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-   -   Main panel or sub panel? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/main-panel-sub-panel-68504/)

tbeaulieu 04-07-2010 11:09 AM

Main panel or sub panel?
 
Hello,

I'm upgrading the electrical in my attached barn.

I picked up a used GE 100A service panel with a 100A main breaker. I'm going to have a matching breaker in the main 200A panel feeding this.

I forgot that there are actual sub panels, as well as service panels when I bought this. I believe I need another bar in the panel for grounds. There are two, one on each side, with a large connecting bar between them.

I don't fully understand the difference between the panel types.

Should I proceed with this panel and try to locate a smaller bar to attach to the back side, or should I purchase an actual subpanel?

If I switched to a sub panel with lugs, I'd need another panel for a cut off switch, which I do want out there.

Scuba_Dave 04-07-2010 11:13 AM

I'd pick up another bar to use as a ground bar
No need to buy another panel

secutanudu 04-07-2010 11:18 AM

Or disconnect the bar connecting them.

The difference between a main and sub is that in a sub, the ground bar and neutral can NOT be connected. In a main panel, they are connected.

tbeaulieu 04-07-2010 11:38 AM

Thanks guys. I had to call several supply stores before I found someone offering to get me a ground bar. 24 hole bar for $8 - will have it tomorrow.

I thought about separating the two, but I suspect I'll want to have all those for neutrals.

secutanudu 04-07-2010 11:44 AM

If you want to use the two existing bars as your neutral, make sure you remove the bonding strap that connects one of the two bars to the case of the panel. Your new ground bar will be connected to the panel, so your neutrals must not be.

Test for (lack of) continuity between your ground bars and neutral with a continuity tester if you want to be sure. This can be done before wiring the panel.

tbeaulieu 04-07-2010 11:58 AM

Right! Good point!


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