How to ground a Portable Generator? ( 4 Easy Steps)

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How to Ground a portable Generator

Portable generators are used for various tasks that include supplying power to your homes and offices and much more. For safe operation, the generator grounding is done in which you gotta ground the copper rod underground and connect the copper wire from your generator frame with the rod. By doing so, the frame of the generator functions as the electrical circuit while the copper grounding rod behaves as the reference ground.

However, it’s not necessary to ground your portable generator. But in some strategies like camping, the grounding of your generator is required. For that reason, you gotta use the right tools and must know the method of grounding your generator.

Therefore, we have brought here for you this article in which you will easily find the process of how the generator is grounded with the grounding rod for camping or everyday life.

How to ground a Portable Generator

Step 1 (installing copper rod)

The most important part of this process is the insulation of the copper rod. For sufficient grounding, you must have the proper grounding rod of at least 4 feet. To drive the rod underground, use the hammer or mallet. Make sure it’s driven at least 7 feet for better grounding. If your ground is too hard, use a bit of water to soften it.

The grounding rod needs to go deep into the ground to send the electricity into the dirt. To prevent electric shock your rod must be connected properly to the ground.

Step 2 (connecting copper wire to the rod)

Once you properly fixed the rod into the ground, now it’s time for the copper wire to be connected with the rod. Grab the wire stripper and strip the copper wire appropriately.

Make sure to enclose and band it tightly around the copper rod that you just drove into the ground now use the pliers or clamps to connect them both and tighten them properly by using a wrench.

Step 3 (grounding your generator)

The last step but not least is to ground the generator. Once you are done stripping and connecting the copper wire and rod. Now it’s time to move on to the next step that is grounding and connecting the wire to your generator. Now you have to be careful and strip the other side of the copper wire. Extend it and connect it with the generator.

Step 4 (connecting and tightening)

Lastly, connect your generator’s grounding bolt with the appropriate location by loosening it a little bit, then curve the stripped wire with a hammer so that it may be wrapped around the bolt easily.

Further, for the secure and fixed connection, tighten the ground wire to the appropriate grounding location on the generator with the help of a wrench and you’re done grounding your generator.

Ways to find out whether your generator needs to be grounded:

Some generators do not require grounding but some do. Now you might be wondering how would someone know if their generator is required to be grounded.

Follow this simplest way to find out if your generator requires grounding electrodes.

  • Check your user guide.
  • A small sign of grounding must be in the corner of your generator.
  • If there are no instructions available yet you can figure out for safety.
  • If you are having a generator that is a separately derived system, you gotta use a grounding rod. That means your generator requires grounding.
  • If it’s not a separately derived system, then it does not need to be grounded.

To comprehend the separately derived system, all you gotta do is check the transfer switch of your generator. If it’s not a separated derived system then it would not be having a transfer switch that can be transmitted to the ground conductor.

Oftentimes the portable generators have their engine and fuel tank for that they don’t require grounding.

Tools required to ground your generator are:

If your generator is required to be grounded, you gotta use the right tools and these tools can be found easily anywhere.

  • Grounding clamps.
  • A set of wire strippers.
  • Grounded rod of 4 foot.
  • Copper grounding wire/building wire.
  • Hammer or mallet.


Q1. What happens if you don’t ground a generator?

Ans. Grounding gives you safety from flame or other dangerous situations; it is like a backup path of the slight resistance for the electricity to flow. If your generator is not grounded, it will allow electricity to flow in places where it should not be.

Q2. Can I ground my generator to my house ground?

Ans. Yes probably, wherever you want your portable generator to supply power and light just make sure to ground the electrode rod on that specific location.

Q3. Why is earthing required for a generator?

Ans. The impartial point of your generator is usually earthed to promote the protection and safety of the associated system and winding. Moreover, earthing also hesitates the damaging transient overvoltage in the occurrence of an arcing earth deficiency.

Q4. Do I have to ground my generator?

Ans. Portable generators are utilized when remote power is needed for some time to your home, office or anywhere. Some generators do not require grounding but some do. If you are having a generator that is a separately derived system, you gotta use a grounding rod. That means your generator requires grounding.

If it’s not a separately derived system, then it does not need to be grounded.

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Grounding the generator plays an important role in the proper connection and safe use. Some generators do not require grounding if they are not separately derived systems. While other portable generators need to be grounded if necessary.

Although, grounding is not an easy process if you’re new and you have no manual with your generator. So for that, we have brought an easy way for you to ground your generator for camping or daily use.

However, Make sure to use the right tools for grounding your generator. Hope this article will be helpful to you.

thank you


Blanks, Joseph E. Optimal design of an enclosure for a portable generator. Diss. Virginia Tech, 1997.

Castenschiold, René, and Gordon S. Johnson. “Proper grounding of on-site electrical power systems.” IEEE Industry Applications Magazine 7.2 (2001): 54-62.

Hasni, N. A. M., et al. “Investigation of potential grounding compound for portable applications.” International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering 7.6 (2017): 3140.