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Old 09-10-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


Hello,

My home has a main panel (fuses) to a distributor panel inside my home. In the distributor panel, I noticed that they put neutral and ground together in the same bus bar. I am wondering if this is ok? I have two electricians to take a look one said no, the other said yes, so I am kind of confused.

I am trying to add one or two more circuits which the current panel has some available space but ground bar is full because it is used for both ground and neutral. It's very old box (it has no GFCI nor AFCI breakers). Should I get another panel for those two new circuits and move some of the circuit there?

This panel also has open wire at the top (I mean I can see Romex out from the panel). But there is a wooden box covering the panel and those wires. Is this acceptable?

Thanks in advance,

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Old 09-10-2011, 02:29 PM   #2
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


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Originally Posted by cfreak View Post
Hello,

My home has a main panel (fuses) to a distributor panel inside my home. In the distributor panel, I noticed that they put neutral and ground together in the same bus bar. I am wondering if this is ok? I have two electricians to take a look one said no, the other said yes, so I am kind of confused.

I am trying to add one or two more circuits which the current panel has some available space but ground bar is full because it is used for both ground and neutral. It's very old box (it has no GFCI nor AFCI breakers). Should I get another panel for those two new circuits and move some of the circuit there?

This panel also has open wire at the top (I mean I can see Romex out from the panel). But there is a wooden box covering the panel and those wires. Is this acceptable?

Thanks in advance,
Assuming your distributer is a sub panel and is in the same building as your main, then grounds and neutrals should be separate.

Should be a 4 wire feed.

You can add ground and neutral bars.

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Old 09-10-2011, 02:41 PM   #3
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


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Originally Posted by Code05 View Post
Assuming your distributer is a sub panel and is in the same building as your main, then grounds and neutrals should be separate.

Should be a 4 wire feed.

You can add ground and neutral bars.
Thanks!

My main is outside of the same building. The main panel also has neutral connected to the actual ground wire. It seems that it has only 3 wire feed. Can you recommend me what is the right way the fix this?
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:12 PM   #4
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


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Thanks!

My main is outside of the same building. The main panel also has neutral connected to the actual ground wire. It seems that it has only 3 wire feed. Can you recommend me what is the right way the fix this?
4 wire feed of the correct size to sub, 3 wire feed to main.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Code05

4 wire feed of the correct size to sub, 3 wire feed to main.
Just asking because I want to know the answer; but why do you need a 4 wire feed to feed a sub?
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:35 PM   #6
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I think and I could be wrong.

Do you mean:

2x 120V
1x Neutral
1x Ground

?

I have a ground wire running from main panel (outside) passing close to the subpanel. Is it possible to use this as ground for subpanel?
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:45 PM   #7
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


Quote:
Originally Posted by cfreak
I think and I could be wrong.

Do you mean:

2x 120V
1x Neutral
1x Ground

?

I have a ground wire running from main panel (outside) passing close to the subpanel. Is it possible to use this as ground for subpanel?
That's what my question is. Because if that is it, that isn't called a 4 wire system. It is a 3 wire system. The ground dosnt count
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:58 PM   #8
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


Quote:
Originally Posted by cfreak View Post
I think and I could be wrong.

Do you mean:

2x 120V
1x Neutral
1x Ground

Yes

Quote:
I have a ground wire running from main panel (outside) passing close to the subpanel. Is it possible to use this as ground for subpanel?
No
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:01 PM   #9
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny B. View Post
Just asking because I want to know the answer; but why do you need a 4 wire feed to feed a sub?
250.24(A)(5) Load-Side Grounding Connections. A grounded conductor
shall not be connected to normally non–currentcarrying
metal parts of equipment, to equipment grounding
conductor(s), or be reconnected to ground on the load side
of the service disconnecting means except as otherwise permitted
in this article.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:02 PM   #10
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


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That's what my question is. Because if that is it, that isn't called a 4 wire system. It is a 3 wire system. The ground dosnt count
Incorrect.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:42 PM   #11
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


Quote:
Originally Posted by Code05

Incorrect.
Are you sure. Again, just asking because I want to know. I'm confused. Isn't his house single phase, therefore 2 hots, one neutral? I thought 4 wire system was 3 hots, one neutral
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:48 PM   #12
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny B. View Post
Just asking because I want to know the answer; but why do you need a 4 wire feed to feed a sub?
To keep the neutral and ground separate. Any equipment installed after the main service disconnect gets the neutral and ground separated. This keeps the ground from carrying current under normal situations.

Think of a typical receptacle in your home. A device plugged into that receptacle is only going to use the ‘hot’ and the neutral under normal circumstances. The ground is there to provide a low-impedance path back to the panel (actually back to the transformer via the panel) should a fault occur.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:50 PM   #13
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


4 wire single phase feeders are 2 hots, 1 neutral, 1 ground.
3 wire single phase services are 2 hots, 1 neutral.
3 hots & 1 neutral is a 4 wire 3 phase service.
3 hots, 1 neutral, 1 ground is a 3 phase feeder.
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Last edited by SD515; 09-10-2011 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD515
4 wire single phase feeders are 2 hots, 1 neutral, 1 ground.
3 wire single phase services are 2 hots, 1 neutral.
3 hots & 1 neutral is a 4 wire 3 phase service.
3 hots, 1 neutral, 1 ground is a 3 phase feeder.
So what about 3 wire system with ground
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:56 PM   #15
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Electrical Panel - Ground Bar/Wiring and Safety


A 3 wire system with ground? In what sense? As a service? Feeder or branch circuit?

No typical North American service I know of has 3 wires and ground (4 wires). Maybe 3 wires plus neutral (4 wires)=3 phase w/neutral. The utility doesn’t give you a ‘ground’ wire. They give you a grounded (neutral) wire if you need it. Most buildings do, but I have worked on a building that had 3-phase no neutral.

For services you can have 3 wires incoming, single phase=2 hots 1 neutral, or 3 phase=3 hots no neutral, or 4 wires coming in=3 phase with neutral. Making sense?

For feeders and branch circuits, 3 wire with ground can be a few different things. Could be a MWBC (2 hots 1 neutral 1 ground), an isolated ground circuit (1 hot 1 neutral 1 ‘dirty’ ground 1 ‘clean’ ground), a 3 phase circuit (3 hots 1 neutral or 3 hots 1 ground).

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