Grounding your generator as necessary has several advantages to it. It reduces the malfunction of your generator and keeps you and your appliances safe when the generator is running.
With power outages seeming quite recurrent due to extreme weather events, portable generators serve as the best temporary power backup systems in our homes. Not only are they used as an emergency power backup, but are also welcomed in construction sites, for tailgating and camping, and to operate sensitive equipment at parties. However much reliable portable generators are, there are several safety factors that you ought to consider during their use. And the issue of grounding is one of them.
The majority of the time, we overlook this issue and even disregard it at times, but if you do not ground your generator you risk damaging it and any sensitive electronics relying on power from your generator. In that regard, you need to consider grounding your Predator 3500 generator.
That said, we will explain what grounding is, what happens if you do not ground your generator and how to ground your predator 3500.
What is grounding?
In simple terms, grounding involves connecting an electric circuit to a reference ground. In the case of your predator 3500 generators, the frame is the electric circuit and the grounding rod is the reference ground. The whole idea is that connecting a copper wire from the frame on your predator 3500 to the grounding rod ensures the safe operation of your generator at all times.
Generally, as electricity flows through a set of wires it dissipates energy by returning it to the ground. That means that in any normal electrical system, the electricity would flow through a set of hot wires to a set of neutral ones. However, if something happens to the circuit, then electricity will have to find a way to flow through the path of low resistance.
In that case, if you do not ground your generator the path of low resistance could cause electricity to find into sensitive areas where it is not intended. When this happens, it can spark a fire, cause electrocution or even damage your generator in a way that it cannot be fixed. With that in mind, grounding provides an alternate path to allow electricity to seamlessly flow to places where it poses the least risk possible (safe operation).
Do I have to ground my predator 3500?
Yes. You have to ground your predator 3500 generators to ensure maximum safety during its operation. However, you need to make sure you are doing it right to prevent any damages to your generator or any equipment relying on its power.
Most portable inverter generators are designed in a way that the metal frame is the path of the least electrical resistance. The frame holds together the fuel tank, the generator housing, and the engine so that any electricity that flows through your generator outside of the wiring is immediately grounded by the frame. However, this isn’t the case with the predator 3500.
According to its owner’s manual, you should not operate the Predator 3500 before grounding. Additionally, you are supposed to earth-ground the generator following all relevant electric codes and standards before operation. In this case, you will need to use a grounding rod.
The table below helps you understand when to ground your generator or work with it as is.
When you do not need to ground
When to ground
Grounding an Inverter Generator
If you are directly plugging your appliances into generator appliances
If you can identify a low resistance bonding to the frame of non-current carrying parts (engine, fuel tank, housing)
A neutral conductor directly connects to the frame
If the neutral conductor on your generator isn’t bonded to the frame
If you are powering any structure via a transfer switch
How can you ground the Predator 3500 generator?
To ground your portable generator, you need to wire its transfer switch to a grounding rod. The following steps should ensure a smooth and successful grounding process;
Step One: Ensure that you have all the equipment required for grounding
You need a copper grounding rod, which is at least 4-8 feet in length. You also need a copper grounding wire that matches the distance between your Predator 3500 generator and your buried rod. Additionally, you should check whether you have pliers, wire strippers, and a wrench, which you will use to strip the copper grounding wire and connect it to the grounding bolt and grounding rod on the generator. Lastly, you need a hammer or mallet that you will use to push the copper grounding wire into the ground.
Step Two: Drive the copper rod into the ground
The copper grounding rod is the most important tool in this process. It ensures that any electric current is safely dissipated. That said, you should hammer it into the ground to a depth of 8 feet so that the grounding rod doesn’t electrocute anyone standing on the surface. If the ground seems too tough, you can use water to loosen up the soil before driving it into the ground. If you are grounding your generator on rocky terrain, ensure to drive the rod at a 45 degrees angle.
Step Three: Connect the copper wire to the buried grounding rod
Using your wire strippers, strip out 8-12 inches of insulation from one end of the copper wire before wrapping it around the top part of the grounding rod. When wrapping it, ensure to wound the wire tightly over the rod using the pliers.
Step Four: Connect your Predator 3500 to the grounding rod
When grounding the generator, ensure to turn it off. Once it has stopped running, find the grounding bolt and use your pliers to loosen the nut. Using your wire strippers, strip out about 1-3 inches before wrapping it around the bolt as you tighten it with the pliers. Tighten the nut and make sure that the wire is intact. The secure connection ensures the safe operation of your Predator 3500.
Grounding a generator is a safety precaution that we should all consider. It not only ensures safe operation but also prolongs the life of your generator. Also, knowing how to do it right prevents any other damages associated with an electric current.
What is a floating neutral on an inverter generator?
This simply means that the neutral circuit isn’t connected to the frame on your generator.
How can I know if my house is grounded?
You can only know by looking at the indicator light. If the outlet is grounded it will light up.
it will light up.