I wonder if they include that in the owner's manual. I got mine used too so I wouldn't know. Mine is just a small portable job but still good to know, thanks. I don't think I'll ever feed it back into the panel anyway. But I don't think it would have dawned on me to think twice about backfeeding it, so you saved me if I ever do decide to do so, thanks.<quoted text>
Well, I kept putting of the test because of the noise and my neighbors and other interferences caused by life schedules, etc.
For one, I kept re-reading articles about turning your generator into one with a "Floating Neutral" for home Supply use. I feared the safety factor of doing it or not doing it.
A free standing generator is an entire power source "system" and, therefore, the Ground and the Neutral are linked together just like you do inside of a home's Service Panel.
But when you intend to power your home with that same generator, it become an "attendant" system. This means that Neutral and Ground are tied together in your Service Panel *AND* inside of the generator. This is a no-no. For safety's sake, there should never be multiple Grounds inside of a power system.
Circuit Breakers trip to protect against overloads but also because of shorts to Ground. Imagine a scenario where there are multiple paths to Ground running through different CB's. No CB would receive enough current to trip it because that Ground Path has been divided into smaller pieces.
There are many other scenarios where multiple Ground Paths can become dangerous and also damage equipment.
Long story short, it is almost a must that people disconnect Ground & Neutral inside the generator so that, when plugged into a home's electrical grid, it doesn't present another Ground to the system. That way, when you plug your generator's 4-wire 220V cord into the Home's system, you are connecting Neutral-to-Neutral and Ground-to-Ground. Might sound confusing but it's not if you draw out the system diagram.
Anyways....I wanted to make damned sure I knew what I was doing before I did anything like blow up the Service Panel, electrocute myself or burn out my Microwave. I'm cautious that way because, aside from financial losses, I also want to stay alive:>
If I ever want to use that generator as a free-standing power supply, say, at a picnic or barbecue in the forest, it is a safety must that I re-combine the Neutral and Ground inside the generator. I'm going to print out a NOTICE: This Generator Has Ground and Neutral Unbonded. Re-Bond For Free-Standing Isolated Use.
I'm sure you're right about that. We can probably think about a generator and a subpanel (not a main panel) the same way. What I mean is, in a subpanel it is necessary to avoid connecting ground and neutral just like you were saying you have to separate them in the generator. So yea, good move. As far as I know it's ok to have a separate earth ground for the subpanel as long as the bars are not connected inside the box.
The only snag I have is that the feed for the subpanel comes right off the main circuit breaker of the main panel (the incoming feed from the street and the outgoing to the barn subpanel are both stuffed into the main breaker) and that might be against code first of all, so I may have to redo that before I sell this place.
So when you disconnect your ground and neutral inside the generator, that must mean you run a separate ground to connect the generator ground to the ground lug of the panel?