Generac XG7000E and Interlock Kit

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Ted M, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    I will and be proud of the fact that it might save even one life.
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    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".
  3. drick

    drick In the Trades

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    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
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    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.
  5. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    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.
  6. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    I meant the UL requirements about switching neutrals.
  7. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    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
  8. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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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.




  9. illinois524

    illinois524 New Member

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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?
  10. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

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    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.
  11. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Pete read that note carefully. Where does it state that a stand-alone generator can be connected this way?
    An onsite generator could be a generator that is the emergency power for a hospital or a nuclear power plant. It would also include generators outlined in 250.35.

    250.34 is clear on the wording that a portable generator that has receptacles that supply the equipment being used to supply premises wiring must be installed as a SDS. In past editions this wording was in the body of the text. Over the years portable generators have been made where they don’t have receptacles but instead have lugs that the conductors land on and these have a place where the neutral bond can be lifted easily.
  12. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Those generators are not required to be connected to earth if used in the proper manner. The earth connection does nothing to clear a fault. What you want to do is ensure there is a path back to the source (generator) in the event of a ground fault.

    If you don’t fully understand this then you are refuting your own statement , “I can handle this install and under stand what I'm doing.â€

    Here is the code section that governs the use of these stand-alone generators. Pay close attention to the note at the bottom

    250.34 Portable and Vehicle-Mounted Generators.
    (A) Portable Generators. The frame of a portable generator shall not be required to be connected to a grounding electrode as defined in 250.52 for a system supplied by the generator under the following conditions:
    (1) The generator supplies only equipment mounted on the generator, cord-and-plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the generator, or both, and
    (2) The normally non–current-carrying metal parts of equipment and the equipment grounding conductor terminals of the receptacles are connected to the generator frame.
    (B) Vehicle-Mounted Generators. The frame of a vehicle shall not be required to be connected to a grounding electrode as defined in 250.52 for a system supplied by a generator located on this vehicle under the following conditions:
    (1) The frame of the generator is bonded to the vehicle frame, and
    (2) The generator supplies only equipment located on the vehicle or cord-and-plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the vehicle, or both equipment located on the vehicle and cord-and-plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the vehicle or on the generator, and
    (3) The normally non–current-carrying metal parts of equipment and the equipment grounding conductor terminals of the receptacles are connected to the generator frame.
    (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.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  13. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    An on-site generator could also be a portable unit that is connected to the building electrical. 250.34 could apply just as much as 250.35.
    If you read that note is SPECIFICALLY states that as long as the neutral is bonded it is NOT an SDS and does NOT need a neutral break transfer.
    If you think a neutral break transfer is the only correct way to install a genny then WHY is this note there in the 2011 NEC?


    A) I'm not sure where you see that 250.34 says this about an SDS. That section is on grounding and bonding.
  14. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Is it not through the grounding and bonding that makes a generator either a SDS or a non-SDS? This is why it is addressed in 250.

    These small stand-alone self contained generators have over current protection (may be a reset button) that protects the branch circuit conductors that supply receptacles. (See branch circuit conductors in 100) In order for this over current device to function properly the neutral must be bonded to the equipment grounding conductor and the frame of the generator. This makes this small stand-alone generator a SDS.

    To lift this neutral to EGC bond would defeat the ground fault path for the devices on the generator. There would no longer be a fault path for the other receptacles mounted on the frame of the generator.

    These circuits on the generator are branch circuits until we connect them to a premises wiring system and they become feeders. Should this be done then in order to keep the fault path for the other devices located on the generator the generator must be installed as a SDS.
    Look at my last post and see the sentence highlighted in red.

    Using the NEC only we can understand a lot about UL Standards without having to buy the Standard.
    Portable generators that have devices mounted to the frame have the earth grounding covered in 250.34. What about the GFCI protection of these devices, where are they covered in the NEC? 590.6(A)(3) of the 2011 edition.
    What does this mean to me? This is telling me that a stand-alone generator is designed for use as temporary power which is a long way from being optional standby as outlined in 702 and the Note under 250.34

    UL and the NEC have come forth with the requirement that all 15, 20, and 30 amp receptacles on portable generators must be GFCI protected on generators manufactured or remanufactured after January 1, 2011. In order to keep the GFCI from tripping the only way these can be connected to the premises wiring is by installing them as a SDS or voiding the listing by lifting the neutral bond from the frame of the generator which could cause someone to be hurt.
  15. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    If it is a Standard why would you need to buy it ?

    UL Standard is not always the best or safest, it is a way to pay for and place stickers on many products, That may or may not meet NEC requirements.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  16. illinois524

    illinois524 New Member

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    Please bear with me as I'm trying to understand and learn here. OK SDS stands for? When you say GFCI protected I think of a outlet that you might see in a bathroom or kitchen. But when it comes to these gens they don't come with those kinds of outlets (or at least mine doesn't) so does that mean they are built into the circuit breakers that are next to the outlets (push button reset) or some how built into the electrical system?
  17. illinois524

    illinois524 New Member

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    In saying that I meant that I can handle all of the physical wiring and install of parts but I'm trying to learn from people like you that do this for a living about NEC codes. Quite a few of my neighbors are looking to make hook ups but don't take the time to learn and read what is right and wrong with the way they will be hooking up their gens. So the more I can learn the more info I can pass on to others.
  18. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Really the Bottom line is that you should not feed a House with a Portable Generator.

    Everything should be run on an Extension cord.

    A REAL Generator made for that purpose will normally be installed properly by a Professional that knows. Where You live makes a BIG difference. Not all codes are the same.

    During a real Emergency, You can do whatever it takes.

    If You try to Understand the Codes you can just become lost in the BS and numbers.

    Be careful and get a Pro, Because learning NEC or UL Rules will make the average person do it wrong most of the time.


    It is not Rocket Science like all the codes make it out too be...
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  19. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    UL Standards are the guide line that manufacturers use when designing there product. A couple of examples would be UL Standard 1699 for arc fault devices, UL Standard 943 for ground fault circuit interrupters, UL Standard 2200 for generators and so on and so forth. UL Standard 943 states that a GFCI device must open between 4 and 6 milliamps. UL Standard 2200 states that generators that have devices mounted on the generator frame must have the Equipment Grounding Conductor as well as the neutral bonded to the frame.

    These standards are for the manufacturer of the product and are not intended for the general public although you could have one for a price. The UL White Book is the guide for installing the devices and appliances that are listed by UL. The UL White Book can be accessed through the internet.

    It is through the testing done by laboratories such as UL that keeps the items we buy safe and working like they are supposed to work. All of the National Recognized Testing Laboratories work hand in hand with the National Fire Protection Association and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to insure that the appliance and equipment we use daily are the safest they can be. This is an ongoing effort by all involved. It is not a rip off scheme to sell space to insert some type of label.
  20. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Separately Derived System. This means that the neutral and equipment grounding is bonded in or at the generator or transformer. When the neutral is not bonded at the generator or transformer then it is a Non-Separately Derived System

    It could be any of the above
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