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Old 01-03-2012, 08:52 PM   #61
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Originally Posted by n175h View Post
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.
You can view it online too for free. You just need to register at NFPA:

http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/Ab...&cookie_test=1


Mac users can use shift-apple-4 to cut out relevant sections.

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Old 01-03-2012, 08:53 PM   #62
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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No home inspector will miss that one
You'd be surprised what HI's miss, lol.


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Just bring the circuits into the panel then extend to their respective breakers with wire nut connections inside the panel itself.
I think it's worth mentioning that, although I assume the OP is in the US, where that IS legal....I don't believe it's legal to splice inside the cabinet in Canada. If someone can confirm/deny, that would be great....but I think that's the case.

Just information for future readers.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:05 PM   #63
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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You can view it online too for free. You just need to register at NFPA:

http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/Ab...&cookie_test=1


Mac users can use shift-apple-4 to cut out relevant sections.
Thanks for the info.

I see that it goes all the way back to 1897....that should be interesting to take a peek at.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:26 PM   #64
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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You can view it online too for free. You just need to register at NFPA:

http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/Ab...&cookie_test=1


Mac users can use shift-apple-4 to cut out relevant sections.

Did that last week and have been reading it thoroughly since. It's not the easiest format to look through. If you need something on the 30th page of the subsection it takes 5 minutes to get there.

The NEC is like Obamacare. You have to buy a product from a private company (or association) or risk breaking the law if you wire up something wrong.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:30 PM   #65
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


Yeah, I found it was sometimes easier to go to the next subsection then flip back...
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:43 AM   #66
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Originally Posted by kwilcox View Post
You can view it online too for free. You just need to register at NFPA:

http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/Ab...&cookie_test=1


Mac users can use shift-apple-4 to cut out relevant sections.
Free with $45.00 membership!
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:54 AM   #67
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


So far as not having enough money, snow being on the ground, etc., I can certainly understand that!

Anyway all of these various electrical codes and safety things are like the 9 lives of a cat...

If you do everything in the electrical code, then you have 9 lives. Skip one thing and you have 8 lives. Skip many things and there may be 1 life or none! (One step away from electrocution!)

Anyway do what you can right away. If you have not brushed on anti-oxidation goop (get in electrical department) on the aluminum wires and torqued them to the tightness specified on the panel label, breaker label/instructions, etc., then that would not be expensive to do.

And doing that would keep the neutral wire from heating up or oxidizing and possibly losing its connection. (Add one life to your 9 lives.)

Also GFCI outlets are not very expensive. You can install one GFCI outlet per circuit in the barn, then feed the other downstream outlets from that and they would be protected as well. That would add another "life".

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Old 01-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #68
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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If you do everything in the electrical code, then you have 9 lives. Skip one thing and you have 8 lives. Skip many things and there may be 1 life or none! (One step away from electrocution!)

kind of well put Billy Bob Joe
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:42 PM   #69
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
Anyway all of these various electrical codes and safety things are like the 9 lives of a cat...

If you do everything in the electrical code, then you have 9 lives. Skip one thing and you have 8 lives. Skip many things and there may be 1 life or none! (One step away from electrocution!)

Anyway do what you can right away. If you have not brushed on anti-oxidation goop (get in electrical department) on the aluminum wires and torqued them to the tightness specified on the panel label, breaker label/instructions, etc., then that would not be expensive to do.

And doing that would keep the neutral wire from heating up or oxidizing and possibly losing its connection. (Add one life to your 9 lives.)

Also GFCI outlets are not very expensive. You can install one GFCI outlet per circuit in the barn, then feed the other downstream outlets from that and they would be protected as well. That would add another "life".
That cat analogy is great! I'll probably use that every chance I get.

As far as basic things he can do to improve the installation, the absolute #1 thing he MUST do is bond neutral and ground in the barn panel. That's not optional. That one problem takes 7 lives from the cat - 8 if there aren't GFCIs in the barn. It would be a code violation to bond them if he had a 4-wire feed because they would already be bonded upstream, but with a 3-wire feed and a totally separate grounding system in the barn, they MUST BE BONDED! Having an unbonded equipment grounding system is far worse than no grounding at all.

GFCI receptacles are definitely the second most important thing. Without a bonded equipment grounding system, GFCI's are the only thing standing between a ground fault and every metal part in the building being electrified.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:50 PM   #70
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


Sadly, I'm kind of inclined to agree with bonding the neutral/ground. It's probably a violation, depending on what code cycle he's under, but marginally safer than a completely floating grounding system. And I definitely agree with putting GFCI on everything.

My best advice remains the same as it originally was; disconnect everything and start over, with professional help. If the OP won't follow that advice, at least GFCI will make it slightly less likely to kill him.

And now I think I'm unsubscribing from this thread. It's been a great thread; I laughed, I cried. But there's really nothing more to be said. Some people are just gonna do what they're gonna do.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:27 PM   #71
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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I just had to register. I paid $0.00
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:02 PM   #72
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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Sadly, I'm kind of inclined to agree with bonding the neutral/ground. It's probably a violation, depending on what code cycle he's under, but marginally safer than a completely floating grounding system.
Definitely WAY safer. Using a 3-wire feeder and a bonded neutral was once legal, and is still the way utilities feed customers. It's safe as long as the neutral connection is intact. An unbonded grounding system, on the other hand, is an imminent hazard and worse than no grounding at all.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:33 AM   #73
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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I just had to register. I paid $0.00
I did register but was unable to figure out how to open NEC. HELP please
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:32 AM   #74
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


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I did register but was unable to figure out how to open NEC. HELP please
Follow the link that kwilcox posted. About half way down the page you will see "view the xxxx edition online". After hitting that it should be easy to follow and it will bring you to the sign in page.

Note: I was only able to view 2008 and 2011. The earlier years just seem to have archived notes unless I'm doing something wrong.

Last edited by zappa; 01-05-2012 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:51 AM   #75
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Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right


While sleeping last night, I thought of an idea to fix my grounding issue in the barn without ripping up the wire in the ground. Why don't I just change my power in my barn from 240 to 120v. I don't have any tools that use 240v. I just ran it just in case I'd ever want it... but I don't see me using it anytime ever. Air compressors are usually 120v. Only thing I could think would ever need 240v would be a wire welder, and I don't weld. Then I can use one of the 2 gauge wires as a hot, one as a neutral and then the 4 gauge wire as ground.

I was thinking too, I'd change the panel in my basement (the one that has 3 breakers in it), to one that allows me to separate my grounds and neutrals. Then I'd make sure my neutral to the barn was hooked to the neutral bar, and the ground wire hooked to the ground bar in that small box.

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