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Old 08-11-2010, 06:49 PM   #1
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Sub panel install


I've been researching this and am having a hard time understanding. I hope someone can enlighten me. I'm also wanting to install a subpanel in an external shed. I keep seeing that I need to carry the ground (2 hots, 1 neutral, 1 ground) to the subpanel and keeping the ground and neutral bus separate. If I want a low impedance path back to the source, why wouldn't I want to bond the neutral and ground at the shed and have 2 hot and 1 neutral from the main panel and still have ground rods at the shed. What am I not understanding. Thanks.

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Old 08-11-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowelsh View Post
I've been researching this and am having a hard time understanding. I hope someone can enlighten me. I'm also wanting to install a subpanel in an external shed. I keep seeing that I need to carry the ground (2 hots, 1 neutral, 1 ground) to the subpanel and keeping the ground and neutral bus separate. If I want a low impedance path back to the source, why wouldn't I want to bond the neutral and ground at the shed and have 2 hot and 1 neutral from the main panel and still have ground rods at the shed. What am I not understanding. Thanks.

bob
You would have a low impedance path whether 3 wires and bonded or 4 wires and not bonded.

Why do you think 3 wires bonded will give a low impedance path back to the source and 4 wires un-bonded will not?

You are allowed to run 3 wires if your under a code cycle before 2008 but there are some exceptions that must exist before you can run 3 wires. And your local code jurisdiction must also allow it.

I think your problem may be your mixing the grounding electrode system with the equipment ground.

The grounding electrode system is for property protection primarily.

The equipment grounding system is for facilitating the tripping of a breaker on ground fault to protect humans. It has nothing to do with earth grounding.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:31 PM   #3
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Stubbie,
Thanks a million for your response. I did a bunch more surfing and reading last night and that along with your explanation finally caused the light bulb to come on in my head and I now totally understand it. Without the fourth wire, people are at risk if the neutral fails. Like you said, both provide low impedance return. The 3 wire lead had my attention due to cost. But now I get it. Thanks again.

bob
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