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Thread: Using a generator in wet environment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Texas
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    Default Using a generator in wet environment

    I've got an old Briggs & Stratton generator. It has grounded plugs. What's the safe way to operate this in a wet environment?


    I will be using a wet core drill on a slab. So the entire work area has standing water.


    I can locate the generator on dry ground and and run a grounded plug to the tool which has a grounded plug.


    But....seems like I am missing a real ground for the whole enchilada.


    Is there is something I am missing? Should I ground the generator with a ground rod? Throw a chain over it? Am I worrying too much?


    Any advice appreciated.


    Thanks


    Tom

  2. #2
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    Sep 2007
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    Lexington, VA
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    Default Re: Using a generator in wet environment

    Yes, ground the generator with a ground rod.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2008
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    tacoma washington
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    947

    Default Re: Using a generator in wet environment

    Very first move is convert the receptacle over to a gfi type and locate the gen a respectable distance away from the work.(any extension cord MUST have a ground wire ) If you're lucky, you might even have a premade ground available- nice but not a deal breaker.. Water pipe, fence post , structural steel, ..as long as it's metal AND in contact with the actual ground
    Last edited by the_gr8t_waldo; 03-03-2017 at 10:48 AM.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2003
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    Central Coast, Ca
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    Default Re: Using a generator in wet environment

    Inline GFI cord...
    (We often have men doing retrofit water and sewer hookups in trenches with water and I always install one of these)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Cape Fear, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Using a generator in wet environment

    ( https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hur..._generator.pdf )
    OSHA Fact Sheet : Grounding Requirements for Portable Generators
    Portable generators are internal combustion engines used to generate electricity. They are useful when temporary or remote power is needed, and are commonly used during cleanup and recovery efforts following disasters.

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    Grounding Requirements for Portable and Vehicle-mounted Generators
    Under the following conditions, OSHA directs (29 CFR 1926.404(f)(3)(i)) that the
    frame of a portable generator need not be grounded (connected to earth) and that the frame may serve as the ground (in place of the earth):
    • The generator supplies only equipment mounted on the generator and/or cord- and plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the generator, § 1926.404(f)(3)(i)(A), and
    • The noncurrent-carrying metal parts of equipment (such as the fuel tank, the inter- nal combustion engine, and the generator’s housing) are bonded to the generator frame, and the equipment grounding con- ductor terminals (of the power receptacles that are a part of [mounted on] the genera- tor) are bonded to the generator frame,
    § 1926.404(f)(3)(i)(B).
    Thus, rather than connect to a grounding electrode system, such as a driven ground rod, the generator’s frame replaces the grounding electrode.
    If these conditions do not exist, then a grounding electrode, such as a ground rod, is required.
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    Of course this may all be changing very shortly according to the new Trump administrations view of the world/science. As always, somethings will get better and some things worse and we hope to learn from our experiences.
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
    E. Cayce

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Texas
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    Default Re: Using a generator in wet environment

    Thanks. I would not have guessed that grounding to the frame was acceptable. I will need to check. The motor and genny are contained in a cage but I believe they are isolated with rubber. Not sure if there is continuity. All other conditions met.

    Was planning to go out this weekend but the tool rental place screwed up. Reserved the machine a week ago. Planned the weekend around the work today. Called yesterday...are you sure you have a 1 inch core drill?...yes sir....ok....thanks.... Cleared the day. Up early. Packed up. Went to pick up at 730 today-nope....will 1 1/2 inch work? chit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    18,739

    Default Re: Using a generator in wet environment

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Thanks. I would not have guessed that grounding to the frame was acceptable. I will need to check. The motor and genny are contained in a cage but I believe they are isolated with rubber. Not sure if there is continuity. All other conditions met.

    Was planning to go out this weekend but the tool rental place screwed up. Reserved the machine a week ago. Planned the weekend around the work today. Called yesterday...are you sure you have a 1 inch core drill?...yes sir....ok....thanks.... Cleared the day. Up early. Packed up. Went to pick up at 730 today-nope....will 1 1/2 inch work? chit.
    I will be surprised if there is no grounded bond.

    Think of the horror at the Legal Department when they found out Engineering had skimped on 10¢ worth of wire and fasteners and opened up a world of OSHA hurt!
    Rattling the teacups.

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