How To Ground A Generator When Camping ?|Complete Step By Step Guide

Did you just get a portable for your camping? You can not be bothered with the electricity outage in case of storms now that you have got that sorted out with a portable generator. You would still be letting the relief wash over you until you realize that there is one major step you need to take to get to the relief and facility of the generator. That essential step is grounding a generator.

How To Ground A Generator

I assume the first thing that would have crossed your mind on hearing this is that you are no electrician; how are you supposed to tackle that, right? Well, let me assure you, you don’t need to be an electrician, nor do you need to hire one to get this task done. All you need is proper and thorough guidance, which you are about to get. One more thing you need is to understand the importance of grounding a generator. It’s extremely important to ground a generator while camping to ensure the safety of yourself and your money alike. Below is the step-by-step guide of the procedure. Follow that, and you are good to go.

The Required Tools:

1. Copper Ground rod

A grounding rod is the most important tool you will need to ground a generator. It will go under the ground and will connect to the electric circuit of the generator. The grounding rod has to be at least 4 feet long; this works for most generators. However, the longer the rod, the easier it will be to sink it in the ground.

2. Copper Wire

A good quality copper wire is needed in order to connect the grounding rod to the generator. Exactly how much wire you are going to need depends on the depth of the buried rod, but it’s good to have an ample amount.

3. Hammer

You will need a hammer to bury the grounding rod into the hard ground. You can also use some other similar tool, according to the demands of the surface, like a sledgehammer, mallet, or spike.

4. Wrench

A wrench is one of the equipment you will need to connect the grounding rod to the generator to loosen the grounding nut on the generator.

5. Wire Strippers

Wire strippers will come in handy to strip off the insulation on the copper wire from both ends to wrap it around the grounding rod and the generator bolt from both ends. Don’t try to do that with your teeth or nails.

6. Pliers

Pliers will help you wrap the copper wire firmly to the grounding rod and bolt to ensure a secured connection. It’s an important step in the procedure of grounding a generator.

How to Ground a Generator

Step 1: Connect the Copper Wire to the Ground Rod

Start by removing the insulation of the copper wire through wire strippers. Strip away six to 12 inches of insulation from both the ends of the wire, then join one end securely with the ground rod using pliers. Join it with the top of the grounding rod. Make sure to not strip too much of the wire, don’t exceed the measurement mentioned before.

Step 2: Bury the Ground Rod into the Ground

Bury the copper rod into the ground at least 8 feet deep using a hammer in order to prevent any electric discharge from reaching the ground. If the ground is too hard, making sinking in the rod difficult, soften it by pouring on water, it will make the ground softer. However, if that doesn’t prove to be helpful over the rocks embedded in the ground, try installing the rod at an angle, make sure it does not exceed 45 degrees.

Step 3: Connect the Ground Rod with the Generator

The final step is to connect the ground rod to the generator in order to ground the generator. Use the other spare end of the copper wire to connect the rod with the generator and make sure it is not powered on. To connect the rod with the electric circuit of the generator, find the grounding bolt on the generator and loosen it a bit with the wrench. After that, wrap the wire around the grounding nut using pliers and then tighten it using a wrench to secure it there firmly.

YouTube video
let’s watch this video to understand practically how to ground a generator when camping.

FAQs About How to ground a generator

What happens if you don’t ground a generator?

Not grounding a generator can be really dangerous for safety as well as for financial purposes. A generator that has not been grounded offers the danger of electrocution. The threat doesn’t just exist for you but for other electric equipment and nearby objects as well. There are chances of both physical and financial risk. There can be voltage spikes, chances of overheating, and the eventual risk of a fire.

Can rebar be used as a grounding rod?

Rebar can be used as a grounding rod if it has corrosion protection. You will find different answers to that on the web, but the truth is that the rebar electrode is most likely to corrode if driven into the ground. So, if it is to be used as a grounding rod, it should have corrosion protection; otherwise, it should not be used.

How to strip copper wire without wire strippers?

It is not a problem if you don’t have wire strippers; fortunately, it’s not the only tool that you can use to strip the insulation off copper wire. A box cutter will also suffice. Get good quality and sharp box cutter and cut off the insulation at both sides of the copper wire using it.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, an easy and safe way to successfully ground a generator. Freely refer to this guide if your portable generator needs grounding; the procedure is divided into easy-to-understand steps. A list of tools that you will be needing is also mentioned. There is an FAQ session addressing the questions that are most likely to arise in your mind when you think about grounding a generator. So, follow the steps and instructions carefully, and stay safe.