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Old 05-01-2011, 10:05 AM   #1
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Subpanel conductors


Hello all,

I have an unattached tool shed/ "shop" with a 240v subpanel. A neighbor helped run this for me and sugggested the 240 in case I ever wanted to run a bigger air compressor or something.

At the present all of the few loads are on one circuit. Just an overhead light and a couple of outlets. I want to run a couple of extra outlets outside and thought I would put them on a second circuit. After opening the subpanel box, I am a little confused. See photos.

There is a black, white and ground coming from the main panel in the house. Black and white are both hot. The ground goes to what looks like to me an isolated bus.

I'm just not sure this is exactly how it should be and hoped the wealth of knowledge here could throw something in.
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Subpanel conductors-img_1063a.jpg   Subpanel conductors-img_1062a.jpg  

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Old 05-01-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
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Subpanel conductors


how long ago did you put this in and was it inspected?

and is there any ground rods or anything such in the line of grounding electrodes? I don't see any connection to any so I presume there aren't any.

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Old 05-01-2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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Subpanel conductors


you need to run more wire.you need 2-hot,one neutral,and a seperate ground.neutral will go to isolated buss you have there now and ground will go to a seperate buss screwed to box and a ground rod.thats code.how far is the run?
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:20 AM   #4
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Subpanel conductors


Your neigbor really screwed you up.
If that wire runs to the house, it is wrong.
He used a ground wire for the neutral wire, that is wrong
You really have an unsafe instll there.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
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Subpanel conductors


Man, that was quicker than waiting on customer service at some companies!!!!

This was done about 15 years ago. Until very recently, my knowledge of AC was replacing an outlet occasionally- put the black where the black was and the white where the white was.

I suppose the forethought of preparing for 220 was good in some regards. However, I don't really have any expectation of doing that. There has been no trouble at all of breakers tripping or anything so I have really had no reason to even look in the sub panel.

How would it work to move the white to the neutral bus in the main panel in the house and in the sub panel also? That way I would have a correct (?) 110 circuit with that regard.

I haven't looked in the main panel yet, but would I need to have the bare ground from the sub panel going to the ground or neutral in the main panel or does it matter? I had considered adding a ground rod at the shop. Would that be a better way to ground from there or should I leave the bare ground from the shop to the main panel?


Oleguy, it's about 50 ft.
Thanks all,
Richard
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Last edited by downunder; 05-01-2011 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:46 AM   #6
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I addition to what others have said

There is no lock nut on the conduit with the supply feeder.

There is an open hole in the panel.
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
I addition to what others have said

There is no lock nut on the conduit with the supply feeder.

There is an open hole in the panel.
and the white conductor has not been remarked as a hot conductor.
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:27 PM   #8
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Subpanel conductors


This type of setup was allowed years ago, but not now. If it was inspected it could remain, if not needs to be corrected. This is all up to rules used in your area.The panel can be correct by running a new wire for a neutral or just making this a 120 panel.
The white is not required to be remarked, also any wire under size #6 is not to be marked per NEC
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:15 PM   #9
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If you are OK with only having 120 in the shop, it can be corrected fairly easily. Remove the white wire at both ends and connect to the neutral buss on both ends. Install a new ground bar in your sub for the bare ground. Install and connect 2 ground rods to the new ground bar. Connect the black feeder to both of the hot lugs in the sub. Mark the sub 120 Volt Only

Also, install the lock nuts and close the open hole in the box.

What size are you feeder wires? This will determine the largest breaker you can feed with in the main.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
If you are OK with only having 120 in the shop, it can be corrected fairly easily. Remove the white wire at both ends and connect to the neutral buss on both ends.
I already thought of and asked that:

Quote:
How would it work to move the white to the neutral bus in the main panel in the house and in the sub panel also? That way I would have a correct (?) 110 circuit with that regard.
I don't follow how to connect one black wire to two lugs.

With otherwise correct grounding, what are the issues with leaving the ground connected to the house main panel as opposed to installing a new ground at the shop? On one hand I have heard that it is better to have the ground as close as possible and on the other hand I have heard to always tie back to the service ground.

This is in a utility building with electric for lights, light power tools, i.e. Skil saw, drill, etc. While I am usually picky about most things, compared to proper grounding I don't really think that missing a locknut is that big of a deal.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:18 PM   #11
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You need both, a ground from the main and and 2 ground rods.
You do not have to connect to boths lugs, you just have to skip a space with every breaker..
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:49 PM   #12
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Subpanel conductors


Quote:
Originally Posted by NJMarine View Post
This type of setup was allowed years ago, but not now. If it was inspected it could remain, if not needs to be corrected. This is all up to rules used in your area.The panel can be correct by running a new wire for a neutral or just making this a 120 panel.
The white is not required to be remarked, also any wire under size #6 is not to be marked per NEC
Conductors in a cable can be re-identified even if smaller than #6.

A three wire feeder was allowed before, but it did not allow the bare ground as a neutral.
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:41 PM   #13
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Subpanel conductors


jbfan,

I don't think I have room for another breaker in this panel.

Just for asking, what does the size of the wire matter whether it needs to be re-identified? Seems like you would want to do that anyway if a white is going to be hot.


FWIW-
I read once that Albert Einstein was asked for his phone number. He replied that he would have to look it up because he didn't bother with remembering information that he could find somewhere else. Thanks to all the help here, I'm feeling smarter already.
Thanks guys!
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:45 PM   #14
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if it is romex you can re-idenify.if in conduit(indivudal wires)you can get wire in all colors.you are stuck with romex.
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJMarine View Post
The white is not required to be remarked, also any wire under size #6 is not to be marked per NEC
then you have a conundrum because you cannot ever ever use a white wire as a hot conductor so, since, by your claims, you cannot mark a wire under #6, there is no way to use the white wire for anything other than a neutral.


You might want to check the exceptions for conductors in a cable. Even a #12 is required to be remarked when using it as a hot conductor.

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