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Old 06-17-2011, 11:18 AM   #1
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main lug or main breaker


I am running a 60 amp subpanel to my attached garage. Running 3 #6 thhn and 1 #10 thhn thru 1" pvc conduit. I am ready to buy the panel but I seem to have an issue. I want atleast 10 slots in my sub panel but I hear that the ground and neutral bars must be separated. I was hoping to have a main breaker on the box in the garage and use a regular style main breaker box.

My question is...can I get a 10+ slot main breaker box and unhook the neutral and ground bars (separate) or do I have to go with a standard 8 slot subpanel box or a 10+ slot main lug breakerless box?

And if I cam do the main box with main breaker how would I go about separating the ground and neutral bars?

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Old 06-17-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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In the boxes I have seen the existing bus in the box is set up to be the neutral. You buy the ground bus separately and screw it in to the box. Make sure there is no green screw connecting the neutral bus to the box.

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Old 06-17-2011, 12:06 PM   #3
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Just to make sure I understand this correctly. You are saying some boxes are setup that the neutral and ground goto the same bar. But if I were to remove the grounding screw and insert another bar used as the ground bar then I should be good?

So in doing so I should be sure that the ground bar isn't directly connected to the box to ensure the possible current returns directly to the main panel ground bar?
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmore View Post
Just to make sure I understand this correctly. You are saying some boxes are setup that the neutral and ground goto the same bar. But if I were to remove the grounding screw and insert another bar used as the ground bar then I should be good?

So in doing so I should be sure that the ground bar isn't directly connected to the box to ensure the possible current returns directly to the main panel ground bar?
That is correct.
You also need 2 ground rods at the building.
Forget the 2 rods. They are not needed when in the same building.

Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:15 PM   #5
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ground bar should be connected to box.neutral is isolated from box.in the sub panel.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:28 PM   #6
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What is the purpose of having a second ground rod if the ground from the subpanel is feeding back to the main panel that is already using a ground rod?
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:30 PM   #7
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Why would the ground bar be connected to the box since the incoming wire from the main should be running to the bar directly?
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:42 PM   #8
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That is correct.
You also need 2 ground rods at the building.
Same building????
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:04 PM   #9
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Same building. Just running from basement to garage. Running thru pvc conduit because the basement is finished and if I hadn't ran conduit I would have had to tear down parts of the ceiling.

Same building
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:08 PM   #10
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Same building. Just running from basement to garage. Running thru pvc conduit because the basement is finished and if I hadn't ran conduit I would have had to tear down parts of the ceiling.

Same building
No ground rods required.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:10 PM   #11
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Same building????
I just need to learn to read better!


No rods needed in this case!
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:11 PM   #12
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You do not need any ground rods since yours is an attached garage. You can use a main lug or a main breaker panel. You do not need a common disconnect.

The easiest way to go is a main breaker panel as it already has 2 bars that can be separated to give a neutral and a ground bar. I went with a 100 amp, 20 space GE panel from Home depot that included a 100 amp main and 5 single pole 20 amp breakers (called a contractors package) for $50 bucks. hard to beat and Lowes has the same package. A 100 amp main (disconnect) is fine even though you are feeding it with 60 amp feeders.

Here is also a Square D Home-line 100 amp main breaker package for $50
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmore View Post
Just to make sure I understand this correctly. You are saying some boxes are setup that the neutral and ground goto the same bar. But if I were to remove the grounding screw and insert another bar used as the ground bar then I should be good?

So in doing so I should be sure that the ground bar isn't directly connected to the box to ensure the possible current returns directly to the main panel ground bar?
Panels that have a main breaker and that are labeled and listed as suitable for use as service equipment are going to have the neutral bar mounted on an isolated, plastic stand. It will come with a green, bonding jumper screw, that you would use if this was a service panel. The screw would bond the neutral bar to the tub, effectively “grounding” the panel tub.

In the case of setting up a feeder panel, you would not use the green bonding screw. Since the neutral bar is isolated on the plastic stand, it will remain so. Then you install a separate ground bar directly to the tub. This is where all the branch circuit ground wires go, along with the ground wire you bring in from your main panel.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmore View Post
Why would the ground bar be connected to the box since the incoming wire from the main should be running to the bar directly?
Just to make sure you understand all the posting.
When you are done:
  • You will have a neutral bar that is isolated from the panel case.
  • You will have a ground bar that is connected to the panel case. This can be done by mounting the bar directly to the case or by using a bonding screw or bonding strap that will tie the bar to the case.
I've used the GE panels that were mentioned and they come with two bars. In your application you would remove the cross link and use the bonding screw to bond one bar to the case.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
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What is the purpose of having a second ground rod if the ground from the subpanel is feeding back to the main panel that is already using a ground rod?
Just for a point of information.
If this were a detached structure a ground rod (or two) would be required.
Grounding electrodes have NOTHING to do with the equipment grounding conductor run with the feeder. They both serve two very different purposes.

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