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Old 01-17-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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some neutrals not separated from ground


I have three panels and a service rated ATS which feeds two of the three panels and those are the subpanels. Most of the ckts in these two sub panels have their neutrals and grounds separated and only bonded at the ATS. However, some ckts previously on the one panel directly connected to the utility were moved to the subpanels so could be powered by the 20KW generator being installed. Those were moved by extending the hot of the 120 volt ckt over to breakers on the subpanels but leaving the neutrals and grounds connected on the same bus as originally installed before the generator was added. The neutral and ground wires of the extension piece were snipped at each end in both panels so only the black hot wired was moved. I was expecting that all three wires would be extended and taken over to the subpanel and the neutrals and grounds connected on separate buses like all the other ckts in the sub panels.

Is this safe?

Bob

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Old 01-17-2012, 03:40 PM   #2
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some neutrals not separated from ground


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Originally Posted by bobco
I have three panels and a service rated ATS which feeds two of the three panels and those are the subpanels. Most of the ckts in these two sub panels have their neutrals and grounds separated and only bonded at the ATS. However, some ckts previously on the one panel directly connected to the utility were moved to the subpanels so could be powered by the 20KW generator being installed. Those were moved by extending the hot of the 120 volt ckt over to breakers on the subpanels but leaving the neutrals and grounds connected on the same bus as originally installed before the generator was added. The neutral and ground wires of the extension piece were snipped at each end in both panels so only the black hot wired was moved. I was expecting that all three wires would be extended and taken over to the subpanel and the neutrals and grounds connected on separate buses like all the other ckts in the sub panels.

Is this safe?

Bob
As long as it's still a main it's not an issue. I assume in the sub panels the bar connecting the neutral and ground bar have been removed?

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Old 01-17-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
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some neutrals not separated from ground


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As long as it's still a main it's not an issue. I assume in the sub panels the bar connecting the neutral and ground bar have been removed?
Yes the neutral and ground bar are not connected in the subpanels.

I have two mains, Main 1: the panel directly connected to the utility and main 2: the service rated ATS directly connected to the utility. The ckts moved from main 1 to the subpanels which are fed by main 2 (e.g. the service rated ATS) have left their neutrals and grounds connected together in main 1 panel and only moved the hot to the subpanel. This means that some ckts in the subpanels have their neutrals and grounds separated and some do not since their neutrals and grounds are connected not in the subpanel where the hot is and not in the main 2 or ATS where neutrals and grounds are supposed to be bonded but over in main 1 panel that is not connected to the generator. If you tripped the 200 amp breaker of main 1 panel so no live utility power possible and disconnected the neutral in that panel from the ground bus you would be surprised to find it live from backfeed from the generator if that ckt had a load. Doesn't seem safe.

On another forum I learned that it is a violation of the NEC code but we use the 2005 edition so not sure yet if applicable here. the provision cited is:
300.3 Conductors.
(B) Conductors of the Same Circuit. All conductors of the same circuit and, where used, the grounded conductor and all equipment grounding conductors and bonding conductors shall be contained within the same raceway, auxiliary gutter, cable tray, cablebus assembly, trench, cable, or cord

In my case the neutral and ground of the same circuit are not in the same cord, cable, trench, cablebus assembly, cable tray, auxiliary gutter or raceway.

Bob

Last edited by bobco; 01-18-2012 at 10:52 AM. Reason: update from another forum
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