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Old 12-28-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


I have a GE model #TM1212RCU panel with a main breaker and it's own service / meter. I want to convert to a subpanel from another panel.

I have contacted POCO and they will remove meter and drop.....I just need to give them a date. I live in county and no permits or approvals are needed for conversion.........but I have an electrician that will look over my work before I power it up for $50.00.

My question is........what is required to separate the neutral and ground on this panel as there are isolated neutral / ground bars on each side that are connected with a tie bar.

I am assuming I remove the connecting bar and use left side for ground and right side for neutral?????

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Old 12-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


Leave the isolated neutral bars with the neutrals connected to them. Install ground bars and move the grounds to them. Remove the bonding screw/strap.

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Old 12-28-2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


The GE loadcenters I have used have a removable tie bar. The side which has the bonding screw should be used for the grounds, thus bonding the can to ground. You may need to get a larger add on lug for the neutral on the opposite side.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


the power company can tell you whether they require the neutral and ground bars to be isolated or not. did you ask them? probably how it is now is the way you want to do the new panel. you stated you have isolated bars that are connected. from what little i know the bars are not isolated if they are connected to each other in any manner. the bar running from one to the other is called an isolation bar. with it attached, they are not isolated. with it taken off, they are isolated from each other, hence the term "isolated".
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:04 PM   #5
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by buddy builder View Post
the power company can tell you whether they require the neutral and ground bars to be isolated or not

Nope nope nope. This has nothing to do with the power company and everything to do with the NEC. The neutral buss needs to be isolated from ground and the ground buss needs to be bonded to the panel. This panel needs to be fed from the main with 4 conductors and if this panel in not in the same structure it will need a grounding rod (2).
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:39 PM   #6
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


he stated he was in the country and i'm taking it then no inspection. where i'm from the power company seving the city requires the isolation bar be removed like you said. out of town the two co-ops said they don't care. one requires the ground wire to the meter. one requires it up to the mask on overhead. sorry if this rubs you wrong but it has something to do with authority having jurisdiction or something like that.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:08 AM   #7
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


Every municipality, rural or not has to follow the NEC..Where he is at it may not be the newest code. It's up to the AHJ to enforce the code which applies in the area....and Texas happens to be on the 2011 code.
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Last edited by Missouri Bound; 12-30-2012 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:19 AM   #8
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


thank you. i wonder why the co-ops don't enforce this since i know it is code. our city inspectors check this and so does the power company. i know it is not their responsibility but that is where the "rubber meets the road" so to speak and they like to confirm it. in the country the co-ops don't seem to care. i asked them about this about a month ago on a rural service and the answer was the same. it seems the manufacturers of panels would not even put isolation bars in their panels if every single one had to come out of every panel. why are they even there if every one has to come out? i agree with you 100% on the NEC and i will be smarter next time talking on this forum about what is allowed here may not be up to snuff elsewhere. i kind of related his post to my co-ops since he was in the country also. you are most kind missouri. i stand corrected.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:24 AM   #9
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


Well they don't have to come out. Main panels are generally installed with the neutral and ground bonded. The exception is if the meter socket happens to have a disconnect, then the actual main panel is technically a sub-panel. Many mfg. are aware that their panel can be used as either a main or sub, so the bonding screw is there for that reason on a buss which would become the grounding buss. There are ton's of pdf's online which give clear illistration of the proper way to wire both types. And you didn't rub me the wrong way....
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Last edited by Missouri Bound; 12-30-2012 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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Converting a Main Panel to Subpanel


Yes, yes, and yes. No inspections and no advice from POCO, 4 wires run for sub-panel, and ground rod already installed.

I thought POCO was only interested in compliance to the meter / main breaker. The rest is up to the homeowner and installing electrician?????

Going to follow advice from BRRIC posting earlier
"The GE loadcenters I have used have a removable tie bar. The side which has the bonding screw should be used for the grounds, thus bonding the can to ground. You may need to get a larger add on lug for the neutral on the opposite side."

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