Hi folks. Wondering if someone here can help me understand something. I'll be honest - I haven't searched the forum yet, mainly because I'm not even sure what question to ask.
I recently bought a 3400W inverter generator to power my gas furnace and gas hot water heater during power outages. My intent was NOT to install a transfer switch due to the few times we lose power. I just wanted to be able to run extension cords to the two units. However, it turns out my furnace is hardwired and I'll have to at least install some kind of a switch for it. I intend to hire an electrician to do this - but the web has me completely confused on what I really need to have installed and how it has to be wired.
First off, let me say that I'm an electrical engineer. I've spent my whole 30+ years in low voltage DC applications. So while I understand most of the terminology, I don't feel qualified to mess with AC myself. I know my limits.
The generator I bought is an inverter, with a floating ground....no neutral/ground bond. The manual says that the generator should be treated as a 'separately derived system', and "The generator shall be connected to a transfer switch that switches all conductors excluding the equipment grounding conductor. The frame of the generator shall be connected to an approved grounding electrode." I assume this means that the neutral must be switched as well. I interpret that to mean it completely disconnects the neutral from my house neutral. However if I do this, and the generator doesn't have a bonded neutral, I will no longer have a neutral/ground bond. I realize I could create one by plugging in a jumper into a spare outlet on the generator...but I'm not clear on whether I will need one. What I took from most of my reading (right or wrong) is:
1. Separately derived system - need to switch all conductors, although I can connect generator frame to house ground. Neutral is no longer connected to house neutral. I don't know where the neutral/ground bond should be created.
2. Non separately derived system - shared neutral with house, never gets disconnected, neutral/ground bond comes from the panel.
All that said, depending on what page I read or video I watch, I seem to get completely conflicting info. Here's an example right here with the 'EZ Generator' switch.
He clearly converts the switch to a shared neutral, then says it's ready for a floating neutral generator - and I would have said the exact opposite. Now my head hurts.
Can anyone translate this simply for me? I'm assuming I'm going to need a neutral/ground bond SOMEWHERE in order for my furnace to fire (it's a fairly new high efficiency furnace). I realize that two neutral/ground bonds cause problems with GFCI circuits, but I don't think that's my question or issue. I think I just need to understand:
1. Do I need to switch the neutral or share it?
2. Where does the neutral/ground bond occur and will I need to do it at the generator?
3. How does the generator frame need to be grounded? Can I connect it to my house grounding rods, or a ground pin in a nearby outlet? Or does it need its own rod? Or will creating the neutral/ground bond at the generator with a jumper connect it to my house ground by default?
Can anyone shed some light on this for this old idiot?