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2 200 amp panels fed off disconnect, 3 or 4 wire feeder?


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I'm kind of confused on this one and looking for some guidance. I've never seen this type of "Square D" disconnect used before. I could not get the cover to open to inspect, but it appears to feed the two 200 amp panels above and the small 60 amp panel above. My concern is two 200 amp panels are only fed with 3 wire feeders, not 4 wire and the ground and neutral wires are not separated. Given the big Square "D" box is a disconnect, shouldn't the two 200 amp panel be feed with 4 wire feeders and the ground and neutral separated? 

Thanks,

Kiel

 

 

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I don't think so but there is supposed to be a gutter enclosure between the main disconnect where taps for the three main panels are tied into the main feeder from the disconnect.  I doubt that disconnect is rated to serve as gutter.  Not a big deal though.

Loads served by a particular main panel must not also be served by any of the other main panels.  This is to keep grounded and ungrounded currents of a particular load in a single circuit and to keep neutral currents out of the EGCs.

Only sub-panels need 4 wire service.

Edited by Marc
Clarify mains from subs
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40 minutes ago, palmettoinspect said:

I'm kind of confused on this one and looking for some guidance. I've never seen this type of "Square D" disconnect used before. I could not get the cover to open to inspect, but it appears to feed the two 200 amp panels above and the small 60 amp panel above.

You can't open the cover without lowering the arm first. In most cases, that'll cut power to the whole shebang. Occasionally, you can lower the arm *just enough* to get the deadfront open without cutting power, but don't try it in a critical situation. 

50 minutes ago, palmettoinspect said:

My concern is two 200 amp panels are only fed with 3 wire feeders, not 4 wire and the ground and neutral wires are not separated. Given the big Square "D" box is a disconnect, shouldn't the two 200 amp panel be feed with 4 wire feeders and the ground and neutral separated?

Yes. They should. The large switch and the three load centers are each separate, listed items, despite their close proximity. Right now some of the neutral currents are flowing over the nipples, which, by the way, could have been the equipment grounding conductors. 

It looks like you've got some serious workspace issues as well, no? 

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1 hour ago, Jim Katen said:

You can't open the cover without lowering the arm first. In most cases, that'll cut power to the whole shebang. Occasionally, you can lower the arm *just enough* to get the deadfront open without cutting power, but don't try it in a critical situation. 

Yes. They should. The large switch and the three load centers are each separate, listed items, despite their close proximity. Right now some of the neutral currents are flowing over the nipples, which, by the way, could have been the equipment grounding conductors. 

It looks like you've got some serious workspace issues as well, no? 

Thank you for the prompt replay Jim! Yes, there's many workspace issues! Hell, there's so many electrical issues on this home my head is spinning. I've added a few more pictures for your enjoyment.

I'm going over the ways of typing it my head keeping in mind he recent articles by Jim Morrison, but it's hard with so many issues! [:D]

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14 hours ago, Jim Katen said:

You can't open the cover without lowering the arm first. In most cases, that'll cut power to the whole shebang. Occasionally, you can lower the arm *just enough* to get the deadfront open without cutting power, but don't try it in a critical situation. 

Yes. They should. The large switch and the three load centers are each separate, listed items, despite their close proximity. Right now some of the neutral currents are flowing over the nipples, which, by the way, could have been the equipment grounding conductors. 

It looks like you've got some serious workspace issues as well, no? 

Why would there be currents through and between the enclosures when the EGC's and enclosures of each main panel are bonded within the respective panel?

Edited by Marc
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5 hours ago, Marc said:

Why would there be currents through and between the enclosures when the EGC's and enclosures of each main panel are bonded within the respective panel?

Because the current doesn't take the path of least resistance. It travels on all paths available to it in proportion to their resistance (ok, impedance). It's one of the main reasons why we don't want the neutrals connected to the grounding conductors after the service disconnect. We don't want current finding parallel paths back to the source. 

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Ok.  I was assuming that bonding to the neutral took place only within the three main panels which is where the upstream end of the EGCs are, not within the service disconnect. That's how I've done it.

Bonding at multiple locations situated upstream or downstream of each other is what invites neutral currents into the EGC's but these three main panels are not either upstream or downstream of each other.

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19 minutes ago, Marc said:

Ok.  I was assuming that bonding to the neutral took place only within the three main panels which is where the upstream end of the EGCs are, not within the service disconnect. That's how I've done it.

Bonding at multiple locations situated upstream or downstream of each other is what invites neutral currents into the EGC's but these three main panels are not either upstream or downstream of each other.

As I see it, there are no "main panels." There's a safety switch, which is the service disconnect, and there are three sub panels. 

 

 

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