Is modifying a generator neutral connection a code violation if the manufacturer doesn't recommend it?

Tainted

Senior Member
Location
New York
Occupation
Engineer
Lets say you have a generator and you need the generator to have a floating neutral. unfortunately the generator came with the neutral being bonded to the frame thus making it intended to be used as a separately derived system. No problem, you can just open up the generator and unbond the neutral from the frame, easy as that... BUT what if the manufacturer tells you you shouldn't do it? Would it be a code violation if you modify the generator?

NEC tells you to always follow manufacturer, so I honestly don't know if I just answered my own question here. People modify the neutral at the generator all the time so I want to know what people's take is on this.
 

AC\DC

Senior Member
Location
Florence,Oregon,Lane
Occupation
EC
I don’t know how big of a job it is, I tell homeowner to get a generator that has that option, if they don’t have one I might tell them if it was mine I would do it this way.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Is it ever permissible for a bonded generator to feed a house with a 3-wire (no EGC, like the POCO) feeder?
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
It might void the warranty but does it also void the listing? Since this is a very common way of using a portable generator (powering a home) the manufacturer should allow it. On my Generac it took less than 10 minutes to unbond the neutral.
 

Tainted

Senior Member
Location
New York
Occupation
Engineer
It might void the warranty but does it also void the listing? Since this is a very common way of using a portable generator (powering a home) the manufacturer should allow it. On my Generac it took less than 10 minutes to unbond the neutral.
Yes, that is the question. Is it code compliant if you modify the neutral of the generator if the manufacturer says not to do it?
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
If the generator is listed, and you modify it affecting the listing, then I suppose it violates it?
But what specific article in the NEC states that the portable generator cannot be rewired? Can I build my own generator and plug it into the inlet or is something in the NEC prohibiting me from doing so?
 
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