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Old 10-23-2011, 09:16 PM   #1
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Sub Panel Questions


Hello,

I had an electrician install a square d QO sub panel in my detached garage/office ( a plastic water pipe buried underground is connecting the two buildings). At this point I am going to install a couple of outlets. Just wanna be sure all my wires end up in the right spot. The sparky ran the line from outside to a panel with two breakers. One feeding the house panel and one feeding the detached structure panel. Here are a couple pictures to give you an idea with what I am working with.....


Couple questions concerning the picture with the single panel (garage panel).

1. Is that a 3 wire feed?
2. Should it be a 4 wire feed?
3. Are the ground and neutral connected?
4. Should the ground and neutral be connected?
5. I added the ground bars are they correctly installed?

Any and all comments appreciated

Thanks in advance......
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:26 PM   #2
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One other thing..... If it is a 3 wire feed does the neutral act a ground?

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Old 10-23-2011, 09:31 PM   #3
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If it is a sub panel coming from your main panel it should be 4 wire. Also your grounds and neutral should be seperated!
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:56 PM   #4
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sfeyelectric

That is a 3 wire feed correct. So did the electrician put in the wrong wire?
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:02 PM   #5
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sfeyelectric

That is a 3 wire feed correct. So did the electrician put in the wrong wire?
That's what it appears to me. Where is the ground that is coming into the panel from? If from main panel it may have been ran seperatly which may or may not fly in your town. Was his work inspected by an electrical inspector?
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:03 PM   #6
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Also i believe you are gonna need ground rods installed at the sub panel location!
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:20 PM   #7
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There are three wires coming from the house to the garage. You can see in the picture two of them are sheathed and one is bare. Would it be grounded at the breaker in the house that feeds it? I think it is a 200 amp breaker. In the picture with two panels, the lower breaker is feeding the garage? Heres a pic. The only other ground in the garage is the copper wire that is runs into the ground outside. I think that is for lightning though right?
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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There are three wires coming from the house to the garage. You can see in the picture two of them are sheathed and one is bare. Would it be grounded at the breaker in the house that feeds it? I think it is a 200 amp breaker. In the picture with two panels, the lower breaker is feeding the garage? Heres a pic. The only other ground in the garage is the copper wire that is runs into the ground outside. I think that is for lightning though right?
The ground going outside is going to your ground rods than. Than you only have a three wire and it should be 4. In your main you can have grounds and neutrals together, in a sub panel you can not. Coming from your main to your sub should be 2 hots, 1 neutral, and 1 ground. Was this work inspected?
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:40 PM   #9
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It depends on when this was done

Since the begininning of time (well i guess the beginning of grounding) they required 4 wires to go to a sub panel and the nuetral and the ground be seperated. Then they changed it so that if it was detatched building, You ran a 3 wire circuit to the sub panel and the grounds and nuetrals be tied together. You also needed ground rods. Then they changed it again. Now you need a 4 wire circuit with the grounds and neutrals separate plus you need ground rods

It looks like your panel meets the second scenario
3 wire circuit
grounds and neutrals together
ground rods driven.

was up to code before 2008
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:43 PM   #10
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It depends on when this was done

Since the begininning of time (well i guess the beginning of grounding) they required 4 wires to go to a sub panel and the nuetral and the ground be seperated. Then they changed it so that if it was detatched building, You ran a 3 wire circuit to the sub panel and the grounds and nuetrals be tied together. You also needed ground rods. Then they changed it again. Now you need a 4 wire circuit with the grounds and neutrals separate plus you need ground rods

It looks like your panel meets the second scenario
3 wire circuit
grounds and neutrals together
ground rods driven.

was up to code before 2008
Very true jimmy, but considering there are no cicuits ran to this sub panel i am assuming this is rather new work!
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:51 PM   #11
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Your probably right but ya never know. The county could be on an old code cycle (doubt it) more than likely it was a side job and the electrician doesn't do much residential and doesn't realize that the code changed
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:54 PM   #12
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No inspection. Not new construction or anything just had him install the panel and run the wire. Did not realize the need for an inspection with a licensed electrician. Guess I should get him on the horn. What is the logic behind three wires?
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:59 PM   #13
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Logic behind three wires? What do you mean? How does it work or why won't it? Or what?
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:00 PM   #14
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No inspection. Not new construction or anything just had him install the panel and run the wire. Did not realize the need for an inspection with a licensed electrician. Guess I should get him on the horn. What is the logic behind three wires?
Well just like your main panel, with three wire your neutral and grounds are bonded together; However, now for a sub panel they are no longer aloud to be, they must be seperated in a sub panel. All work should be inspected no matter the persons ablity, we all make mistakes and inspection gives us a chance for someone else to inspect it and look for anything we may have missed, I would contact the electrician and advice him of what you learned and see how he can rememdy the problem. Hope this was helpful to you!
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:01 PM   #15
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sorry logic behind 4 wires

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