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"Not for a few miliamps" #38716 05/31/04 06:41 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
PCBelarge Offline OP
I was asked by a municipality yesterday to go inspect a music concert for kids,in the town park. There was a small portable generator feeding 3 cords, one of them feeding a cotton candy and popcorn machines.
Two of the cords were damaged, and there was no GFCI protection to be seen. They did have protection for the cords where someone could walk on the cord.
As the kids are enjoying themselves, I told the person in charge that I could not put a sticker for the concert and that he would have to get new cords and some GFCI protection.
He said to me " I am not going to shut this concert down for a few miliamps". I said " you may not, but I am". They shut it down amid the kids booing me. They came back in 1/2 and hour with new cords and GFCI protection for the cords and equipment [Linked Image].

BTW - I had my camera and used it to take before and after pics, I think that convinced them more than my statement to go get the proper equipment.


Pierre Belarge
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: "Not for a few miliamps" #38717 05/31/04 07:08 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,283
electure Offline
Pictures?? Did someone say pictures? [Linked Image]
Pierre, if you'll e-mail the pictures to me or Bill, we'd be glad to post them in the "Photos" area...S

Re: "Not for a few miliamps" #38718 05/31/04 01:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
Attic Rat Offline
... Here's a question I've had for a while,regarding portable "gennies" and GFCI protection...being that there is no real ground,..or "earth" reference, on the genny's load side,..will a GFCI receptacle still work properly..?? If so,how does it work if there is no ground..?? Through the neutral,..I suppose???.... I'm confused..

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
Re: "Not for a few miliamps" #38719 05/31/04 01:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
resqcapt19 Offline
It still works the same as normal. If the current on the hot and grounded conductor is out of balance by more than 5mA the GFCI opens the circuit. The GFCI doesn't care where this current is going, just that its not going where it should be.

Re: "Not for a few miliamps" #38720 05/31/04 01:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
Attic Rat Offline
... Thanx,Don, I guess I was partially GFCI) monitors the current between hot and neutral...I understand now,'s like where you have a knob and tube circuit,and insert a GFCI for protection...Makes perfect sense.. Thanx again..

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
Re: "Not for a few miliamps" #38721 05/31/04 01:56 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 717
George Corron Offline
Attic Rat,
Don't forget the grounding conductor plays no role in the operation of the GFCI, just as Don said. Also remember that the frame of the gennie is only allowed as ground if ALL equipment is fed from gennie mounted equipment.

The military, by the way, still requires a ground rod driven and attached to the gennie regardless...... kinda pointless in the desert.

Re: "Not for a few miliamps" #38722 06/01/04 04:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,486
Texas_Ranger Offline
Same with 3ph systems that work w/o neutral. Some European countries still have a 220V delta system (i.e. phase-to-phase voltage 220V, no neutral supplied) and still you can have a GFI across the 2 hots, and if any juice escapes to ground or anywhere else it'll trip.

Re: "Not for a few miliamps" #38723 06/01/04 05:04 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline

IMO 250.34(A) and (B) allow any amount of equipment to be cord and plug connected to a generator without the use of a ground rod.

Part of 250.34
250.34 Portable and Vehicle-Mounted Generators.
(A) Portable Generators. The frame of a portable generator shall not be required to be grounded and shall be permitted to serve as the grounding electrode 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,.....

I think it is important to notice "cord-and-plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the generator"

They use the term "equipment" not the term "utilization equipment".

IMO this means you could feed a portable distribution panel to smaller panels and finally branch circuits if it was all cord and plug connected.

What exactly is a ground rod going to do? [Linked Image]


[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 06-01-2004).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: "Not for a few miliamps" #38724 06/01/04 09:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
PCBelarge Offline OP
The ground rod will anchor the generator so it does not move while in operation [Linked Image]


Pierre Belarge
Re: "Not for a few miliamps" #38725 06/02/04 01:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,434
Lostazhell Offline
Pierre has it! It keeps it from being stolen as well [Linked Image]

BTW Good call on the concert [Linked Image] Especially with kids around, you can never be too careful!


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