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-   -   How is this subpanel ground? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/how-subpanel-ground-23710/)

FixingOlga 07-15-2008 12:34 PM

How is this subpanel grounded?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hey,
I recently moved into this house and am looking to install some outlets upstairs. Previously, a sub panel was installed which should make this job a lot easier, but I can't seem to figure out how it is grounded. The two neutral/ground buses are attached with a tie bar which I originally thought had to be separated (and then one bus used as a neutral and the other as a ground). Is this subpanel installed properly? If so, how is it grounded?
It also appears that there are only 3 wires coming into the subpanel, 2 hot and a neutral... Is that up to code?

hopefully this picture uploaded properly.

joed 07-15-2008 01:56 PM

If the sub panel is connected to the main panel via conduit that would be the ground. The ground and neutral should be kept separate. i can't tell if the bond screw is inplace not connecting the neutral bus to the box.
I don't see any ground wires in that picture. All I see is blue,red, black and white wires. Ground must be green or bare.
It appears as if this house is wired using conduit. If that is true then the conduit is the ground.

BigJimmy 07-15-2008 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 139551)
If the sub panel is connected to the main panel via conduit that would be the ground. The ground and neutral should be kept separate. i can't tell if the bond screw is inplace not connecting the neutral bus to the box.
I don't see any ground wires in that picture. All I see is blue,red, black and white wires. Ground must be green or bare.
It appears as if this house is wired using conduit. If that is true then the conduit is the ground.

Look closely at the left side of the tub. There are definitely box connectors visible for conduit. As Joe says, the metallic raceway system (assuming that it is continuous) serves as the ground and is perfectly acceptable according to the NEC. In fact, the raceways serve as EGC's for each of your branch circuits as well. Therein, you will not typically have any ground wires like you would if this was wired with NM cable (one exception would be if you had a piece of greenfield/FMC connecting to the tub. Then you would have at least one ground wire).

Looking more closely, your neutral terminates on the top lug and you can trace across the top bus and down to the bottom bus via the splice plate. Both busses are connected and are therein both acting as neutral busses.

chris75 07-15-2008 04:42 PM

call me crazy but did they use BLUE as a grounded conductor? :eek:

joed 07-15-2008 05:30 PM

The blue is connected to a breaker. It is a hot wire. Conduit makes it easy to use different colours for different circuit. Makes for much easier circuit tracing.

chris75 07-15-2008 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 139628)
The blue is connected to a breaker. It is a hot wire. Conduit makes it easy to use different colours for different circuit. Makes for much easier circuit tracing.


You wanna look at that again and tell me what you see... :) Let me give you a BIG hint, thats a AFCI breaker....

joed 07-15-2008 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris75 (Post 139629)
You wanna look at that again and tell me what you see... :) Let me give you a BIG hint, thats a AFCI breaker....

I still see a blue and a red wire attached to a possible double pole GFCI breaker.

chris75 07-15-2008 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 139631)
I still see a blue and a red wire attached to a possible double pole GFCI breaker.


Guess you never wired one before, never mind. Just for fun, you wanna explain to me how its getting its 2nd pole?

chris75 07-15-2008 05:40 PM

Couple questions, what country is the OP from and is that Panel really mounted horizontally?

joed 07-15-2008 05:55 PM

I'm getting in a pissing match. I'll just say you must be right. I never wired one before.

chris75 07-15-2008 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 139637)
I'm getting in a pissing match. I'll just say you must be right. I never wired one before.

I wasnt trying to have a peeing match with you, I was only pointing out a violation to use a blue wire for a grounded conductor here in the US...

wirenut1110 07-15-2008 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris75 (Post 139639)
I wasnt trying to have a peeing match with you, I was only pointing out a violation to use a blue wire for a grounded conductor here in the US...

Honestly, I think you both were talking about 2 different breakers. the one on the right is blue and re-indentified white, the one on the left is blue.

Stubbie 07-15-2008 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris75 (Post 139639)
I wasnt trying to have a peeing match with you, I was only pointing out a violation to use a blue wire for a grounded conductor here in the US...

I pretty darn sure Chris is correct on this. Both the breakers in question are single pole AFCI. That panel is a GE, the positions they are installed in will only allow connection to one leg. So the blue is used as a grounded conductor from the position it is installed on the afci. My guess they wanted to reidentify the blue as white like the other afci was done.

jbfan 07-15-2008 07:40 PM

Looks like a blue wire with white tape maybe connected to the netural connection on an arc-fault.

FixingOlga 07-16-2008 08:23 AM

The picture loaded sideways, but the subpanel is installed upright. Thanks for all the input. I'm in new york city, and we can only use BX wires here because the rats eat through nm. So they, and the conduits, must be acting as the ground.


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