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:confused: The following is something I came across while researching generators and transfer switches. Can anyone weigh in on this? I am considering getting a generac 5500 generator to go along with a gentran 10 outlet tranfer switch with a 30 amp inlet. Do I need to get a kit from generac in order not to burn out my appliances? Would a grounding rod on my generator avoid this? :confused:

I live in CT & hope the following helps someone out there. I am the proud owner of a Generac XP 8000E Model # 005708 that I purchased new Sep 2011 and have nothing but great things to say about the generator itself. It has never failed to start/run each and every time I have needed it. I Had a Transfer Switch professionally installed by licensed electrician and all is good good. That is until I found out that this little tid bit of info when I took it in for warranty work because the GFCI’s tripped & would not reset:
“The XP8000E, when installed with a Generac brand manual transfer switch, will require a Switch Neutral Kit. The XP Series generators have a bonded neutral in addition to a GFCI protected outlet, and if a Switch Neutral Kit is not installed, the GFCI breaker will continue to trip due to being bonded in two places. Information on the Switch Neutral Kit can be found on the spec sheet for our manual transfer switches, which can be located by selecting the size transfer switch you have here: If the transfer switch used is not a Generac brand transfer switch, you will want to contact the switch manufacturer to inquire about a kit that will switch the neutral at the transfer switch.”
Needless to say the warranty work was not covered since I did not have the above “kit” installed on it. Also, it was noted to me by the GENERAC customer service tech that this particular type of unit is supposed to be “grounded” each and every time it is used per my manual section 2.4.1 – 2.4.2. So I have to take the responsibility for the fact I thought the Electrician would have picked up on this (as well as myself because I did actually read the manual).
I just have to buy this kit….another $100 probably.
 

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You bought a portable unit, that you are now using as standby. There is a big difference between those units as to how they are wired from many mfg's. Only higher end units are wired correctly for both applications.

Generac like all low end mfgs,(my experience after 45+ years of power generation) are all about selling to you every chance they get. They will only give you enough info to keep you coming back, and then convince you it was not because of their product, or incomplete instructions. You are not alone as many a E.E. has learned this lesson the same way.
 

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A number of portable generators, especially those marketed for construction or rental use, are neutral bonded. This means the neutral side of the generator's output is bonded to the frame (ground). When connected to a house that is also neutral bonded, breakers / GFCI will likely trip.

A work-around is to simply disconnect the neutral bond link on the generator. On Honda EB-series models, this is a short section of heavy white-wire that can be removed in < 5 minutes.

Not sure what the Generac kit really is, but it surely does the same function, e.g., disconnects the neutral bonding and allows for safe, code-compliant operation of the generator when connected to a transfer switch.

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Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding is my opinion alone.
 

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My advice, look at other generators, one without the neutral ground bond. They do exist.

If you use a bonded neutral generator then you, by Code, must switch the neutral on your transfer panel or switch. These are normally much more expensive than a non-switched neutral panel.
 

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For those of you who have a VOM of some kind, try this. Remove the neutral to frame bond, then read the neutral to frame, (unbonded now remember). Now start the unit and read the voltage from the hot legs to neutral, then the hot legs to the frame.

Now explain what you just seen?
 
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