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When is a sub panel not a sub panel? added photos


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Photos are in a post down 3 replys. (sorry)

Yesterday, I inspected a modular home (one without wheels). There were 2 service panels attached to the outside of the residence, one on the left and one on the right. The main service feed was underground and came into the panel on the left side, it had a 200 amp breaker in it. Thats all. The other panel had a 200 amp breaker as well as all the residencial household breakers. The meter window was installed on the left side panel. WTF?

My question is does this arrangement now make the panel on the right a sub-panel? and as such it would then require seperate neutrals and grounds? yes?

Whomever installed it originaly used an anti-tampering screw head on the panel with the residential breakers and I could not remove the dead front cover to inspect it. After a semi-pleasant crawl underneath I found a UFER ground wire just kinda twisted around the one that came from the bottom of the residential panel. The home was tested with a sure-test analyzer and did not produce any errors.

Is the panel with the residential breakers in it now a sub panel?

Thanks for your wisdom as always,


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As big a pain as it is, yes, the one on the right is a subpanel, and subject to all of the rules thereof.

Around here the service wires between the two would be 2 2/0, 1 1/0, and a #6 green. I can't believe they used a tamper resistant screw on a deadfront cover...dumb, and possibly dangerous.

Brian G.

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The panel with the breakers could have been wired at the factory as a main service and be bonded inside. Sounds like it, since the service grounding conductor comes from the panel with the breakers.

Maybe nobody thought to ask about what side the service lateral was coming in on, so the utility put in the service lateral with a main disconnect where they thought it would be the most convenient for them.

It's my understanding though that equipment grounding conductors and grounded conductors are supposed to be separated past the main disconnect and that the service ground is supposed to be at the main disconnect. If that is the case, shouldn't any bonding strap or screws have been removed and the service grounding conductor moved to the main disconnect and then the main disconnect bonded and the service grounding conductor connected to a driven service grounding electrode?

The other thing is the "twisted" connection between a ufer cable and the service grounding conductor. This is the one cable that can't be spliced, so a new cable, long enough to reach the ufer, should have been installed.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it 'cuz electricity is my weakest area and I don't know any better. [;)]



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Thanks for the quick response guys. Thats what I thought also.

Brian, you know your sparkie stuff. thanks bro.

Mike, I think you are right about using the main panel as the sub because of a blank in the normal hole for the meter. It sure looks bonded to me! DOAH [:-banghead]

About 3 feet from the bottom of this panel is a bollard-less gas regulator in the driveway. NICE .... (notice: no sleeve around the plastic line where it emerges from the driveway) SHEEESH!

I have included photos


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