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Old 12-08-2019, 06:44 PM   #1
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Default Bonding and Troubleshooting question

This is a made up scenario, trying to learn! So I'm shutting down a main panel to swap it out for a new one. The main panel feeds a sub-panel that the customer wants to run temporary power to during the shut down. Customer supplies the temporary generator + an SO cord to feed it. SO cord has 4 wires. Generator automatically bonds the neutral and ground. I run 3 hots and a neutral out to the Sub panel, no ground... The neutral and ground is obviously not bonded in the sub-panel. I take off the existing 3 hots and neutral in the sub panel and land the ones coming from the generator.

Question is, it is okay to bond the neutral and ground at the sub panel? This will fix any voltages from going haywire? It is technically okay to not run a 5 wire SO cord? Or will voltages be out of wack. When will voltages be out of wack?

Last edited by JasonCo; 12-08-2019 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 12-08-2019, 06:51 PM   #2
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This is perfectly fine to do. You are essentially creating a new service, so bonding the neutral to ground inside of that panel is proper. After all, it is now the main panel during this temporary scenario.

Having neutral bonded to ground in the generator is fine as well. It’s the same as having neutral bonded to ground at the transformer on the pole. Remember, you only have the hots and neutral coming from the transformer in a normal utility fed situation. So that is what your scenario with the generator will be mimicking.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:07 PM   #3
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Just don't forget the ground rod, bond to metal water pipe & metal building frame.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help. @Bird dog, yeah I guess if it's a sub-panel being fed off of a transformer then technically there should already be a grounding electrode of some sort. But can't always assume haha
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:39 PM   #5
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If the neutral in the generator is bonded, make sure the water pipe is bonded and screw the ground rod.

The voltages WILL NEVER BE OUT OF WACK when referneced to each phase and neutral they will be out of wack compared to the ground IF the neutral and ground are not bonded somewhere.
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