Portable generators can provide electric current through the operation of a gas-enabled engine that turns an alternator. They are referred to as internal combustion engines and are commonly used for temporary and remote power generation. For example, this means that you can use a portable generator to power a Well pump.
When faced with situations of longer electricity outages, the possibility of getting water from your underground well lies in using a portable generator. To ensure the safety of both your portable generator and the Well pump, you’ll need grounding. The best grounding process is by connecting the generator to a grounding electrode system like a breaker box or driven ground rod.
This article discusses how to ground Well pump with portable generator. Also, you will discover if a Well pump needs to be grounded and the safety steps while grounding a Well pump with a portable generator.
Does Well Pump Need To Be Grounded?
The risk and dangers associated with static electricity can be very devastating. Grounding is one of the protective measures to evade static electricity. So grounding your Well pump puts off the risk of fire outbreaks.
Usually, static electricity is an outcome of the interactions between the surfaces of dissimilar materials. This occurs as the surfaces rub against each other.
Also, static electricity can build up when a liquid flows through a pipe into a tank via an opening. It can occur through the discharge of electricity over a space between two points that are not in contact. However, in such a situation, there’s usually a difference in the electrical potential of the two points. Hence they will keep on producing sparks intermittently that can jump across the space between the two points. While jumping through the gap, the sparks possess energies that can trigger electricity fire outbreaks. So there is every need for grounding a Well pump.
Furthermore, the direct connection of your portable generator to a Well pump has the risk of a blowout. There could be either the blowing of the generator or the Well pump or both of them. Whatever the outcome could be would not be a favorable one for you. Both the generator and the Well pump are quite expensive and can cut deep into your pocket. Besides, your Well pump is about 250 feet deep into the ground. Blowing it and trying to make a replacement will be a herculean task.
How to Ground Well Pump With Portable Generator
Grounding a Well pump with a portable generator is a great method of ensuring safety to the entire electrical setup and connection. The grounding will protect both your portable generator as well as your Well pump.
You will require the use of a transfer switch for you to connect a portable generator to your house power backup electricity line that has the Well pump also connected. Where you desire to directly connect the Well pump to the generator, you will require the use of a power breaker. This will eliminate situations of power over-surge.
To ground your portable generator, you must ensure that that you have all the necessary tools.
Here are the tools for grounding your portable generator:
- Solid copper wire for the grounding
- Set of wire strippers
- 4-foot copper grounding rod
Step 1 – Installation of the Copper Ground Rod
Drive the copper grounding rod deep into the ground using the hammer. The depth should be about 8 feet to ensure you have proper ground. Where the earth seems to be too hard, you can soften it using water. If you’re in a rocking terrain, you can bury the rod while tilted at angle 45o or below with your shovel.
Step 2 – Stripping and Connecting of the Copper Wire to the Rod
Once you’ve staked the copper rod, you can proceed with the wire connection to your generator. First, with the help of the wire stripper, you should strip the copper wire. Then, tightly wound it around the copper rod with the pliers.
Step 3 – Connecting the Generator
The next step is for the connection of the generator. Also, strip the other end of the copper wire for connection to the generation. Next, you should trace your generator’s grounding bolt. Then, loosed the bolt such that the stripped wire can wrap around it. Finally, use the stripped wire to wrap around the bolt with the help of your pliers. Ensure you tighten it strongly for a secured connection.
What To Consider Before Grounding Well Pump With Portable Generator
Before you proceed with grounding your Well pimp with a generator, here are some of what you should consider.
Types of Generator
The type of generator you’ll use for the grounding matters a lot. There are 2 types of generators; internally regulated generators and externally regulated generators. You can check your generator manual to ascertain the category that your generator falls into.
Internally regulated generators possess an extra winding within the generator stator. This senses the electricity output and adjusts the output voltage automatically to suit the description of the generator.
However, the externally regulated generators that utilize external voltage regulator to monitor the output voltage. Once there’s a dip in the voltage at the start-up motor, the regulator will immediately increase the generator’s output voltage.
Irrespective of the type of generator you will be using for the grounding, the generator’s power rating is crucial. This is dependent on the Well pump rating. As the Well pump ratings come in horsepower as well as the voltage needed. Whatever the value may be, you can calculate the rating for the type of generator that will power the pump. This is done by multiplying the horsepower with a constant value of 746 to get the right wattage for the generator.
For instance, if a Well pump is rated as 1.5HP, the wattage is 1.5 x 746 = 1119 Watts. (Note that 1HP = 746 Watts). Thus, you are expected to use a generator having double this value for starting and running the 1.5HP Well pump. If the capacity of your generator falls below that requirement, you should plan to get a better generator for the well pump.
Types of Pump
The two major types of Well pumps.
- 2-Wire Well Pump – This has the starting capacitor located within the pump.
- 3-Wire Well Pump – This has the starting capacity located outside the pump.
What Safety Steps Should I Keep In Mind while Ground Well Pump With A Portable Generator?
Here are some safety tips when grounding a Well Pump with a portable generator.
- Ensure that you know the type and rating of the Well pump.
- You should use a portable generator with the right capacity to start up and run your Well pump. Always calculate the capacity outcome using the Well pump horsepower rating as a determinant.
- When using a direct connection of the Well pump to the generator, ensure to use a circuit breaker.
It’s no longer a debatable issue if you can ground a Well pump using a portable generator. This article comes with a simple guide on how to ground Well pump with portable generator and some safety tips to follow as well.
Grounding your Well pump is very necessary for its functionality. It’s a great means of ensuring safety and will reduce the chances of fire outbreaks and malfunction.