How to Ground a Portable Generator
Everyone knows just how bad it can be if you lose your power for one reason or another, and a portable generator can really save the day when those issues emerge. There are important things, however, that you need to remember before using one of these for your home. All of the tips below will help keep your generator grounded.
Avoid Electrical Hazards
It is vital that you handle your generator with care in order to avoid electric shock or even electrocution. The first thing you need to know about grounding the generator is to check and make sure that the generator is dry, Do not use it in wet conditions. Make sure to dry your hands when setting up a generator. Make sure that you set the generator up on a dry surface and try to shelter it from any kind of moisture.
It is important to plug your appliance directly into the generator. If there is an extension cord it will need to be a heavy-duty type that is specially used for outdoors. It should be one that you know can handle the load of electric appliances. Never plug the generator into a wall outlet. It makes no sense to do so if you are needing it to power items in the house due to a power outage.
Monitor the Storage of the Generator's Fuel
Store the fuel that you use to run the generator away from the generator in a safe place. Make sure there are no spills unattended. Clean up any of it or the fumes may actually activate an unstable atmosphere when combined with the power used to operate the appliances that you need going. Do not add fuel to the generator while it is still running.
Watch out for Carbon Monoxide
You need to be aware that the most common accident or death caused by a generator comes from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Generators generate a lot of Carbon Monoxide and are easily missed because you can’t smell it, so it is wise that you never run the generator in enclosed places. Never allow yourself to be around it for too long of a period of time. You must get a flow of fresh air when trying to work with a generator. A very important thing to do would be to install an alarm that runs on batteries that is able to alert you.
Other Things to be Aware of when Grounding Generator
No transfer switch is needed if the generator is only controlling a couple of things that are plugged in directly to the generator. When grounding, always remember to use copper wire and a grounding rod that is at least 8 feet long that you will then stick the rod into the ground for your final grounding for ultimate safety.
A transfer switch can also be used that would allow you to shift the power load from the utilities' grid to the generator. This allows for selected circuits only that are wired through the transfer switch to operate while connected to the transfer switch and is designed to prevent the power from the generator to get access to the grid causing a hazard for the utilities' workers.