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  #1  
Old 01-19-2012
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Default Honda 2000i ground

I installed a Progressive Industries surge protector this summer before leaving on an extended trip. I never tested it with my Honda 2000i backup generator, however.

Today I fired up the Honda, connected it to my 30 amp shore line (which is wired with a 50 amp RV end so it feeds both sides of the panel) and waited for the Progressive to time out and connect. Then I noticed an error code indicating there was an open ground. I did some ohm meter checking and found the Honda does not tie the neutral to ground. I looked it up on-line and found in the manual where it states this. The Progressive will not connect the power if the ground is open. Also, I tried the manual override and the contactor started to oscillate on and off very quickly, not a good thing. I suspect it is related to the open ground problem and will work properly once I address the grounding situation.

So now I know I need to make a special adapter for the Honda that ties the neutral to ground when used with the coach. Electrical code requires the ground and neutral to be connected at only one point, which is generally the power source (generator). But if you were connecting it to your house, the ground and neutral are connected in your main panel (the power source), so it would be improper for the generator to make that connection as well.


Without the Progressive Industries unit I would not have known the connection was not made. It would likely not be an issue unless I took the extra step to ground the generator to the earth via the provided screw connector. Then I would have a hot chassis situation.

As Rosanne Rosanadanna says, "It's always something"
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Old 01-19-2012
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Rosanne Rosanadanna,thats a name i have not heard in a long time!
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Old 01-20-2012
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I'm guessing you won't have a hot chassis because the generator's enclosure is nonconductive. Seems meaningless to have 3-prong outlets on the generator unless they are grounded. Am curious how your neutral bonded adapter plug works out - hope you let us know.
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Old 01-20-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenBird View Post
I'm guessing you won't have a hot chassis because the generator's enclosure is nonconductive. Seems meaningless to have 3-prong outlets on the generator unless they are grounded. Am curious how your neutral bonded adapter plug works out - hope you let us know.
I have been thinking about it and realized there is a very simple way to acomplish the ground-neutral connection without any trouble. The Honda has a duplex outlet. I can wire a 20 amp plug with the neutral and ground connected and plug it into one of the outlets. That will tie the neutral and ground together within the Honda. Then I will plug my standard 20 amp to 30 amp adapter into the second outlet.

When using the Honda with the RV I employ my 20 to 30 amp adapter and my 30 to 50 amp shore line. It should work using the special plug in the other side of the duplex outlet and I will not have to worry that I might forget and use a modified adapter elseware.
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Old 01-20-2012
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Default Honda 2000i ground

Gardner:
See you are a genius right LOL. Keep thinking and you never know what you will come up with.
I will have to keep this in mind as I was thinking of buying a small genset as well.
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Old 01-20-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
Rosanne Rosanadanna,thats a name i have not heard in a long time!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7gLJr03vNQ
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Old 01-21-2012
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We have a Coleman Powermate 1500/1800 watt portable "camping" generator that was purchased in 2001. There is a "neutral floating" label on top of the generator. Must be common to most portables. Gardner, thanks for bring up the potential problems (and solutions).

By managing the circuit breakers we are able to operate all the 120VAC systems with the exception of the roof air & electric heaters. It will operate the water heater as long as the WH is the only load.

Bill B.
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Old 01-22-2012
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I have a portable gennie and sure enough neutral is not bonded to chassis ground. I'm thinking this is because they anticipate you might connect it to a building where the neutral/ground bond already exists. I agree that if this is your only power source and neutral is not bonded elsewhere it should be done at the gennie as Gardner suggested.

The Bird has neutral bonded at the gennie not the breaker box. When you switch to shore power neutral is not bonded in the coach - it should be at the supply as required by code. When you powered with an unbonded gennie you were truly unbonded. Your surge suppressor did you a favor by not allowing it - in fact it couldn't work like that. Seems to me you need to ground the gennie to make the suppressor functional. Code doesn't require earth ground on portable generators but in the case of a surge suppressor it needs a drain for overvoltage.
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Old 01-24-2012
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I made up a plug connecting ground to neutral and tried it out on the Honda. IT WORKED AS DESIGNED. The Progressive surge protector/ power management unit showed no errors and engaged the power to the coach.

So all I need to do when using the Honda 2000i as a power source for the coach is plug the ground-neutral shorted plug in one side of the generator duplex outlet and the 20 to 30 amp adapter into the other and I am good to go.

Pics show the plug, how it is wired and installed in the generator.
Note-the copper colored connection in the plug is the HOT and has no connection. The ground and silver colored terminal, which is the neutral, are shorted using 14 guage solid wire.
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