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Old 02-14-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


Have an old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel being used as a sub panel right next to our existing main panel in a home we just bought. Installation date on the sub panel says from 1970. Whomever installed it did not isolate the neutral wire. They only have 3 wires going to the sub panel. Probably because none of the existing outlets have a ground pin. I have been rewiring the whole house little by little replacing all the 2 wire romex with 3 wire armoured cable as well as replacing the outlets with the correct 3 wire ones. I want to fix this sub panel issue by adding the appropriate ground wire. I noticed the newer Cutler Hammer panels have studs on them to add a ground block if one is not already on the panel. This panel does not. Can I just add a ground block and fasten it to the panel? I am thinking not, but thought I would ask.

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Old 02-14-2012, 10:59 PM   #2
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


You can buy ground blocks sometimes you can get them for a specific panel. And sometimes you have to just buy one and use self tapping screws to mount them inside the panel.

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Old 02-14-2012, 10:59 PM   #3
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


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Originally Posted by GroundLoop
Have an old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel being used as a sub panel right next to our existing main panel in a home we just bought. Installation date on the sub panel says from 1970. Whomever installed it did not isolate the neutral wire. They only have 3 wires going to the sub panel. Probably because none of the existing outlets have a ground pin. I have been rewiring the whole house little by little replacing all the 2 wire romex with 3 wire armoured cable as well as replacing the outlets with the correct 3 wire ones. I want to fix this sub panel issue by adding the appropriate ground wire. I noticed the newer Cutler Hammer panels have studs on them to add a ground block if one is not already on the panel. This panel does not. Can I just add a ground block and fasten it to the panel? I am thinking not, but thought I would ask.
Yes you can buy a CH ground bar and attach it. Use the wholes provided in the panel and do not use sheet metal screws
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


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Originally Posted by rrolleston
You can buy ground blocks sometimes you can get them for a specific panel. And sometimes you have to just buy one and use self tapping screws to mount them inside the panel.
Self tapping sheet metal is a code violation!!!
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Last edited by Julius793; 02-15-2012 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


The holes are usually not threaded and when you put the screw in it threads the hole.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:21 PM   #6
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


Thats the problem though... I do not see any holes that look like they are for attaching a ground block. The only holes on the panel are the 4 mounting holes - one in each corner.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:33 AM   #7
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


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The holes are usually not threaded and when you put the screw in it threads the hole.
That exactly why the nec says you cannot use it!!! Article 250.8
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:29 AM   #8
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


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Self tapping sheet metal is a code violation!!!
Actually there is the other way you can get around is use the self tapping machine screw they are more finer on thread pitch and per NEC code you need minium of two thread engaged in the metal.

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Old 02-15-2012, 04:23 AM   #9
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


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Actually there is the other way you can get around is use the self tapping machine screw they are more finer on thread pitch and per NEC code you need minium of two thread engaged in the metal.

Merci,
Marc
That is what I use I don't use those drill and tap screws.

The same ones that come with the panel. Sometimes I have to flip the guts of a panel around and when I do the screws just thread into the pre drilled holes.

I also have small machine screw taps that work very nice.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:19 AM   #10
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


Can I just drill my own holes in the panel and attach the ground block? Maybe put nuts behind the panel on the bolts?
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:41 AM   #11
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


Not sure if this is legal. I think they use 10-32 machine screws. I have some that drill and tap a hole and then I replace with short standard machine screws.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:19 AM   #12
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Old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel - ground block


Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundLoop View Post
Have an old Cutler Hammer CH12 panel being used as a sub panel right next to our existing main panel in a home we just bought. Installation date on the sub panel says from 1970. Whomever installed it did not isolate the neutral wire. They only have 3 wires going to the sub panel. Probably because none of the existing outlets have a ground pin. I have been rewiring the whole house little by little replacing all the 2 wire romex with 3 wire armoured cable as well as replacing the outlets with the correct 3 wire ones. I want to fix this sub panel issue by adding the appropriate ground wire. I noticed the newer Cutler Hammer panels have studs on them to add a ground block if one is not already on the panel. This panel does not. Can I just add a ground block and fasten it to the panel? I am thinking not, but thought I would ask.
Don't mess with drilling holes in that panel. Many panels of that era did not provide provision for adding grounding bars. You certainly can use machine screws as Frenchy mentioned.

I would replace it... but not because its old or unsafe.

Panels of that size are cheap and breakers are cheap. BTW you do not need a main breaker in the new sub. Look for a value pack at a big box .. panel plus breakers.

You can consider using metal conduit (emt or rigid) between the service panel and new sub-panel instead of an equipment grounding wire ran with the feeder conductors.

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Last edited by Stubbie; 02-15-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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