How To Ground A Generator – Steps, Tips, & Tricks

Did you get a new generator as a backup power source, or planning to get one soon? Then it is also essential to learn how to ground the generator to keep your family and surroundings safe. Improper grounding of a generator leads to damaged appliances and a threat of electrocution or shock.

ground generators

Whether it is a Yamaha generator or any other model, one needs to ground it properly.

Remember these steps on how you can ground a generator safely.

What Does It Mean To Ground Your Generator?

Grounding occurs when you connect an electrical circuit into a reference ground. One uses the generator’s frame as the electrical circuit and then combines or connects it with a grounding rod, the reference ground. It would be best if you ground RV generators as well when you go camping.

A copper wire is preferable to connect from your generator’s frame and insert it in the grounding rod. In this manner, the generator operates safely.  The primary purpose of grounding is precaution and safety. Without grounding, you can injure people around you and damage equipment. So, how do you go about it? And do all generators need to be grounded?

Do All Generators Need To Be Grounded?

The answer depends on the model of the portable generator.

Various modern generators fall under the category ‘non separately derived systems’. These do not need any grounding. On the other hand, models coming under the ‘separately derived systems’ category need grounding.

A separately derived system is a wiring system that does not directly connect to conductors arising from another system. The non-specialty derived systems are just the opposite of it. To determine whether you need to ground your generator or not, carefully read through the user manual.

If you are browsing for a new generator, check out our generators review to find the ideal one.

Tools Do you Need To Ground A Generator?

Cooper Rod

A ground copper rod is one of the most crucial tools you will require for the process. This copper rod should be no shorter than 4 feet.

Copper Grounding Wire

A solid grounding copper wire is needed to connect your generator to the generator rod. Make sure the wire has correct characteristics, such as the proper length and wire gauge.


A hammer will help you drive your copper ground rod into the ground quickly and safely.

Wire Strippers

You need wire strippers to strip the covering of your grounding wire before tying one end around the rod while attaching the other to the generator.

Wrench And Pliers

A solid wrench helps attach the copper wire to the generator. Pliers wrap the copper wire tightly around the grounding rod to amplify its connection.

Steps To Ground A Portable Generator

When you have the correct tools, the grounding process becomes more manageable. Follow the steps to ground your generator safely:

Steps To Ground A Portable Generator

1.  Install The Grounding Rod

While installing the copper rod, sink the rod at least 8 feet deep using a hammer. Depending on the type of earth or terrain, you can use water to soften it. If the terrain is too rocky or rugged, sink the rod at an angle that does not exceed 45.

2.  Strip The Copper Wire

Use your wire stripper and strip the insulation of the copper wire. Be careful not to over strip it. Wrap the grounding rod with the copper wire as tight as you can using the pliers.

3. Ground The Generator

After you sink the rod and tightly connect the copper wire, this is the final step. On your generator, find the grounding bolt and loosen it with a wrench. Create enough room to wrap the other end of the wire around the bolt before tightening the ground bolt again.

If you have recently purchased a generator, be it a dual fuel generator or inverter generator, make sure whether it requires grounding in the first place. If you do need it, follow the simple steps above to ground the generator safely.  You will be able to ground a generator easily now

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My career as an Industrial Electrician with over 20 years experience in maintaining small, medium and very large generators plus repairing small engines and working in an auto electrical shop have placed me in the unique position to provide quality advice on all your generator needs. 😉

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