Nearly 10 years ago I designed and promoted the simple generator neutral-ground bonding plug. It allowed you to use an inverter generator to power your RV though an EMS/Advanced Surge Protector. Otherwise, it would report that the generator had an open ground and refuse to power your RV.
Now, this was such a simple idea that I thought everyone should already know about it, so I never patented it or licensed it to manufacturers. But now it’s available for sale by a number of manufacturers, or you can even make your own. See one of my RVtravel.com articles about it HERE.
I created quite a brouhaha…
At first I was admonished by hundreds of electricians and inspectors. They all said I had created a “cheater plug” to get around the National Electrical Code’s grounding requirements. But I knew that was not the case. So I stuck to my position that this was nothing more than a way to properly bond the neutral on a portable generator without voiding the warranty. And it’s exactly how any permanently installed RV generator works anyway.
But now I’m vindicated!
It does appear that my humble generator bonding plug will make it into the 2023 NEC books as an approved method for temporarily bonding your floating neutral generator. This bonding plug has already been used on many thousands of portable generators around the country (and a few other countries). Even the generator manufacturers have admitted (off the record) that it’s a safe product. And yes, you saw it here first on RVtravel.com. How cool is that?
Even more fun with a bonding plug…
Over on my RVelectricity Facebook Group, one of my Admins, Mike Zimmerman, has started a poll and written a white paper. It explains why this is an acceptable idea for using a bonding plug on a floating neutral generator powering an EMS Surge Protector. In addition, he believes it should be required on an inverter generator powering ANY RV, whether it has an EMS protector in the circuit or not.
Are you using a generator neutral bonding plug?
Please take the survey below to add your voice to the mix. In the next few weeks I’ll publish Mike Zimmerman’s complete paper on this topic. I’ll also report your survey numbers and any comments you care to make below. And thanks for your interest in this.
Let’s play 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.
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In the spring of 2020 while heading back north we did an overnight at a Cracker Barrel. They were providing pick up only so got our food to eat later. When the time came to eat our 35k generator wouldn’t run the microwave. This was the first time we used the gen and it would just overload it and I couldn’t understand why as the current draw was nowhere near the max. When we got home I hooked up my EMS and it showed an open ground. I made a bonded plug per Mike’s design and all worked fine. I now use the plug with or without the EMS.
I also use a bonding plug built from your design, and labeled accordingly. To connect my 2000W generator to my EMS, without it the EMS won’t let me power my rig. I only use it for this.
I have an inergy apex that I occasionally use in the rv. I tried the bonding plug with my ems but it didn’t work.
My Onan Generator was installed by Gulf Stream in 1995 and I have had no issues with it. If I ever had to use the little Honda, I would use the Plug. In fact, I would probably re-wire the generator so all I had to do was flip a toggle switch that way I could not lose the plug.