Generators and earthing

Submitted: Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 00:03
ThreadID: 10827 Views:2058 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Hi all,

I know this will rekindle the old debate form post 10397 and possibly others but I'm still confused.

Today, I bought one of the cheap yamaha copies. The manual says that it needs to be earthed and shows a picture of a wire and earth stake but on the unit itself the wire appears to be earthed to the body of the generator.

I've read a number of replies regarding this subject and Brett's (answer iD 46533) whilst very in depth, lost me. If I put in an earth stake, Does that reduce or eliminate potential electrical shocks form the body of the generator?. Should I also
add a RCD switch power board to plugs my lights etc into for added protection or does the earth stake negate the need for this?.



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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 08:43

Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 08:43
The electrical shock you might get is from static electricity build up. You can also get this type of electrical shock from the interaction on the clothes you are wearing and your car seat.

But generators have plastic handles and rubber feet which are non conductive materials so there should not be a problem. As I said in post 10397 I have never had a problem with my genset or previous gensets.

If you are so worried about an electrical shock then connect an earth stake to the generator for your peace of mind. The manufacturers are just telling you about the earthing so as to cover their arses if by a minute coincidence you suffer a fatal shock from your generator. I would not worry about it.

Little Dip Cons Park S.A.
AnswerID: 48328

Reply By: Brett - Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 10:09

Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 10:09
The RCD is a good idea however it's protction is directional. This device only "looks" down the line from it's point of connection. You lead and appliance and you will be protected but your generator wil not be protected.

Yes an earth stake will reduce the likliness of electrical shocks from the generator.

Sorry for loosing you in my earlier post.

AnswerID: 48338

Reply By: Brett - Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 11:00

Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 11:00
Here are a couple of links regarding earthing of generators.

Info on earth stake

More info

AnswerID: 48351

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 12:13

Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 12:13
Sure enough you can earth it and maybe it's a safer option but I run a big ol' Brigg's and Straton 6hp 3.5 KVA Geny and have never eathed it and never even got so much as a little static shock. Should probally go do some work instead of playing on this forum!
AnswerID: 48364

Reply By: David T - Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 12:41

Friday, Feb 27, 2004 at 12:41
I'll bite,

Do you have to earth an inverter? Still produces 240V?

ta, in advance

AnswerID: 48369

Reply By: Brett - Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 12:45

Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 12:45
Macca, I posted the earthing problem on a Usenet forum and had a couple of responses.

>>>When ever you create electricity there must be a path to earth. With out the
earth ground you run the risk that you circuit breaker will not trip. Ever
notice that every electrical service in your neighbor hood has an earth
ground? If the utility could get away from using them do you not think that
they would quit spending the money? Not earthing the neutral can cause
voltage imbalances to be created. A lot of people just rely on the frame of
the genset to be in contact with the earth... close enough. It takes no time
to drive an minimum 8 foot ground rod flush with the earth and connect it to
the generators frame to the lug provided. (usually)

Make it safe and make your SO's safe. It only takes about 5 milliamps to
kill. Less in some conditions.

I worked for a university and the city folks set 10 20 kw generators on
tires for temp Christmas lighting not one was grounded. I shut them off and
locked them out. The mayor and the president of the university were in the
electric shop the next morning. I explained the safety issues for the public
and the mayor immediately called his people and they installed the required
ground rods. Christmas lights were dark one night. No big deal compared
with making the headlines all over the world. Personally I do not want to
be on TV.<<<<

AnswerID: 48514

Follow Up By: sean - Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 00:22

Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 00:22
Not all countries run earthed systems. Aussies intalling earths into such systems have killed people.

The circuit breaker works on my generator when its is not earthed..

FollowupID: 310414

Follow Up By: Macca1 - Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 16:19

Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 16:19

You refer to a 8 foot ground rod. Is that length necessary. If so I'll have to take my ladder or stand on the roof of my fourby to start with.

I read somewhere that a 50 cm copper stake would suffice, this would definitely be easier when we're out camping.

Regards Macca
FollowupID: 310463

Follow Up By: Brett - Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 17:21

Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 17:21
No mate 8ft isprobably a bit of overkill. That post was clipped from a newsgroup.

Most portable gen sets are sold woth an earthstake of less than 1 meter long.

FollowupID: 310466

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