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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a 475 s.f. Condo built in 1972 with a 100 amp Federal Pacific breaker box, which I plan to change. The condo was wired in metal conduit. There is no ground rod outside the unit. There is no ground wire from the box to the cold water copper. There are no ground wires in the breaker box. I assume the conduit acts as the ground.

Questions:

Can I rewire the place without metal conduit if I install a ground rod and a #6 copper ground wire from the box to the ground rod?

Many Thanks,
Russell
 

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Electrical Contractor
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1,994 Posts
I would add ground rods and bond to water main and keep the conduit it's probably a code requirement in your area.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Where is your meter (box)? Are there a group of meters located together away from your unit (you said you were in a condo)?

Chances are, the system grounding is located near the metering equipment, and disconnect switches.

If that is the case, you are not required to install any additional ground rods, etc.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. There are a group of meter boxes near the unit. I will poke around and see what kind of system grounding I can find.
 

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" Euro " electrician
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5,369 Posts
Hello,

I have a 475 s.f. Condo built in 1972 with a 100 amp Federal Pacific breaker box, which I plan to change. The condo was wired in metal conduit. There is no ground rod outside the unit. There is no ground wire from the box to the cold water copper. There are no ground wires in the breaker box. I assume the conduit acts as the ground.

Questions:

Can I rewire the place without metal conduit if I install a ground rod and a #6 copper ground wire from the box to the ground rod?

Many Thanks,
Russell
Russel.,

I will suggest that before if you plan to rewired your condo best answer is talk to the inspector and I have a strong feeling that you will have to hire a electrician to do the rewiring the condo.

As soon I read the rest of reply due you mention other meters there so there will be a common ground rod there somewhere in that area.

I know you may not like the reply I posted but better cover your rear end and do it right first place by checking your condo assocation and your inspector office for latest details what they do cover on the regulations.

Merci,
Marc
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hello again. Being that there is a huge disconnect out next to the meter boxes, does that mean that my 100 amp breaker box is a sub-panel and and does not use the green bonding screw?
 

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Sparky
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Hello again. Being that there is a huge disconnect out next to the meter boxes, does that mean that my 100 amp breaker box is a sub-panel and and does not use the green bonding screw?

If installed correctly, yes. Your panel would not be the location where neutral and ground are bonded.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Hello again. Being that there is a huge disconnect out next to the meter boxes, does that mean that my 100 amp breaker box is a sub-panel and and does not use the green bonding screw?
Huge disconnect? Is there just one or one for each apartment?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. That's what I thought. I am going to tackle this beast tomorrow. I'm going to run a ground from the box to the cold water copper and run my new circuits with romex. I've moved walls around and the metal conduit is hanging in space. I might just get rid of all the metal conduit and rewire the the whole place in romex, as I don't want to have to bend conduit and pull new wire. And I don't like not having ground wires. Thanks again for the replies.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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There is just one. Right next to all the meters. I will post a pic if I can find my camera.
Have you contacted the local code enforcement office to find out if they require conduit in your area? One large disconnect may be for the whole building.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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There is just one. Right next to all the meters. I will post a pic if I can find my camera.
Usually sufficient for a building as you described.

I'd be more worried about the Federal Pacific panel than your grounding (non-) issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have not contacted the local code authority. I will do so before I begin, even if I have to wait until Monday. I think Florida dropped the conduit requirement sometime in the eighties.
 

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Super Moderator
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I would leave the conduit containing the feeder and use a cable for the new wiring to the switches and receptacles.

The conduit acts as the ground. You could also pull in a grounding conductor if the conduit is large enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Hello again. I now have a new dilemma. I bought my new box. It is about the same physical size as the old. GE PowerMark Gold, 100 amp, 12 circuits, 22 spaces. The problem is that the neutral wire coming from the meter isn't long enough to reach the screw, unless I turn the new box upside down. In the past, somewhere, i read that a box may be installed upside down and still be to code. Not sure what to do now. I have to get that Federal Pacific box outta there. Any thoughts?
 

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The panel can be turned as long as as any breaker that operates in a vertical manner off and on has the UP=ON. Most main breakers now operate horizontally.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I did a search and found that there in no right side up on modern boxes. It is a source for debate, however. I am going to install mine with the main on the bottom.
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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I did a search and found that there in no right side up on modern boxes.
While this is generally true, it is not always true.

As Jim said, as long as the main breaker moves side to side you are fine.
Do you even need a main breaker? I doubt it.
 

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Licensed Electrician
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4,352 Posts
Is your condo attached to other owner's condos? Above, below, beside?
As Marc so gently mentioned, it may be against the law, not just condo owners group, for you to risk others lives around you.

Just sayin.
HMPF...semantics...:icon_rolleyes:
 
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