Why is proper grounding essential when it comes to using portable generators in various industries?

Portable generators are an efficient source of power for situations such as electric blackouts or interrupted power supply. Installation and safe usage of portable generators require grounding the equipment. It is essential to ensure safety for the users and surrounding workers in any industry. Join us as we dive into the essential grounding prerequisites, ensuring your knowledge remains as robust as your portable generator's performance

What is Grounding? What Are Its Ill-Effects?

Grounding is a method to curb the faulty electrical energy away from the equipment. It is done by connecting the neutral electric conduction terminals with the ground. The connection is made via a low-resistance metal wire, generally copper, that easily allows the flow of electricity. 

If your portable generator lacks proper grounding, here is the possible damage that can happen: 

  • Electrocution and shock if anyone touches the ungrounded metallic part 
  • Electrical overload leading to damaged wiring 
  • Loss of functionality of sensitive components of the generator 
  • Overheating resulting in fire 
  • Explosion due to contact between stray electricity and fuel or fuel tank 

Grounding Requirements As Per OSHA Guidelines 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided guidelines on exactly when portable generators require grounding. 

Condition When Grounding Isn’t Required 

The grounding is not required under the following conditions: 

  • The power supply from the generator is aimed at equipment placed on the generator. 
  • The power supply is directed to equipment connected to the generator through receptacles via cord and plug. 
  • The metal parts of the generator that do not carry current and the equipment grounding conductor terminals are bonded to the generator frame. The former accessory parts include internal combustion engines, fuel tanks, and generator housing. 

In these conditions, OSHA restricts the usage of the grounding electrode system. Rather, they state that the frame of the generator itself serves as the grounding electrode. 

Condition When Grounding is Required 

The following conditions required the placement of the grounding electrode with the portable generator: 

  • If the generator does not exist in the conditions mentioned above
  • If the supply is transferred through the transfer switch to a civil structure such as an office, trailer,, shop, or others 

Equipment Necessary for Grounding the Portable Generator

The grounding procedure requires the following investments: 

  • Copper wire 
  • Grounding rod 
  • Pliers 
  • Wire stripper 
  • Wrench
  • Hammer 
  • Protective fittings or clamps 

Important Things to Follow During Grounding 

Grounding of a generator

OSHA directs that grounding should be done with a grounding electrode such as a ground rod. The transfer switch to be used for transferring the power should be approved for use. Further, the installation must be performed by a qualified and professional electrician with strict adherence to the steps and rules indicated by the manufacturer. Detailed instructions and important points are available in Article 250 of the National Electrical Code (NEC). 

After the completion of the grounding by the qualified professional, OSHA recommends following the verification and testing process. It will involve insights into the integrity of the equipment and associated connections. Further, the ohmic resistance should be around zero to ensure a restrictionless flow of current. Also, the resistance value must not fluctuate. If it does, it is an indication of a loose connection, and efforts must be made immediately to correct it. 

Safety Precautions for Portable Generators 

Being a source of power, handling the portable generators should be performed with caution. Here are OSHA guidelines to follow for added safety and security of the workers: 

  • Avoid usage of damaged electrical tools and appliances or the ones with cracked housing, missing ground prongs, and frayed cords 
  • Avoid usage of underrated cords 
  • Use the heavier gauge wires, heavy-duty extension cords comprising grounding conductors, and battery-operated tools. 
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters
  • Use double-insulated tools 
  • Use only the authorized tools 
  • Do not directly connect the portable generator to the civil structure 
  • Ensure the presence of an open-transition transfer switch fitted by the professional electrician 
  • Ensure the presence of accurate grounding and bonding mechanisms 
  • Perform visual inspection regularly and remove defective equipment (if present) 

Fulfill Your Need for a Portable Generator With Us!

Do you want a portable generator but are unsure of fulfilling the OHSA guidelines during installation and grounding? Worry not. The solution lies at Power Generation Enterprises. Bringing you a collection of portable generators from the top and reputed brands in both new and used conditions. Find the perfect fit based on your requirements and order it now. We offer free shipping to our customers, and we are also open to accepting your previous generator. For any queries or issues, feel free to connect whenever you want. We are available at 1.818.484.8550 or [email protected]

Common Questions About Portable Generators 

Q1. What is the difference between a standby and a portable generator? 

The use of portable generators are effective, immediate, and temporary solutions to meet urgent requirements. Standby generators are a solution for longer needs and to power more appliances, while portable generators are for emergency or mobile needs. 

Q2. Why choose Power Generation Enterprises for portable generators? 

Offering you a wide range of variety, providing products on demand, free shipping, empathetic customer service, housing experts in the industry, and being a leading company, we have all the characteristics of the ideal dealer. We serve all types of sectors, and we buy pre-owned equipment as well. 

Q3. What types of generators are available at Power Generation Enterprises? 

At Power Generation Enterprises, we have new, used, diesel, natural gas, portable, standby, Caterpillar and Cummins generators. You will also find generators and other products from other reputed brands here. 

Q5. Are used generators a reliable investment? 

Yes, used generators are a reliable investment. Fitting into the budget and fulfilling the needs, they require proper selection for effective, longer life. If you need help with the topic, click here to find our well-curated article.