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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    Original (old) panelboard (now a junction box) has all (original) hots spliced and connected to new panelboard cirucitbreakers. (25 feet away)

    The origianl neutrals and equipment grounds are bonded together at the old panel.

    New: Three neutral and three equipment ground conductors are connected between the old panel and the new panelboard neutrals and grounds.

    If the old panel neutrals and grounds are not bonded to metal at old panel do they need to be separated?

    Any other concerns?

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  2. #2
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Question Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    See a double tap?


  3. #3
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
    Bob Winchester Guest

    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    This is a very poor setup at best. The grounded conductors and the grounding conductors must be separated at this junction box and the enclosure must be bonded to ground. It is OK to use the existing buss in this panel to terminate the grounds and bond it to the enclosure but the grounded conductors must be continued back to the newly installed breaker panel to be terminated. It all depends on the code that was adopted when this change in wiring was done as to which code applies. It could be an NEC version or an IRC version, we don't know from your question. This should never have been approved by the electrical inspector when the modifications were completed. Who knows, it may have never been inspected as the homeowner might have "beat the system" by not obtaining a permit to do the work. That happens all too often.


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    As Jerry pointed out recently, the panelboard needs to be removed.
    With the panelboard still in place, it is a panel, not a junction. Being a panel, it is not allowed to be used as a junction box.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
    Bob Winchester Guest

    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    Rick,
    Please quote the code section that requires this.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    "E3807.1 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, except where adequate space for this purpose
    is provided. ..."


    Bob, I did NOT remember the last part.
    Thanks I need a refresher from time to time.


    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 05-21-2010 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Added NOT
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Atlanta
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    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell;131596[I
    ...[/I]
    except where adequate space for this purpose
    is provided. ..."

    So what is considered to be "adequate space for this purpose"?


  8. #8
    Lou Romano's Avatar
    Lou Romano Guest

    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    1) All the neutrals must be removed from the neutral bar in the old panel and individually extended to the new panel location in the same conduit as the respective branch circuit conductors. Leaving the neutral bar in the old panel and jumping to the new panel with a single neutral is NOT acceptable in any municipality I have ever worked in! Jumping the neutral with more than one neutral and grounds too would be paralleling the wiring and is also unacceptable!

    The neutrals and grounds can NOT be bonded together in the old panel in any way. The grounds can be run to a ground bar in the old panel and a single ground wire extended to the ground bar in the new panel but not to the neutral bar, unless the first or only main breaker is in the new panel! Then you must bond the neutral to ground there, if not they should remain separate.

    2) The panel must be gutted to be a junction box and the cover door must be screwed shut.

    3) Unless the new panel is connected via a 24" or less nipple all the current carrying conductors must be derated and conduit fill calculated.

    Also, if the main is in the new panel and the panel is fed directly from the meter and there is no main at the meter, you can not splice the panel feeders because it is still "service". If the main is at the meter or the panel is a sub panel it is ok to splice the feeders.

    Last edited by Lou Romano; 05-21-2010 at 07:58 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Crouse View Post
    So what is considered to be "adequate space for this purpose"?
    There is NO standard which includes "space for this purpose", thus there is no "adequate" "space for this purpose".

    No manufacturer has yet had UL or other listing labs create a standard to list to which includes "space for this purpose" because of all the variables involved, the cost would be prohibitive and then they would have to test more variables each time someone went to change one of the variables.

    The conductors "passing through" a panelboard must land on a terminal in that panelboard, which means a hot conductor passing through must land on a breaker, i.e., originate at the breaker, which means it is not really "passing through". The closest look for that would be a breaker with two conductors from its terminals (one rated for two conductors) with one conductor going out to the right and one conductor going out to the left, but they are not "passing through", that is where they originate.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    NEC 312.8 allows splices in the panels. The "adequate space" means that you cannot put 10 gallons in a 5 gallon container. You need "adequate space " to fit the 10 gallons. You are allowed to fill up to 40 percent of the cross sectional area of the gutter with the wiring and splices.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    There is NO standard which includes "space for this purpose", thus there is no "adequate" "space for this purpose".

    No manufacturer has yet had UL or other listing labs create a standard to list to which includes "space for this purpose" because of all the variables involved, the cost would be prohibitive and then they would have to test more variables each time someone went to change one of the variables.

    The conductors "passing through" a panelboard must land on a terminal in that panelboard, which means a hot conductor passing through must land on a breaker, i.e., originate at the breaker, which means it is not really "passing through". The closest look for that would be a breaker with two conductors from its terminals (one rated for two conductors) with one conductor going out to the right and one conductor going out to the left, but they are not "passing through", that is where they originate.
    You've lost me here... you're saying because no manufacturer has defined the term "adequate space" that the code section should be thrown out?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    Did I miss something here. I'm not the expert in the distinguished group here but could not a floating Neutral bus be used with an adequate neutral that goes to the new panel N/G bus and the grounds be tied to the panel with a # 6 copper going to the new panel N/G bus. No laughing....just curious as to why it wouldn't be OK. I noted that Lou said you couldn't have parallel wiring, but what is a sub-panel except that?

    OK let's have it fellas........


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    NEC 312.8 allows splices in the panels.
    Yes, it does ... when those splices are made in a "space for that purpose", so one must FIRST go back and see "what purpose" all the space is for ... and not for. If the space is *not for* something, then it is not there for that purpose and space for that purpose must specifically be provided in and by the listing and labeling.

    Here is what that space is *not for*:
    - 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 cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.

    Note that the last sentence only defines the maximum fill FOR THE ALLOWED conductors for which the space was provided - and that space is *not* provided for the uses in red text above ... says so right in the code, also says so in the standard to which they are listed (I went through this years ago, contacted UL, and when through the standard with them as they specified and explained what was allowed and what was not allowed and ... that space is only allowed for conductors which terminate in the panelboard.

    Here is an example of why from one of our discussions: Let's say that conductors are allowed to pass through the enclosure with the overcurrent devices, some of the questions raised are:
    - How many conductors are allowed TO PASS THROUGH?
    - What is the maximum limit allowed for the current passing through?
    - What is the maximum size of conductors passing through?
    - What is the combination of size and current for the conductors passing through?
    - Where are the conductors passing through allowed to pass through? Across the bottom through the vertical section? From bottom to top up through the vertical section? Across the bottom and on one side?

    MANY questions were raised, and EACH question would require its own test and acceptable results, and EACH COMBINATION of the above questions would require its own test and acceptable results, the number of tests and results would first need to be designed and stated, then testing done to those standards - an NO MANUFACTURER AS EVER ASKED for any of those to be done, thus the standard does not include any, thus *there is no space provided for that purpose*.

    Which takes us back to the last sentence: "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 cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space." which tells how much space can be filled by the conductors *which are allowed and which terminate in the panel*.

    Not sure why some electrician refuse to "get it". Some grasp it right away. I know we have been over this several times here.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
    Bob Winchester Guest

    Default Re: Splices and Neutral / Grounds ??

    Removing all the overcurrent devices and using this as a junction box simply changes the use of the enclosure. The size seems to have become a mystery here. This is the easiest part of the entire problem. Each #14 conductor requires 2.0 cu in of volume so splicing a #14 to go back to the new service panel means 2 conductors or 4.0 cu in.
    A #12 conductor requires 2.25 cu in, #10 requires 2.5 cu it. Larger conductors have requirements as well. Calculate the total number of #14 conductors, #12 conductors, etc. and apply the volume requirement and you will have your volume requirement. All grounds are calculated as 1 conductor with the volume being determined by the largest conductor in the enclosure. Now remember one thing. If the conductors are run thru a conduit from this old panel to the new service there shall be derrating factors used to maintain the amperage rating of the conductors when more than 3 current carrying conductors are run through a raceway. Additional conditions may have an impact here depending on the wiring methods used. We can not speculate every one of them here. We may only use what we have, what we see here as the current conditions.
    So lets remove the breaker mounting plate from the back of the enclosure, use a blank cover for the enclosure and keep it accessible, calculate the total volume of the enclosure, calculate the required volume from the code as discussed here conductor by conductor, apply the 40% rule for junction boxes and there you have the results, either go or no and this is what makes up "adequate space".
    This is the type of calculation an electrician would make for this situation and the type of determination that an electrical inspector would use to declare this installation either legal or illegal. As an electrical inspector I have done this more than once over the years to determine the legality of any junction box used.


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