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Old 01-12-2010, 03:25 PM   #16
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Thanks, S_D.

I apologize to all if I initially confused the issue by inappropriately calling it a "sub." Knowing the theory but not knowing proper terminology can make communicating difficult! That's why I try to include photos whenever possible -- but even that doesn't always bridge the gap. Alas...

Meanwhile, aside from minor housekeeping in the panel (cable labeling, tightening up, refitting, etc.), looks like I'm in good shape. Thanks all for the great input!

Next comes the Federal Pacific panel. (That will be a different thread, when it comes to it).
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:04 PM   #17
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Your inspector mistook it for a subpanel.

To use the bonding hole, use a screw that fits through that hole in the uppermost metal not too tightly and which digs into the metal hole in the panel back as it also penetrates the wood behind. There needs to be a firm metal to metal connection somewhere between one of the ground bus bars and the panel metal. A jumper wire occupying one of the set screws and looped under one of the screws holding the panel to the wood behind will also do (scrape the paint off the metal where the wire looped around touches.).

You only need to move a few ground or neutral wires to the right side bus bar so that each neutral (white) wire has its own set screw.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:51 PM   #18
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Aside from what has already been pointed out you still have a non compliant installation to the 'attached' panelboard.

What you have is two sets of service entrance conductors feeding two different panelboards used as service equipment. The installation as it is is non-compliant in that you do not have grouped disconnects. Meaning you have one disconnect located remote from the other one. Disconnects must be grouped per service if both panels are located in the same dwelling. If the workshop had been a detached structure then the panelboard would be compliant with a 3 wire feeder in pvc. However it is not the case. Disconnects must be grouped at one location. You must be able to remove power from the dwelling from one point not two different points on the dwelling. You can have two service disconnnects they just can't be located in different places.

For this to be compliant you need to locate a service disconnect next to the panel in the dwelling (not the workshop) then a 4 wire feeder to the panel board in the workshop from that disconnect. This will 'group' the disconnects for the service to the dwelling. This will require some rewiring.

The other consideration is the service size for the dwelling and the size of the line side of the meters service entrance conductors. What you have is two 100 amp panels each with a set of service entrance conductors whose load must be carried by the single set of service entrance conductors on the line side of the meter. Those line conductors must be sized to carry the calculated load of both panels.

But again what you have is not a compliant installation.


As said you also are missing the bonding screw to bond the metal can of the panelboard (due to 3 wire feed) to the neutral of the service. So if you do not change anything be sure you at least install the bonding screw.

You do not need or want the grounding to earth (ground rod) at the panelboard located in the workshop. You could if you wanted disconnect it from the workshop panelboard and run a bonding wire from the other ground rod at the other panelboard to the ground rod at the workshop.
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Last edited by Stubbie; 01-12-2010 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
This panel appears to be a Main panel fed direct from the meter base
Top is a main 100 breaker, being fed with 3 power feeds, 2 hot & a neutral
Then a grouding wire is attached to a ground rod

So this appears to be a Main panel IF it is not being fed from the other panel via a 100a breaker
That is the key

So grounds & neutrals can be mixed
Grounds can be doubled, neutrals can not

Careful remarking those top wires as they are HOT at all times
DO NOT go near the screws !!
I would not be too concerned with that, its obvious which is which
The issue is if the panel is ever replaced
Yes. But the OP (Itsdanf) states that the feeders to the panel (which, BTW look like Square D breakers) come off the MAIN breaker, which is an FPE. Then, technically the main panel is considered a SUB PANEL, and the Grounds and Neutrals must be kept separate! But then again, I don't understand what the purpose is for the Main Breaker inside the panel!!
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spark plug View Post
Yes. But the OP (Itsdanf) states that the feeders to the panel (which, BTW look like Square D breakers) come off the MAIN breaker, which is an FPE. Then, technically the main panel is considered a SUB PANEL, and the Grounds and Neutrals must be kept separate! But then again, I don't understand what the purpose is for the Main Breaker inside the panel!!
Read post #10
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spark plug View Post
Yes. But the OP (Itsdanf) states that the feeders to the panel (which, BTW look like Square D breakers) come off the MAIN breaker, which is an FPE. Then, technically the main panel is considered a SUB PANEL, and the Grounds and Neutrals must be kept separate! But then again, I don't understand what the purpose is for the Main Breaker inside the panel!!
The Main breaker shuts off the power in the panel ?
Every sub I run has a Main breaker - just my preference

Actually the picture he posted shows the feed for this panel coming from the meter
And the other panel also supposedly being fed from the meter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsdanf View Post
Here's some additional info:
  • The sub is sourced from a branch off the meter, not connected to the main breaker box (see attached photo below)
As Stubbie pointed out having 2 Main panels in different locations is not allowed by Code
Was it ever allowed?
Also the fact of the dual ground rods....

I think ItsDanf needs to verify how both panels are powered
And total power that the service feed can handle

100a panel shown
Did you say you have a 200a Main ?
That's 300a total possible direct feed from meter ?



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Old 01-12-2010, 07:27 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
Read post #10
Yes. I've read post #10, where the OP states that the panel that goes to the shop is branched directly off the meter. Fine. That makes it a main panel. But what about the House panel. THAT, apparently comes off the FPE MAIN BREAKER. If that is the case, then the House panel IS considered a SUB panel. In either case, this house is supplied by 2 Main Panels. As J.V. pointed out, in addition to all other issues, 2 Service disconnects in an attached building should be GROUPED together, as per NEC!
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsdanf View Post
When I purchased this house (late 2008), the home inspection report noted the following about the sub-panel: "Improper wiring to sub-panel, the neutral and ground wires are not on separate bus bars as required on sub-panels."

How significant a problem is this? (...maybe on a scale of 1 to 10?)
id be more concerned about the piss poor workmanship myself!
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:36 PM   #24
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Granted there are a number of code violations in this situation, the most abosolute danger in this panel is the missing bonding screw. You need to bond that panel case one way or another!
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spark plug View Post
Yes. I've read post #10, where the OP states that the panel that goes to the shop is branched directly off the meter. Fine. That makes it a main panel. But what about the House panel. THAT, apparently comes off the FPE MAIN BREAKER. If that is the case, then the House panel IS considered a SUB panel. In either case, this house is supplied by 2 Main Panels. As J.V. pointed out, in addition to all other issues, 2 Service disconnects in an attached building should be GROUPED together, as per NEC!
Why would the other panel be a sub ?
Its fed direct from the meter ?
He posted a pic here:

http://www.diychatroom.com/f49/unint...remodel-59526/



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Old 01-12-2010, 07:37 PM   #26
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Just addressing Scuba Dave (Post #21). The First Paragraph states that "The main breaker shuts off power to the panel". IMHO, this looks like a Square D breaker (as do all the other breakers in this panel) And the OP mentioned something about "The main breaker box being a FPE". Either he has the terminology (or brand name) confused or there exists another disconnect for the branch circuits of this panel.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:41 PM   #27
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Yes - the main breaker being located in the (other) main panel - he thought this one was a sub



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Old 01-12-2010, 07:44 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Yes - the main breaker being located in the (other) main panel - he thought this one was a sub
Thanks for clearing it up. I happen to have a vivid imagination. In my mind's eye I saw a Third Disconnect box.!
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:47 PM   #29
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Yeah....its like whisper down the lane at times
I thought maybe I was missing something

My concern is a 100 Main & a 200a Main ??
Probably never pull 300a....



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Old 01-12-2010, 08:04 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Yeah....its like whisper down the lane at times
I thought maybe I was missing something

My concern is a 100 Main & a 200a Main ??
Probably never pull 300a....
They'll hear from the PoCo! But, it's a known fact that the Utility wires are of a higher quality and can pull much, much more than their rated capacity (Something we wouldn't dare to do ourselves) When I walk by on the street and see what the PoCo connects as a temporary (overhead) connection. Sometimes, they run an entire multi-dwelling building on a single #10, 4-wire cable!!
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