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  1. #1
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    Default Is this allowed?

    This is a 1967 service equipment panel. This grounding conductors are wire-nutted to a single conductor back to the buse. The white wire is not used as a neutral, more like a jumper. It cant be correct?

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    Last edited by Marc M; 01-18-2010 at 09:04 PM.
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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this allowed?

    The size of that stranded conductor appears much larger in overall size than the solid neutral wire being used as a jumper so I would say that no, it is not alright unless that stranded conductor is larger than needed to what ever it goes to. And then there is the marking of such wires when the wire in mention is not the norm for the task at hand.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is this allowed?

    Marc,

    I would say that you are correct. The wire nut is likely not approved for use with that many conductors.

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    Default Re: Is this allowed?

    Thanks guys.


  5. #5
    Fred Warner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this allowed?

    If they're all equipment grounds from different branch circuits and they're all bunched together under a wirenut and only a #12 AWG conductor running back to the grounding bus..........well, at least the insulated conductor should be green in color, not white, as white is reserved for neutral or grounded conductor. (200.7? my code book is out in the vehicle)


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is this allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Marc,

    I would say that you are correct. The wire nut is likely not approved for use with that many conductors.
    The red winged nut with a 12ga can take up to five 14ga. (But can't really tell the number or gage of grounds.)


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is this allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Warner View Post
    If they're all equipment grounds from different branch circuits and they're all bunched together under a wirenut and only a #12 AWG conductor running back to the grounding bus..........well,
    The problem I see with leaving them under one wire nut like that is that the required minimum size is not met for 'each' equipment grounding conductor should there be more than one fault at the same time - which is possible, and is what the system is also designed to accept.

    Thus, each equipment grounding conductor should be terminated to a proper grounding conductor terminal bar with the number of conductors in each terminal not to exceed that for which the terminal is rated (like 2 in each terminal, possibly 3 in each terminal if so rated).

    Reducing that many #14 grounds to one #12 conductor which then goes to a grounding terminal (presumably it does) limits the ground current which could be handled to far less than may be required during a multiple ground fault event.

    The rating of using that wire nut for a similar number of conductors (if rated for that number of conductors, probably not) and those conductors being white (grounded neutral) or black (ungrounded hot) is that the maximum current through the conductors and the wire nut is limited by the overcurrent protection, say 15 amps for those conductors, with the overcurrent protection for that one #12 no exceeding the overcurrent protection required for the smallest conductor in the wire nut. The fault current is not limited to such by an overcurrent device - there could conceivably be 15 amps fault on 'each' equipment grounding conductor with that fault current now needing to 'get through' that #12 jumper ... not a good scenario to have at all.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is this allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    there could conceivably be 15 amps fault on 'each' equipment grounding conductor
    Yes you are right. "Conceivable" I have a little trouble seeing. Regardless, say the jumper is large enough to handle 5 people drilling through 5 lines simultaneously.. is this grounding method even allowed?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is this allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Smith View Post
    Regardless, say the jumper is large enough to handle 5 people drilling through 5 lines simultaneously.. is this grounding method even allowed?

    That's the hard part to answer, doesn't say it is and doesn't say it is not, however, ...

    Let's take it this way:

    Presume that there are 5 #14 equipment grounding conductors to the wire nut, and that there are 5 #14 equipment grounding conductors from the wire nut, and that the wire nut is rated for 10 #14 conductors ...

    That sets up what you are asking, correct?

    Except that that will not work as the equipment grounding conductors run from the wire nut to the equipment grounding bus are now "conductors in parallel" and they are too small for that use.

    Okay, we'll change the presumptions to: there is only one conductor running from the wire nut to the equipment grounding terminal bus., let's say a #6 to carry all the current remotely possible, and that the wire nut is rated for a #6 and 5 #14s.

    Nothing says that is not allowed ...

    ... Other than the labeling in the panel which will direct you to connect 1-2-3 equipment grounding conductors to an equipment grounding terminal in the equipment grounding terminal bar.

    I would have a problem with it done 'as shown in the photo' above.

    I would have a problem with any electrician who would go to that effort and try to use a larger conductor as the bonding jumper between the wire nut and the grounding terminal, and would view all their work with the greatest of suspicion - 'surely there are many things wrong with their work' would be my attitude.

    That attitude might even be borne out with the one in the photo if we were to see other photos showing other wiring in the panel - such as white conductors to breakers, multiple NM cables through a raceway behind a wall instead of individual connectors (only allowed in a very few specific limited conditions and the greatest of those conditions requires all to be exposed and visible and accessible on the surface, not concealed, to the structural ceiling)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  10. #10
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    Post Re: Is this allowed?

    I would be interested to know if this is a stranded ground, perhaps #8, and the solid (smaller) conductor was pigtailed due to difficulty getting the #8 stranded into the terminal on the ground bus. Any larger photos, specifically one showing the termination of the pigtail? Certainly worth referring to an electrician.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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