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Thread: Generac XG7000E and Interlock Kit

  1. #16
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    110.3(B) says to follow the manufacture's instructions and does not apply IMO.

    All I can say is I am glad you are not my inspector.
    It is only through education that one learns that the way they have been doing things is completely incorrect.

    I am deeply involved with the education of electrical contractors and inspectors here in NC. Over the past years of working with the Department of Insurance, the ones charged with qualifying electrical inspectors in NC, and the NC Licensing Board I have witnessed shear ignorance of the rules outlined by the NEC. I once was stunned by the lack of knowledge but have become accustom to seeing someone that lacks knowledge.

    I have dedicated my life to the continuing education of electrical contractors and inspectors as well as upcoming students in the electrical field. It is my desire to see everyone on the same page when dealing with electrical safety and the proper installation of electrical systems. I am myself a student of the electrical trade and continually learn things that I thought were safe but find out they are not.

    One of my favorite statements is, “just because it works in no way means that it is done in a safe and compliant manner.”

    It was in the 2002 code cycle that the requirements for portable generators was added to 702 which required them to be grounded (connected to earth) if connected to the premises wiring system, but the language in 250.34 and the FPN has gone unchanged from the 1999 code cycle.

    As long as the stand-alone generator is being used without a connection to the premises wiring no earth connection is required. Once the stand-alone system is connected to the premises wiring then a connection to earth is required either as a separately derived or a non-separately derived system. At any rate the bonding must be done at one place or the other not at both places.

    UL has stepped forward with their Standards for the manufacturing of stand-alone generators and now require that ALL 15, 20 and 30 receptacles on these generators be protected by GFCI protection.

    The NEC also has come forward with this requirement to go into effect on January 1, 2011 590.6(A)(3) Receptacles on 15-kW or less Portable Generators. All 125-volt and 125/250-volt, single-phase, 15-, 20-, and 30-ampere receptacle outlets that are a part of a 15-kW or smaller portable generator shall have listed ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

    There is a big difference in temporary power and optional standby power. These stand-alone generators are designed as temporary power and if used as optional standby power must follow the rules outlined in 702. The grounding requirements outlined in the note following 250.34(C) states that should a portable generator be used as optional standby power it must be connected to earth and again in 702.

    One thing to keep in mind is that portable generators include many different types of generators and is not limited to the stand-alone generator.

  2. #17
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    It is only through education that one learns that the way they have been doing things is completely incorrect.

    I am deeply involved with the education of electrical contractors and inspectors here in NC. Over the past years of working with the Department of Insurance, the ones charged with qualifying electrical inspectors in NC, and the NC Licensing Board I have witnessed shear ignorance of the rules outlined by the NEC. I once was stunned by the lack of knowledge but have become accustom to seeing someone that lacks knowledge.

    I have dedicated my life to the continuing education of electrical contractors and inspectors as well as upcoming students in the electrical field. It is my desire to see everyone on the same page when dealing with electrical safety and the proper installation of electrical systems. I am myself a student of the electrical trade and continually learn things that I thought were safe but find out they are not.

    One of my favorite statements is, “just because it works in no way means that it is done in a safe and compliant manner.”

    It was in the 2002 code cycle that the requirements for portable generators was added to 702 which required them to be grounded (connected to earth) if connected to the premises wiring system, but the language in 250.34 and the FPN has gone unchanged from the 1999 code cycle.

    As long as the stand-alone generator is being used without a connection to the premises wiring no earth connection is required. Once the stand-alone system is connected to the premises wiring then a connection to earth is required either as a separately derived or a non-separately derived system. At any rate the bonding must be done at one place or the other not at both places.

    UL has stepped forward with their Standards for the manufacturing of stand-alone generators and now require that ALL 15, 20 and 30 receptacles on these generators be protected by GFCI protection.

    The NEC also has come forward with this requirement to go into effect on January 1, 2011 590.6(A)(3) Receptacles on 15-kW or less Portable Generators. All 125-volt and 125/250-volt, single-phase, 15-, 20-, and 30-ampere receptacle outlets that are a part of a 15-kW or smaller portable generator shall have listed ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

    There is a big difference in temporary power and optional standby power. These stand-alone generators are designed as temporary power and if used as optional standby power must follow the rules outlined in 702. The grounding requirements outlined in the note following 250.34(C) states that should a portable generator be used as optional standby power it must be connected to earth and again in 702.

    One thing to keep in mind is that portable generators include many different types of generators and is not limited to the stand-alone generator.

    You have done Great work JW, and that is one reason that Complying to Code and Insurance is so expensive.

    Keep up the Good Work...
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I did not mean to say that I don't believe there could be a safety issue here and I will site an example that I recently had occur.....

    We took in many portables during the recent stroms issues in my area. Probably 20-30 various small portables that lost AC output. Normally I would not devote much time to trying to fix these smaller units as it is generally not a profitable endeaver.....but I did repair quite a few and condemed a lot also as repair costs would be prohibitive...parts-labor...added up to too much money for such a smallish unit....

    Usually I find bad brushes....or a blown capacitor or a bad voltage regulator...easy fixes, just find the parts somewhere.

    Sometimes it's a bad rotor or stator and that gets very pricey.....

    One machine had no output.....a 5KW unit I think it was. Don't recall the brand. I could not find a reason for it NOt to have output. It was the design that had no brushes.....diodes on the rotor and a run capcitor. I desoldered the diodes and tested them....good.....tried a similar rated capcitor....still no output. Did ohm tests on the stator and all seemed normal. Most small generators have 4 wires coming out of the stator and depending on how they are connected it might be 120/240 or 120 only........This machine was 120/240 and had connectors between the outlet panel and the stator connections. I was thinking something on the panel was shorted so I disconnected the panel from the staor leads. I checked all the wiring on the outlet panel....all good. I checked the outlets....nothing shorted.

    I started the generator and probed the staor connections......It had NORMAL output....120/240 all fine.....but if I tried to connect the leads to the panel.....there was a dead short to the output and obviously a serious arc and the engine/generator grunted down indicating a dead short on the output....

    If the connectors were hooked back up with the engine off and than started ....iit again had no output.....


    So the bottom like is the stator was shorted to the body of the generator......or at least that was my take on it....

    I sold the owner a new unit......

    This was the first time I had ever run acorss this scenario and it may have happened before but it was a new one on me.....

    I have brought this neutral/ground bonding iussue up many times at work as it is one I am really not totally clear on.

    I have read JW's posts many times trying to get a better understanding of this issue. It still is not clear to me. 4 wire dryer cords.....and seperated gounds and neutrals in sub panels and out buildings.......I would like to understand this better and be able to explain it better....

    After the recent storms.....I watched a major NewYork network broadcast that covered generators and hooking them up for homeowners. It was so inaccurate as far as what an electrician would charge to do this work it was redciculous and added to the problem.....Gave people the idea it was an easy inexpensive and simple thing to do. I broughta generator home for my next door neighbor. He was without power for 4 days. I lent him my small generator. I told him to use extension cords for his unit and just make a good cord for it.....
    Last edited by Rich B; 12-04-2011 at 04:03 PM.

  4. #19
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I should add....

    I was out on a few jobs recently and one was for one of our generators that was tied into a building and during the snow storm.....they lost power and the generator did not start. No one knew it did not start for a few hours. They were on their UPS system and eventually the whole place went down. Oh....it was just the local office of emergency management for our area. They handle all 911 calls.....and it is also the police and fire academy where they train everyday....You'd think someone in such a place would realize they were on UPS and know the generator wasn't running.....All it takes is the flip of a toggle switch on the machine to start it! Nope.....4 hours later all their computers hard crashed and the county dispatch system went black in the middle of the storm.......

    Their generator has been nothing but problems from day one and ours was hooked in as theirs was likley to fail and had been worked on numerous times in an effort to rectify it's issues. Now they are ripping it all out and a new building is being construced....and another new generator will be installed....bigger and better....

    The no start condition for our unit was never really clear as it should have started.....but didn't. The remote start connectiuons were made by their electrician.....and should really have got the job done. He added a simple relay that was not really needed. We eliminated it and after a couple hours of various wiring attempts...it was tested and worked. We did an ACTUAL power interruption....and transfer. The reason I bring this entire episode up.....The transfer switch had a SWITCED Neutral...I noticed it right away when I started working in the switch......
    Last edited by Rich B; 12-04-2011 at 04:28 PM.

  5. #20
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    I have read JW's posts many times trying to get a better understanding of this issue. It still is not clear to me. 4 wire dryer cords.....and seperated gounds and neutrals in sub panels and out buildings.......I would like to understand this better and be able to explain it better.........
    Do you understand parallel paths?
    If the EGC is bonded on both ends to the neutral then the equipment grounding conductor is carrying current just like the neutral.

    A couple of years ago a good friend of mine was repairing the EMT between two panels in a ware house. This was a run of 2 inch pipe that carried the feeders from the main to a remote panel about 50 feet away. The EMT was the equipment grounding conductor and the remote panel did not have an isolated neutral.

    A stack of boxes had toppled over and broke the connection at one of the couplings. When Fred walked up to the pipe and grabbed the pipe, one side of the coupling with one hand and the other pipe on the other side of the coupling in the other hand, was the last thing he remembered until they were loading him in the ambulance.

    There is a major concern with having these small stand-alone generators connected to the premises wiring system with the neutral bonded to the frame of the generator and again having the EGC and neutral bonded at the service equipment.

    Just a few miles away a man built a pole barn for his horses. He had finished all the wiring but had not called for an inspection so there was no power on the building.
    He came home from work and noticed that the ground was wet so he called his plumber to come and fix the problem at the barn. They back fed a breaker from the 30 receptacle on the generator to have lights to fix the pipe that had frozen and ruptured.

    After all was repaired the plumber went to turn off the generator and when he leaned over and touched the frame with wet feet in a puddle of water from the busted pipe he got his world rocked. The frame of the generator and being just inches from the grounding electrode at the barn completed the parallel path which caused him to remember his religion. He completed the third parallel path for current to follow.

    In the post above about the man that was burnt while refueling, he swore he felt current. It is possible as the neutral and equipment grounding was bonded at both ends.

  6. #21
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    You have done Great work JW, and that is one reason that Complying to Code and Insurance is so expensive.

    Keep up the Good Work...
    I will and be proud of the fact that it might save even one life.

  7. #22
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    It is only through education that one learns that the way they have been doing things is completely incorrect.
    Come on now Mike. You know for a fact that this has been done this way for years and was completely complaint and correct. This is a new requirement you are trying to sell and that does NOT mean that the old way was "completely incorrect".

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Do you understand parallel paths?
    If the EGC is bonded on both ends to the neutral then the equipment grounding conductor is carrying current just like the neutral.

    A couple of years ago a good friend of mine was repairing the EMT between two panels in a ware house. This was a run of 2 inch pipe that carried the feeders from the main to a remote panel about 50 feet away. The EMT was the equipment grounding conductor and the remote panel did not have an isolated neutral.

    A stack of boxes had toppled over and broke the connection at one of the couplings. When Fred walked up to the pipe and grabbed the pipe, one side of the coupling with one hand and the other pipe on the other side of the coupling in the other hand, was the last thing he remembered until they were loading him in the ambulance.
    Thats a good story, but I'd like to point out a few things. One, the only way he could get electrocuted is if he touched both ends of the broken pipe - one in each hand. Two, something else was already wrong. The second parallel path provided by the neutral *should* have kept both ends of that conduit at nearly the same potential, thus reducing the shock potential dramatically.

    I'm not saying that parallel paths are ok, they can hide real problems and that can result in serious injury. 99.99 percent of the time though, they aren't a problem. We have created a whole new problem when it comes to generator installations. HOs have an option to paying $1K for a transfer switch and many know it. And end result is not pretty right now.

    What do you think is safer - 10 homeowners with generators hooked up with transfer switches that don't switch the neutral OR 3 homeowners using a neutral switching transfer switch and 7 back feeding the panel with no transfer switch? This is the real world. We should have left the sleeping dog alone on this one.

    -rick

  9. #24
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Come on now Mike. You know for a fact that this has been done this way for years and was completely complaint and correct. This is a new requirement you are trying to sell and that does NOT mean that the old way was "completely incorrect".

    Portable generators were added to the 2002 code cycle in 702.10. The permission to not install a grounding electrode for portable generators that supply only equipment that is plugged into a receptacle on the generator was added to the 1999 code.

    It has been around for more than 10 years. The only new part is the requirement that all 15, 20, and 30 amp receptacles be GFCI protected or should I say the 30 receptacle in new.

  10. #25
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drick View Post
    What do you think is safer - 10 homeowners with generators hooked up with transfer switches that don't switch the neutral OR 3 homeowners using a neutral switching transfer switch and 7 back feeding the panel with no transfer switch? This is the real world. We should have left the sleeping dog alone on this one.

    -rick
    This reminds me of a court case I listening to once. The man said that he was only drinking beer. Then he asked the judge if he thought this wasn’t better than drinking liquor and then driving.

    Wrong is wrong is it not? Is driving 55 through a school yard better than driving 60? Do we say to the people in charge that what we are doing is better than if we were doing something else or do we do what they tell us to do? Welcome to the real world where we get penalized for doing wrong.

  11. #26
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Portable generators were added to the 2002 code cycle in 702.10. The permission to not install a grounding electrode for portable generators that supply only equipment that is plugged into a receptacle on the generator was added to the 1999 code.

    It has been around for more than 10 years. The only new part is the requirement that all 15, 20, and 30 amp receptacles be GFCI protected or should I say the 30 receptacle in new.
    I meant the UL requirements about switching neutrals.

  12. #27
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    I meant the UL requirements about switching neutrals.
    It is in the 2010 White Book but I can’t find my 2008 White book and it is not assessable from the internet that I can find.

    A far as using one of these stand-alone generators I refer to Article 702 and either .10 or .11 depending on which year you are looking at and the Note under 250.34(C)

    I reached up and just grabbed a code book and looked up portable generators and started reading. In the 1975 code cycle section 250-6 the wording for portable and vehicle mounted generators is almost word for word in stating that if it is supplying equipment on the generator or equipment through a cord that the generator is not required to be connected to earth.

    The last sentence of (c) states that the neutral must be bonded to the frame and if this portable generator is connected to fixed wiring systems see Section 250-5(d). In this edition it was not part of a note but worded in the section itself
    250-5(d) references a separately derived system just as today’s codes reference separately derived systems in the Notes.

    I don’t have a ’78 but in the ’81 cycle in (c) it is mentioned to bond the neutral to the frame if it is a separately derived system but it still has the reference to 250-5(d) in the body of the text and not in a note.
    In the ’84 edition the reference to 250.5(d) was in the FPN

    It is this reference that I hang my hat on. If connected to the premises wiring then it must be connected as a separately derived system as referenced in the note in 250.34

  13. #28
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    OK, all this you are talking about is about SDS and non-SDS. Where in all that does it say a neutral break transfer is required?
    To the contrary, look at the Informational Note to 250.30. It says the exact opposite of what you are saying is the only "safe" way to do it.


    250.34 Portable and Vehicle-Mounted Generators.

    (C) Grounded Conductor Bonding. A system conductor that is required to be grounded by 250.26 shall be connected to the generator frame where the generator is a component of a separately derived system.

    Informational Note: For grounding portable generators supplying fixed wiring systems, see 250.30.


    250.30 Grounding Separately Derived Alternating-Current Systems.

    In addition to complying with 250.30(A) for grounded systems, or as provided in 250.30(B) for ungrounded systems, separately derived systems shall comply with 250.20, 250.21, 250.22, and 250.26.

    Informational Note No. 1: An alternate ac power source, such as an on-site generator, is not a separately derived system if the grounded conductor is solidly interconnected to a service-supplied system grounded conductor. An example of such a situation is where alternate source transfer equipment does not include a switching action in the grounded conductor and allows it to remain solidly connected to the service-supplied grounded conductor when the alternate source is operational and supplying the load served.

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    DIY Junior Member illinois524's Avatar
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    Hey Everybody new here. I know this is not what you want to here but I'm a carpenter not an electrician but can do my own electrical work but also know my limitations. I have learned a lot from the electricians I have worked with in the past. I just got a Generac GP5500 to replace my Honda 1800 watt. I plan on doing the same thing that Ted M is doing at the start of this thread. I can handle this install and under stand what I'm doing. JW or anybody if you could please explain in simpler terms what this issue is with the grounding. Does it come down to the fact that HO's are not grounding the the generators at the provided grounding lug to earth? I have a sub panel in my detached garage where my gen will be run and I planned on running an 8ga. wire to the panel and attach it to the ground buss bar inside and when I need to use it I will attach the ground wire to the lug on the generator. I have read else where that this is acceptable or should the wire be connected to a copper grounding rod? And to Rich B what part of Jersey are you?

  15. #30
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illinois524 View Post
    Hey Everybody new here. I know this is not what you want to here but I'm a carpenter not an electrician but can do my own electrical work but also know my limitations. I have learned a lot from the electricians I have worked with in the past. I just got a Generac GP5500 to replace my Honda 1800 watt. I plan on doing the same thing that Ted M is doing at the start of this thread. I can handle this install and under stand what I'm doing. JW or anybody if you could please explain in simpler terms what this issue is with the grounding. Does it come down to the fact that HO's are not grounding the the generators at the provided grounding lug to earth? I have a sub panel in my detached garage where my gen will be run and I planned on running an 8ga. wire to the panel and attach it to the ground buss bar inside and when I need to use it I will attach the ground wire to the lug on the generator. I have read else where that this is acceptable or should the wire be connected to a copper grounding rod? And to Rich B what part of Jersey are you?
    Welcome- just because you are a carpenter does not mean you are unwanted here.

    You really should start a new thread if you have a question, maybe one of the mods can do that.

    Generator hook ups are of special interest to me since I am related to two linemen. An improper hook up could result in them, at a minimum, having a bad day, and at worst getting killed. So whatever you do be sure and have it checked out.

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