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#53232 06/18/05 02:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 257
M
Member
Someone asked me why in-use covers are not required on portable generators (3500W, 5000W, 10000W, etc.) I couldn't answer them.

Any ideas or does anyone know for sure?

#53233 06/18/05 02:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
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Moderator
The construction of a portable generator is not covered by the NEC.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
#53234 06/18/05 03:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 257
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Member
I don't have the Code book in front of me but I thought that there was a code section stating that GFCI protection was not required for generators or inverters under a certain wattage but was for larger ones.

And, if the NEC does not cover the construction of portable generators what does, U.L.? And, if so, doesn't U.L. inspect products to meet NEC standards?

Please elaborate.

#53235 06/18/05 03:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
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Moderator
I can not elaborate to much here as I do not have all the answers.

I do not recall any NEC section either requiring or exempting GFCI protection on generators.

Many generators do have GFCI protection which is handy as the NEC does require GFCI for personal using temporary receptacles. But that requirement does not specify how that has to be accomplished.

As far as the NEC I do not see that the construction of a generator is any different than the construction of any appliance most are not covered by the NEC, there are some oddity's like window ACs and now vending machines.

As for UL I do not know, not everything has to be UL listed, electric motors are not UL listed.

Hopefully others can jump in here, I will take a look at my UL book and see if I can find any info.

We have a member here who is an Inspector in NY that wants in use covers on generators, maybe he will jump in here and tell us what he has found.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
#53236 06/19/05 02:19 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 909
N
Member
Can anyone tell me why there are no WP covers period, on most smaller portable generators or welder/generators?

#53237 06/19/05 01:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
Let's try to look at this the way a testing lab might....
We first need to make certain assumptions as to who may be using the thing, and the conditions under which it might likely be used.

Something intended for household use, all the time, by the uneducated, and where children are present will be treated differently than something that will obviously be used only in certain conditions by trained personnel.

Then we look at how standards are developed. There is no all-wise "Czar" who decrees what the standard will be. There is usually some sort of "consensus" approach, with input from other standards, groups, the industry, the manufacturers, and sometimes even consumers.

As far as UL is concerned, the NEC is but one of the codes that they consider- and the application of the NEC to portable or emergency equipment is minimal at best.

I can see assumptions being made that a portable generator, or welder, is likely to be used by folks with some sense, for brief periods. We also have no way of knowing the environment in which it will be used. Sure, it COULD be used outdoors in the rain- just as it COULD be used to power a fire pump- so should we also require it to meet fire pump standards?
Bubble covers are not required in industrial locations that are subject to frequent wash-downs....as there is both the risk of damage to the equipment, and the assumption of some sense on the part of the user. I think the same logic applies here as well.

#53238 06/19/05 03:32 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
R
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Quote
Bubble covers are not required in industrial locations that are subject to frequent wash-downs....as there is both the risk of damage to the equipment, and the assumption of some sense on the part of the user. I think the same logic applies here as well.
Take a look at 406.8(B)(1) in the 2005 code. All 15 and 20 amp 125 and 250 volt receptacles installed in wet locations require "in-use" covers.
Don


Don(resqcapt19)
#53239 06/19/05 05:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
Sure, Don...but 406(B)(2)(b) contradicts that. You might say that this applies only to other than 15/20 amp, 125/250 volt receptacles, but this section also gives portable tools as an example- and I haven't seen very many portable tools that can't be used in a standard 15A/125V receptacle.


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