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Old 12-24-2009, 05:03 PM   #1
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I have a question about if it's ok to run the #4 copper from the ground rod directly to the neutral connection lug (there's an extra lug) or if it should go to the grounding bus. I know that they're connected but wondered what the difference might be. The pic shows two panels with a grounding wire going from each one to the ground rods with the left pic having a additional grounding wire from the ground bus going to the metal frame of the building, Any thoughts about that or anything else you see?
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:28 PM   #2
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I know that they're connected but wondered what the difference might be.
At the service, no difference because, like you pointed out, they are tied together.

At a detached structure sub panel the GEC would go to the ground bus and the neutral bus would be isolated.


I am assuming that thes are your service panels and there are no other means of disconnect before the main breakers in the panels.


Last edited by 220/221; 12-24-2009 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:56 PM   #3
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The grounding/bonding is fine, but WHY would they mount those panels breaker on top???
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:58 PM   #4
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I thought the same thing. Put the mains on the bottom. It saves some expensive wire, and more importantly, it limits the exposure to unfused wire. Less chance of nicking it and causing a good-sized blast.

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Old 12-24-2009, 10:02 PM   #5
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Yeah, I know you can mount those panels upside down, but couldn't make myself do it. They just don't look right....
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:05 PM   #6
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Yeah, I know you can mount those panels upside down, but couldn't make myself do it. They just don't look right....
A) With most newer panels there is NO such thing as upside down.
Look at all the writing. It's all sideways.


B) IMO they don't look right the way they are.
Just my opinion though.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:25 AM   #7
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Yeah, I know you can mount those panels upside down, but couldn't make myself do it. They just don't look right....
I agree. Thats how I would have mounted them in my house or your house or business. Looks so much better "you're way"!

Very nice work.
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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I would have mounted the panels main breaker at the bottom if I am going to use the chase above the panel to bring in my branch circuit wiring. I would assume that is your plan. The way they are now you are going to have to work over and around those unfused conductors with your branch circuit wiring. I'm not saying it would be unsafe but IMO it would have a much cleaner look once the branch circuit wiring is finished.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:42 PM   #9
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Do you have the bonding screws installed in these panels? I can't tell for sure but it doesn't look like it.

Also, I may stand corrected (I'm sure I will) but, why isn't the panel on the right bonded to the building steel?
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Old 12-27-2009, 02:52 PM   #10
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personally, I like main breakers on top. Maybe it's just from when the main breakers were not sideways, maybe it's because I like to see the main right in front of my face when I open the panel door. Maybe I am just me.

what I would have done differently would be to locate the entrance into the panel to one side of the panel and run all the conductors up that one side.


anyway: as wirenut asked, where is the building steel ground to the right hand panel.

if the GEC goes to the rod only, it did not need to be #4.

is there a Ufer? If so, that must be bonded

I cannot recall if it is required or if it was just spec'd on my last job but what about panel to panel bond? If not required, it is still a good idea IMO.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:35 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the comments! As usual, I might do things a little different next time. Yes, there are bonding screws installed in both panels. And what I did to ground the other panel to the steel frame of the building was run a wire from the ground bus on the left one to the right panel ground bus. BTW, what's a Ufer??
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:25 AM   #12
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Since this looks like a 320 meter base and 400 amp service to two 200 amp main breaker panels. You have parallel sets of service entrance conductors and must size the GEC to the building steel to note 1 of table 250.66. That would be #2 copper. What I would have done is come out of each panel with #4 cu sized by 250.66 to the service entrance cable to the individual panel then connected those two #4's to a #2 sized to note 1 of 250.66 then to the building steel with the #2 cu.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:22 AM   #13
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BTW, what's a Ufer??
A Ufer is what is called a concrete encased electrode in the code (250.52(3)). If you have over 20 feet of at least 1/2" rebar in the footer or floor of the building, you must include it as a grounding electrode. (note the must).

do you have a bond to the water supply pipe in there somewhere?

History of the Ufer ground.

Named for Herbert Ufer (seriously). The Ufer system was created in 1943 (not positive) by Herb while working for the gov during WWII. He was in Arizona and realized that all that dry ground worked like crap for a grounding system. The light bulb went off when he realized the concrete maintains moisture virtually forever. Along with that, the minerals in the concrete profuse into the surrounding ground causing the ground to become a pretty decent conductor. He had a eureka moment and since then, we have had the Ufer ground.

Again, necessity has proven to be the mother of invention.
http://www.psihq.com/iread/ufergrnd.htm

Last edited by nap; 12-28-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:40 PM   #14
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Thanks, I'll look at the NEC to understand that better. And no Ufer or water pipe grounding, just three ground rods eight feet apart with the one GEC running to all three rods and one terminating at the first with it own clamp.

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