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Saftety First!
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Discussion Starter #1
These are pictures of the electric service where I live. In the outside (main) disconnect
the neutral looks to be tied together and bonded to the ground bar with a split bolt connector. ( I guess that satisfies the code requirement for bonding at the first disconnect, although I'm not so sure about the wiring method). The conductors don't look any larger than number 3AWG ( I can't see any size on the wire). And the grounding conductor looks to be 6AWG solid bare. But there is no grounding conductor running with the conductors to the main panel in the basement. (The main breaker panel in the basement is located more than 8 feet from the service conductor entrance into the house. That is the reason for
the outside service disconnect.)
So in the breaker panel, all of the branch circuit grounds and neutrals are tied to the neutral bars. Shouldn't there be a ground wire run with the service conductors to the panel
connected to a separate ground bar in the panel? The ground should not be bonded to the neutral in the panel of course, but shouldn't there still be a separate ground bar for all the equipment grounds to attach? It seems to me that this panel is not grounded at all since the raceway to the panel is PVC.
 

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Master Electrician
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4,642 Posts
If the conduit from the disconnect to the panel is pvc why is there a bonding bushing at the disconnect?
 

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Saftety First!
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Doesn't the neutral need to be bonded to ground and the enclosure at the first disconnect?:(

But doesn't my breaker panel in the house still need a ground connection?
 

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Saftety First!
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I understand the question now. Sorry I'm so slow. The conduit at the disconnect is EMT but switches to PVC at the LB that goes into the outside wall. (It's just below the disconnect but not in the photo). I believe that the PVC is visible in the panel picture though.
 

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Saftety First!
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm thinking that I might need to run a green 6AWG from ground bar in disconnect along with the conductors to my panel. Thing is, this little disconnect box is packed already. Does anyone have any thoughts on this??
 

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Master Electrician
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1,453 Posts
Pulling the ground into that outside disco won’t be any fun with the cramped quarters in the bottom. Meter should be pulled too when it’s done. I’d consider replacing the outside disconnect in addition, personally.
 

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Master Electrician
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4,642 Posts
I'm thinking that I might need to run a green 6AWG from ground bar in disconnect along with the conductors to my panel. Thing is, this little disconnect box is packed already. Does anyone have any thoughts on this??
Agreed. As to your original query, yes, the neutrals and equipment grounds should be isolated from each other in the panel.
 

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Saftety First!
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
"Pulling the ground into that outside disco won’t be any fun with the cramped quarters in the bottom. Meter should be pulled too when it’s done. I’d consider replacing the outside disconnect in addition, personally."

I did think about replacing that box, but could not see anything on-line that would work.
 

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Saftety First!
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
What if I replaced all that PVC pipe with EMT? Would I still need the green ground?
(I'm thinking I would still need the ground).
 

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Saftety First!
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Discussion Starter #15
You said "where I live"....is this your home or a rental?
As the story goes, this house belonged to my wife's grandparents. After they died, the house became a rental property, owned by my wife's father. Years later, the house burned, but the frame was still there. It sat for a few years until my wife married her first husband and the house was given to her by her father. Wife's husband repaired the burned house, including new plumbing, boiler heating system and electrical. He did all the work himself. He is a carpenter and in my opinion, a good one. The plumbing, electrical, and heating all function but, in my opinion, well I could attach more pictures if you'd like.
An example would be the 110V receptacles. I've had to replace a few worn out ones.
The wires in the boxes are all cut flush with the wall with the ends stripped and stabbed into the back of the receptacle. The stab connector can't be released because you can't get behind the receptacle because the leads are two short. So the leads have to be cut
even shorter to remove the recept. And of course they are all the small metal boxes. No grounding pigtail and no ground wire to the receptacle.
Perhaps you can understand that just trying to do simple maintenance on this house becomes a reconstruction project.
 

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The reason I asked about your "where I live" statement is that in no way should you work on a property which you rent, that's up to the landlord to do that work, not the renter. Ownership is a different matter.
 

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I=E/R
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2,052 Posts
The wires in the boxes are all cut flush with the wall with the ends stripped and stabbed into the back of the receptacle. The stab connector can't be released because you can't get behind the receptacle because the leads are two short. So the leads have to be cut
even shorter to remove the recept. And of course they are all the small metal boxes. No grounding pigtail and no ground wire to the receptacle.
Perhaps you can understand that just trying to do simple maintenance on this house becomes a reconstruction project.
If you have to change a receptacle, have you tried crushing the old one with a Channel Lock pliers?
 
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