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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    The grounded conductor and neutral service conductor are not bonded to the panel in the service disconnect. I thought these had to be bonded to box, am I off the mark. Place was built in 06.

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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    Mat,
    Not picking up what you're putting down.

    Description not matching your two pictures. i.e. service.

    Retrace and identify service point. Lets get full disclosure here, including distances, paths, transfers, switches and taps. There are concerns regardless, but not specifically what I understand you to be stating in your OP. I suspect 2nd generation work, feeder or tap introduces this.

    Multiple structures? local generation? Is this a multi-family, townhome or condo?

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-21-2010 at 09:57 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    It is a single family log cabin built in 2006. This is the service disconnect located on the exterior of the building. The interior distribution panel is 25 feet away. I am looking at the neutral which is not bonded to the panel and i thought it had to be bonded.


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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    It is a single family log cabin built in 2006. This is the service disconnect located on the exterior of the building. The interior distribution panel is 25 feet away. I am looking at the neutral which is not bonded to the panel and i thought it had to be bonded.
    Yes, the neutral and ground must be bonded at the service equipment.

    With the downstream panel the neutral needs to be floating and the ground bonded to the panel.

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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    Where is the meter? on a remote pedestal? Please identify the source/destination of the two sets of conductors - service lateral or overhead, and where the meter is.

    Is this a residence, and is this an exposed exterior location (I know should be obvious with stone, right? but I don't want to assume).

    Thank you in advance.

    P.S. I'm a bit hung up and want to confirm our communications. Point-of-service, or service point and a building disconnect or service-rated-disconnect not the same thing.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-21-2010 at 01:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    I see it as the incoming from the meter is the conductors coming in the bottom and the feeder to the interior panel ( sub panel) is the cable leaving the top ?
    If this is the way it is , then Yes the neutrals ( grounded conductor) needs to be bonded to the can.

    Ps- Not to bust your chops here but, In your first post you referred to the ground as the grounded conductor - It is the grounding conductor.

    Grounded conductor = Neutral Conductor

    Grounding conductor = Ground Conductor


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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    Not so sure, K.H. Can you make out that breaker?

    I think I'm seeing a small green insulated bonding conductor from the conduit below, it is cut, the end is just behind the indicated conductor from the same conduit, with the other end floating loose in front. That loose end jammed into the same lug where yet a second green insulated conductor is, which appears to be bonded to the conduit.

    So why would this be? Where does this originate, Why is it so small, and why is it cut? Things that make me go hmmm. Feeder for 240 only or 120/208? I can't make out the breaker other than 125 A - CH?

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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    I don't think they are cut ends. I think it is just the insulation has been removed where it is clamped into the bond bushing.


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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    I don't know Jim, when I d/l mat's original and blow it up doesn't look that way to me, but then again it gets all distorted.

    I don't see that the grounded conductor (the white insulated conductor) and service netural (the indicated conductor) have to be bonded to the panel enclosure directly (and I think Mat was correct in his terminology, despite K.H.'s "correction"). To the GEC and therefore to the bonding (grounding) system, but not necessarily direct to the panel enclosure itself. The enclosure itself does have to be bonded though. It is acceptable to keep grounded conductors separate from circuit bonding conductors (equipment grounding conductors), even in service equipment. Heck, the Candians require it.

    Can you identify that breaker?


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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    The breaker is a Cutler Hammer 125 Amp. I can't answer the question, but can post a pic of those green ground wires. Not sure why they used two. I think one of them comes out of the conduit and is clamped there, then continues to the bus.

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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    Thanks J.K. for the fine photo skills on blowing it up cleaner. I am not a photo editing wizard by any means. It does appear to be intermediatley stripped and not cut. Not a legal wiring method (intermeidiate stripping). Yes an old-timer's short-cut - but hasn't been legal for quite some time, especially not bonding, and especially not in reported as "service equipment".

    So still a violation. Now the question is why is it there coming forth from the lower conduit.


    Yes I indicated I could tell it was 125A CH, but as to type and classification I could not. 240, 120/240, 120/208 suitable as a main disconnect 10,000 k, etc.


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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    HG, not sure why you said stripping the insulation in the middle of the run is a problem. Can you expand on this?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    There was no meter. I looked all ove the place for it, even on the barn which was about a 100 yards away. HG, yes this is an exterior panel on the residential single family home. And thanks Ken.


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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    There was no meter. I looked all ove the place for it, even on the barn which was about a 100 yards away. HG, yes this is an exterior panel on the residential single family home. And thanks Ken.
    Sounds like a rural property. The meter may be on a power pole, for example, or on a pumphouse at the edge of the property. There may be a main service breaker out there as well. That would be important info, because that is the key to the wiring question.

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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    There was no meter. I looked all ove the place for it, even on the barn which was about a 100 yards away. HG, yes this is an exterior panel on the residential single family home. And thanks Ken.
    Was there power at the barn? Is this an agricultural property? Cows, horses? chickens, farming? etc.?

    Power to this panel from underground or was there an overhead drop?

    Are you sure there wasn't a service point on a utility pole, A transformer, or at a pedestal nearer the road?

    Without determining a meter location and a service POINT, I still question this as a service point/panel. A main power feeder disconnect for the building/residence but not a point of service panel.

    Don't suppose they're "off the grid" do you? Any windmills? I'd call the POCO and inquire, if the owner/occupant and or managing agent or listing agent can't provide the info and determine location.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-21-2010 at 08:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    The grounded conductor and neutral service conductor are not bonded to the panel in the service disconnect. I thought these had to be bonded to box, am I off the mark. Place was built in 06.
    it seems ok to me if they were both bonded to the box then what would be the difference of attaching to neutral and ground to the same terminal board


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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    The grounded conductor and neutral service conductor are not bonded to the panel in the service disconnect. I thought these had to be bonded to box, am I off the mark. Place was built in 06.
    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    It is a single family log cabin built in 2006. This is the service disconnect located on the exterior of the building. The interior distribution panel is 25 feet away. I am looking at the neutral which is not bonded to the panel and i thought it had to be bonded.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Yes, the neutral and ground must be bonded at the service equipment.

    Scott gave the correct answer.

    Now for a question: Is the service from above or from below?

    If from above, then the breaker is back fed and the breaker needs to be anchored down with a screw or a clip.

    If fed from underground, then the breaker is no back fed and is okay.

    There are two grounds in that one terminal, which is likely only rated for one ground.

    There are two grounds fed through the grounding bushing, that terminal is only rated for one as far as I am aware.

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  18. #18
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    The grounding conductor is always connected to the enclosure. The grounded conductor, neutral, is ONLY connect at the service disconnect on the premesis. It shall not be connected at any other point after this service disconnect. It appears this feeder is 4 wire coming into this panel on the top cable and it looks to be conduit on the bottom with 4 wires as well. Are there grounding electrodes at this location? The code requires them at each building. There are several questions that must be answered to properly evaluate the whole picture. This is a sloppy installation with that lug mounted to the enclosure instead of a proper CH buss made for grounding of this panel. Is the feed from the top where the power comes into this box? What size is this wire for the 125 amp feeder? If it is SER cable it must be properly sized for 125 amps.
    Someplace on this premesis there is a meter. Follow the wires to where they come from if overhead. It must be obvious someplace on the property.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Service Panel, Grounded Conductor Question

    something to ask the realtor or person selling the place, Where is the power coming from? who was around to ask questions of? never hurts to ask questions and learn from those around you while there or later. the power is coming from somewhere be it a generator, wind or solar or off the grid or the neighbours. you said the wires go inside to the panel but where do they lead to outside? your client is looking for advise and to learn that the place is safe and if there is anything to be aware of. So when you see something like that leave it open to learn more about. You don't need to go out there to learn but a well placed phone call can teach you what you need to know sometimes.


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