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Author Topic: Portable Generator Grounding  (Read 12311 times)

Mike Sokol

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Re: Portable Generator Grounding
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2014, 04:48:08 pm »

Here you go.  A bed of 4 nails


Wow, is that scary.... I don't think this would do much to save you from a hot-to-chassis short. Perhaps it would shunt out a small current leakage, but that's only going to give you false confidence that you can stand in a puddle of water and operate an ungrounded appliance. I'm assuming no double-insulation back in the day. Yikes!!!  ???

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Mike Sokol
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Jason Phair

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Re: Portable Generator Grounding
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2014, 12:53:50 pm »

I thinking that an inverted bed-o-nails and a jug of water could be a pretty simple ground. One thing that's VERY important to worry about when driving any 3 ft or 8 ft ground rod is the possibility of underground utilities.


I did a show a few years back in a town park type deal...municipally provided generator.  Metered everything before firing up, everything's great.  Several hours later, we're getting shocked by racks.  Pull out the tick tester....everything's hot...touch it to the ground, also hot.  They had driven the ground rod through a power line for a light that was on a timer, which is why it was fine for most of the day.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Portable Generator Grounding
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2014, 04:05:42 pm »


I did a show a few years back in a town park type deal...municipally provided generator.  Metered everything before firing up, everything's great.  Several hours later, we're getting shocked by racks.  Pull out the tick tester....everything's hot...touch it to the ground, also hot.  They had driven the ground rod through a power line for a light that was on a timer, which is why it was fine for most of the day.

I just need to say one thing - Miss Utility: http://www.missutility.net/

I can't believe that a municipal crew would drive a ground rod without consulting Miss Utility. If someone would have been electrocuted during the show, just think of the lawsuits. That's why I think a bed-of-nails ground plate would be better for this sort of temporary gig.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Portable Generator Grounding
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2014, 06:39:52 pm »

In Iowa it is One Call, they contact local utilities to do the locates, but when I went to do a service upgrade on city hall for a local municipality, they asked ME to locate the city water line going into the building-they had no way to do so!?

Also around here, they only locate utility owned lines-a light on a timer is likely not a "utility"-so make sure you know what is covered by  the locate service in your area.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 06:52:11 pm by Stephen Swaffer »
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