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Old 04-06-2012, 03:36 PM   #61
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Input needed on 240 vs. 120v situation


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Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
Whoa, there! Hold on a minute. This looks like a 3-wire feed, not 4. He can only separate neutral and ground if there is a separate grounding conductor back to the main. Otherwise this would be disastrous - the panel would be ungrounded. A 4-wire feed may not have been required at the time this was installed, in which case a 3-wire feed with neutral and ground bonded is perfectly acceptable.

While you are correct that I SHOULD have asked if the panel was fed with a metal conduit, a grounded conductor is not required to separate the grounds and neutral. It very well could be a 3 wire feed with the conduit supplying the ground path.

If the panel is is done in PVC with 3 wires, then the panel isn't grounded anyway (no bond screw from the neutral bar and the case) and we could debate which is more dangerous, bonding the neutral and ground or having no ground.

Judging by the age of that panel, a ground would be required. There is new(er) THHN's feeding the panel and romex thruout. I don't know when the code changed that required neutrals and ground not be bonded, but I know it was well before romex came along.

I'll ask the question now, how do the feeders arrive at the panel? Metal conduit or PVC?

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Old 04-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #62
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Input needed on 240 vs. 120v situation


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
While you are correct that I SHOULD have asked if the panel was fed with a metal conduit, a grounded conductor is not required to separate the grounds and neutral. It very well could be a 3 wire feed with the conduit supplying the ground path.

If the panel is is done in PVC with 3 wires, then the panel isn't grounded anyway (no bond screw from the neutral bar and the case) and we could debate which is more dangerous, bonding the neutral and ground or having no ground.

Judging by the age of that panel, a ground would be required. There is new(er) THHN's feeding the panel and romex thruout. I don't know when the code changed that required neutrals and ground not be bonded, but I know it was well before romex came along.

I'll ask the question now, how do the feeders arrive at the panel? Metal conduit or PVC?
Yeah, I missed that there's no bonding screw. Somebody just needs to go through this whole installation and make it better. There are multiple ways to do it, but it needs to be done.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:05 PM   #63
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Input needed on 240 vs. 120v situation


Probably not going to like this answer but the feeders run off of a 100amp breaker from the main box in the house underground through metal conduit into the barn. The metal conduit runs to the top of the rafters in the barn, ends, and than the feeder cables run along one of the rafters and down into the sub panel in the pool/workshop area.

I.E - the metal conduit stops after the feeder cables get to the rafters, than it's just the cables themselves (no conduit) going into the sub panel.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:14 PM   #64
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Input needed on 240 vs. 120v situation


Yeah, that doesn't sound good. Have an electrician come over and take a look at what you want for the A/V and fixing up the sub panel. He should be able to do that for free.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:29 PM   #65
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Input needed on 240 vs. 120v situation


Will do. Thanks for everyone having patience with me. The power is definitely there (no need to upgrade service).....just need to clean up that mess of a sub panel. Small investment to make sure it's done right is fine by me.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:33 PM   #66
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Input needed on 240 vs. 120v situation


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My color blindness may be getting in the way but, is that a colored wire (black) on the neutral bar
That thick gray-ish wire that connects to the bottom of the busbar? I wonder if that's going to a grounding electrode somewhere. This is a detached structure, right?
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:52 PM   #67
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Input needed on 240 vs. 120v situation


I find it funny that something as simple as this would be over five pages. If the spec's on the product call for a 20 amp circuit at 240v, and a 15 amp circuit at 120v, go with what ever is easiest. It really does not matter which you choose, but if it was me and I did not want to do a bunch of rewiring, I would go with the simplest and that would be plugging it into a 120v/20 amp circuit and be done with it. No need to reinvent the wheel.

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