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Old 01-02-2012, 09:14 PM   #16
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Originally Posted by dorlow View Post
Ok, not to sound like a complete idiot... although I'm sure I am at this moment, I'm not sure what line and load are... I know hot, neutral and ground. Which of line and load is hot and neutral? I'm also not 100% sure what service disconnect means.
That great big black circuit breaker is the service disconnect.
To be honest, before I started this project, I thought the electrical company owned the electrical meter outside my house. At my previous house, when I knew absolutely nothing about electrical, my meter died and I called my electric company. They came out and replaced it for free. So I assumed since then they owned that.
The power company owns the meter.



My dad informed me that is not correct. I own the meter and the wire out the top. There's a point above there that the electric company connects to my house. When he first came out and was starting to discuss my options to get electric out to my barn, he was suggesting we'd possibly branch off before the meter and add another meter at the barn and that's when he informed me that it's my equipment there... but then after a little bit of digging into it, it seemed more correct to just run a new breaker off the sub panel.

But when you say the lines might be reversed at the service disconnect, I'm thinking of where the electric company terminates their responsibility and I take on responsibility, which is above the meter on top of my house... I don't know how those would get reversed.
The wires from
the meter to the great big circuit breaker and the wire leaving the great big circuit breaker might possibly be reversed

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Old 01-02-2012, 09:16 PM   #17
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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1. Service disconnect grounding conductors should be terminated with the neutral.
2. Bushings required on terminal adapters.
3. ALL panels past the service disco must have separated neutrals.
4. More missing bushings.
5.Individual conductors must be in a raceway.
6. 4 wire feeds required to ALL panels beyond service disco. Your electrician misinformed you.

Just for starters.
Also I'm not 100% sure what you mean by missing bushings... I think you mean the raceways to the outlet going out the side. When I first got done wiring the panel, I just wired one 110 outlet so I could just test. Since doing that, I put a piece there that screwed into the side and tightened down on the wire so it wasn't just hanging out the hole. I still haven't added any circuits other than the one 110 outlet.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:18 PM   #18
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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No, the main panel wasn't switched out. Only thing changed to the main panel was the 100 amp breaker added.
Ok that is good.

BTW, these guys are going to "let you have it" so to say. But stick with it and things can be corrected one at a time. As you learn you may want to post separate posts about one thing or another rather than having this one discussion for everything.

Anyway there is plenty to learn, so stay tuned!

Now what size is your electric service? Or the amperage on the main panel breakers? Like 200? 100?

Next... If you run a wire through a metal hole, that metal has sharp edges on it. That can cut into the wire and sparks will fly!

Use one of these through each opening...

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Old 01-02-2012, 09:18 PM   #19
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Originally Posted by brric View Post
The wires from
the meter to the great big circuit breaker and the wire leaving the great big circuit breaker might possibly be reversed

If that were the case, wouldn't you think it would've failed the inspections when we bought the house? I would've hoped so. The insurance company hired an inspector and we also hired a separate inspector and it passed both. That hasn't changed since I did this work. The only thing we did since we bought it was add the sub panel (that has the 3 breakers in the picture) and the other sub panel (with the one breaker in the picture).
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:19 PM   #20
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Originally Posted by dorlow View Post
Also I'm not 100% sure what you mean by missing bushings... I think you mean the raceways to the outlet going out the side. When I first got done wiring the panel, I just wired one 110 outlet so I could just test. Since doing that, I put a piece there that screwed into the side and tightened down on the wire so it wasn't just hanging out the hole. I still haven't added any circuits other than the one 110 outlet.
A bushing belongs on the threaded terminal adapters.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:19 PM   #21
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Even though I do have a ground rod at the barn?
Right. This is why I kinda hate the term "ground". The ground rod has absolutely no bearing on the proper functioning of a circuit. It exists primarily to protect the wiring and structure from lightning, and other high-voltage events.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:22 PM   #22
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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If that were the case, wouldn't you think it would've failed the inspections when we bought the house? I would've hoped so. The insurance company hired an inspector and we also hired a separate inspector and it passed both. That hasn't changed since I did this work. The only thing we did since we bought it was add the sub panel (that has the 3 breakers in the picture) and the other sub panel (with the one breaker in the picture).
Get their names and have them reported for total incompetence.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:22 PM   #23
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Ok that is good.

BTW, these guys are going to "let you have it" so to say. But stick with it and things can be corrected one at a time. As you learn you may want to post separate posts about one thing or another rather than having this one discussion for everything.

Anyway there is plenty to learn, so stay tuned!

Now what size is your electric service? Or the amperage on the main panel breakers? Like 200? 100?

Next... If you run a wire through a metal hole, that metal has sharp edges on it. That can cut into the wire and sparks will fly!

Use one of these through each opening...

Ok, our house has 150 amp service. Actually while doing this project, I learned our electric company provides 200 amps to the pole. I can't figure out why they only installed 150 amp service in the house. But we didn't change any of that with this project.

About the picture above that has the clamp on it, every opening in my box has something like that now. I didn't have it when I took the picture, but I did add it yesterday. I knew it wasn't right, but it was a long time coming when I got it in and I just wanted to see if it worked... figured it would be OK for me to test a light in my barn for a day before I went to the store and got the clamp thing.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:26 PM   #24
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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A bushing belongs on the threaded terminal adapters.

Ok, I just googled pictures of bushings on threaded terminal adapters and I believe I have that all right. I have conduit for everything other than the one outlet in the barn. All conduit has threads at the end and I bought ends that screwed on that to hold it tight to the electrical box.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:30 PM   #25
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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About the picture above that has the clamp on it, every opening in my box has something like that now. I didn't have it when I took the picture, but I did add it yesterday.
Good!

As for an above suggestion to not have power on to the barn, that is a good idea for now.

Now the following link shows what year of electric code each state is on. There are different requirements depending on the year. What year is your state on?

http://www.nema.org/stds/fieldreps/N.../implement.cfm
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:31 PM   #26
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Right. This is why I kinda hate the term "ground". The ground rod has absolutely no bearing on the proper functioning of a circuit. It exists primarily to protect the wiring and structure from lightning, and other high-voltage events.

So, I'd hate to dig up my trench and run another wire. Should I follow my dad's electrical friend's advice and hook the ground bar back to the neutral bar in the box in the barn? My dad says he's been an electrician for like 20 years so he knows for sure his advice is right... but I don't know him...
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:37 PM   #27
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


You need to figure out what code cycle your area is under. Under the 1996 and later NEC, you can't bond the neutral and ground in a subpanel. Prior to 1996, you could bond the neutral and ground in a detached building's sub-panel, but only if there were no other metallic paths between the buildings, including water/gas pipes, phone lines, CATV, etc.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:37 PM   #28
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Originally Posted by dorlow View Post
So, I'd hate to dig up my trench and run another wire. Should I follow my dad's electrical friend's advice and hook the ground bar back to the neutral bar in the box in the barn? My dad says he's been an electrician for like 20 years so he knows for sure his advice is right... but I don't know him...
We can only advise you how to do things that are code compliant. You seem destined to doit your own way or the way someone told you to do it incorrectly. Have at it and good luck.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:38 PM   #29
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


Wait, back up a bit. Why would you have to open up the trench to add another wire? Is it buried directly in the ground without conduit? What kind of wire is that?
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:09 AM   #30
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Ok, so I know very little about electrical other than what others have told me.
When I first came across this thread and its title,

"Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right"

I assumed it was maybe about a 120V duplex outlet so I clicked on it. Then I read the first line I quoted above and was like yeah its about a duplex.

BOY WAS I WRONG.

dorlow....I gotta give you a freakin "A" for effort. For you to realize that you know very little about electrical and to attempt a project of this magnitude says something.

Whether that something is good or bad is left up to the reader.

That being said, some things are left to the pros. If you were determined to DIY, you probably could of hired a pro and paid him to consult only.

Good luck and install lots of rubber mats in that barn.

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