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Electrical panel from a condo.


Terence McCann
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Hi,

If it is a condo, it's a sub-panel. I find these improperly bonded all the time. Lots of the time, there are grounded conductors and equipment grounding conductors sharing the same bars. Sometimes, the screw was left in on the neutral bus.

When you find these, you should walk around the building and try and locate the meter array so you can check to ensure that the breaker or fuses at the primary disconnect are compatible with those feeders. I've found meter arrays in hallway closets, in parking garages, basement utility rooms and outside on the ends of buildings. Most of the time they aren't even marked to indicate which meter goes to which apartment and sometimes I find that the feeders have been waaay overfused.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Not so,

You can have a meter on the outside of a home with the panel and main disconnect in the garage and a service grounding conductor clamped to a water pipe near the main shutoff completely on the other side of the home in a crawlspace, or a driven ground rod at the end of the service grounding conductor 40ft. from the panel on the outside of a structure, yet the panel, because it is where the main disconnect resides, is the last place where the system is bonded.

The rule is that the neutral (grounded conductor) can't be re-grounded after the service (main disconnect) and that rule has been in place, according to Hansen, since the 1923 edition of the electrical code. Also according to Hansen, exceptions had been made for dryers and ranges that used the neutrals as a grounding means, and for detached buildings, but those loopholes were closed in the 1996 and 1999 editions of the code. This can be found in the 2002 edition of the code at 250.24(A)(5), 250.142(B), and 408.20.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Terence McCann

The bonding jumper was removed from this box.

Since there was no main breaker present does this box qualify as a sub-panel, therefore, not having the jumper installed correct?

TIA.

The absence of a bonding jumper together with the absence of a main breaker might suggest that this is a sub panel. (Or that it's just a screwed up mess.)

If the neutral terminal bar is isolated from the grounding bar, how is the grounding bar grounded? I only see three wires in that feeder cable. Something is missing.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I know of one hell-bent-for-details & hyper-assertive HI who insists that there's a plastic bar that has to be installed in place of the metal one if removed. I sold lots of those GE panels and never heard of such a requirement or seen any such replacement bar, but things might have changed and I've never felt like going down that road with him 'cause it would a loooong and winding journey.

Jim's right, there's no fourth wire. I also don't see any enclosure bond at the equipment ground bar or any #6 or 4 bare for a ground rod. My understanding is that if the two panels are not located in the same building (in some condos they aren't, are they?) they both need a grounding electrode.

I've always thought that was an intelligent design feature though. An insulated jumper bar bolted in place; un-bolt if need be. Simple and reliable.

Brian G.

Noted Design Critic [^] [:-magnify

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Hi,

I agree, there should be a 4-wire cable unless the feeder is through metal conduit which is, itself, being used as the grounding conductor.

Brian,

I could be wrong, because it's not green, but I think the machine screw on the right side at the top is bonding that ground bus to the enclosure which would fit with a 3-wire fed to the panel through metal conduit being used as the grounding conductor.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

I could be wrong, because it's not green, but I think the machine screw on the right side at the top is bonding that ground bus to the enclosure which would fit with a 3-wire fed to the panel through metal conduit being used as the grounding conductor.

Hard to tell, but it could be a bonding screw. I think it probably is. Personally I don't care for grounding with conduit, I've seen too many come apart at a coupling or connector for various reasons. But hey, what's allowed is what's allowed.

Brian G.

Code Revisionist (in my dreams) [:-sleep]

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