You should ground a generator while camping. Portable generators are very handy and helpful pieces of equipment. They can be used for different tasks and in different places.
These impressive pieces of machines can be used as backup power supply alternatives when your power outage or in case of electricity supply is cut off. In some cases, you would have to properly ground your generators.
Grounding your generator when you are on a camping trip will add one extra layer of safety.
Without proper grounding, you risk short circuiting and breaking down of your generator which would leave you without any power when you need it the most. To ground a generator safely and securely, I have made a helpful guide for you with some handy tips to understand the grounding process.
Without any further ado, let’s find out the best way of grounding your generator:
How To Ground A Generator When You Are Camping
Most of the portable generators, the frame acts as the ground. Which means you don’t have to do extra efforts like using metal rods and hammering them around your generator for grounding purposes.
Tip: You can use an 8-ft rod as the extra caution / safety code.
As I stated above, grounding your generator with extra safety will be better. This will reduce the electrical failure and the risk of electrocution for the generator.
The composition of the generator works like an electrical circuit. When you put the rod make sure you install it correctly as this rod works as a reference ground for the generator.
Tip: Using copper wire (connecting to generator’s composition) with the rod you have grounded for extra safety purposes.
If you want to ground the generator properly, make sure you have the correct utilities to do it safely. Which includes:
- Copper Rod ~ This helps you to ground your portable generator, copper rod should be at least 4-feet long. A long copper rod helps in more sturdy grounding. This should be hammered into the ground if you are camping in tough territory.
- Copper Wire ~ This will help you build the conductive electrical table by stripping the copper wire and connecting it to the copper rod that you have grounded.
- Copper Grounding Wire ~ This helps and connects the grounding pin from your generator to the copper rod that you have grounded. The size of this wire depends on the distance between your generator and the copper ground rod.
- Pairs of Pliers ~ Pliers can be used for the twisting of the cable and to make good connection in-between wire and the rod.
- Wire Strippers ~ Many of the generators have insulated grounding wire, you have to check whether your generator has it or not, if you do so you might need strippers to strip off the insulation of any of the end of copper wire.
- Wrench ~ Once you are done with the stripping of the wire you now need to connect it with the generator, for that purpose you will need the wrench to loosen and then tighten the nut or more.
If you are using the separate grounding, just make sure the ground and the linked circuits have low resistance. My advice to you is always use the resistance of 0.2-ohms or even less with the metal rod and the grounding wire. Also, make sure if a short circuit occurs your link connection is able to conduct electricity.
Steps of grounding your generator
Follow these steps in order to ground your generator.
Step no. 1 – Find Dry Ground
For grounding your generator, you need to make sure the ground is completely dry, don’t try to ground your generator in wet ground or condition.
Make sure your hands are dry, and find a dry place on the ground.
Step no. 2 – Install At Least 4 Feet Into The Ground
Install the copper rod in the ground using a hammer at least 4 feet in the ground, 8 feet is ideal. If you install the rod with more pressure, it would ground better.
Step no. 3 – Prepare Your Ground Wire
Make sure the copper wire is laid well away from the campsite. Use the stripper to peel both ends of the copper wire. Ensure you must leave most of the wire bare.
Step no. 4 – Connect the Copper Wire
When the copper wire is all set-up at least 4 feet in the ground, by using the pliers you need to wrap the wire tight enough around the rod.
Step no. 5 – Connect to Generator
Now you have to connect the other side of the wire to your generator in order to ground it completely.
Use your wrench to slightly loosen the grounding bolt, use the key and wrap the wire around the generator. Re-tight the bolt after the process is finished.
At last, your generator is now grounded and is safe to use on your camping site/trip!
Do I need To Ground My Generator?
Most of the generator manufacturers bond all the components to the Frame which acts like ground wire. So, you don’t always necessarily need to ground your generator.
You can use this grounding process when you plug the electrical appliances directly to the generator, or while plugging into a wired circuit to avoid hazards.
Grounding helps and directs an unwanted voltage from damaging your electric appliances and your generator. If your generator is not properly grounded, a surge of electricity can travel through your electrical connections and will be harmful or can damage your appliances/generator.
This doesn’t mean you have to go through the whole of this process each and every time you go out on camping. Some scenarios require more than the generator’s frame in order to avoid dangerous surges (electrical) away from your campsite.
A well-grounded generator will protect your family and you and your personal appliances and possessions from getting damaged.
If you set up a generator grounding properly, you don’t have to worry. Be relaxed; you can now enjoy your camping trip.