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Old 10-07-2018, 09:31   #1
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Portable generator grounding safety

I bought a small, 2000 watt portable generator from sportsman for powerful lights on an aluminum boat to gig flounder. The instruction manual says that the generator should be grounded by a copper wire into a ground stake.

Is there any way to safely ground a generator on an aluminum boat in salt water? Do most people even ground their generators on land?

I have no experience with generators.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:49   #2
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Re: Portable generator grounding safety

Do not ground your portable generator.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:52   #3
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Portable generator grounding safety

Almost all are used with what I think of as a floating ground, or ungrounded if you will.
I know of no one who grounds one on a boat, CO is your killer, seemingly not the lack of a ground.
I want to think that maybe GFCI outlets may be defeated by a lack of a ground, but Iím unsure.

Your far safer from electrocution in salt water, itís fresh water that is really much more dangerous
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:15   #4
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Re: Portable generator grounding safety

The GFCI work because the reference is back to the portable. It doesn't need earth ground. The generator is more dangerous if earth grounded. as the black is hot to everything. No earth ground, the hot is only to the generator.
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Old 18-10-2018, 17:48   #5
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Re: Portable generator grounding safety

A Honda EU2000 portable generator came with my sailboat. When plugged in via my shorepower inlet the reverse polarity light comes on at the AC distribution panel. Is this a problem? Other posts say not to ground the generator

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Old 19-10-2018, 04:27   #6
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Re: Portable generator grounding safety

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Joseph.

Per ABYC 11.5.5.2.3
The generator neutral shall be grounded at the generator. (See DIAGRAM 2 or DIAGRAM 4.)

http://www.elettronavigare.it/files/...0americane.pdf

For boats without isolation transformers, to comply with the above requirements in the case of the on-board generator, a very specifically engineered source transfer switch is required. That switch transfers the boat’s AC electrical distribution panel between either 1) off-the-boat shore power as the source of AC power or 2) the on-board generator (genset) as the source of AC power. That switch must be of a double-pole, break-before-make design. That switch design transfers BOTH the hot and the neutral wires of the boat’s AC electrical system.
When the switch is in the “shore power” position, the on-board neutral and the safety ground are bonded together ashore, but NOT connected together on-board the boat.
When the switch is in the “generator” position, the on-board neutral and the safety ground ARE bonded together at the frame of the genset. Remember, the genset, when in operation and switched online, is the “derived source” of the boat’s AC power.
Realize that in that state, the incoming shore power neutral is not connected to the boat’s operational AC electrical system, even if the shore power cords are still connected to the dockside pedestal. That is prevented by the break-before-make design of the Generator Transfer Switch.
FWIW: Portable generators are not generally approved for use aboard boats.
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