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Old 01-03-2012, 11:00 AM   #46
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Excellent question! The circuit ground (Equipment Grounding Conductor) originates from the neutral-ground bond in your main service panel.

As you probably know, current ordinarily flows from the hot wire, through a load, and back on the neutral. If the current flow is excessive, a breaker will trip.

In the event of a ground fault, where a hot wire comes in contact with something that is grounded, the ground wire bonded to neutral allows sufficient current to flow along a relatively safe & controlled path, in order to trip the breaker. The ground wire also insures that all metal parts of the electrical system, appliances, and in most cases, plumbing, are held to the same voltage potential as the neutral wire, which is zero volts.

Ok it is coming back to me now that is why the bonding screw is screwed thru the Neutral bar and into the main panel box making a mechanical connection (bonding) to the Ground strip. The neutral and ground are isolated at the sub panel causing stray currents to go back to the main panel and go to the service ground. Rather then go thru the equipment ground on the electrical devices fed from the sub panel.
It is almost 30 years since I been in School, this site will be a good source to refresh my memory.

Thanks for the response!

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Old 01-03-2012, 11:23 AM   #47
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Ok it is coming back to me now that is why the bonding screw is screwed thru the Neutral bar and into the box making a mechanical connection (bonding) to the Ground strip. The neutral and ground are isolated at the sub panel causing stray currents to go back to the main panel and go to the service ground. Rather then go thru the equipment ground on the electrical devices fed from the sub panel.
It is almost 30 years since I been in School, this site will be a good source to refresh my memory.

Thanks for the response!
I was told to at least ground the ground bar to the case just incase I electricuted myself while inside the box... then the box is grounded. But I'll hook the neutral back to the ground bar in the box and that will also be grounded to the case. The ground will also still be hooked to the ground rod of course and the neutral to the neutral of the house, which is hooked to ground seeing the house main box and the second box in the house ground and neutral are all the same.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:25 AM   #48
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


I'll say this for you....you seem determined to find someone to tell you the way you have done it, is the right way...if you do...THEY'RE WRONG!!!....because the way you have it is wrong.

If you want to leave it that way, that's certainly your right (unless of course you get the permit you should have got in the first place, then that right will be taken away....as it should be ).

Also, don't be surprised if the next home inspector (when/if you sell) finds the 3 conductors in the sub-panel and notes it.....or maybe not.

50/50 chance he won't know what he's doing either.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:31 AM   #49
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Get with the program bro this is the real world stories like this happen all the time
Actually I have lived a whole life time working for and with people / companies which do things the right way. Get permits when required to do so, etc.

But I have seen the "handiwork" and "shortcuts" taken many many times by those who are ignorant of safety guidelines/codes or ignore them. I also read about these people / companies in the newspaper quite a bit...

Headlines like "Great loss of life in New York club electrical fire", "Child electrocuted when touching metal garage door", " electrical fire killed three girls and destroyed home", etc.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:39 AM   #50
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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...Also, don't be surprised if the next home inspector (when/if you sell) finds the 3 conductors in the sub-panel and notes it.....or maybe not.
Excellent point!

Get a home inspection now and see what they say!

Here is an home inspector's forum. See what they talk about when they find "interesting" electrical handiwork...
(Go to Electrical Forum)
http://www.inspectorsjournal.com/Forum/default.asp
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:47 AM   #51
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


Another thing...

Two ground rods placed 6 ft. apart is better than one ground rod and is typical.

Also metal water pipe systems should be bonded to the ground system.

Heavy gauge copper wire should be used for these.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:51 AM   #52
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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I was told to at least ground the ground bar to the case just incase I electricuted myself while inside the box.
I came here for the info.....I think I'll stay for the entertainment.

To the OP, why are you not listening to the good advice you are getting here?

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Old 01-03-2012, 12:04 PM   #53
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I came here for the info.....I think I'll stay for the entertainment.

To the OP, why are you not listening to the good advice you are getting here?
I have found on this forum and others, that face to face advice, even when wrong is more beleivable than what you find on the web.

I have seen many pros. give advice to be out done by one HD pro!
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:08 PM   #54
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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I'll say this for you....you seem determined to find someone to tell you the way you have done it, is the right way...if you do...THEY'RE WRONG!!!....because the way you have it is wrong.

If you want to leave it that way, that's certainly your right (unless of course you get the permit you should have got in the first place, then that right will be taken away....as it should be ).

Also, don't be surprised if the next home inspector (when/if you sell) finds the 3 conductors in the sub-panel and notes it.....or maybe not.

50/50 chance he won't know what he's doing either.
When we were hooking it up, we were trying to decide weather to run the ground or not. For one, money is tight. I was in a race against the ground freezing. I buried the wire already and since we've had a pretty good snow fall, so the ground is probably on the way of freezing now.

I guess from what the last electrician told me, if I would've ran the 4th ground wire, then the barn would be considered a detached building. But because I didn't run it, by the definition of electrical, it's a new electrical source, so I need to finish wiring it as if it's a new electrical source.

Probably at the earliest I'd be able to add a ground would be next spring when the ground thaws. Then I'd be worried I'd hit the other wires and nick it.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:15 PM   #55
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


Dorlow. Call a qualified electrician to look over everything and redo it properly. It's obvious that any advice I give you or anyone here gives you is making no impact on your decisions. You seem intent to follow the most convenient advice from incompetent sources simply because they agree with you and make it "easier". Well, easier can get you killed.
You are in over your head, get some help before you become a statistic. And I sincerely wish you the best of luck.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:50 PM   #56
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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by the definition of electrical, it's a new electrical source


It's a detached building regardless of how wrong your installation is...what you have is a SUB-panel, I can assure you. No matter how you wire it up, it will always be a SUB-panel, it will just be one that's wired incorrectly.

Unless of course the POCO brings in a seperate service (new drop, new meter) for the barn, which in my experience.....they wont.

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Then I'd be worried I'd hit the other wires and nick it.
That's the best thing that could happen....then you could replace them with the RIGHT conduit and conductors and do it RIGHT.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:06 PM   #57
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


Ground rods have nothing to do with the proper operation of a circuit, nor prevent you from getting shocked or electrocuted. They are for high voltage events like lightning.

I am sorry that you received bad advice about the 3 wire feeder and that money is tight and the ground is freezing...... If you want to do this correctly and to code you need to have a 4 wire feeder installed. A separate grounding conductor cannot be added to what you have. It needs to be installed in the same cable or raceway. Maybe you can ge some of your money back and seel the old cable for scrap.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:53 PM   #58
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Your description in post#1 indicates that you are running a feeder out to the barn, so you can forget about the exception in the Code about the “single branch circuit”. I didn’t read the article you linked to in post#41, nor do I intend to right now. If you want this to be a safe and proper installation, do it by Code. That means 4 wires to the barn, neutrals and equipment ground wire separated at sub-panels. A new installation, as you have done, cannot use the 3-wire exception. Pay attention to part (B)Grounded Systems, particularly the last sentence, and note the first 6 words of the exception in (B)Grounded Systems….For existing premises wiring systems only.

250.32 Buildings or Structures Supplied by a Feeder(s) or Branch Circuit(s).

(A) Grounding Electrode. Building(s) or structure(s) supplied by feeder(s) or branch circuit(s) shall have a grounding electrode or grounding electrode system installed in accordance with Part III of Article 250. The grounding electrode conductor(s) shall be connected in accordance with 250.32(B) or (C). Where there is no existing grounding electrode, the grounding electrode(s) required in 250.50 shall be installed.

Exception: A grounding electrode shall not be required where only a single branch circuit, including a multiwire branch circuit, supplies the building or structure and the branch circuit includes an equipment grounding conductor for grounding the normally non–current-carrying metal parts of equipment.

(B) Grounded Systems. For a grounded system at the separate building or structure, an equipment grounding conductor as described in 250.118 shall be run with the supply conductors and be connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s). The equipment grounding conductor shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded. The equipment grounding conductor shall be sized in accordance with 250.122. Any installed grounded conductor shall not be connected to the equipment grounding conductor or to the grounding electrode(s).

Exception: For existing premises wiring systems only, the grounded conductor run with the supply to the building or structure shall be permitted to be connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s) and shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded where all the requirements of (1), (2), and (3) are met:
(1) An equipment grounding conductor is not run with the supply to the building or structure.
(2) There are no continuous metallic paths bonded to the grounding system in each building or structure involved.
(3) Ground-fault protection of equipment has not been installed on the supply side of the feeder(s). Where the grounded conductor is used for grounding in accordance with the provision of this exception, the size of the grounded conductor shall not be smaller than the larger of either of the following:
(1) That required by 220.61
(2) That required by 250.122
Kyle,

How are able to copy/paste the code verbatim? I have not been able to do that. I sure do appreciate the text, however. It seems like the NFPA wants to keep this a big dark secret unless you spent $175 on their book every two years. You would think that a document that all 50 states adopt as law would become part of the public record, subject to the open records act and available for all to see.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:56 PM   #59
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


Many have the NEC in a pdf format.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:47 PM   #60
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


Please bury a ground wire at your earliest convenience! And for God's sake correct the black-taped Romex (to the right of the panel in photo 2). No home inspector will miss that one... Just bring the circuits into the panel then extend to their respective breakers with wire nut connections inside the panel itself. Looks like there already is a convenient knockout open at the top right of the panel (also a violation to leave it like that btw)....

Looking at those shots, I'm reminded of picture book my son had: "Find all the cats in the picture".

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