RV Electricity – How to use a neutral bonding plug on a companion generator

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Q&A’s from my RVelectricity group:

I’m getting a lot of interesting questions on my RV Electricity Facebook Group. Here’s one I’ve never thought about before. 

Q: Hi Mike,
I want to thank you for your generosity in sharing your knowledge for the RV community. I have no doubt you have saved many of us countless hours, frustration and injury with your willingness to share information.

I have a Honda EU2000i generator that has two plugs, one 20-amp Edison style plug, and one three-prong twist 30-amp plug. The latter I use to plug my RV’s 30-amp service. If I plug a homemade G-N plug into the 20-amp, that outlet is no longer available for use and I would like to use it while the trailer is plugged into the other.

My question is if it is acceptable to plug a three-outlet adapter in the 20-amp outlet and then plug the G-N plug into one of the three outlets of the adapter so that I still have the use of the other two outlets on the outlet adapter? Will that work and will it still provide G-N bonding for the 30-amp outlet?

I couldn’t find the answer to my question in the Q&A above and I’m sorry if this is a basic question, but then I only have a basic understanding of these matters.

Thanks so much! — Gary Peterson

A: Dear Gary,
Yes, what you propose will certainly work. I’m going to include a few pictures so everyone else can play along.

Here’s what a Honda “Companion” generator control panel looks like. It includes a 30-amp twist-lock outlet as well as a standard 20-amp Edison outlet. The reason for the 30-amp outlet is you can plug two Honda generators together with a parallel kit and this “Companion” generator can be directly connected to your 30-amp shore power plug via the proper dogbone adapter.

But, as you note, if you also want to install a Neutral-Ground bonding plug in your only available 20-amp outlet, you don’t have any more outlets available on the generator. But not to worry, since your solution should work perfectly to bond the generator neutral while providing a convenience outlet. But as I’m sure you’re aware, you’re still limited to a total of 2200 watts of combined power between the two outlets. Just make sure there’s enough clearance between your 3-way adapter plug and the 30-amp twist-lock outlet.

Finally, for those of you not familiar with it, here’s the generator neutral bonding plug I designed 10 years ago. Its only job is to provide a neutral-ground bond on a portable generator with a floating neutral. That’s what allows an EMS/Advanced surge protector and some high-end RV appliances (some refrigerators) which monitor open grounds to work properly. You can buy one on Amazon HERE.

Mike

Email me at mike (at) noshockzone.org with your questions.

Let’s stay heart safe out there…

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

Email me at mike (at) noshockzone.org with your questions.

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Thomas
28 days ago

This now needs to come with a sticker per 2017 NEC. See article 700’s for what is needed for that sticker to say. Or give us a call Texas T Electric in Houston,TX