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Hello, just signed up as I am having an issue that Google isn’t solving and figured coming here was my best bet. I live on a boat and have a Honda generator. Have been using it for over a year with no issues. My wife just noticed our ’reverse polarity’ light was on at the breaker panel. Not sure if this is new or was always on when running the generator. It did get me poking about. At the output receptacle on the generator with no load I measured 128V across the hot and neutral, from the ground pin to either the hot or neutral I get 64V. I was expecting zero volts from ground pin to neutral and 128 volts from ground pin to hot. Am I wrong about voltage outputs from generators or do I have an issue. Thanks in advance. Jim
 

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first things first welcome to the group!
a few questions for you;
are you salt water or fresh water on the boat?

are you connected to anything when your were checking the voltage?
try just the gen set alone with out anything plugged in. (no load)
be care full when you pin this out on a live gen set!
and check
neutral to hot
neutral to chassis stud
hot to chassis stud
hot to ground on the outlet
neutral to the ground on the outlet

the eu 2000i is not bonded to the chassis.

now with that said if you have a bad gfci or an ground issue in the boat
you can see indicators of reverse.
check for a rusted over or wet outlet some where..
and yes even at the generator but the checks above will show that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
first things first welcome to the group!
a few questions for you;
are you salt water or fresh water on the boat?

are you connected to anything when your were checking the voltage?
try just the gen set alone with out anything plugged in. (no load)
be care full when you pin this out on a live gen set!
and check
neutral to hot
neutral to chassis stud
hot to chassis stud
hot to ground on the outlet
neutral to the ground on the outlet

the eu 2000i is not bonded to the chassis.

now with that said if you have a bad gfci or an ground issue in the boat
you can see indicators of reverse.
check for a rusted over or wet outlet some where..
and yes even at the generator but the checks above will show that.
We are in salt water. The voltage checks were done with nothing plugged into the generator.so the checks went as follows. From the ground pin or the chassis it was 64V to either the hot or neutral, from hot to neutral was 128.
When using the generator everything on the boat functions correctly so I suspect the fact that the ground is floating is why my reverse polarity light comes on. There is a note by the reverse polarity light that if it comes on then the AC is locked out. Not my case as all the AC devices are running. Seems like the old panel is just a bit confused by this floating ground, have since found others on Cruisers Forum with the same symptoms. Perhaps I should write this off as “ it is what it is” and not be concerned.
 

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is this vessel on open water for tied to a dock?

check the gen outlets for salt spray damage..
the end cover comes off easy with 4 screws.
just in case it is coming from the L1...
as a hot chassis...

you can reference the chassis ground through the power cord if the boat electrical ground is connected to the sacrificial ground.at the engine.
that should do the trick.

then check from the neutral to the ground and see if it is still an issue..
 

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Cappybda,

This must be normal for a generator with a floating neutral as I have a Honda EU3000is and I get the same voltage readings as do you.

I found the following info and it may be helpful: Differences Between Bonded and Floating Neutral Generators

One paragraph in the article states: "In a floating neutral generator, since the neutral is not bonded to the generator’s frame, both wires are normally current carrying wires. Therefore, both slots of the receptacles on the generator are considered live/hot receptacles".

Anyway, each of your receptacle's slots measure 64 VAC to ground AND they both add to the 128VAC your read across the two slots. So, in my mind, this seems to confirm all is well. As info, I am NOT a generator expert!

Hopefully, someone else will chime in if there is a real issue ................... which I doubt!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cappybda,

This must be normal for a generator with a floating neutral as I have a Honda EU3000is and I get the same voltage readings as do you.

I found the following info and it may be helpful: Differences Between Bonded and Floating Neutral Generators

One paragraph in the article states: "In a floating neutral generator, since the neutral is not bonded to the generator’s frame, both wires are normally current carrying wires. Therefore, both slots of the receptacles on the generator are considered live/hot receptacles".

Anyway, each of your receptacle's slots measure 64 VAC to ground AND they both add to the 128VAC your read across the two slots. So, in my mind, this seems to confirm all is well. As info, I am NOT a generator expert!

Hopefully, someone else will chime in if there is a real issue ................... which I doubt!
Thanks guys for your replies, tvl.....good to hear your measurements match mine and I will give that link a read. Just had lunch yesterday with a few folks and one fellow has a Honda on a boat and has his reverse polarity light come on as well. I will rest easy now knowing this is absolutely normal.
 
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