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Old 10-23-2012, 10:07 AM   #1
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insufficient panel ground


My 100 amp fuse panel seems to only be grounded by 2 #14 wires that are connected together to my copper water main, approximately 15 feet away from where it enters the house. From what I can read this is insufficient. Is there any sign at all that i can look for that confirms this at all. How does someone know if they have a bad panel ground wire?

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:43 AM   #2
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insufficient panel ground


Questions need to be answered. Is your water line metallic and in contact with your soil for at least 10 foot? Do you have ground rods outside?

A bad ground is different from an improperly sized or installed ground.

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:10 AM   #3
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Questions need to be answered. Is your water line metallic and in contact with your soil for at least 10 foot? Do you have ground rods outside?

A bad ground is different from an improperly sized or installed ground.
The water line is copper. I have no idea how long it's in contact with the soil. There are no other grounds. The only other thing I see is that in the panel, there are two more 14 gauge wires going to a clamp that seems to be connect to the panel box.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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insufficient panel ground


Get a brass or copper clamp, like this. Model #36010.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/cata...gry=SEARCH+ALL

Make a shiney section on the pipe near where it enters the home. Mount the clamp there. Run #8 or #6 copper wire back to the panel. Bare is fine.

Did you check outside near the meter? Is there a bare wire going into the bottom of the meter? Current code requires a second ground, like a ground rod.

Last edited by Glennsparky; 10-23-2012 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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insufficient panel ground


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Originally Posted by Glennsparky View Post
Get a brass or copper clamp, like this. Model #36010.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/cata...gry=SEARCH+ALL

Make a shiney section on the pipe near where it enters the home. Mount the clamp there. Run #8 or #6 copper wire back to the panel. Bare is fine.
I'm ok with this so far, but now how do I switch the wires in the panel from the old ground to the new one? If I shut the main breaker off am I ok to do the switch? Also do I leave the wires that connect to the panel itself?
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:30 PM   #6
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insufficient panel ground


You can remove the old improper wires.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #7
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You can remove the old improper wires.
So I'm shutting the main breaker off and removing everything or just the wires going to the old clamp (leaving the ones going to the clamp on the panel)?

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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Here are pictures of what I have now. The one shows the two sets of wires where they leave the panel, and the second shows where the one set connects to the panel. This also shows where the second set leaves the panel (these go to the clamp on the water pipe)



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Old 10-23-2012, 04:55 PM   #9
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insufficient panel ground


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Here are pictures of what I have now. The one shows the two sets of wires where they leave the panel, and the second shows where the one set connects to the panel. This also shows where the second set leaves the panel (these go to the clamp on the water pipe)




Haha... thats some funny stuff right there...
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:31 PM   #10
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Haha... thats some funny stuff right there...

Care to elaborate?
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #11
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Care to elaborate?
Just love the hack job, that's all...
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:39 PM   #12
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insufficient panel ground


That lug at the top of the box, is that on a bonding bushing? Can you remove it, and replace it with a lay-in lug?

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/cata...gry=SEARCH+ALL

If so and you come in that top hole with the new wire, just jog the wire to the left and lay it in. Then continue on to the buss that has the white wires.

Did you say there's a main breaker upstream of this fuse box?

Last edited by Glennsparky; 10-23-2012 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:43 PM   #13
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Just love the hack job, that's all...
Any suggestions on fixing it?
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #14
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insufficient panel ground


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That lug at the top of the box, is that on a bonding bushing? Can you remove it, and replace it with a lay-in lug?

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/cata...gry=SEARCH+ALL

If so and you come in that top hole with the new wire, just jog the wire to the left and lay it in. Then continue on to the buss that has the white wires.
It seems replaceable in the sense that it's only screwed in. I'm not just if it's on a bonding bushing or not.

Can this be replaced without me electrocuting myself? If I shut the main breaker off?
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:46 PM   #15
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insufficient panel ground


Yes, shut off the main breaker. Do you have a volt meter to confirm the power's off in that box?

The main box is also a great place to look for more grounding electrode conductors.

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Last edited by Glennsparky; 10-23-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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