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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    Either I or an electrican needs to be educated on this.
    New Home I wrote the double lugged neutrals were not permitted.. [There was not enough room for all the neutrals in the panel] .

    Email from my customer, .. " the electrician said according to code in a sub panel the ground can be shared" .

    Yea I know we have submarine panels here

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    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  2. #2
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    Aug 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    The electrician is wrong 408.41 applies regardless of service equipment or non-service panels.

    408.41 Grounded Conductor Terminations. Each grounded conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual terminal that is not used for another conductor.

    This was formerly covered under the UL standard.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
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    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    Either I or an electrican needs to be educated on this.
    New Home I wrote the double lugged neutrals were not permitted.. [There was not enough room for all the neutrals in the panel] .

    Email from my customer, .. " the electrician said according to code in a sub panel the ground can be shared" .

    Yea I know we have submarine panels here

    Notice how the statement that the electrician made has nothing to do with your writeup. Its a common trick used by agents and their contractors, to mislead the buyer with some statement that does not apply to the topic but is technically correct. This confuses most buyers and prevents any other demands. The public needs to be more aware. For those that don't see the trick, a neutral is not a "ground".

    Bruce King, B.A. King Home Inspections, LLC
    www.BAKingHomeInspections.com
    Certified Master Inspector, Independent Inspectorwww.IndependentInspectors.org

  4. #4
    Norm Peery's Avatar
    Norm Peery Guest

    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    This is an ongoing problem. It seems that safety falls by the wayside when a sale is on the line. Just last week I did an inspection that had neutrals doubled up in the main service panel and on a second distro panel. The builder was present and called his electrician on the spot.
    The electrician told me it was "OK if all terminals on the bus bar were filled and it passed inspection."
    With the builder, my client, the buyers agent, and the listing agent present I said, "In my opinion, this is a hazardous wiring configuration, I will stand by my call, and if this electrician stands by his claim have him put it in writing on his company letterhead."
    Oh well, I guess, sometimes, when you wish someone "Good Luck", it means more than other times.
    Norm

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    Bruce got it.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Bruce got it.
    It is like taking an exam. That answer would be wrong as applied to the question, but not wrong on its own. Like our politicians that will not answer the question.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Peery View Post
    The builder was present and called his electrician on the spot.
    The electrician told me it was "OK if all terminals on the bus bar were filled and it passed inspection."
    With the builder, my client, the buyers agent, and the listing agent present I said, "In my opinion, this is a hazardous wiring configuration, I will stand by my call, and if this electrician stands by his claim have him put it in writing on his company letterhead."
    Because that was a new construction house, possibly a better way to handle those is to respond with: (turning toward your client and the builder) "Have the electrical contractor call the city CHIEF electrical inspector and ask them to re-inspect this panel, looking specifically at the multiple tapped neutrals, and if the city inspector specifically states in writing that the multiple tapped neutrals are okay, then my client will accept that as the city will not be able to come back out and make the required changes as the city has formally accepted that installation in writing."

    I have had various cities tell my clients, over the phone, that things were okay, then come back a few weeks after closing and tell them, 'Oh, THAT is what your inspector was trying to tell me, THAT *is not okay* and YOU need to correct it.', on the buyers dime, of course, as the buyer now owns the house. I had that happen twice, after that I began telling everyone to 'Get it in writing on city letter head from the Building Official, or the Chief (plumbing/electrical/mechanical/building) inspector.'

    Once, in Coral Springs, the electrician and electrical inspector tried to pull that on phone calls, when it came time to put it in writing the Chief Electrical Inspector actually put it in writing ... only to change his mind later, which is when my client pulled the letter out stating that he had accepted it, my client then took that letter to the Building Official and met with the Chief Electrical Inspector, gave a copy of the letter to the Building Official, who then told the Chief Electrical Inspector to call that electrician and tell him he had to correct it, if not, the Chief Electrical Inspector would be going out to correct it himself.

    I talked with that Chief Electrical Inspector a few weeks later and he was still smarting from the whipping the Building Official gave him, he had been trying to 'back up one of his buddies' even though he knew it was wrong, it back-fired on him.

    Getting a letter from the contractor ... that means diddly-squat.

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

  8. #8
    dana1028's Avatar
    dana1028 Guest

    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    I pretty much agree with everything Jerry said...especially about the letter from the contractor meaning diddly squat.

    The letter from the city inspector does - kind of - protect you from the city...however section 105.4 of the IBC says if the inspector made an error in approving an installation [inspection]...ie. there is a code violation that he overlooked, misinterpreted, etc....then it is still on the owner to make it right.

    As a municipal inspector - I have seen a Building Official override a field inspectors approval and require an installation be done correctly - ultimately this falls on the property owner. Reason: owner hired the contractor; property is stationary and the contractor may be long gone.

    Regardless of who said it was OK [builder, contractor, electrician, inspector] - this is a clear violation of 408.41 - and the HI should not accept any other authority. If the buyer wants to accept someone else's OK, that's his call.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    Quote Originally Posted by dana1028 View Post
    The letter from the city inspector does - kind of - protect you from the city...however section 105.4 of the IBC says if the inspector made an error in approving an installation [inspection]...ie. there is a code violation that he overlooked, misinterpreted, etc....then it is still on the owner to make it right.
    Which is why I also stated:
    'Get it in writing on city letter head from the Building Official, or the Chief (plumbing/electrical/mechanical/building) inspector.'
    The building official has the authority to "approve" things which would otherwise not be "approved". Such "approval" in writing makes that one installation "approved", and, if pushed by the city later, that letter of approval could be used against the city to cause the city to not require changing it.

    As a municipal inspector - I have seen a Building Official override a field inspectors approval and require an installation be done correctly ...
    Agreed, and as a municipal inspector I have also seen building official override field inspectors and approve things which are blatantly against code, thus requiring no correction.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 03-19-2011 at 08:47 PM. Reason: forgot the [/quote] in the first quote
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
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    423

    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    This is one of several pics of some "Duette" homes built around the street I live on, they "passed inspection" by the combo inspectors from the Peoples Republic. The developer is awaiting sentencing on mortgage fraud charges. (Pleaded guilty & made several million dollars in resitution).






  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
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    145

    Default Re: Dbl lugged neutral in sub-panel, again

    Here is an easy to read, informative document by the Schneider (Square D) panel manufacturer about double lugged neutrals. It answers several questions and provides the reason for this code. As the document states, it has not been clear in the NEC in past years, which is why they worked to get the information reworded. Pretty much any panel I have inspected that was wired before 2004 in the North Texas area has doubled or tripled neutrals at the bus with plenty of empty lugs to accomodate each on an individual lug.

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