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  1. #1
    TXJuneCleaver
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    Running off a Generator

    I tried to run electricity to my 2016 Reflection TT from my Yamaha EF30000iSE generator, but couldn't get any juice to my unit.

    My set up was as follows- Generator to 110/30amp adapter to 30/50 amp adapter to Progressive Industries EMS to the power cord to my trailer.

    When the EMS went through it's system checks it gave me an error code saying my electricity wasn't grounded- and it prevented electricity from going to my trailer.

    I read through the Yamaha manual and it said I needed to "Be sure to ground (earth) the generator. NOTE: Use ground (earth) lead of sufficient current capacity. Ground (earth) Lead
    Diameter: 0.12 mm (0.005 in)/ampere. EX; 10 Ampere → 1.2 mm (0.05 in) "

    I looked up the diagram for the control panel on the generator and found the ground terminal.

    My question is- what do I do now?

    I assume I need to calculate the diameter of the lead wire I need to buy, but I am uncertain of the exact details. For example, how long does the ground wire need to be? And does anyone have any experience using a generator in a parking lot (for tailgating) and how did the sink the ground wire in to the earth. Do you have to pound a hole through the pavement?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    June

  2. #2
    Long Hauler Paul & Deb's Avatar
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    Well I'm certain you are going to get a handful of experts to respond to your question. We have a bunch of electrical specialists here. My layman's answer is that I never used a separate EMS when I ran my Honda inverter generators and it worked fine. I only use my EMS when I'm connected to shore power at a campground. I've never known anyone who used one with the inverter style generators personally.

    Now I'm certain that's probably the incorrect answer but it's mine

    Edit: oh, and I never grounded my Honda generators ... now I'm really going to catch heck
    Paul "Poppy" and Deb Cervone
    2022 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    2021 Imagine XLS 17MKE - SOLD ; 2015 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS - SOLD
    2016 GMC Denali 3500HD SRW Duramax/Allison CC 4x4; Tire Minder TPMS

  3. #3
    Seasoned Camper JustinThyme's Avatar
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    Shame on you Poppy! LOL

    The EMS is giving you that code because its not detecting the the neutral is bonded to earth so it triggers a ground fault condition.

    You don't need much for a 50 amp service and even less for a smaller generator. A 3/8" 4 ft ground rd with #10 solid copper wire will more than suffice, and as where to drive it, as close as possible to your generator. Getting the rod in the ground is the easy part, getting it back out is where the challenge comes in. I would be looking for soft soil. One way I have seen it done is a 3/8 piece of black iron pipe with a hose connector on one end. Cut one end to a point then hook a hose up to the other and turn on the water while pushing it into the ground, also aides in pulling it back out. All you need other than that is a $2 ground rod clamp that you can get at any home improvement store. Length of the ground wire itself is all about what works. I would want to get enough to where I could move around a bit from the generator just so you can get a better spot to sink the rod if close to the generator doenst work out due to rocks etc. I would think 20 ft would be plenty.
    2015 Reflection 323 BHS #589
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    JustinThyme (Just In Time) is a forum handle

  4. #4
    Site Sponsor Cate&Rob's Avatar
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    Hey JustinThyme Rob,

    If the neutral (white) and ground (green) are bonded together at the source of the electricity (the generator) . . . what path is added by driving a ground rod at the generator ? Unless, you also drove a ground rod at the trailer ??

    Rob
    Cate & Rob
    2015 Reflection 303RLS

  5. #5
    TXJuneCleaver
    Guest
    Thanks, Poppy and JiT. That helps a lot.

    I also spoke with Dave at Progressive Industries Tech Support and he told me he was going to send me a diagram of something I could make to trick my EMS in to thinking the system was grounded. He said "our President says it's safe."

    Interesting. I think I will ask a few of the EE's at work what they have to say about the whole thing.

    At any rate- I thank you both for your input.

    June

  6. #6
    Seasoned Camper JustinThyme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cate&Rob View Post
    Hey JustinThyme Rob,

    If the neutral (white) and ground (green) are bonded together at the source of the electricity (the generator) . . . what path is added by driving a ground rod at the generator ? Unless, you also drove a ground rod at the trailer ??

    Rob
    Even though the neutral is bonded to the ground at the generator its not ground until its going to earth or you have a floating neutral and ground. Like we discussed in another thread each separately derived power source has to have it neutral bonded to earth and for the same reason you cant use the same neutral for multiple sources you cant use multiple grounds for the same source as you create a ground loop and introduce noise and harmonic distortion into the distribution. The other point is a saftey concern when you have the neutral bonded to ground and the ground is really only the chassis. That puts the chassis of the generator at the same potential as neutral which is a current carrying conductor and if you are grounded better than the generator is with no earth ground guess what happens? You can cancel the appoint for the perm.

    One of the worse case real scenarios I have seen for this was when the fire dept, and utility company was at a residence. They had already cut the power to the house but the water heater and the dishwasher would hum very loudly intermittently. Now how in the world does that happen when the electrical line feeding the house has been physically cut? FD and utility company couldn't figure it out either so I get a call.

    Are you ready for this?

    The house next door had a ground fault present in the large window AC and that residence was not properly grounded, they just had a wire going to the city water pipe which in some locales is considered acceptable. The current was making its way through a buried water pipe and into the appliances connected to the water source next door then getting dissipated to ground at that residence as it was properly grounded. It was intermittent as the AC compressor cycled on and off. They all looked at me like I was crazy when I told them to cut the power to the house next door. When they did you could hear the fireman inside over the radio...."silence is golden"
    2015 Reflection 323 BHS #589
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    Rob, Maureen, Dakota, Jacob and Murphy the Lab
    JustinThyme (Just In Time) is a forum handle

  7. #7
    kozzy124
    Guest
    I had that progressive industries ems in my old camper, and when I used my Honda 2000 inverter generated I had the same problem. The fix, was to bypass the ems while using the generator. If you got the remote display with the progressive ems there is a bypass switch right on it. I spoke to both Honda and progressive and they said the same thing, to bypass the ems while on generator. I never had any issues doing so, and I was pretty comfortable with doing so, since the inverter generators provide such clean power.

  8. #8
    notnsuv
    Guest
    How elaborate should the EMS be? I mostly dry camp, will have solar so rarely , if ever run the Honda 2000 and plug in only a few days in a 2 week trip. Are the plug 'n play EMS units worthwhile? I like just plugging in and no 'installation' time. Accessories required? Thanks for the patience with new guy questions. I'm not new to the RV gig but haven't been on a forum before to see all the bells and whistles you folks use.. cool stuff.

    I'll pay my $12 as soon as I find out how/where. Been searching the site..

    Thanks.

    Gary/Erin & Kitty the Dog

  9. #9
    Seasoned Camper JustinThyme's Avatar
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    A decent plug in will offer protection pretty much the same as a permanently mounted one. Not that much of an issue to plug it into the post ahead of your shore power cord and keeps the components that dissipate the energy outside and not right smack in the middle of your coach on the inside. I like the conveniences offered by the permanently installed units but don't like their enclosures. I'm toying with the idea of tapping into the shore power connection on the RV at the rear of the RV and wxternaly mounting a good heavy NEMA 7 explosion proof enclosure. Down side is these enclosures cost more than the device. Upside is when properly installed they will contain the arc flash generated when the sacrificial devices let the magic smoke out. I'm going to poke my head around in the back the next time I'm down at the camp resort. To see if there is a suitable place for mounting. It would be preferential to incorporate the actual RV receptacle into the enclosure.
    2015 Reflection 323 BHS #589
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    Rob, Maureen, Dakota, Jacob and Murphy the Lab
    JustinThyme (Just In Time) is a forum handle

  10. #10
    Site Sponsor
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    You might want to read this. It cured my issues.http://www.noshockzone.org/generator...utral-bonding/

    PS I didn't install a ground rod either, EMS works fine while running generators. Good Luck!!!!
    Becky, BoBo and Mike
    2015 Solitude 369RL
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