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Old 09-03-2008, 07:17 PM   #1
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New Subpanel Almost works


I am not an expert, I'm using books and the Lowes "expert". I just installed a subpanel in the shed. It is an Eaton 70amp and has no grounding bar. I ran 10/3 from the main house panel to the shed with the black wire in one main lug and the white wire in the second main lug and the ground in the neutral buss bar. I put in a 20amp breaker connected by a 12/2 wire, with the black wire to the breaker and the neutral and ground together in the neutral bus bar, to the swimming pool pump and receptacle on the deck. I hooked in a switch and it works like a dream. The second breaker has 14/2 wire, again hooked by the black wire to the breaker and the white and ground to the neutral bar, which controls two receptacles and two lights in the shed or rather it doesn't. I have no power in the shed. No lights, no receptacles. When I do a continuity test on the 14/2 from the breaker I get good continuity but no power. I've changed the breakers with no luck. I did have a bad switch but that's fixed. I have no power to the receptacles or lights. I'm really confused since I have half of it working.

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Old 09-03-2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by soccio97 View Post
I am not an expert, I'm using books and the Lowes "expert". I just installed a subpanel in the shed. It is an Eaton 70amp and has no grounding bar. I ran 10/3 from the main house panel to the shed with the black wire in one main lug and the white wire in the second main lug and the ground in the neutral buss bar. I put in a 20amp breaker connected by a 12/2 wire, with the black wire to the breaker and the neutral and ground together in the neutral bus bar, to the swimming pool pump and receptacle on the deck. I hooked in a switch and it works like a dream. The second breaker has 14/2 wire, again hooked by the black wire to the breaker and the white and ground to the neutral bar, which controls two receptacles and two lights in the shed or rather it doesn't. I have no power in the shed. No lights, no receptacles. When I do a continuity test on the 14/2 from the breaker I get good continuity but no power. I've changed the breakers with no luck. I did have a bad switch but that's fixed. I have no power to the receptacles or lights. I'm really confused since I have half of it working.
First off, you need a disconnect at the shed, 2nd thing is, what type of wire did you run to the shed? IT almost sounds like you fed half the bus with a neutral?

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Old 09-03-2008, 07:51 PM   #3
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New Subpanel Almost works


How many wires were in the cable you ran? If there's not four, you're in for a lot more work. Also, what type of cable did you use and how did you run it? How is it connected to the main panel?

Last edited by jerryh3; 09-03-2008 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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How many wires were in the cable you ran? If there's not four, you're in for a lot more work. Also, what type of cable did you use and how did you run it?

Didnt it sound like he ran a 10-2?
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:56 PM   #5
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Didnt it sound like he ran a 10-2?
Yes. No mention of a red wire. Even if it is 10/3 w/g, it probably will be NM-B if he listened to the Lowe's "expert."
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:57 PM   #6
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What is a disconnect. The book says nothing about that! I ran 10/2 (not 10/3) from the main breaker in the house out to the shed. I'm not using 220 so according to the "expert" at Lowes, I didn't need 10/3 just 10/2. It's all AWG/UF wire, underground. The pump/deck is connected using 12/2.

If the Pool pump and deck receptacle work fine, why am I having a problem with the shed lights/receptacles?
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:00 PM   #7
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Go for it Chris. Have fun. Soccio, do not let anyone in that pool. You have a very dangerous setup. The panel as it is setup now is using the bare ground for the neutral. Only half of the sub panel is energized, that is why only one bus in the panel works.

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Old 09-03-2008, 08:09 PM   #8
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Go for it Chris. Have fun. Soccio, do not let anyone in that pool. You have a very dangerous setup. The panel as it is setup now is using the bare ground for the neutral. Only half of the sub panel is energized, that is why only one bus in the panel works.

I agree, you have also created some other violations because of pool pump being fed off the new panel as well. Might be a good time to call a pro in.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:35 PM   #9
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soccio,

You made two very critical errors.

1) You listened to the inexperienced dolt at Lowes who has no clue.

2) You thought this would be an easy follow-the-steps job like building a bird house.

Electrical is not a step by step process where every job is the same. There is NO blueprint for every job.
We build every job from scratch. Sure many jobs are similar and sometimes exactly the same. But "Installing a sub-panel" is not a cookie cutter job.


Sure, a 120v sub-panel will work and be technically legal. BUT... for the SLIGHT extra cost of ONE wire you could have doubled your potential capacity and greatly lessened the voltage drop on this feeder.

Also, I am sorry, but the fact that you put the neutral on one of the main lugs, and made statements like "What is a disconnect" tell us that you know only what is written in that book and what the Lowes guy told you.
One of those two sources is greatly limited in what is tells, and the other is an idiot.
This is NOT enough knowledge to even begin a project like adding a sub panel in a detached building.....ESPECIALLY for a pool!!!

PLEASE do yourself and your family a favor, get a pro in there to re-do this job and make it right.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:38 PM   #10
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Well I appreciate your time. I was hoping for some advice and maybe to learn something. I'll pull the breaker in the main box in the house and everything will be back the way it was.

Now, not being an "expert" I'm not positive what you guys were talking around me about, but I think I need a double pole breaker in the house and then run another 10AWG to the shed. I would then have to replace the white wire with the red at the subpanel main lug. I'll still have to get somone to tell me about separating the ground from the neutral since there is only one buss bar in the 70amp subpanel. I guess I can install a ground rod, but I guess someone will be able to instruct me what I really need to do.

Thanks again for your time.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:47 PM   #11
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NO, you cannot simply run one more wire. You must re-run this using 10/3 (at least).

Yes, you can separate the grounds and neutrals. Having only one bar is normal. You need to get an add-on grounding bar and install it in the panel. This should be the same brand as the panel.

Yes, you DO need a ground rod at a detached structure with a feeder, but this is NOT where you get your "ground" that grounds the panel. This comes from the bare wire in the cable.

No, you certainly don't need to be an "expert", but you DO need to have a good clue about this stuff BEFORE you start to avoid making the mistakes you already made.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:51 PM   #12
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I was reading this and Soccio.,,

The subpanel do have few specal rules to dealt with it and senice you have swimming pool this will compound it due they have specal code section which most average DIY book will not expain all the details.

All the subpanel the netrual and ground conductors must be seprated and yes you can buy a ground bussbar kit they are only few bucks.


Quote:
I would then have to replace the white wire with the red at the subpanel main lug.
DO NOT DO THIS !! never remove the white wire that is very import part.

Just replace with correct 10-3 W/G cable but senice you are using as subfeed panel for pool it will change a bit this set up better off run in PVC conduit { if run to detached building } and must have green ground wire not the bare wire { it did mention in the NEC }

Now what the guy in big box store don't know what the heck he is doing and he should have no bussiness to stick his butt in there if that person don't know all he have to just back off and not be a smart aleck.

I allready chew one guy today at my area one big box store one guy gave really dangerous advise and I have no choice but step in get the facts straght.

I really advise ya get a electrician due this part is little tricky to deal { and yeah there are some local code do come up }

Merci,Marc
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:54 PM   #13
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Wouldnt he need #6's for this 70 amp sub and not 10's?
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:06 PM   #14
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Wouldnt he need #6's for this 70 amp sub and not 10's?
No, 70 is just the rating of the panel itself. You do not have to feed it with that. As long as the feeder breaker in the main panel is sized to protect the feeder you can go with 30 amps or higher.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:21 PM   #15
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Actually, my initial advice came from www.allexperts.com when I said that I wanted to wire a shed and put a switch on the pool pump. I questioned the need for a subpanel but he soid it was required.

In reality, I have plenty of open slots in the main breaker (which is why I questioned the subpanel to begin with). Since the distance from the pool to the shed or pool to the main house is almost equal, couldn't I just ran the 12/2 back to the house and install another breaker?

Then, couldn't I use the 10/2 that is already run from the house, on a new breaker, to connect the pre-wired shed?

Both the 12/2 and 10/2 are AWG/UF and buried (but not yet covered) 24" deep in PVC.

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