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Old 10-08-2008, 07:45 PM   #1
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new Main Panel Grounding


I am in the process of having a new 200 amp panel installed in the house. I have done this before, but elected to hire an electrician this time around.

This was due to a fire (non electrical) in the garage and the panel was open so it took a hit.

The electrician put the new panel in the same spot (no junction box) using the same wires, now wrapped in electrical tape where they were charred.

Second, I thought there was some kind of requirement that the panel be grounded to two different sources - typically a rod and the water line. It is currently only connected to a single rod.

Are these within code? If not, can anyone point me to a NEC # to assist in the discussion?

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Old 10-08-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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new Main Panel Grounding


Depends on the situation.

What is the water pipe entering the house?

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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lrr81765 View Post
The electrician put the new panel in the same spot (no junction box) using the same wires, now wrapped in electrical tape where they were charred.
This would make me a little uneasy having charred wires wrapped in electrical tape. Personally i'd want to replace as much of or all of it if I could; replace to the first junction point in the circuit (if its near by). Or just put in some junction boxes near the panel, after all it is in the garage; not like its in your basement.

I believe 2008 NEC code requires the water pipe bond (provided its copper from the street side) and 2 8' ground rods spaced no closer together than 6 feet and joined with a #6 gauge wire.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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The water pipe (3/4 steel) is about 34' from the box, and no easy way to get to it. It would probably take 60' of wire to get there.

theatretch - I agree and that is what I expected. I wish I could find that reference to the bonding in the NEC.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
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What kind of electrician doesn't replace charred wires? I'd politely demand that he get the wires back to unburned insulation and splice them.

As Speedy said, it all depends on if the water line entering your home is metal, and that metal is in contact with the earth for more than 10 ft. And the connection must be made within 5 ft of where it enters the house. If it is plastic, then no, he is not required to bond to it (well, Duh!). The applicable NEC article(s) (in the 2005 code anyway) is 250.50 through 250.71. Specifically, you want to look at 250.52(A)(1) and 250.53(D)(2).
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:47 PM   #6
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If your buried waterline is copper, you're required to run a ground to it regardless of distance or difficulty.

InPhase277 has it right. If your wires' insulation was exposed to high heat or fire, those sections of wire need to be removed and replaced for sure. Simply wrapping them in electrical tape isn't adequate, and your electrician should understand that.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lrr81765 View Post
The water pipe (3/4 steel) is about 34' from the box, and no easy way to get to it. It would probably take 60' of wire to get there.
SO?!.....
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:08 AM   #8
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Thanks guys - I will be taking the electrician ( and the inspector) to task on these items. The power is on temporarily (no inspection ) and he still has some things to do like label the box and install some CB.

I'll also double check, but I am at least 99% sure that no new or existing grounding line exists between the water line and the panel.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:16 AM   #9
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The water pipe (3/4 steel) is about 34' from the box, and no easy way to get to it. It would probably take 60' of wire to get there.
Even if it was 100, 200, 300, 400 feet and you had to drill through 8" of concrete ten times, this water line bond must be installed.

If the meter main is close by he should have just replaced the whole run. Making splices in large wire is much more time consuming, and more expensive.
While the tape may look cheesy, the cable integrity may be fine.

Why was your panel open?

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