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WillK 12-07-2010 10:14 AM

Rough inspection
Could someone explain what point typically I'm supposed to be at for rough inspection? I've done this before but I usually go way further than needed, I've gone as far as installing receptacles into the boxes which I know is further than they want... At this point I have boxes nailed to framing and I have cables run into boxes, should I remove outer sheathing or stop where I am?

Another question is the sub-panel I'm adding... Which I don't have yet, but anyway, Home Depot has a 2-2-2-4 cable I'm planning to use to feed my sub-panel, which will be a 200A panel I'll be running off a 100A breaker on a 100A main (next summer I plan to use this sub-panel as my main panel with an upgrade to 200A service and moving the service entrance). This is 4 individual conductors. For the rough inspection, do I run cables into the main panel and if so do I connect them, or do I just run them near the main panel and enter after rough inspection?

And does this sub-panel require a ground rod, and if so should this be in place for rough inspection? (I'm assuming that whether it's required or not, I'd be allowed to have it and it would be prudent since it would be required when this panel becomes the main panel later, and I can size it now for grounding as if it were used for 200A)

oleguy74 12-07-2010 10:40 AM

generaly on rough,wires need to be stapled,wire in boxes,outer sheath striped off and ground wires made up.the 2 2 2 4 if aluminum is only good for 90 amps.if this panel is going to be a main later will need 3/0.putting plugs and recps is a waste of time because drywallers will tear them up.rough is what it is to make sure wire and boxes are where they are supposed to be.

WillK 12-07-2010 12:46 PM

The cable I feed the sub-panel while it's used as a sub-panel would be replaced when it later is used for 200A main, if anything I might then use it to feed the garage sub-panel, but I think that might be a longer run anyway and I'll need to buy new cable for that.

I'm my own drywaller, and yeah I've found that when I put outlets on before drywall that it just ads a step of taking them back off.

Anyway, whatever the right size is if I'm running 4 individual cables, should I be drilling 4 holes in each stud to run these through?

oleguy74 12-07-2010 12:57 PM

if you use individual wires they have to be in conduit.if they are in cable form one hole.

LyonsElecSupply 12-08-2010 06:33 PM

Theres a few issues that need addressed here.

First off, it sounds that you are using Aluminum SER 2-2-2-4. This is ONLY good for 90amps or so if it is NOT used as the service entrance to the building. It is being used as a feeder so you need to derate the breaker feeding it.

Second, if the panel is in the same structure as the main, you DO NOT need to ground it, BUT if it is going to be a main later, you need to use #4 Bare Copper to ground it.

Third, if its going to be the main later, it will require 4/0 Alum Service Entrance, not 3/0.

Fourth, you will need to have your panel "service ready" for the inspection. It needs to be able to be energized at the time of the inspection.

Oleguy is right, you cannot run THHN (Individual wires) inside a structure without conduit. You CAN run romex or SER however without conduit.

If you drill studs, make sure you use nail plates at the holes.

WillK 12-08-2010 07:32 PM

I have not yet bought cable for the sub-panel feeder, a beaker to which the feeder will attach nor the service panel. At this point I'm trying to figure out what exactly I need to buy for these 3 components so I can price it and plan out when I can make the purchases to complete this part of the job... The idea is that if I can finish the rough wiring for the rest of what's on the permit by then, I'll put the rest together the weekend after I buy the panels, then I'll be ready for rough inspection.

I've been having a little difficulty keeping the different kinds of wires straight on all of this, it was more straight forward when all I was doing was 15 or 20 amp circuits and it was all NM-B. But I think what I was looking at for 2-2-2-4 aluminum was THHN, it was on a spool I can get cut to length at Home Depot and it was individual cables. At $1.46/foot it would be less costly than other in-stock options I saw such as SER and copper or individual conductors bought seperately.

Actually I wouldn't mind using a smaller breaker, my ampacity calculations with the 125% came out at 57 amps and a 60 amp breaker would be fine, so whatever I can find won't cause me any problem - I think HD has a 70A breaker in stock.

For the ground rod, #4 copper is adequate for 200A? Just checking on that, whatever I put in I want to be adequate for when I later convert this subpanel to a main panel. And I'm understanding that buying a main breaker panel I'll probably have to buy an add-in ground bus that will bond to the case and remain isolated from the neutral bus, then when the panel is later converted to a main panel the ground bus then needs to be connected to the neutral bus.

One more question: If individual connectors are in conduit, do all 4 have to be in the same big conduit or can they be in more than 1 smaller conduit?

Jim Port 12-08-2010 08:29 PM

The ground bar can be added to the panel. When you are ready to convert it to the service panel all you will need to do is install a bond screw or strap.

A #6 is all that is needed to the ground rod. You can run the #4 also.

The 2-2-2-4 sounds like URD or something similar. Is it triplexed together, ie wound like a braid?

WillK 01-05-2011 10:47 PM

Okay, I'm going to bump this because one thing isn't clear... I am getting down to final details and expect to finish this weekend so I can schedule rough inspection next week.

On the sub panel, do I treat all the feeder wires for the 8 circuits I'm adding as though they were in a junction box - i.e. strip off outer sheathing then stop, or do I go all the way to having them connected to breakers? Or is either acceptable. (and I'm already aware that I'll want to have the cables secured with cable clamps where they enter the box, and I'll be stapling them so they route cleanly to the box. I'm envisioning it looking really tidy, I'll post a pic when its done)

Also another thing (guess that makes 2) Most of the circuits running to the subpanel go through the attic space above the ceiling in the utility room which is a room that was added to the house, it's on a slab, and there is no second floor above this room. The attic was previously inaccesible, and when this is done it will again be inaccessible, but for now I have a 30"x15" openning cut for access because I could not otherwise route wires across to where they drop to the subpanel.

Do these wires require stapling since I have, for now, an openning through which I could access the attic?

Also, I will be installing R13 faced roll insulation which will get up to the top of the 2x4 joists, then laying R30 unfaced batts over it. This room is a MAJOR source of heat loss. Installing the R13 would not cover anything, correct me if I'm wrong but I could probably put that in before rough inspection? How about the R30 that will cover the wires though, wait on that?

It wouldn't be that big of a deal to lift off the R30 since most of the wiring will be under 2 rows of it, and getting that in ASAP is pretty high priority because this is a major heat loss source and the heater is hardly keeping up, and the daughter is getting over an ear infection.

Termite 01-05-2011 11:08 PM

You're wiring a subpanel here. No ground rod should be installed from a subpanel. Grounding and bonding should occur at the point of service, which is your home's main breaker in your main panel or service disconnect. Your neutrals and grounds should be on different bars, and the neutral bar should not be bonded to the panel jacket.

WillK 01-06-2011 08:19 AM

Not a problem, I gave up on the idea of driving 8 feet of copper into frozen ground a month ago - although I have the rod for when I convert the subpanel to use as a main panel, which I'll be doing in a package of projects that will include rewiring and insulating the garage which will follow the current round of projects.

For the time being, I'm figuring that regarding my other recent response in this thread:
1) I'll clamp wires inside the new subpanel and route them to point at the breakers into which they will install, connect neutrals and grounds but not the hots (keep it safer when receptacles are installed after rough inspection)
2) I'll install R13 faced insulation in the attic, the cables will be stapled over the insulation so the R13 won't inhibit inspection
3) I will staple the wires in the attic to the top of the joists
4) I will roll out the R30 over top of the R13 insulation, the day of the inspection I will set aside those rows that cover the wires so the wires can be visible.

Anything wrong with this as a plan for readying for rough inspection?

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