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Old 07-18-2008, 07:00 PM   #1
Whatamess
 
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Would someone please look at the following diagram and tell me if the neutral and ground should be bonded. I live in Costa Rica and you would not believe the wiring here. I read this forum a lot but can not figure out what I need. I think they should both be bonded. Just a guess. I know some one will say redo the wiring but that is like an act of congress because they believe if you turn the light on and it works all is good. Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:44 PM   #2
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Your drawing shows no short-circuit or overcurrent protection prior to the panels. Of course being in Costa Rica the American National Electrical Code has no legal bearing on what may or may not be acceptable.

You may want to check the information in this link to understand the WHY of neutral/ground bonding:

http://www.epanorama.net/documents/g...grounding.html

If this were in the US I would prefer that one panel be designated the Service panel and the second panel be fed from the Service panel rather than both panels being directly connected in parallel to the unfused disconnect. Only the Service panel would have the neutral and equipment ground bonded.

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Old 07-18-2008, 11:30 PM   #3
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Assuming your drawing left out a few of the details Furd mentioned both panels are fed by 3 wires from the service disconnect and therefore neutral and equipment ground would need bonding as the neutral is the only fault path available.

The green you show I am assuming is the gec to the ground rods or other grounding electrode. This has some but very little importance for the bonding requirement as far as human safety is concerned. Fault currents will not travel to earth at the panels they will travel the neutral back to the source (transformer).

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Old 07-19-2008, 12:50 AM   #4
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You always bond the first point of service. Since these are fed in parallel, they are technically both the first point. Bond them both, and dont bond any panels fed off of either of them. (unless you set another transformer)
Hope this helps.

When in doubt, Hire an Electrician!
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:21 AM   #5
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The only thing I left out was the main breaker in panel A panel B has no main breaker. If there is a short I guess it just burns a wire into. I may at a later date change this and install a main breaker. Since it is a three wire system I would still not separate the neutral and ground correct? Thanks for the help. I may take some pictures to post you can see how it is done here. They use a lot of the blade suicide switches here in showers for hot water. Thanks Again
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TazinCR View Post
The only thing I left out was the main breaker in panel A panel B has no main breaker. If there is a short I guess it just burns a wire into. I may at a later date change this and install a main breaker. Since it is a three wire system I would still not separate the neutral and ground correct? Thanks for the help. I may take some pictures to post you can see how it is done here. They use a lot of the blade suicide switches here in showers for hot water. Thanks Again
Why on earth would you not want a main breaker in both panels? and why on earth would you post this on a board in a country that would generally tear that design apart? Be safe!
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:42 AM   #7
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I want to learn and maybe help friends here from the same problem if they build. I am from the US and I would like to bring my system up to a safe configuration, not US code but a lot better than this. I want to make it safe for my wife,me and our stuff. Since the electricians (if you can call them that) did this mess I will have to fix it myself. The problem here as it was in the US for years, if someone learns to do it wrong it is hell to try and change the way they do it. Thanks Again
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TazinCR View Post
I want to learn and maybe help friends here from the same problem if they build. I am from the US and I would like to bring my system up to a safe configuration, not US code but a lot better than this. I want to make it safe for my wife,me and our stuff. Since the electricians (if you can call them that) did this mess I will have to fix it myself. The problem here as it was in the US for years, if someone learns to do it wrong it is hell to try and change the way they do it. Thanks Again

Cool... well good luck to you.

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