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Old 09-10-2011, 01:38 PM   #1
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


Hi all,

1920 craftsman home, Chicago area. Just added a new detached garage, have done all the work myself.
The plan has been a 60' run of #6 out to the new garage 2 hot, 1 neutral, 1 ground. I have grounding rods
pounded in at the garage, a sub panel installed, ground and neutral bars are not bonded. I'm about to make
the run to the house, and noticed a huge oversight on my part. The house panel does not appear to be grounded.
No clamps to water pipes, no wires run to rods. The panel in the house is a breaker panel, not fuses, so I'm
assuming it was updated at some point since the house was built.

I'm a little confused on how to handle the connections to the house now. If I have a ground rod at the
garage am I required to run a ground to the house as well?

Side question that I can probably guess the answer to, how are my GFI and three prong outlets in the
house wired properly if I lack a ground? Most of the house wiring is 2 wire flexible conduit (not greenfield),
most plastic, a few runs of cloth.

Appreciate any insight.


Last edited by italie; 09-12-2011 at 11:33 AM. Reason: update
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


Yes you need a ground for the main panel in the house. Show us a picture of the main panel with the cover removed.

Is the panel in or outside the house? If inside is there a disconnect outside near the meter?

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Old 09-10-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


Service comes straight from an aerial feed, 2 hots and a bare.
Heads straight down the side of the house in conduit to the meter,
and straight through the wall into the panel after the meter.

Panel looks like a mess, I planned on tacking that once I had a usable garage again
f the house doesn't burn down first...

I wish I could get a better shot of the neutral bar, but I'm not keen on touching any
wires that I don't have to, especially that cloth one.

The lone "ground" wire attached to the meter is attached to the cable TV inlet box.

I apologize for the size and quality of the images, snapping and posting everything
from a phone. Again, thanks for any input.

~removed old images~

Last edited by italie; 09-12-2011 at 11:34 AM. Reason: removed poor images
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:38 PM   #4
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


A few better shots





Last edited by italie; 09-12-2011 at 10:51 AM. Reason: image size
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:06 AM   #5
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


A few quick questions on "fixing" the main panel to the point where I will be able to connect my sub in the garage:

I'm planning on driving two rods in at the house, and also bonding to the water pipes. Should this be sufficient?

Since my box (older one from the looks, says "Murray" on the door) has no ground bar, can one be retrofit or installed?

Where can I tie the ground wire from the ground rods and water pipe grounds? Both to the "new" ground bar? The service inlet conduit?

If this isn't the proper way to go about the situation, what can I do to safely (and legally) get power to the garage sub?


I will be swapping the main panel out when we remodel the house in a few years, but it would be nice to have a garage with electricity until then. If anyone was wondering where the sub panel feed is coming from, a 40-50 amp dual breaker will replace the 20 amp on the bottom left of the box. The last 4 slots on the left side of the panel are for 220v outlets going into bedrooms, presumably used for old window AC units. Neither are needed or wanted anymore.

Last edited by italie; 09-12-2011 at 10:15 AM. Reason: update
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:32 AM   #6
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


Boy your pictures are big. Too big for the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by italie View Post
A few quick questions on "fixing" the main panel to the point where I will be able to connect my sub in the garage:

I'm planning on driving two rods in at the house, and also bonding to the water pipes. Should this be sufficient?

There should already at least 1 rod and a wire going from this rod to the main panel neutral and water line. This should already be done? If not, yes, 2 rods and a connection to the metal water line.

Since my box (older one from the looks, says "Murray" on the door) has no ground bar, can one be retrofit or installed?

You combine (connect) neutrals and grounds together in the main panel. If you buy a grounding kit (terminal strip) move all the bare and green wires to this strip and leave only the white neutrals on the remaining terminal strip. Make sure green bonding screw is installed on the neutral terminal strip.

Where can I tie the ground wire from the ground rods and water pipe grounds? Both to the "new" ground bar? The service inlet conduit?

Yes, Anywhere on the neutral terminal strip or ground terminal strip. Make sure green bonding screw is installed.

If this isn't the proper way to go about the situation, what can I do to safely (and legally) get power to the garage sub?

So far it sounds like you are good in thought and process. 4 wire feeder to sub panel, neutrals and grounds connected in main only, rods connected together within 6' of each other and connected to the ground or neutral terminal strip and water line. Rods and disconnect required at sub panel also. Same as main, except separate grds and neutrals at sub panel.


I will be swapping the main panel out when we remodel the house in a few years, but it would be nice to have a garage with electricity until then. If anyone was wondering where the sub panel feed is coming from, a 40-50 amp dual breaker will replace the 20 amp on the bottom left of the box. The last 4 slots on the left side of the panel are for 220v outlets going into bedrooms, presumably used for old window AC units. Neither are needed or wanted anymore.
Good. That's how you do it. Use a 2 pole breaker in main to feed sub panel with 4 wires.
What size breaker and wire are you using?

Please adjust picture size as this thread is almost impossible to read.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


Apologies on the size, can't re size from the phone I'm posting on...

House was built in 1920, there are no ground rods or pipe grounds.
The furnace ~is~ grounded to the water pipes, but that is about it.
I know electrically the house is not in good shape, re-wiring is in the plans.
The house is grandfathered in as far as meeting code goes, which is sort of the
problem with adding the new service to the new garage. Getting the "old" to mesh
with the "new" requires a lot of improvements on the old side.

As far as the grounding kit, I'm not sure this box is equipped to handle one easily.
Are retrofit kits specifically made for older boxes? There is no easy bond / bond screw setup on this box,
unless I'm missing something.


The garage will have 2 - #6 hots, 1-#6 neutral, and 1-#8 ground run to it, all TWWN in sch 40 conduit.
I have 2 ground rods at the sub, ground/neutral bond screw NOT installed at the sub. 40 or 50 amp
breaker planned at the main panel, disconnect at the sub.

Last edited by italie; 09-12-2011 at 11:34 AM. Reason: update
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:28 AM   #8
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


Everybody please go through your replies and edit them.

Break up the text lines with fewer words per line using the enter key.

May be echoing and parroting because I did not read the portions of
prior replies that went off my screen.

You can add a grounding system (grounding electrode system) right now
on your own.

Drive the two ground rods about 6 feet apart, connect them with a #6 copper
wire also running non stop to the main panel where it is connected to the
neutral bus bar.

If the incoming cold water pipe is metal, run a #6 copper ground wire from
it (within 5' of its exiting the foundation and before the meter whichever
comes first from the wall. Connect this to the panel neutral bus or the
previously run #6 ground wire whichever it got to first. (#4 wire all the way
to the panel for service more than 100 amps.)

Other ground wires (from branch circuits) can be moved to a "ground" bus
to free up space on the neutral bus.

The fat ground wire (grounding electrode conductor; GEC) to the rods may be attached
to the ground bus provided that there is a comparably sized wire or bar (main bonding
jumper) from there to the neutral bus (where the fat neutral from the service cable
is attached); just the green screw digging into the panel back is
not good enough.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-12-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:50 AM   #9
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


Thanks for the reply's guys.

I'll pick up a ground bar, question on bonding and mounting.

Can I anchor the new ground bar through the box and into the concrete wall behind the box?
It does not appear my existing box is wellprepared for any additional bus bars.

If I can get a new ground bar installed, will a simple #6 "jumper" wire between the neutral
and ground bars suffice for bonding? (I think you just answered this qquestion in your edit..Thanks.)

Thanks again.

Last edited by italie; 09-12-2011 at 11:53 AM. Reason: update
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:43 PM   #10
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New detached garage with sub and ground, house has no ground at panel


The ground bus bar purchases separately should have instructions for proper
mounting. A variety of methods will achieve good mechanical fastening but
bonding requires either a jumper to the neutral bus or bolts that engage the
panel back as opposed to relying on wood or concrete behind.

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