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Old 11-01-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
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200 amp electrical panel


My mom is looking to buy this unoccupied house. The electrical panel was off so I snapped a photo. It has a 200 amp main disconnect outside so shouldn’t the grounds and neutrals be separated? Also is the bend radius in the 2/0 wire okay. I also thought the panel was small for 200 amps. Is there anything else should to be concerned about in photo?
Thanks in advance for any help
Jack
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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Ground and Neutrals DO NOT have to be seperated in the main panel just a sub panal has to be seperated Not the cleanest looking job seen worse. I`s that coper wire you say 2/0 alum shoud be 4/0 You don't have any room if you decide to add anything.

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Old 11-01-2009, 10:22 AM   #3
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200 amp electrical panel


Thanks,
The 2/0 wiring alum i think. The reason I'm asking about separating the grounds and neutrals is an electrician told me that since the main disconnect is on the outside panel that technically this is a sub panel. Not sure if that is correct info that he gave me.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:03 AM   #4
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200 amp electrical panel


It looks to me as though it is 4 wire. Look closely to the right of where the big white wire goes into the lug. It looks like bare stranded aluminum wire going to a lug. If so, then that's the ground, and the white is the neutral.

I can't tell, but if the white and the bare go to the same bus, that's not legal. If they go to different busses, then it's OK.

Overall, it's a pretty sloppy job. Not unsafe, just sloppy.

If you need more circuits in the future, it'd be easy to add a sub-panel right next to the existing one.

The incoming wire looks a lot like 4/0 aluminum to me. 2/0 is too small for 200 amps, 4/0 is OK

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Old 11-01-2009, 11:24 AM   #5
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200 amp electrical panel


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Originally Posted by 300zx View Post
Ground and Neutrals DO NOT have to be seperated in the main panel just a sub panal has to be seperated Not the cleanest looking job seen worse. I`s that coper wire you say 2/0 alum shoud be 4/0 You don't have any room if you decide to add anything.

Huh? anything after the first disco is to be 4 wire last I knew.


anyway, a 20 slot 200 amp panel. Look at the model on the panel door. I would think is says something like 2030 or 2040 in the model number. That means the panel is designed to be able to use 1/2 sized breakers to end up with a total of poles to equal the number after the 20.


yes, it is a mess. Doesn't change functionality but it is a mess. Since there is a disco outside, it can be totally turned off and cleaned up easily.


as to neutral and ground bonded:

like MM stated, can't really tell if the neut and ground are bonded. They should not be and if the are, they should be seperated. Are all the GEC present at the disco or did they improperly bring them to this panel? They should be in the disco outside.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:19 PM   #6
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200 amp electrical panel


That panel is old but in great shape.

You DO need to add a ground bar and separate the neutrals.

I also see a #2SEU cable on a branch breaker. If this is for a sub-feeder within the same building it is not legal.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
That panel is old but in great shape.

You DO need to add a ground bar and separate the neutrals.

I also see a #2SEU cable on a branch breaker. If this is for a sub-feeder within the same building it is not legal.
how can you tell it us U? the flatness? and #2. Dang petey, you must have some eagle eyes there. (or maybe just a lot younger than mine)

I saw that as well but didn't want to jump there. Thought maybe for an electric furnace or such appliance requiring 240 only but if it is actually #2, most likely is a sub feed.

but I did catch the "cord" plugged into the adapter in the recep next to the panel. Adapter? for what? the recep is a 3 wire recep.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
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how can you tell it us U? the flatness? and #2. Dang petey, you must have some eagle eyes there. (or maybe just a lot younger than mine)

I saw that as well but didn't want to jump there. Thought maybe for an electric furnace or such appliance requiring 240 only but if it is actually #2, most likely is a sub feed.
Just from the way it looks winding around the panel. At all the different angles it really does look like SEU.
Could be for an electric heat pump. My house had one just before we moved in. It was replaced with gas heat. That had #2al SEU.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
Huh? anything after the first disco is to be 4 wire last I knew.


anyway, a 20 slot 200 amp panel. Look at the model on the panel door. I would think is says something like 2030 or 2040 in the model number. That means the panel is designed to be able to use 1/2 sized breakers to end up with a total of poles to equal the number after the 20.

I didn't read the part about the main also outside so you are right they need to be seperated need a ground bar and 4 wire the corect size
yes, it is a mess. Doesn't change functionality but it is a mess. Since there is a disco outside, it can be totally turned off and cleaned up easily.


as to neutral and ground bonded:

like MM stated, can't really tell if the neut and ground are bonded. They should not be and if the are, they should be seperated. Are all the GEC present at the disco or did they improperly bring them to this panel? They should be in the disco outside.
This is the first disco withe the 200 amp main don't have to seperate them AND 2/0 IS TO SMALL FOR 200 AMP SERVICE Needs to be 4/0

Last edited by 300zx; 11-01-2009 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Didn't read the post
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:04 PM   #10
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This is the first disco withe the 200 amp main don't have to seperate them AND 2/0 IS TO SMALL FOR 200 AMP SERVICE Needs to be 4/0
no, the first disco is outside. OP included that in this statement:

Quote:
It has a 200 amp main disconnect outside
if you have code that allows the second disco to be 3 wire, please include section #.

and yes, 2/0 al is too small for a 200 amp service but I did not say anything about that.

johned: you did not sound sure about the material of the conductors. It will state on the insulation or, of course, aluminum is silverish and copper is goldish colored.

Last edited by nap; 11-01-2009 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:30 PM   #11
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200 amp electrical panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by johned View Post
Thanks,
The 2/0 wiring alum i think. The reason I'm asking about separating the grounds and neutrals is an electrician told me that since the main disconnect is on the outside panel that technically this is a sub panel. Not sure if that is correct info that he gave me.
Your electrician (who advised you that after the Main disconnect, any other panel is considered a SUB-panel) is right. Therefore, the NEUTRAL should NOT be Grounded in the panel. In other words, you should keep the Neutral/s and the Ground/s on a separate bar in the panel. The NEUTRAL was already GROUNDED in the Main disconnect switch, if it was done correctly. (No matter what)Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:19 PM   #12
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no, the first disco is outside. OP included that in this statement:



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Sorry Nap i forgot to put that in my post that you were right i thaught i had put that in there and just noticed i didn't sorry Having one of those Days
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:10 PM   #13
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Sorry Nap i forgot to put that in my post that you were right i thaught i had put that in there and just noticed i didn't sorry Having one of those Days
No problem. I make mistakes as well. Ultimately, I am here to hopefully provide a poster with correct advice. Corrections are, for the most part (there are, of course, those that simply should not post any information), intended merely to afford the OP that correct advice. I, by no means, intended to chastise you for your post, merely admonish.
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:04 PM   #14
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200 amp electrical panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
No problem. I make mistakes as well. Ultimately, I am here to hopefully provide a poster with correct advice. Corrections are, for the most part (there are, of course, those that simply should not post any information), intended merely to afford the OP that correct advice. I, by no means, intended to chastise you for your post, merely admonish.
This might be OT. (off topic). But it's good to keep our English in shape. Looked it up. "Admonish" is not as severe as "Chastise". But the main topic (of this post) is, that 2/0 Aluminum is too small for a 200A. Service. (Copper is alright @ 3/0). Second point is that if there's a disconnect switch before the panel, IT must have the Ground and Neutral Bonded. And the panel should NOT be. Eliminate confusion Through Education; Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!

Last edited by spark plug; 11-01-2009 at 08:27 PM. Reason: error in definition of terms. ("#2" a/o "2/0")
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:12 PM   #15
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200 amp electrical panel


and don't forget that horror of a "cord" to the right of the panel.

From what I can see, there are possibly several other problems as well, petey pointing out one of them.

If the main conductors are too small for 200 amp, I would look into the cost of replacing them v. the cost of installing breakers that would not over tax the wire in place.



as to the English; g-ma was an old school school teacher. She did live with my parents, my siblings, and myself for awhile in my early life. I guess she had an impact on me other than the penmanship and manners I believed to which it was limited.

There is a lot to be said for the phrase: use it or lose it. Mental exercises are the only exercise I get now-a-days.

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