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Help on this Professional Job.


BlackJack
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In this 150 amp service panel, there is installed a 60 amp breaker to feed a sub panel (bottom right one up from bottom). Sub Panel feeds a 50 amp GFCI breaker to a Jacuzzi, and (4) 20 amp breakers from the service panel. They were moved to the sub panel because they were displaced by the 60 amp feeder breaker. (no additional breaker positions in service panel) The wire nuts are to extend house outlet wiring to the sub panel. I think these used to be 15 amp breakers because wire size appears to be 14 awg. They did not move the grounds to the sub panel, just tied them together. The yellow Jacketed wire only provides 1 netural for 2 breakers, much like a multiwire circuit share a ground but no handle ties. I called it out for a certified Sparky, but owner says it was profesionally done.

Any comments?

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Is the sub panel grounded to the service panel? The #14 on the 20 Amp breakers is enough to doubt the "professional" installation.

Looked at the pix closer and see the ground to the subpanel.I don't see a problem if the subpanel is physically close to the service, but maybe I am missing something. The shared neutral is something I don't like to see but OK by code if the breakers are on different bus and don't serve the same receptical.

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Chuck...

Its always tough to tell from a photo, but I blew up one area in the main panel with the wire-nuts.

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To my eye, the connected wires look to be the same size and if it's yellow "Romex" from the sub-panel they would be #12s. I'm not advocating anyone doing this, but when I'm in doubt about 14s and 12s I will (carefully) do a little finger and thumb bend test. There's a big difference in bend resistance.

Now...lets talk about all those double-lugged neutrals... [;)]

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Originally posted by BlackJack

In this 150 amp service panel, there is installed a 60 amp breaker to feed a sub panel (bottom right one up from bottom). Sub Panel feeds a 50 amp GFCI breaker to a Jacuzzi, and (4) 20 amp breakers from the service panel. They were moved to the sub panel because they were displaced by the 60 amp feeder breaker. (no additional breaker positions in service panel) The wire nuts are to extend house outlet wiring to the sub panel. I think these used to be 15 amp breakers because wire size appears to be 14 awg. They did not move the grounds to the sub panel, just tied them together.

As I see it, they did move the grounds to the sub-panel, they're just spliced at the service panel's terminal bar, yes?

The yellow Jacketed wire only provides 1 netural for 2 breakers, much like a multiwire circuit share a ground but no handle ties.

They are multi-wire circuits. No handle tie is necessary.

I called it out for a certified Sparky, but owner says it was profesionally done.

Any comments?

Well, clearly if the wires in the first panel are #14, then the 20 amp breakers are too big. But you don't sound too sure of that. Are you certain of the wire sizes? It's easy to tell by bending them between your fingers.

Aside from the breaker size issue, I'm not sure I see a problem with that aspect of these panels. 312.8 allows splices in panels, so where's the prohibition?

Of course, there are lots of other minor problems in those two pics, but I don't understand why extending two circuits from one panel to another should be a problem here.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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As I see it, they did move the grounds to the sub-panel, they're just spliced at the service panel's terminal bar, yes?

I guess.... sort of. If, mindset is that splice and termination are interchangeable terms. That could be a whole nuther can o’ worms.

I looked at the markings on the original house wiring. There were cables labeled 12-2 with ground, and some cables with no labeling. The extended circuits were cables with no labeling. Then I looked at the 15 amp circuits that were not moved and they were connected to the cables without markings. Then I looked at the 20 amp circuits that were not moved and they were connected to the cables marked 12-2. The unmarked cables were also smaller than the labeled 12-2 ones. Even then I'm still not 100% sure.

I suppose the grounds are Ok (except the double lugged neutrals), I just thought the "spirit" of the code is to move them in a more direct manner. What would be the trouble to remove the 4 circuits completely from the service pnl, install a junction box for the wire nuts and extend all the wires directly to the sub-pnl? That seems easier and less time consuming that what they did. (Assuming that did not replace 15 amp for 20 amp)

Maybe I’m being too critical?

Richard, the original wiring seemed a little smaller, but may be due to a thicker jacket on the added wires.

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all your comments. I'm still learning.

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An electrical panel cannot be used as a raceway, therefore, if the splices are to carry the conductors from the main panel to the sub-panel they should be removed from the main panel, put into a splice box and then extended to the sub-panel.

Jimmy Filingeri

Maple Ridge Consulting, LLC

Hopeweel Junction, New York

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Originally posted by MapleRidge

An electrical panel cannot be used as a raceway, therefore, if the splices are to carry the conductors from the main panel to the sub-panel they should be removed from the main panel, put into a splice box and then extended to the sub-panel.

Jimmy Filingeri

Maple Ridge Consulting, LLC

Hopeweel Junction, New York

Have you got a source for that?

If it's 312.8, you've got to read the whole thing, not just the first part of the sentence.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by BlackJack

. . . I suppose the grounds are Ok (except the double lugged neutrals), I just thought the "spirit" of the code is to move them in a more direct manner. . .

I just don't see it, what section does this spirit come from?

What would be the trouble to remove the 4 circuits completely from the service pnl, install a junction box for the wire nuts and extend all the wires directly to the sub-pnl? That seems easier and less time consuming that what they did. (Assuming that did not replace 15 amp for 20 amp). . .

Wow! I disagree. You're method would be a heck of a lot more trouble. How would it be safer or better?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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300.3 (B) Conductors of the Same Circuit. All conductors of

the same circuit and, where used, the grounded conductor

and all equipment grounding conductors and bonding conductors

shall be contained within the same raceway, auxiliary

gutter, cable tray, cablebus assembly, trench, cable, or

cord, unless otherwise permitted in accordance with

300.3(B)(1) through (B)(4).

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Originally posted by BlackJack

300.3 (B) Conductors of the Same Circuit. All conductors of

the same circuit and, where used, the grounded conductor

and all equipment grounding conductors and bonding conductors

shall be contained within the same raceway, auxiliary

gutter, cable tray, cablebus assembly, trench, cable, or

cord, unless otherwise permitted in accordance with

300.3(B)(1) through (B)(4).

The installation in your picture complies with 300.3(b). All of the conductors are traveling together.

The installation would conflict with that code section if the wires were run individually or if the grounding wire were run outside the cable.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by kurt

Which debate? The initial posting question, or the question of whether or not wires of the same circuit can run through another panel?

I remember it well. The debate had to do with:

312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices. Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any corss section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.

Jerry set his hook on the phrase "for this purpose." (The underscoring above is mine.)It was his contention that, in order put such wiring in a panel enclosure, it wasn't enough that there be sufficient room for the wires and splices, the wiring space in the panel had to be specified for that particular purpose (foreign wires and splices) by the manufacturer.

Douglas's view (that I happen to share) was that "for this purpose" simply referred to the spaces within the enclosure that are meant to be wireways as opposed those spaces that are meant to contain the panel parts -- i.e. buses, breakers, mounting hardware, etc. In addition, Douglas sought the advice of electrical expert Creighton Schwan, who said, pretty much, that Jerry's interpretation was just wrong.

I like Jerry and I've learned a lot from him. His ability to see things from different angles and to question convention is good. But on this subject, he's out there hanging onto a twig on the end of a branch.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by MapleRidge

An electrical panel cannot be used as a raceway, therefore, if the splices are to carry the conductors from the main panel to the sub-panel they should be removed from the main panel, put into a splice box and then extended to the sub-panel.

Jimmy Filingeri

Maple Ridge Consulting, LLC

Hopeweel Junction, New York

Have you got a source for that?

If it's 312.8, you've got to read the whole thing, not just the first part of the sentence.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Hi Kurt,

This is what I was referring to but you already knew that from Jim's post above.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Yes, yes, the unpleasant memories are coming back to me now......

Sort of like the car in front of the garage electrical panel being a violation of the working space requirement. Why let anything like common sense & logic get in the way of answers seeking a question?

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  • 3 weeks later...

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