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Old 05-01-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


See attachment - I want to submeter a garage apartment subpanel, but the meter base I bought has the neutral lug connection connected/grounded to the enclosure. Also a licensed contractor journeyman electrian installed and wired the house main panel and pantry subpanel and the job was permitted and inspected a few years ago. I read you are not supposed have the N-G bonded in a subpanel. So I'm trying to figure out how to fix his error and wire the apartment meter box and additional subpanel safely. I am assuming i would need to: 1a. turn off the power 1b. put an neutral bar on the meter box that isolates it from the enclosure and then connect the ground wire to the meterbox lug connection which is already connected to the metal enclosure. 2. Disconnect the N-G bars going behind/under the breaker buss bars on the pantry and apartment subpanels 3. connect the copper Ground jumper-bar on the enclosure to the ground bars on each subpanel.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:30 PM   #2
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


First off, you better make sure you can legally sub meter! Second thing, you probably cannot do the work yourself since this is rented space.


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Old 05-01-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


Can the garage feed be tapped from the service entrance conductors after the meter and before the main panel? That would make the 3-wire feed acceptable. You would bond N-G at the garage panel. It would be a second "main" panel.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


That would give you two services. The NEC requires services to be grouped in a common location.

Perhaps a add-on meter like an E-mon-D-mon would work for this.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


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That would give you two services. The NEC requires services to be grouped in a common location.

Perhaps a add-on meter like an E-mon-D-mon would work for this.
I was thinking of this as a detached garage. I see now that the picture seems to indicate an attached garage. If that's the case, then I don't see a good solution except a meter socket with an isolated neutral or a different kind of meter.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


Its probably all a moot point anyway, because sub-metering is highly unlikely even an option.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:48 PM   #7
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


Typically you would install a 2 gang meter socket and be done with it. But I would bet that this isn't a legal apartment and that is the reason for a sub meter.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


Thank you for your replies.
1. I thought we lived in America not Russia. Monitoring with a submeter turns out to be the least expensive way ($29 meter base, $24 meter) to determine the separate electrical usage by an adult close relative who can't afford the California lifestyle any other way.
2. This is free rent space, thus the low cost project.
3. Emon dmon is 5 to 10 times the price for monitoring.
4. 2gang meter socket is not practical - cost wise. The single main meter is 150ft away and feeds underground to the house...$3,500 in copper alone plus everything else involved.
5. Again...I am looking to verify how to fix the Licensed contractor's original installation errors and correctly ensure this one is installed safely.
6. So... would a safe fix be to A. remove the buss bar connecting the subpanel's Neutral and ground lug bars. B. connect the subpanel's ground lug bar to the enclosure with the provided copper "S" bar C. directly connect the meter base neutral feed from the main panel with the meter-apartment subpanel neutral without connecting the neutral to the metal meter enclosure or panel enclosure ground (bare) wire - say with a properly insulated split bolt type splice. I am attaching another drawing without the photos to see if it shows up better.
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File Type: pdf electrical drawing grounding diagram compressed.pdf (99.6 KB, 30 views)
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:15 PM   #9
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


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1. I thought we lived in America not Russia. Monitoring with a submeter turns out to be the least expensive way ($29 meter base, $24 meter) to determine the separate electrical usage by an adult close relative who can't afford the California lifestyle any other way.
Really? What a dumb statement. Especially from someone who chooses to live in one of the most regulated states in the US.
You buy your electricity from a utility. The state regulates the utility and how it charges you. There are STRICT rules as to who and how power can be metered. You CAN meter yourself for informational purposes, but you CANNOT use that info to back charge a tenant or renter.
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:20 AM   #10
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neutral and ground bond on meter box and subpanels in same structure


Warranties aside, if this is an incorrect install by a licensed contractor, or electrician, and approved by the AHJ, I think I would request a new inspection, even if I had to pay the fee. Someone should be held responsible for non-code compliant work.

I know you want to diy, and that's fine, but I'd still raise some fuss. PLUS, I wouldn't touch the meter base without a permit.

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