I have a portable gas generator that I want to connect to a 1hp, 240 volt irrigation pump. The pump is out in a field and not connected in any way to power at the house. I want to use a twist lock extension cord from the Generator to the pump. The generator has a floating neutral. Do I need to bond the neutral and ground wire in the extension cord together? Thanks

  • 2
    Does the pump even need a neutral to begin with? (I suspect not, but I could be wrong about its controls -- if you could post some sort of wiring diagram or nameplate labeling for it, that'd help) – ThreePhaseEel Jul 21 '19 at 19:56
  • The pump is a 1HP red lion jet pump. I have run it on 2 hots and a ground and it worked fine. I do not believe it need a neutral but I am confused about the floating neutral on the generator. This concept of bonding the neutral wire to ground confused me. Should I just wire it with 2 hots and a ground and forget about the neutral. I am not sure of the safety of this set up. – old54 Jul 21 '19 at 21:00

Your pump doesn't use neutral. So there's no need or reason to modify anything.

Regardless... You would never modify an extension cord like that, because then it'd be dangerous to use anyplace else. If you must violate Code, you can do it more sanely by getting a NEMA 5-20 plug, and jumper it internally neutral to ground with a #12 wire, and just plug it into the generator in an unused 5-20 socket.

A 5-20 plug looks like a common 5-15 but with a sideways neutral. The beauty of it is the generator will take it, but few other sockets will.

  • So just by plugging in a 5-20 (regular 3 prong plug) plug with the jumper between the ground and neutral in a unused 120 outlet on the generator and then using the twist lock extension cord from the 240 volt outlet on the generator and connecting the 2 hot wires and the ground wire to the pump takes care of the bonding? Would connecting the ground wire and the neutral wire in the 240 volt extension cord at the grounding screw on the pump also take care of the neutral bonding? – old54 Jul 21 '19 at 21:18
  • @old54 You don't need to do anything with neutral. Your pump does not use neutral. You can ignore it entirely. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 21 '19 at 22:17

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