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lesp 04-15-2011 02:44 AM

Load center & grounding recommendations
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Hi again,
After more research and thinking, I will be swapping out my Pushmatic 20 space load center for a new one. Happily, my service is already 200A so I don't have to change the SE conductors (3-wire, 3/0, copper).

I'm considering the Cutler Hammer CH 42/42 and the Siemens 40/40. Both have a copper bus. Apart from the 2-circuit difference, why would you recommend one over the other? I have heard lots of good things about the CH, but have less info about the Siemens load centers.

Also, I will need to change the meter base and service entrance conduit. Are there any good resources showing how the meter socket and panel grounding need to be done? The old SE conduit is steel, but I will be replacing it with PVC. So should I be swapping the grounding bushings for grounding locknuts? Seems like a metal bushing on plastic pipe wouldn't do anything...

Also, does the PVC need to be Sched 80 or will Sched 40 work. My Code Check book says 80 is required if the SE is "subject to damage". Does conduit running along the side of the house fall in that category?

Check out my diagram and tell me if I've got it right...or if I'm close! :wink:

brric 04-15-2011 05:40 AM

There is absolutely no reason to use bonding bushings on pvc or any other non-metallic raceway.

nap 04-15-2011 07:17 AM

You need to verify with your power company that that meter base is acceptable/allowable for their equipment. In my area, there is no ground connection in the meter base either per POCO rules.

lesp 04-15-2011 12:06 PM

Thanks -- will ditch the grounding bushings. Any suggestions regarding Siemens vs Cutler Hammer brands?

brric 04-15-2011 04:37 PM

We use Siemens most of the time. Very convenient with plenty of neutral connections. The Cutler-Hammer CH line is excellent IMO, the BR series not so much.

Saturday Cowboy 04-15-2011 05:10 PM

where is the bond for the meter can? am i missing something?

darren 04-15-2011 05:29 PM

Here in Canada we can use the neutral as the bond for the meter, are you allowed to do that in the US as well.

nap 04-15-2011 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by darren (Post 630121)
Here in Canada we can use the neutral as the bond for the meter, are you allowed to do that in the US as well.

with the half dozen or so POCO's in my area, a ground conductor is not allowed in the meter base.

as you have stated, the neutral is bonded to the meter base. That is how most meter bases are made.

lesp 04-15-2011 11:12 PM

Thanks for the input. So just to clarify, the neutral running from the meter base (aka meter socket or can?) to the load center neutral bus serves to ground the meter base? Does that mean that the meter base will have some kind of bonding strap -- like load centers have -- to connect the metal box to the grounding system? Sorry for all the questions, but I am trying to connect the dots...

MorePower, thanks for your suggestion to get the built-in surge protection. Does that eliminate the need for surge strips at the receptacles?

nap 04-15-2011 11:14 PM

you will have to check. many of them have the neutral terminals bonded directly to the enclosure.

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