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Old 11-09-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
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Main Panel Rewire Questions


I was hit by Hurricane Sandy, 2 feet of water throughout house. I'm on a crawlspace so main panel was not affected, it's on first floor in kitchen pantry. However most of the lower level wiring went under as did a few add on jb's in the crawl so rather than take a chance I tore out everything and rewired the entire house, all new everything. Except the panel...

80% of the house was original 2 wire, no ground. In fact aside from the dedicated stuff(oven/fridge/etc) 3/4 of the lighting/receptacles were on a single 15amp circuit!

The panel is a Murray 20 slot 40 circuit max, 200amp. I have 150amp service to the house with an outside main breaker located at the meter. No main breaker in panel.
There is a shared neutral/ground bar. Now that I've rewired everything with ground it appears the panel is going to fill up quick, including the neutral/ground bar. I'm wondering if anyone can offer any advice/suggestions for doing this the right way. Because the main breaker is at the meter should I treat this as a sub panel and add a seperate ground bar? I know neutrals can only be one per slot so after all my circuits are wired in it's gonna be real tight fitting the grounds and the neutrals on that one bar. Hiring an electrician is not an option. I need to do this myself and I want to do it right. Any and all advice is much appreciated.

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Old 11-09-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
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Main Panel Rewire Questions


Your disconnect outside is your service panel. Anything beyond that should be treated as a subpanel with the neutrals and ground separated. You will need to add a ground bar to the inside panel.

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Old 11-09-2013, 02:33 PM   #3
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Main Panel Rewire Questions


How many conductors are feeding the interior load center?
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Old 11-09-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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Main Panel Rewire Questions


I believe 3. Hot/hot/neutral to bar and a ground to panel itself.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
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Main Panel Rewire Questions


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I believe 3. Hot/hot/neutral to bar and a ground to panel itself.
Grounding conductor to where? It should be connected at the exterior disconnect.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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Main Panel Rewire Questions


If I recall correctly it looks like it comes in with service cables. I'll have to check again. Haven't looked in a while.
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:57 PM   #7
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Main Panel Rewire Questions


2 hots, neutral to bar and ground bonded to panel with ground clamp. All feed in together, all same gauge cable. The original circuits obviously were just hot to breakers and neutral to bar. The added on/updated stuff had neutral and ground to bar. Someone had done a remodel to the kitchen in the 80's with upgraded electric (for that time). I renovated the kitchen upon moving in a few years ago but did not have to touch electric.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:47 PM   #8
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Main Panel Rewire Questions


It sounds like four wires were brought from the outside main breaker panel to the Murray panel. This is to code.

It also sounds like all neutrals and grounds from branch circuits land on the same bar. This is not compliant with a four wire feed.

All neutrals should land on a floating neutral bar that is insulated from the metal panel. And does NOT have a green screw or any kind of bond to the metal panel or ground bar.

All grounds should land on a ground bar that IS screwed directly to the panel. They sell special ground bar kits for each panel, that include screws, that fit perfectly over predrilled holes. The part number for your panel's kit may be printed on the label inside the front cover.

Additional info.
http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInsp...nspectors/1528

Last edited by Glennsparky; 11-09-2013 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #9
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Take a GOOD couple pics and post ....
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:10 PM   #10
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Main Panel Rewire Questions


Thanks for the help so far. Confirms my limited experience w/panels wasn't too far off the mark. Gotta check the neutral bar to see how its fixed to the panel. I'm gonna install a seperate ground bar.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by hotkarl View Post
... and ground bonded to panel with ground clamp.
I think by "ground clamp" you mean a lug screwed directly to the metal panel. Based on your descriptions, I think whoever worked on your panel was an amateur and I don't trust this connection. I'd prefer if the ground wire from the main breaker panel went directly to the new ground bar kit.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:46 AM   #12
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Yes. Lug screwed to panel.

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