

Charlie
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Old 30-08-2012, 21:29   #8
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Re: Honda Generator Powering Boat Problems

I had the same problem with a Honda Eu2000i -the reversed polarity light comes on if there is a potential difference between the neutral and ground. On shore, these are tied together by the utility supplier.

I sorted it out by getting a plug, removing the live pin, wiring the neutral and ground together and keep it in the spare outlet on the generator. As others have said, it's not dangerous, just not something you want to see.

Cheers.
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Old 30-08-2012, 22:14   #9
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Re: Honda Generator Powering Boat Problems

I like that you chose a propane powered generator, less carbon monoxide to worry about.
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