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Thread: Honda generators and neutral bonding

  1. #1
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    Honda generators and neutral bonding

    A thread the other day rang a bell about some of the portable generators used for backup power to homes. They're typically wheeled or man-carried types removed from a storage space and plugged into an inlet on the outside of the home to provide power during outages. Some of these generators, Honda and Arctic Cat in particular, are neutral bonded to the frame at the generator. Since these generators GFCI protect every receptacle, and your service at the home is also neutral bonded, the GFCI will immediately trip. For that reason, Honda and the other similar generator manufacturers ask you to remove the neutral-to-frame bonding strap at the generator. They also ask you to affix a sticker indicating that this procedure was done. How's this square with the NEC? I seem to think it's fine, as long as the neutral is not switched by the transfer equipment.

    Find attached images of the Honda sticker to be affixed when the neutral to frame bond is removed, and an attached PDF of Honda Service Bulletin #20, which outlines the simple procedure to remove the bonding jumper. This bulletin is sorta hard to come by, and might be something to print out and keep on your truck if you do service.



    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Marc S. thanks for the head up with the info with Honda generators

    Merci,Marc
    Marc
    master electrician
    Wisconsin and Paris France

    "Pas de problème, il marche n'est-ce pas?" (No problem, it works doesn't it?)

  3. #3
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    Marc,

    You seem to be asking if it is OK to remove the neutral/ground bond at the generator for a non-SDS. I would have thought it was required to remove this bond, or else, there would be a parallel path for the neutral current over the EGC and generator frame. I can't find a specific code that requires this, but it just seems to make sense.

    What do you think?

    Thanks,

    Mark

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by busman
    Marc,

    You seem to be asking if it is OK to remove the neutral/ground bond at the generator for a non-SDS.
    Wasn't really asking anything in particular. Just passing the info along.

  5. #5
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    I wonder if everyone could be made happy by installing a switch for making and breaking this bond depending on the need. Switch closed for job-site use, switch open for home use.
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

  6. #6
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    Larry,

    I was trying to find the code that would require disconnecting the bond for home use. It doesn't seem to be in the 250.34 section. It seems like it should be the same as the rule in 250.24 for services. Do you know where this is required?

    Thanks,

    Mark

  7. #7
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    I am with Larry because if you remove the bonded neutral it becomes a violation for the rest of the usages and more often then not the generator is not just a single usage item..So if you remove the bonding jumper then who is responsible when it is used camping and the bonding jumper is suppose to be in place..Just asking and curious if another method could be utilized..must research it..
    Life is temporary, heaven is forever. live life like it is your only chance to make a difference..

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  8. #8
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    Marc,

    I recently ran across a Honda portable that had a sticker that caught my eye, it said "FLOATING NEUTRAL"
    Bob Sydnor

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by R Bob
    Marc,

    I recently ran across a Honda portable that had a sticker that caught my eye, it said "FLOATING NEUTRAL"
    Yeah, I saw a generic generator at a store over the weekend that had a Honda motor, but was not a "Honda" generator. It also featured the "floating neutral" sticker. Might be a UL requirement now to affix such labels, maybe?

  10. #10
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    MD Thanks for the info. I'll send those pictures along to Mike Holt, he has some great graphics on generators
    Are portable generators UL listed?
    How does this square with the NEC? The 2008 NEC will require portable generators to have GFCI protection. Much discussed at the IAEI code change meeting, with the comment that transfering the neutral will solve this problem for generators!
    Moderator-Washington State
    Ancora Imparo

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