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Old 10-16-2011, 08:25 PM   #16
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Breaker Box Ground/Neutral Connection Help


You panel is not to code.

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Old 10-16-2011, 09:24 PM   #17
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Breaker Box Ground/Neutral Connection Help


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You panel is not to code.
I know, I was just wondering if the corrections I made in the second drawing would bring my panel up to code; and if the cold water pipes on the opposite side of the building for the other two units should have ground straps on their cold water pipe like we do on our side of the building.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:49 AM   #18
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Breaker Box Ground/Neutral Connection Help


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Can someone please verify if what I've drawn looks correct? We're having a condo association meeting to discuss getting everything brought up to code and I need to make sure I can accurately describe what needs to be corrected. Also since several building inspectors didn't notice this I'm going to personally make sure it's done right so I need to make sure I have a good understanding of what a correct system is.

Also the two cold water pipes on the side of the building with the breakers boxes have a grounding strap on them but the two on the opposite side of the building for the other two units do not have any grounding straps on them. Shouldn't these water pipes have ground straps as well?
Yes, your drawings are correct. Each panel requires a 4-wire feed, and the only place the neutral and ground buses can be connected (and MUST be connected) is at the first disconnecting means - which is the main breaker at each unit's meter. The neutral/ground bond can be before the disconnects, and thus shared for the entire building, or there could be separate neutral/ground buses at each unit's disconnect. It doesn't matter. You just can't do it AFTER the main disconnects.

The water lines on the other side of the building probably require bonding. If they are separate water service entrances each with their own meters, then they do. They would each need to be bonded to the system's neutral/ground bus within 5' of entering the building.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:58 AM   #19
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Breaker Box Ground/Neutral Connection Help


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Yes, your drawings are correct. Each panel requires a 4-wire feed, and the only place the neutral and ground buses can be connected (and MUST be connected) is at the first disconnecting means - which is the main breaker at each unit's meter. The neutral/ground bond can be before the disconnects, and thus shared for the entire building, or there could be separate neutral/ground buses at each unit's disconnect. It doesn't matter. You just can't do it AFTER the main disconnects.

The water lines on the other side of the building probably require bonding. If they are separate water service entrances each with their own meters, then they do. They would each need to be bonded to the system's neutral/ground bus within 5' of entering the building.
Thank you for your reply. Since one set of water meters are right next to the electrical meter panel the grounding cable run is under 10', the grounding cable run to the other side of the building would about 60'. Can the same size 4 gauge cable be used for the second set of meters since the ground wire doesn't normally carry current, or is a thicker cable required for the longer run?
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:33 PM   #20
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Breaker Box Ground/Neutral Connection Help


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Thank you for your reply. Since one set of water meters are right next to the electrical meter panel the grounding cable run is under 10', the grounding cable run to the other side of the building would about 60'. Can the same size 4 gauge cable be used for the second set of meters since the ground wire doesn't normally carry current, or is a thicker cable required for the longer run?
The same conductor is OK. It's not intended to carry any current unless something goes very wrong. The point is to ensure that the plumbing can never become electrified due to faulty wiring or equipment.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:50 PM   #21
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Breaker Box Ground/Neutral Connection Help


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The same conductor is OK. It's not intended to carry any current unless something goes very wrong. The point is to ensure that the plumbing can never become electrified due to faulty wiring or equipment.
That's what I thought but I wasn't sure if I was allowed to by code, thank you for the confirmation. I've been reading through the NEC book, but it's a difficult read since it's tends to reference stuff on other pages and since it's written by lawyers. I wish there was a DIY version that said everything in plain English.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:04 PM   #22
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Breaker Box Ground/Neutral Connection Help


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I wish there was a DIY version that said everything in plain English.
I recommend the NEC Handbook. It's a vastly expanded printing of the NEC that includes diagrams and commentary published by the NFPA. The diagrams and commentary are not enforceable elements of the Code and are not binding interpretations, but they're darn close - it's written and published by the drafters of the NEC. Of course, there are plenty of simplified guidebooks for DIY wiring but I'd trust them much less than my own reading of the Code itself. But I am a lawyer, so I have some sort of perverse enjoyment of the NEC. Annoyed the heck out of bad inspectors when I was in construction management.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:14 PM   #23
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Breaker Box Ground/Neutral Connection Help


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I recommend the NEC Handbook. It's a vastly expanded printing of the NEC that includes diagrams and commentary published by the NFPA. The diagrams and commentary are not enforceable elements of the Code and are not binding interpretations, but they're darn close - it's written and published by the drafters of the NEC. Of course, there are plenty of simplified guidebooks for DIY wiring but I'd trust them much less than my own reading of the Code itself. But I am a lawyer, so I have some sort of perverse enjoyment of the NEC. Annoyed the heck out of bad inspectors when I was in construction management.
Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to pick up a copy of the NEC handbook.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:20 PM   #24
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Breaker Box Ground/Neutral Connection Help


All the disconnects at the meter need a proper grounding system and you need to have a neutral wire ran from the disconnects to the sub panel. Your home actually has no grounding system at all. I am shocked that it passed.

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