Jump to content

Improper Wiring of Panel


buchhop
 Share

Recommended Posts

I went to a house to look at some electrical problems and the first one I seen was, In their 100 amp main electrical panel, there was no bonding bar from the ground bar to the neutral bar, and there was neutrals from feeder wires connected to the ground bar. I know the only reason why you would separate the grounds and neutrals would be if there was a disconnect before the main panel, but was not and don't need to be because they are back to back, so what my question is what kind of harm could that cause.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to a house to look at some eletrical problems and the first one I seen was, In there 100 amp main electrical panel, there was no bonding bar from the ground bar to the neutral bar, and there was neutrals from feeder wires connected to the ground bar, I no the only reason why you would seperate the grounds and neutrals would be if there was a disconnect before the main panel, but was not and dont need to be because they are back to back, so what my question is what kind of harm could that cause.

If there's no disconnect before the "main" panel, what is back to back with what?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think he's referring to a main panelboard that's directly on the other side of the wall from the meter and doesn't have a single main disconnect next to the meter and no single main breaker in the panelboard. He's probably looking at a pre-1984 split-bus panel and doesn't realize it, which is.....kind of scary.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

So, you've described a main panel configuration without a single main disconnect either at the meter or next to the panel and you want to know what harm it will cause? Maybe none, but how will one shut off power to the panel to work on it without pulling the meter at the socket?

If the panel is all 2-pole 240-bolt breakers and shuts off all power to the home with six throws or less, there's nothing wrong with that. If it contains 120-volt lighting and appliance circuits and you can cut off all power to the home with two or less throws you're OK. If it doesn't comply with either of those configurations, it's wrong according to the electrical code and the question of what harm it will cause is irrelevant.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My interpretation (with difficulty) from the OP's two posts...

He has a panel with a 100-amp main breaker acting as the service disconnect. In that panel, there is a separate grounding bar in addition to the neutral/grounding bar. He has some circuit neutrals connected to the grounding bar. We do not know if the neutral bar is bonded to the panel. I'm going to assume the neutral (grounded) SEC is connected to the neutral bar.

Issues...

If the neutral bar is bonded to the panel: The unbalanced current for those circuits with the neutrals connected to the grounding bar is having to use the panel itself as a conductor back to the utility grounded feed. Not good, some potential safety issues, but would probably work fine with no "noticable" problems.

If the neutral bar is not bonded to the panel: Then those circuits are using the grounding electrode(s) and the soil as the path back to the utility ground. Very unreliable, I would expect some odd voltage fluctuations, and might be a shock hazard at the the panel under some circumstances.

The latter would be more serious, but both need fixing.

I went to a house to look at some electrical problems...
Jon, I have to ask...in what capacity?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

you are exactly rite with what I have described Richard, would or could that make outlets get hot if they have somthing plugged into them under load, I have put a jumper wire #8 thhn from neutral bar to ground bar, was that the rite thing to do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK,

I forgot about there not being a bar connecting the two buses but I still don't know how you figured there was a 100 amp breaker in that panel, Richard, unless it came from his second post.

Jon,

It sounds like you are neither an inspector nor an electrician but are asking inspectors to give you advice on how to wire an electrical panel. Please don't do that here. We are private home inspectors, not electricians and not code officials. If the wrong person happens to see the posts, giving out advice on how to wire an electrical panel or diagnose and correct problems here can open up an inspector to all sorts of liability issues.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to a house to look at some electrical problems and the first one I seen was, In their 100 amp main electrical panel, there was no bonding bar from the ground bar to the neutral bar,

Was there a green bonding screw instead? Do you have a picture?

and there was neutrals from feeder wires connected to the ground bar.

What else was connected to the grounding bar? Did the service conductors include a grounding conductor? Was the grounding bar connected to a grounding electrode system? If so, what did it include?

I know the only reason why you would separate the grounds and neutrals would be if there was a disconnect before the main panel, but was not and don't need to be because they are back to back, so what my question is what kind of harm could that cause.

*If* the neutral terminal bar is isolated from the grounding bar, then how is the neutral current from the grounding bar getting back to the transformer? If it's only path is back through the earth, then that's a very dangerous situation. Every grounded surface in the house would have a certain voltage potential on it that would vary with the impedance of the earth. Also, if there were a loose grounding connection somewhere, it could spark or arc and if someone were to touch it he could be shocked.

*If* the neutral terminal is bonded to the grounding bar in a way that you don't understand, then that's still not good for the reason that Richard explained. The load center listing might not allow accessory grounding bars to be used for neutral loads.

I have put a jumper wire #8 thhn from neutral bar to ground bar, was that the rite thing to do?

No. It wasn't.

First: if the bars are bonded, then the #8 isn't necessary and the neutral loads probably need to be relocated.

Second: if the bars aren't bonded, they might actually need to be isolated from one another because I'm not convinced that you've accurately described the situation. From your description, anything might be going on there.

Third: unless you own this house, it's probably against the law for you to do electrical work on it unless you're an electrician.

Fourth: if the bars really do need to be bonded, then attaching a piece of #8 between them isn't the right way to bond them.

As far as I can see from here, you have a poor understanding of residential electrical systems and you're certainly not an electrician, yet you're doing electrical work on someone else's house based on little bits of information that you glean from the internet. If so, this makes you a candidate for the Darwin Awards.

tn_20097512180_Darwin%20Award.jpg

16.31 KB

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...