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TonyD 08-10-2006 01:39 PM

Grounding new service
I have been reading alot about grounds and bonding in a new 200 amp panel and would like to try and get some clarification.

when switching over from a 100 amp panel with the ground from the service coldwater pipe to the neutral bussbar.

The new 200 amp panel has 2 bussbars one which will accomodate the incoming neutral wire ( this bussbar should be grounded) , the second bussbar also has a large solderless connector and an attached metal strip with a copper nub and green screw. Does this bussbar need to be grounded and how....

Would 2 cu rods have to be driven in the soil for grounding and could the coldpipe connection still be used ( of course changing the wire size to at least #6)

The SE is cable no conduit.

any info please.


Speedy Petey 08-10-2006 04:34 PM

Ok, first off, if you have copper or metal water pipe coming into the house you MUST use it as the primary grounding electrode. This means you have to connect to it within 5' of where it enters the house and jump around any meters and plastic filters, etc.
You must still supplement this with a ground rod or other electrode. Rods are most common. There is a minimum resistance rule to be met and testing is not easy so most simply install two rods (6' apart minimum).
The wire to the rods only can be #6. The wire to the water pipe must be #4.

I'm really not clear on your description of the bars in the new panel, but this is irrelevant. ALL neutral and ground bars get bonded to the panel box. Neither bar remains isolated. So if there is a bond strap/screw, use it.

TonyD 08-11-2006 06:46 AM

Thanks Speedy,
My water service entrance into the house is copper and approximately 3-4' from the panel. The bussbars Im talking about are one is for the neutral's and the other the ground...

So I will run the #4 Cu from the cold water pipe to which bussbar

The #6 wire from the groundig rods , should the wire be ran in conduit or just ran into the basement straight to the panel. This wire connects to the same neutral bussbar or the other one. Im sorry to be redundant but this is how I learn, That second bussbar is the one that has the bonding strap.



Speedy Petey 08-11-2006 10:25 AM


Originally Posted by TonyD
So I will run the #4 Cu from the cold water pipe to which bussbar



Originally Posted by TonyD
The #6 wire from the groundig rods , should the wire be ran in conduit or just ran into the basement straight to the panel. This wire connects to the same neutral bussbar or the other one.

With #6 no conduit is necessary. Just keep it clear of immediate damage when outside. Make it as short as possible to the rods.
Again, either bar.

TonyD 08-11-2006 12:23 PM

Speedy, thanks for the input......I appreciate it...

Whats your view on alum vs Cu for service. Just curious.


Tony D

Speedy Petey 08-11-2006 01:01 PM

We use AL almost exclusively. I cannot even get SE cable in CU around here.
Installed properly AL is perfectly fine and just as safe as CU.

RobertWilber 08-11-2006 02:22 PM

two cents
I think that you will find, if you look closely, that the two neutral bars are connected by a bar that runs behind the busbar insulation sheet.
They are installed like this by certain manufacturers to facilitate connection of the neutral and ground conductors in a cable near the point where the "hot" is attached to the breaker.
The one with the "big lug" is so that you can terminate the 4/0 or 2/0 aluminum SE neutral as a single conductor.
And remember that you only need #6 to the ground rod. One rod is enough here, but I have been reading about a lot of places where the AHJ "authority having jurisdiction" requires 2 rods, so you had best check

TonyD 08-11-2006 10:18 PM

Ok guys thanks for the info it was really helpfull:thumbup:
  1. On another note is it rule of thumb that a light bar over the bathroom vanity be 60" to center from the floor.
  2. Also what is the height of an outlet next to a vanity.
Thanks Again


Speedy Petey 08-11-2006 10:33 PM

1- IMO 60" is too low. Consider your mirror first and then figure fixture height. 66"-72" is a better range.

2- I do bath vanity receptacles at 44" to the top of the box. This keeps it closer to the counter top so cords are not hanging as high, and makes sure there is no conflict with a chair rail or wainscotting which is typically at 48".

TonyD 08-12-2006 08:52 PM

Great, Thanks again for the help.


TonyD 08-21-2006 10:38 AM


Should the the # 4 and #6 wires be bare....


jwhite 08-21-2006 11:03 AM

Bare solid wire is probably cheeper, but the code does not say if you need to use solid or stranded, bare or covered for Grounding Electrode Conductors.

Take your pick. Unless there is a local code that we would not be aware of.

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