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Don't know it all, yet!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have an unattached tool shed/ "shop" with a 240v subpanel. A neighbor helped run this for me and sugggested the 240 in case I ever wanted to run a bigger air compressor or something.

At the present all of the few loads are on one circuit. Just an overhead light and a couple of outlets. I want to run a couple of extra outlets outside and thought I would put them on a second circuit. After opening the subpanel box, I am a little confused. See photos.

There is a black, white and ground coming from the main panel in the house. Black and white are both hot. The ground goes to what looks like to me an isolated bus.

I'm just not sure this is exactly how it should be and hoped the wealth of knowledge here could throw something in.
 

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You talking to me?
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how long ago did you put this in and was it inspected?

and is there any ground rods or anything such in the line of grounding electrodes? I don't see any connection to any so I presume there aren't any.
 

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you need to run more wire.you need 2-hot,one neutral,and a seperate ground.neutral will go to isolated buss you have there now and ground will go to a seperate buss screwed to box and a ground rod.thats code.how far is the run?
 

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Your neigbor really screwed you up.
If that wire runs to the house, it is wrong.
He used a ground wire for the neutral wire, that is wrong
You really have an unsafe instll there.
 

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Don't know it all, yet!
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Man, that was quicker than waiting on customer service at some companies!!!!

This was done about 15 years ago. Until very recently, my knowledge of AC was replacing an outlet occasionally- put the black where the black was and the white where the white was.

I suppose the forethought of preparing for 220 was good in some regards. However, I don't really have any expectation of doing that. There has been no trouble at all of breakers tripping or anything so I have really had no reason to even look in the sub panel.

How would it work to move the white to the neutral bus in the main panel in the house and in the sub panel also? That way I would have a correct (?) 110 circuit with that regard.

I haven't looked in the main panel yet, but would I need to have the bare ground from the sub panel going to the ground or neutral in the main panel or does it matter? I had considered adding a ground rod at the shop. Would that be a better way to ground from there or should I leave the bare ground from the shop to the main panel?


Oleguy, it's about 50 ft.
Thanks all,
Richard
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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I addition to what others have said

There is no lock nut on the conduit with the supply feeder.

There is an open hole in the panel.
 

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Lic Elect/Inspector/CPO
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This type of setup was allowed years ago, but not now. If it was inspected it could remain, if not needs to be corrected. This is all up to rules used in your area.The panel can be correct by running a new wire for a neutral or just making this a 120 panel.
The white is not required to be remarked, also any wire under size #6 is not to be marked per NEC
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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If you are OK with only having 120 in the shop, it can be corrected fairly easily. Remove the white wire at both ends and connect to the neutral buss on both ends. Install a new ground bar in your sub for the bare ground. Install and connect 2 ground rods to the new ground bar. Connect the black feeder to both of the hot lugs in the sub. Mark the sub 120 Volt Only

Also, install the lock nuts and close the open hole in the box.

What size are you feeder wires? This will determine the largest breaker you can feed with in the main.
 

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Don't know it all, yet!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you are OK with only having 120 in the shop, it can be corrected fairly easily. Remove the white wire at both ends and connect to the neutral buss on both ends.
I already thought of and asked that:

How would it work to move the white to the neutral bus in the main panel in the house and in the sub panel also? That way I would have a correct (?) 110 circuit with that regard.
I don't follow how to connect one black wire to two lugs.

With otherwise correct grounding, what are the issues with leaving the ground connected to the house main panel as opposed to installing a new ground at the shop? On one hand I have heard that it is better to have the ground as close as possible and on the other hand I have heard to always tie back to the service ground.

This is in a utility building with electric for lights, light power tools, i.e. Skil saw, drill, etc. While I am usually picky about most things, compared to proper grounding I don't really think that missing a locknut is that big of a deal.
 

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You need both, a ground from the main and and 2 ground rods.
You do not have to connect to boths lugs, you just have to skip a space with every breaker..
 
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This type of setup was allowed years ago, but not now. If it was inspected it could remain, if not needs to be corrected. This is all up to rules used in your area.The panel can be correct by running a new wire for a neutral or just making this a 120 panel.
The white is not required to be remarked, also any wire under size #6 is not to be marked per NEC
Conductors in a cable can be re-identified even if smaller than #6.

A three wire feeder was allowed before, but it did not allow the bare ground as a neutral.
 

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Don't know it all, yet!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
jbfan,

I don't think I have room for another breaker in this panel.

Just for asking, what does the size of the wire matter whether it needs to be re-identified? Seems like you would want to do that anyway if a white is going to be hot.


FWIW-
I read once that Albert Einstein was asked for his phone number. He replied that he would have to look it up because he didn't bother with remembering information that he could find somewhere else. Thanks to all the help here, I'm feeling smarter already.:thumbup:
Thanks guys!
 

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You talking to me?
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The white is not required to be remarked, also any wire under size #6 is not to be marked per NEC
then you have a conundrum because you cannot ever ever use a white wire as a hot conductor so, since, by your claims, you cannot mark a wire under #6, there is no way to use the white wire for anything other than a neutral.


You might want to check the exceptions for conductors in a cable. Even a #12 is required to be remarked when using it as a hot conductor.
 

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You talking to me?
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Conductors in a cable can be re-identified even if smaller than #6.

A three wire feeder was allowed before, but it did not allow the bare ground as a neutral.
so, he could have a 240 volt panel or a 120 volt panel but not a 120/240 volt panel. Is that what you're trying to say Jim?:wink:
 

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If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. If you wouldn't put your name on it, it ain't done right!
Well, "it ain't done right". It wasn't done right for 15 years ago. What you need to do to "fix" it depends on what you want the outcome to be. Most of the advice you have been getting has been not just how to make it work, but how to make it safe and comply to NEC code. If it were mine, or if I was doing it for you, I would first determine what the end result is to be. Then "fix" it accordingly.

In any case it should be corrected to at least the code requirements at the time it was installed.
 

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Don't know it all, yet!
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
davido,

Your point?
 

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Lic Elect/Inspector/CPO
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subpanel

Cable assembly

The white conductor within a cable can be used for the ungrounded conductor if permanently reidentified at each location where the conductor is visible to indicate its use as an ungrounded conductor. Identification must encircle the insulation and must be a color other than white, gray, or green
 
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