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Thread: Small generator connection

  1. #11
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    All morning meetings and it seems we finally have the solution ...

    If like me you belong to the CYA club ... this is the procedure.

    As a customer -

    If you buy a small generator from Makro ... Builders or any other small generator supplier ... they are controlled by section 10 of the OSHACT.

    You need to make sure that if you request to purchase a generator to connect to the electrical installation of your house ... you must make them aware of the fact and get it in writing ... that the unit sold to you is suitable for the application ... if any modifications to the unit are required ... it is also noted in writing.

    As a contractor supplying the generator ... you need to be aware of section 10 of the OSHACT

    I have 2 things to complete before handing over the generator

    Labels.... labels labels and more labels ... a very import notice to be attached to the change over DB ... "THIS SOCKET IS NOT SUITABLE FOR VOV GENERATORS" ... The reason you need to fit the notice ... if the property is sold or the tenant moves out and takes his generator with him ... then the new tenant or owner must be aware the setup ... the earht spike and N-E bonding is done in the changeover DB.

    An earth spike in the ground directly below the changeover DB with a 6 mm earth wire connected to the mains earth.

    Something to note ... In my case the generator is not being installed as a fixed unit to supply the house ... it will still be a mobile unit which can be moved around and used for its intended purpose ... ie you can plug in a drill for example ... NO E-N bonding on the generator.

    Because the unit is mobile ... a trailing cable is used (not standard cabtyre .. for additional protection) ... the earth spike is not attached to the generator ... the reason for this is because the customer might forget to hook up the earth spike when moved into position ... instead the earth spike is installed directly to the changeover DB and connected directly to the earth pin on the wall socket.

    DONT BE A DOOS ... I have just been to site where the generator installer has fitted a male coupler to the trailing cable fitted on the generator and the female on the wall feeding the DB ... I cant wait to see the COC they issued ( I will bet my company turnover this month ... there is no COC ) ... more interesting photos to add to my collection.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

  2. #12
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    For me its pretty cut and dry. If its a VOV generator - I don't connect it.

    If you want a generator on your house I get a proper generator (not a portable type - Grip etc) - I get one where its bought with Neutral and earth connected at the windings or the manufacturer supplies it for that use - to be permanatly connected - not portable.

    Yes you can probably addapt a VOV generator - but I won't.

    VOV Generators have there place - for portable tool use on sites - usually for class II tools.

    Its simple - an earth leakge won't operate on VOV generator and good luck getting a decent earth fault loop reading - even with aspike in the ground.

    Yes it works and I understand why people are doing it. Because they are sick of not having power from the supplier.

    But, as an electrician, I cannot recommend doing it to customers.

    Decent customers will appreciate your proffesional opinion and explanation of why its bad idea, crap customers will get someone else to do it and thats all good with me.

  3. #13
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    Unfortunately not everyone has R30K plus to throw at generators ... including myself ... I connect my contractors generator to my house ... I have inverters etc ... and have no plan in the future to throw R30k at a generator .. if anything it will be solar and lithium or better batteries.

    Secondly as you mentioned ... most decent sparkies steer clear of these small jobs ... in fact the last time I looked at one was more then 10 years ago ... however there is a huge market for someone to connect these units.

    Lastly if you see what I saw today ... you will understand why it is important for us to rather do the job ... I had "generator installer" install a mobile unit on one of my customers properties ... holy crap ... no matter how bad I did the job ... it would have still been safer than the way this job was done.

    Starting with the male plug coupler fitted to the generator
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

  4. #14
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    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

  5. #15
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    The question to the supplier of the generator is pretty simple can you connect the generator to the electrical installation yes or no ... for safety reasons ... all generators connected VOV format should be clearly identified with a notice on the unit.

    It would save a lot of confusion.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    The question to the supplier of the generator is pretty simple can you connect the generator to the electrical installation yes or no ... for safety reasons ... all generators connected VOV format should be clearly identified with a notice on the unit.

    It would save a lot of confusion.
    But still people will connect to there house....

    Besides most suppliers don't understand the implications of connecting a VOV generator. They just want the sale. They have been told - all that is needed is a change over switch.

    I use the analergy of " the seat belt" with my customers and their Grip/Honda/whichever generator.

    Yes, you can drive your car without a seat belt. But sure as S*&t, if you had a crash, you are going to want it.

    Earth is your seat belt, Earth leakage is your airbag. If you crash in a car you would want both seat belt and air bag.

    If you (or your family) are getting a shock, pretty sure your would want a functional earth and earth leakage.

    Would you drive on these roads without your seat belt....

    I then ask them "Still want to connect a generator without earth and functioning earth leakage?". If they do then they must get someone else in

    Besides, insurance companies have caught onto generator connected incorrectly.
    I know of one person who wasn't paid out because of this. Small electrical fire - board went into melt down, nothing major.
    I'm pretty sure it was a loose neutral. Nothing to do with the generator set up.

    Refused to pay out.

  7. #17
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    My simple generator test box.

    If only the left side lights up when plugged into the generator output, then we are ok for connecting to installation.

    If both light up then I walk away. It's also easier using the lamps than a multimeter to explain to the prospective client why it will not work.

    Peace out ... Derek

  8. #18
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    Derek I like your test rig

    I got home from site ... took out the tester to checked my Yamaha construction generator ( I have never actually put a tester on the unit ... other than a PQA to see just to see how bad the sign wave really is ... trust me it is BAD)

    If I understand VOV from the diagram in the link ... if you test in ohms from

    L-N it should give a reading f around 4 ohms (just using these figures as an example)
    E-N = 2 ohms
    E-L = 2 ohms

    There should be inf. to earth ... because it shouldnt be earthed to the chassis.

    IF I bond the N-E on a VOV generator .. .the voltage should read

    L-N = 110
    L-E = 110
    N-E -= 0

    because all you are doing is shorting out the coil



    The actual test on my Yamaha ...

    L-N = 2.9 ohms
    L-E = inf
    E-N - inf


    Tried to star tit to see what the voltage reading is ... unfortunately after about 20 pulls I realised the fuel tank was empty

    When I do test the voltage ... if it is a VOV unit it should be

    L-N = 220
    L-E = 110
    N-E = 110

    I should have sat down 10 years ago and sorted this out ... there is a massive market out there for connecting and servicing small generators ... some of my customers are waiting 6 weeks for their units to be serviced ... because they were left standing ... I want a piece of the pie (so much for reaching my 30 year goal and winding down this business).

    IF your business is not booming at the moment ... you doing something wrong ... I am getting at least 3 calls a day for new work and I dont advertise ... purely word of mouth ... I am going to stop passing on the work and maybe look at growing.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

  9. #19
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    Ian

    We are not short of work. You know I only work 4 days. Wednesdays off. Xolani is one hellava lucky guy. Gets paid full, but he deserves it.

    I stopped doing COC's for property sales many moons ago. I don't like working and waiting up to 6 months for payment. Leave that to someone else.

    My biggest income generator presently is electricity and water sub metering. Even bigger than gennies. Cannot keep up.
    As the price of water and electricity increases, so does my order book.

    Anyway, this thread is about gennies. I will only do an installation if the genny is reg. If not, I walk away after explaining in detail to the client why I am not prepared to do the job. If they get someone else , so be it, but at least 70% of them come back after buying the right genny and I do the job.

    We become friends.

    The installation is right and everyone's happy.

    As I have said before on this forum, it's not only about the KROON.
    There are more important things at play.

    Peace out ... Derek

  10. #20
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    I am thinking about starting a separate company ... focusing more on the hit and run jobs ... creating small teams of sub contractors ... something like the alarm ... aircon etc companies ... where you pay per unit ... replacing a R150 battery for R500- R800 a pop is money for jam ... maybe even a scooter and use the customer ladder ... I see this is common practice of sites ... team are dropped off with hte bare minimum and expected to borrow tools ... drill ... and ladders either from the customer or other contractors

    I will keep my business going for the customers who want to pay for quality.

    Anyway back to these small generators ... the fact that everyone is scared to them ... all the more reason to milk it.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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