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Author Topic: Honda Generator Grounding  (Read 8555 times)

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badams

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Honda Generator Grounding
« on: January 28, 2011, 09:07:12 AM »

I've read everything on the forum several times about using the honda generator.  There is only a little discussion of grounding.  I am curious.  Does everyone who uses the generator ground?  What are different ways that people do it.  What are the risks of not doing so?
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Ken Juul

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 09:32:23 AM »

Not quite sure I understand your question.  The standard shore power has black, white and green leads.  The Honda 1000/2000i output is the same,   black, white and green.  If you use the 15 to 30 amp conversion pigtail (Marinco and others) the boat doesn't know the difference between shore and generator.

There have been reported cases of the reverse current light coming on. I have not noticed it on my boat. This is because Honda has not internally joined the neutral and green lines.  Honda has published a DIY fix for this that does not void the warranty.

If that doesn't answer your question, please amplify.
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Ken & Vicki Juul
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badams

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 10:33:17 AM »

Sorry if my question is confusing.  I have read someone mention running a grounding wire from the gen to the engine block.  Of course now I can't find it again.  I am planning to buy one soon, and just want to be sure I operate it safely.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 10:58:22 AM »

From a search on "Honda grounding":  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,3829.0.html

Please read the links provided in that topic, may be what you're looking for.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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badams

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 11:13:54 AM »

Stu,

I am sure you answered my question in the above referenced thread, but just to be sure: do you advise that grounding the generator to the boat is not necessary? 

I confess that even though I have an engineering background, electrical related discussions on this forum are often over my head.

Thanks for your patience.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 11:39:47 AM »

I am sure you answered my question in the above referenced thread, but just to be sure: do you advise that grounding the generator to the boat is not necessary? 

I confess that even though I have an engineering background, electrical related discussions on this forum are often over my head.

I don't have a generator.  Ken's advice is correct.  If I had one, I'd do what he and thousands of others are doing.

I know how you feel about electrical.  I was there once, and just did a lot of studying. :D

Think of the generator as "your off the grid power company."  The manual and those references in the link I provided pretty much discuss the subject in great detail.  The case does not need to be grounded.  It's isolated.  The green ground wire on your boat is connected to the generator through the Marinco plug.  Doesn't seem to be much else to deal with.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ken Juul

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 12:02:35 PM »

The Honda is very well insulated so getting shocked from the unit is very unlikely.  You may be confusing the honda with some of the other construction grade portable generators.  The only time you get anywhere near the power is when you are plugging or unplugging the output cord, which is just like unplugging a 3 prong electrical cord in your home.   

If you are still worried, start the honda and let it warm up.  Turn off, hook up output cord, restart.  It should start on the first pull after it's warm.
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tonywright

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2011, 01:15:54 PM »

Actually I think that he has a good question. Honda says to connect a grounding strap to the external ground on the generator and to connect it to a steel peg driven well into the ground.

So the question is what to do to keep safe in the marine environment. Everything I have read suggests keeping the 110V/220v supply well isolated from the 12v system on the boat. So probably the last thing you would want is to connect the grounding strap to the engine block, since this is connected to the negative terminal of the batteries.  Or maybe I have this wrong??

Tony
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Tony Wright
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Ken Juul

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 12:59:22 PM »

Had to think for a while before I could come up with an answer to Tony's question.  The Honda wasn't designed for marine use.  It's main market was camping and light house hold jobs.  In these uses many of the the appliances used may be standard 2 prong 115v plugs.  In which case there would be no shock prevention.  I think the grounding note is their legal protection.  Since in our application the unit is plugged into the boats A/C system via the 3 wire plug I don't think it is any more of an issue than using shore power.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 05:16:21 PM »

I agree with Ken.  That section of the generator manual refers to installing the generator in a building and appears to be directed towards a permanent installation on shore.

There simply isn't a place to pound a ground rod into our boat, at leats not one I'd wanna try.  :D
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ron Hill

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Re: Honda Generator Grounding
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 05:45:31 PM »

Hey, if the guy wants to ground it - let him ground it!!  
Just take a wire from the gen set with a zinc "fish" attached to the other end and throw it overboard !!  
However, if thunderstorms are imminent, remove the Honda from the circuit!!   :rolling

Seriously, here's what the my Honda manual says about GROUND SYSTEM   - "Honda portable generators have a system ground that connects generator frame components to the ground terminals in the AC output receptacles. The system ground is not connected to the AC neutral wire. If the generator is tested by a receptacle teaser, it will not show the same ground circuit condition as for home receptacle."   :D
« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 09:27:31 AM by Ron Hill »
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