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Old 03-12-2014, 20:29   #1
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SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

I have a big 220v portable generator. Not sure of the brand but it is blue and looks like an overgrown Honda. It has a pair of outlets on it that look like the two round-prong European outlets. So, if i wanted to run a 220v appliance I would be all set. But what I want to do is make up a cord that will have, on the other end, a 50 amp, 4 wire shore power connector so i can plug into my boat's shorepower and thus run the battery charger, etc.
2 hot wires coming from the genset.I know where they go..... the ground and neutral from the shorepower adapter... what do I connect them to? just ground them together?
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Old 03-12-2014, 20:44   #2
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

Do You Like Sparks?

If not, hire a qualified electrician.

Based on your post, you don't know ? where, why, and how...to connect 2 wires.

So, I ask why would you want to proceed?

Are you a brain surgeon, would you attempt brain surgery?

Just because it's a boat, doesn't mean it's not dangerous.

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I have a big 220v portable generator. Not sure of the brand but it is blue and looks like an overgrown Honda. It has a pair of outlets on it that look like the two round-prong European outlets. So, if i wanted to run a 220v appliance I would be all set. But what I want to do is make up a cord that will have, on the other end, a 50 amp, 4 wire shore power connector so i can plug into my boat's shorepower and thus run the battery charger, etc.
2 hot wires coming from the genset.I know where they go..... the ground and neutral from the shorepower adapter... what do I connect them to? just ground them together?
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:00   #3
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

You mean do I know that most portable gensets have floating grounds, marina shorepowers have a bonded ground, and that electrical code requires that there be one, and only one, bonded ground in any electrical distribution circuit? So the neutral and ground need to be bonded at the genset. Question is the safest and most efficient way of doing it.
Its not brain surgery. But thank you for your illumination.


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Old 04-12-2014, 06:26   #4
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

When you say 220V, you mean as in the American version, that being 2 110V hot, and not the European actual 220 V ?

I ask as it sounds like you may have an actual 220V, 50 hz generator based on your description of the plugs and your comment on being able to run a 220 V appliance. If that is true, do not connect it to US made boat without having a 220 V to 110 V transformer. I have a German Army 220 V Diesel genset that I used to use to run my 5th wheel, I got a transformer for it off of Ebay, it's Chinese but has worked well.

If that is not the case, I apologize for wasting your time
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:12   #5
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

No problem I am happy to get any productive input and I should have given more details.
This is a European boat , wired only for 220v. However, the only 220v equipment on board is a very nice, new battery charger. Nice meaning cost me $1000. It is set up now to run off of a European portable generator. The portable generator has 220 v outlets, just as you would see in a European house.
I know how to do this with a 110v genset. You take an Edison plug (the kind used in the USA for house current) and jump the neutral and ground. That gets plugged into one of the 110v outlets on your genset and you are safe and grounded.
A 50 amp shorepower cord has two 110v legs, a neutral and a ground.
The European house plug has one 220v lead, a neutral and on the newer plugs a grounding.
However, the European 220v is not polarized like modern Edison plugs.
If there is no practical, inexpensive way to do this, I will just buy a 110v battery charger. Or possible the battery charger can be configured to accept 110v.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:43   #6
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

Just to make things simple and easy to maintain I have 220v 50Hz inverter/charger with a 220v 50Hz genset. I have a separate 110v 60Hz marine battery charger for use when in the USA in a marina (not often). The batteries don't care which ones I use or if I use all at once for faster charging with genset and shore power solely for the 110v battery charger (minding battery temps).

This doesn't really answer your question but we have similar setups I thought I would share how I handle it. I wouldn't mind a Victron unit but not sure I am ready for the penalties in terms of dollars, space and weight.
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Old 04-12-2014, 13:47   #7
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

There is a big risk of misunderstanding when discussing situations like yours on a web forum. People here can't be exactly sure what you are saying and you can't be exactly sure what they are saying and you have no way of knowing if the person giving advice knows what he or she is talking about.

I suggest hiring a qualified marine electrician to configure your electrical setup. This shouldn't take more than an hour and you will know it is safe. And you won't burn anything up.
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Old 04-12-2014, 14:08   #8
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

The information you're supplying isn't even consistent. At one point you say the boat has 220V European wiring. Then you say it has a 4-wire shore power connector. Surely this is for US standard 110V x 2 supply? (two 110V hots, neutral and ground).

WARNING : One thing you should be extremely careful about : joining neutral and ground could potentially float everything grounded on the boat up to 110V. That's how people in the water die in marinas. (people on the boat too!). Usually when someone who has no idea about wiring gets creative, connecting stuff together.

My understanding is that you want to connect a 220V generator (actually 2x110V) to the shore power inlet on a European boat. Is this correct? If so, I don't think you can, without a transformer.

What is needed is a PRECISE description of the generator outlet, and the shore power inlet on the boat.

Right now everything you have supplied is so vague, you've no chance of a helpful (and non-lethal) answer.
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Old 04-12-2014, 14:59   #9
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

I'm also confused. if you have a euro 230v 50 hz gen. and a euro wired 230v 50hz boat. each should have 3 wires. hot, hot, ground, and they directly connect together.


there is no netrual and no bond in euro wiring.


if you still have a us 4 wire shore plug on the boat. but converted the boat to euro. then change the plug. and then just use the correct euro cable from gen to boat.
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Old 04-12-2014, 15:06   #10
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

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I'm also confused. if you have a euro 230v 50 hz gen. and a euro wired 230v 50hz boat. each should have 3 wires. hot, hot, ground, and they connect together.


there is no netrual and no bond in euro wiring.


if you still have a us 4 wire plug on the boat. but converted the boat to euro. then change the plug. and then just use the correct euro cable from gen to boat.
European wiring is hot, neutral, and ground. No idea where you got the no neutral from.
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Old 04-12-2014, 16:14   #11
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

hot isn't the best term to be using either. yes your right it has a line, neutral and ground.


But I always thought both line and netrual were floating hot.


do the European onboard gens have a netreual to ground bond at the source? same with incoming dock power?
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Old 04-12-2014, 17:01   #12
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

Best advice here is what Ron said, period! I'm sure all want to help but there are incorrect terms being used, and context can't be assumed. Get a qualified marine electrician for a likely min hour charge and be done with it.
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Old 04-12-2014, 17:10   #13
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

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hot isn't the best term to be using either. yes your right it has a line, neutral and ground.


But I always thought both line and netrual were floating hot.


do the European onboard gens have a netreual to ground bond at the source? same with incoming dock power?
Neutral, unless there is a fault, is around zero volts. It would be wise to treat it as hot, as it can float quite high if there is a fault somewhere.
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Old 04-12-2014, 17:14   #14
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

The neutral is the dedicated return fault path by design, hence it should only be bonded to ground at the source, read source as one location only.
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Old 04-12-2014, 17:20   #15
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Re: SAFELY wiring a 220v portable genset to shorepower inlet

I do appreciate the input but sometimes people read too quickly. There is no shorepower inlet on the boat. I never said there was. I stated that a 50 amp shorepower cord has 4 wires.
I would like to find a "qualified marine electrician." The last and only one I engaged burned up a generator by miswiring. So, I have learned to do it myself, save money and avoid fires.
As I said, I just have to toss the genset or get a transformer.
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