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While I have been working on a sub-panel and run into questions about the wiring there, I finally got around to looking in the main panel. See photos. If I am looking at this right, the main panel was never grounded which is likely why the subpanel had wierd (in my mind) wiring.

There is a ground at the meter, but only one bus, which is isolated (floating?) with all the neutrals and grounds connected there. There is a location on the opposite side of the panel for attaching an "equipment ground" but nothing is attached there.

The house was built in the 1970's. Would it be worth the trouble of:
Running a ground from the grounding rod below the meter to the panel?
Running a single neutral conductor from the subpanel? That panel is wired for 240 and I have two hots and a ground which goes back to the main bus where all the neutrals and grounds are bonded together.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nap,

The ground wire at the meter might go behind it as you suggest. I really can't tell.

There is only one bus and it is isolated from the panel metal by a plastic spacer. I can't see if a screw goes all the way through with all the wires in there but I think that would defeat the purpose of having it on plastic.

and you are saying there is no grounding electrode conductor in that panel at all?
Yep, that's what I think. All the bare copper wires come from a NM "romex" cable, none by itself. Besides that, I would expect that the grounding wire would be larger- the same size as the one outside.

On the right side of the panel wall there is a pre-punched screw hole with a sticker saying for "equipment grounding only." It seems that all the grounding conductors would be on that side opposite the neutral bus and bonded at the specified location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
a7ecorsair,
No sir, the service panel is in the middle of the house.

sirsparksalot,
It's the service neutral. Not sure what you are calling a feeder neutral. I just don't know that term. Can you describe that for me?


If I may digress, the bottom left breaker in this photo feeds a 120/240 circuit to a subpanel. I have some question about this circuit which I addressed in a recent thread. My question here is:
Does anyone see a problem with moving the white hot feed to the neutral bus here and in the subpanel? I don't have a neutral conductor at the subpanel and I don't need the 240 capability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
kbsparky,
1977 actually. This was a rural county then and everyone had the philosophy of "it's my property" and a lot of things were done not exactly kosher. Actually I was a little naive in thinking that since the house was financed through federal Farmers Home Adm that having two separate inspecting agencies would catch anything I didn't know about in my 20's.
Could you explain concentric neutral just a little bit for me please? I don't know how the visible ground plays into this but I did discover one day that the grounding wire was just stuck in the dirt. I was digging a flower bed and thought I had pulled it loose from the grounding rod. Come to find out, there wasn't even a rod there.:furious:
Wonder if I could get EMC to come out and check behind the meter?

Nap,
Yep, that's the thread.
If so, move the white to the neutral bar but in the subpanel, you have to move the white to the isolated neutral bar and install a ground bar. Then move all the ground conductors to that new ground bar. Your neutrals will land on the isloated neutral bar.
That's exactly what I was planning on doing. I've already bought a grounding bus.:thumbsup:
No other disconnect. Meter, main panel, circuit breaker to feed the subpanel, disconnect in the sub. Never any other disconnect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
kbsparky,
So would one use the concentric neutral like the ground on a coax. Cut through it a few inches, peel it back and separate it from the hot conductors and tie it into the neutral bus. I'm thinking like I used to do on CB and ham radio coax.

Also, if there was no separate ground, could that be where the ground wire goes to at the meter- tied into the neutral somewhere at the meter?
 
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