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Old 10-18-2019, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Diesel generator block heater circuit

Does the NEC require an engine block heater circuit for a generator be GFCI protected?
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pete25 View Post
Does the NEC require an engine block heater circuit for a generator be GFCI protected?
Does the NEC require an outside receptacle to be GFCI protected. (its a receptacle so it doesn't matter whats plugged into it)

Not sure what would happen if you hard wired the heater.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:03 PM   #3
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If it does, I've violated it on every gen I've ever installed.........
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:37 PM   #4
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Ever feel when a block heater goes bad?

It will make you wish it had been GFCI protected.
It HERTZ!!
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:24 PM   #5
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Sounds like a good place for an audible trip type.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:25 PM   #6
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It would likely be a violation, but with the genset solidly grounded there shouldn't be an issue. On r-mix trucks when a GFCI nuisance trips, well you have a truck that won't start for a few hours, with a genset you don't have that much time. When the power goes out you want it to crank a couple turns, go to 800 RPM for oil pressure then go full song in 10 sec or less. No time for resetting GFCI's and similar foolishness.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:45 PM   #7
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OK, i'll bite ... Gen outside ? Resi ? Commercial outside ? Industrial inside ?
Plugged into an outlet ??????????
5kW ? 500kW ?

Oh wait ... He's an engineer ... forget the details, we'll fix it once it's installed
I made a living once on extras !
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:59 PM   #8
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We install a duplex GCFI with a bubble cover on every small, 200kw, gas or diesel unit we install to pass inspection.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
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OK, i'll bite ... Gen outside ? Resi ? Commercial outside ? Industrial inside ?
Plugged into an outlet ??????????
5kW ? 500kW ?

Oh wait ... He's an engineer ... forget the details, we'll fix it once it's installed
I made a living once on extras !
Most diesels generators have a receptacle inside the enclosure that the heater plugs into. In Florida its no big deal if you get a rouge gfci trip but further north i can see forgetting to install one.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:31 AM   #10
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For such units, we hard wire them... and bond them... the gen-set... something silly.

During service, the entire unit is cut-out via a safety switch.

The ever common NEMA3R GFCI receptacle is nearby when that happens.

I never use a scheme that requires techs to get their power from the unit they must work on.

It's totally dead when they work on it.

It's my house philosophy. It's not in the NEC, of course.

I have to provide a nearby GFCI receptacle anyway -- so it's not as if I'm spending big money.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Most diesels generators have a receptacle inside the enclosure that the heater plugs into. In Florida its no big deal if you get a rouge gfci trip but further north i can see forgetting to install one.
That's why I asked if resi-commercial-Industrial.

All the Industrial ones I've seen were hard-wired in the control panel.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:23 PM   #12
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That's why I asked if resi-commercial-Industrial.

All the Industrial ones I've seen were hard-wired in the control panel.
Florida may be different as the heater is a option. The 30 plus industrial units at work all have plug in units (water heaters). All of our control panels are 12vdc or 24vdc so theirs no where to wire in a heater.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Florida may be different as the heater is a option. The 30 plus industrial units at work all have plug in units (water heaters). All of our control panels are 12vdc or 24vdc so theirs no where to wire in a heater.
Interesting how various plants do things differently.

We always had some form of Scada control, with hand/off/auto switches etc... all were hard wired to 120V in the panel.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:05 AM   #14
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The ten year or so old Eaton (Cat, Olympian, FG Wilson, etc) that I work on has a hardwired block heater that eventually ruined the terminal block it was attached to so I bypassed the block and just wirenutted into the harness. Most of the others I work on have receptacles for block, battery, oil panel warmers, etc.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:34 AM   #15
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I worked at a facility that has 6 1 meg Cats.
Everyone had a hard-wired jacket heater.
Every one of them had the paper instructions left folded up in the wiring compartment.
The paper dried out, caught fire, and burned every wire in the compartment.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I worked at a facility that has 6 1 meg Cats.
Everyone had a hard-wired jacket heater.
Every one of them had the paper instructions left folded up in the wiring compartment.
The paper dried out, caught fire, and burned every wire in the compartment.
Block heaters for those must be pretty massive. Moral of the story, don't leave instructions in with wiring... I guess?
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:45 PM   #17
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Block heaters for those must be pretty massive. Moral of the story, don't leave instructions in with wiring... I guess?
The heaters were the size of a coffee can. I can't remember if a circulating pump was built into them or not.
It might sound unnecessary but, we like to keep them warm.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
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The heaters were the size of a coffee can. I can't remember if a circulating pump was built into them or not.

It might sound unnecessary but, we like to keep them warm.
Most likely there was a circulating pump for something that big.

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Old 10-21-2019, 06:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Most likely there was a circulating pump for something that big.

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I havent noticed a circulator on the heaters we have been plugging in, I just assumed they were mostly convection type. Somehow they manage to keep the engine warm.
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