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  1. #1
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    Default Sub panel question

    Hello all,
    I came across something that I have never seen before and am hoping for some insight. The picture is of a sub panel in a shop. For those of you that are about to ask if the panel is in a submarine, please save it. I know its an equipment service panel. Commonly referred to as a sub panel. It is wired to a 60 amp breaker on the main. The service conductor does not go to the main lugs of the panel. They are wired directly into a 60 amp breaker in the sub panel. The other 6/3 conductors coming into the panel on the left side are not connected to anything and are not hot. I know the panel is wired incorrect because I see the ground and neutrals on the same bus bar. My question is, are they using the 60 amp breaker as a main disconnect and if so is this a proper wiring method?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Is the shop attached to the building where the service equipment is? If detached are there other metallic paths between the buildings?

    The two whites in the lug is incorrect.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    The shop is detached from the house where the main panel is. The sub is only servicing lights and receptacles in the shop. It appears the other 6/3 is for a future 220v. The conductors leave the panel on the left side and I could not find where they go. To my knowledge there is no other metallic path back to the house.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Prior to the 08 NEC a 3 wire feeder was allowed to a detached structure provided no other metallic paths like a phone, cable or water line ran between the two. A ground rod or other electrode was required. The neutral was allowed to be rebonded in this panel.

    Since the double pole is being backfed a retainer clip is required to hold the breaker in place.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    What Jim said. The neutral for the unused wiring needs to terminate on the neutral bus in its own lug, or simply be disconnected for now, since it is not in use anyway.

    I believe there is a large gauge copper coming in to the top of the panel. If that wire is connected to a ground rod, then that is the previously correct way to wire this panel. I believe the neutral bus needs to be bonded to the panel with that setup. If that is so, then there may be no other problem, but the experts will chip in, I'm sure. Actually, I can't see a bonding screw from the neutral bus to the panel. I don't think the cable clamp on the bare ground wire is sufficient for that.

    I think I see a screw securing the 60 amp breaker. That is correct for a backfed arrangement. The 60 Amp breaker serves as the disconnect, because the power is applied to the bus bars thru that breaker.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Your panelboard is a 6 space 12 circuit 100 amp square d homeline series. The 60 amp breaker in spaces 1 and 2 is being used as a back fed main breaker in lieu of the main lugs. Likely to satisfy the requirement for a service rated disconnect for the detached shop.
    Focusing on the 60 amp main breaker it is required to be installed with a hold down accessory kit when used as a 'main'.. It appears that kit is in place so all is good in that respect. The panel index is also required to be labeled "MAIN" for spaces 1 and 2. Usually there are some labeling stickers that come with the panel for this purpose.

    The feeder neutral and the branch circuit neutral cannot be under the same lug. Move the branch circuit neutral out of the lug and cap it.

    The blue wire nut on the feeder neutral is cheesy .....

    Picture quality is not good enough to see if main bonding jumper is installed. It should be if the 3 wire feeder was acceptable (code compliant) at time of installation.


    The shop needs a grounding electrode system usually in the form of 2 ground rods.

    A few other issues that you may have already noted.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anglin View Post
    The picture is of a sub panel in a shop. For those of you that are about to ask if the panel is in a submarine, please save it. I know its an equipment service panel. Commonly referred to as a sub panel.
    You are so wrapped up in your insistence on calling that a sub panel that you have incorrectly related ""I know its an equipment service panel." to "Commonly referred to as a sub panel.", which is the complete opposite of reality and why I stress that you ARE NOT looking at a "sub" panel, that you are looking at a "panel".

    The panel would be required to be listed for use as "service equipment" and, as such, is in no way remotely a sub panel.

    Your post is precisely WHY YOU (and others) SHOULD NOT be trying to insist on using meaningless terms which only end up confusing you.

    Yes, I know what you are TRYING to say, but your insistence on using the "sub" panel has you all screwed up.

    It is wired to a 60 amp breaker on the main.
    Thus, in your "sub" panel / "main" panel world that would be a "main" panel (service equipment), however, because "the main panel" is back at "the main house" you are now left trying to figure out what to call this panel, and as such you have improperly identified it.

    Just another clear and plain example of why the terms "service equipment" and "panels" should be use.

    The service conductor does not go to the main lugs of the panel. They are wired directly into a 60 amp breaker in the sub panel.
    If it is a sub panel then it would NOT have "service conductor"s, it would have "feeder conductors".

    I know the panel is wired incorrect because I see the ground and neutrals on the same bus bar.
    If that is a "equipment service panel" (your term) and is supplied by "service conductor" (your term), then you would expect to see the grounds and neutrals on the same terminal bar as the neutrals are bonded to ground ad service equipment panels.

    Thank you for clearly pointing out why you should not be using those unnecessary (and incorrect) terms.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Based on your description that the panel is located in a detached shop, not attached to the main building where the service equipment and service is located, then, as Jim said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port
    Prior to the 08 NEC a 3 wire feeder was allowed to a detached structure provided no other metallic paths like a phone, cable or water line ran between the two. A ground rod or other electrode was required. The neutral was allowed to be rebonded in this panel.
    Jim asked for clarification on this and you confirmed:
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anglin
    To my knowledge there is no other metallic path back to the house.
    As such, the following applies - from the 2002 NEC for older buildings: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - 250.32 Two or More Buildings or Structures Supplied from a Common Service.
    - - (A) Grounding Electrode. Where two or more buildings or structures are supplied from a common ac service by a feeder(s) or branch circuit(s), the grounding electrode(s) required in Part III of this article at each building or structure shall be connected in the manner specified in 250.32(B) or (C). Where there are no existing grounding electrodes, the grounding electrode(s) required in Part III of this article shall be installed.
    - - - Exception: A grounding electrode at separate buildings or structures shall not be required where only one branch circuit supplies the building or structure and the branch circuit includes an equipment grounding conductor for grounding the conductive non–current-carrying parts of all equipment.
    - - (B) Grounded Systems. For a grounded system at the separate building or structure, the connection to the grounding electrode and grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded shall comply with either 250.32(B)(1) or (2).
    - - - (1) Equipment Grounding Conductor. An equipment grounding conductor as described in 250.118 shall be run with the supply conductors and connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s). The equipment grounding conductor shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded. The equipment grounding conductor shall be sized in accordance with 250.122. Any installed grounded conductor shall not be connected to the equipment grounding conductor or to the grounding electrode(s).
    - - - - (2) Grounded Conductor. Where (1) an equipment grounding conductor is not run with the supply to the building or structure, (2) there are no continuous metallic paths bonded to the grounding system in both buildings or structures involved, and (3) ground-fault protection of equipment has not been installed on the common ac service, the grounded circuit conductor run with the supply to the building or structure shall be connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s) and shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded. The size of the grounded conductor shall not be smaller than the larger of
    - - - - - (1) That required by 220.22
    - - - - - (2) That required by 250.122

    That panel is supposed to be marked "suitable for use as service equipment", as Roger stated, it likely is so rated.

    You said: "I know the panel is wired incorrect because I see the ground and neutrals on the same bus bar.", however, as installed and used, you are incorrect in that statement as the neutral is required to be bonded to ground at that panel as installed in your instance.

    You asked: "My question is, are they using the 60 amp breaker as a main disconnect and if so is this a proper wiring method?"

    Yes, the breaker is being used as a panel main, although that is probably not required and that double half-size breaker is likely not allowed in that panel when used as it is being used (the use of that breaker would allow more than 6 disconnects, which likely would not be allowed when that panel is used as 'suitable for use as service equipment').

    The others have addressed other issues.

    The unused black and red conductors need to be capped and tied back so they cannot accidentally become energized.

    You may not like my harping on the unnecessary use of "sub" and "main" panels, but your post shows EXACTLY WHY I continue to do so - your insistence on using those terms has either confused you or kept you confused.

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

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Thank you all for your insight on this subject. Jerry you are a very intelligent person with a lot of knowledge in the field. If you could only cut out the BS of belittling whoever it is you are responding to. I wrote the comment about the submarine because of YOUR response to a past post. You had to throw in some snide comment about the panel being in a submarine for it to be a sub panel. This type of BS is not necessary. You start more arguments on this forum than anyone. YOU are the very reason I do not post as much as I would like to on this forum. Please sir take down my name and remember it. When I post in the future. Please do not respond. I would rather be wrong than read your responses. As a home inspector it is my job to find deficiencies and make recommendations. After a year now of reading your posts, I am confident in writing that there is evidence of severe psychological trauma. The subject feels it is necessary to put other people down in order to lift up himself. His main panel may not be wired correctly. I recommend further evaluation and repair as necessary by a qualified professional!


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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    UH OH!!!!!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Getting my popcorn ready.....

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Several times that I have posted here, Mr. Peck has insulted me. Called me a dummy a bunch of times. Tells me that I fail to learn when he sets me straight like he is the be all, end all of inspection. On top of that, he can't be wrong even when he is. I visit a number of forums and I notice that at each, there is a core group that do most of the talking. This is the only forum that I have decided to refrain from contributing to and that's due to one person that talks with a scowl. Apparently the moderators like the rudeness but I can get along without it

    Last edited by David Bertrams; 03-28-2011 at 06:57 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Popcorn ready yet?

    Bill,

    You brought it all upon yourself by insisting on using a term which causes confusion, then stated that no one should remark about the use of that term, then posted a post which misused that term as even you were trying to apply it.

    All *I* did was point the above out, and explain that your post was a good example of the reason why I keep trying to get home inspectors to keep it simple and not use those terms.

    If you want to bash me for pointing the above out, go ahead, I can deal with it.

    In the end, though, you have made a most excellent series of posts on WHY home inspectors (and electrician for that matter) should not use slang terms which confuse the user in application of those terms. Thank you for offering up such an example.

    Did you prefer the above way of saying the same thing?

    As regards David Bertrams and the dummy thing ... he first uses the term, I begin conversing with David in his terms, and he does not like it. Jeez.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Well then Jerry, that's taking it like a man huh. How many people have to tell you that it is Jerk Prick not Jerry Peck that we hear from? Ya just don't get it. Anything and everything you say is lost when you insult people. How on earth are you able to function as a govt. official with such a superior attitude? Especially in a tiny one horse jurisdiction.
    Here is a bit of advice. All one has to do is google your name and all of your rude comments are there for anyone to see. Anyone that considers hiring you can see how you treat your peers. Not a pretty sight.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Jerry, You keep referring to me "insisting" on using a term. I was trying to convey that smart ass remarks should be kept to yourself. But you couldn't help yourself. There did not appear to be any confusion for Roger Frazee, John Kogel, and Jim Port who were able to respond to my question professionally and respectfully. I am a home inspector. A home inspector is a generalist not a specialist. I don't know everything nor do I presume to know everything. I am prone to say things incorrectly as a generalist. What I'm trying to point out to you is that you can correct someone without being a complete ass. We all know your knowledge is deeper than most. You are not a generalist. Most home inspectors do not have your level of knowledge nor should they. Thats like expecting your family doctor to know everything about cardiology, dermatology, radiology or any other ology you can think of.

    Remember when you were a child you were taught the golden rule? Do you remember? I have to think that even you don't know everything. So when you ask someone for advice or for clarification on something your not an expert on (say relationships for example) and they make you feel like an idiot for not knowing or misusing a term, does that make you feel good or want to ask another question? Probably not. If someone doesn't want to ask a question on a forum designed for people to ask questions, are you helping or hurting the industry? Like I said before please write down my name down and remember it so when I post in the future you will know I DO NOT WANT YOUR RESPONSE! KEEP IT TO YOURSELF! This is the only thing I am "insisting" on. I believe my questions will get answered by other people who have learned and follow the golden rule. If you don't remember I will help.....
    TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED!!!


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    You can place a member of this board on your ignore list and that way, you'll never see anything they post. It sometimes helps make your life here easier and the board more enjoyable if you generally don't like what that person has to say.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    I find Jerry Peck to be one of the most knowledgeable persons responding to Post on this forum. Jerry’s comments are concise and informative. Constructive criticism is meant to help inform and makes for a better inspector. Being an Inspector, you need to be able to take criticism in all forms. I don’t believe that Jerry means any harm to the members of this forum.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    This is why this board is not the best. Shame.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Bill and David
    Jerry can be rude, and sometimes even verbally abusive, I have on several occasion pointed this out to him. But I will say that Jerry is very knowledgeable, but most important Jerry wants to help others.
    I feel as though I know Jerry personally (even though I do not).
    He really wants to pass on his knowledge to you and everyone else. Not in a "I know it all way", but as in a "teacher instructing a pupil" way.
    Jerry is not paid for his contributions here, he does it because he cares.
    You will not find a person more helpful than him.

    "YOU are the very reason I do not post as much as I would like to on this forum."

    I (We) learn because people ask questions. If people fear to ask, then nobody will learn anything.

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

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anglin View Post
    I am a home inspector. A home inspector is a generalist not a specialist. I don't know everything nor do I presume to know everything. I am prone to say things incorrectly as a generalist...

    Most home inspectors do not have your level of knowledge nor should they. Thats like expecting your family doctor to know everything about cardiology, dermatology, radiology or any other ology you can think of.
    As a home inspector we MARKET and SELL our services as generalists. But our goal should be to be as knowledgeable as possible in all the various aspects of building systems and components as the licensed tradespeople. I disagree with you and believe all home inspectors should have that level of knowledge or at least be continually studying to approach that level.

    Our reports will be read by our clients but also handed over to licensed tradespeople to make repairs. If you are using improper terminology, then it reflects poorly on you as individual and home inspectors as a profession.

    Granted Jerry can be abrasive. But Jerry is not singling you out, he treats all posters spouting bad information equally. He uses correct terminology, explains why it is the correct use, and then expects you to learn and respond in kind. If you continue to use the wrong terms, he continues to remind you that you are wrong.

    Instead of whining about being treated unfairly, learn from the content of his replies. You will be a better home inspector.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    If subpanel is such an improper term, then why do code books still refer to these types of panels as subpanels? If we want to be consistent with industry terminology, subpanel is a common term in code books. Is it the way the feeders connect to the panel that determines the proper terminology?

    As long as literature like this is out there, these panels will be called subpanels.

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    If subpanel is such an improper term, then why do code books still refer to these types of panels as subpanels?
    "then why do code books still refer to these types of panels as subpanels"

    To rephrase that correctly ... "that is why do code book still do not refer to these types of panels as subpanels" ... CODE BOOKS ... DO NOT ... refer to anything as a "subpanel".

    Not sure why you posted a photo of a NON-code book and said it was a code book ... maybe thinking of those as self-help books will help you answer your question better as those ARE NOT "code books".

    As long as literature like this is out there, these panels will be called subpanels.
    It is one thing to use an incorrect term in a manner which does not confuse the user, it is another thing to use an incorrect term in a manner which does confuse the user, i.e., *to use an incorrect term incorrectly*, except that would indicate there is a 'correct way to use an incorrect term', but there is not.

    Why do those self-help books continue to use those incorrect terms? I don't know, I did not write those books, if I did, those book would simply refer to electrical panels as two types (there are only two types): 1) "service equipment"; 2) 'other than service equipment', or "electrical panels", or "distribution panels", or "load centers", simply "panels".

    Asking me why those self-help books still use that term is like asking me why some people still think the world is flat and belong to the Flat Earth Society - I don't know, I don't have the foggiest idea why.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Bruce Ramsey and Rick Cantrell,

    You have taken up the defense of Jerry Peck. Please allow me to show you why I and several others find him to be tiresome. I recently stated in a post that a simple disconnect without fuses or a circuit breaker did not require working space. Peck's position was that because someone may decide to work on it while energized it requires working space. After several back and forth comments Peck posted the following:

    Re: Disconnect location
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by David Bertrams
    Likely to REQUIRE .....while energized. Why would anyone be REQUIRED to do anything to an A/C disconnect while it is energized? Any dummy can stick his hands into energized equipment but the dummy is not REQUIRED to do so.



    Seems that some dummies speak without thinking ...

    LIKELY to require ... "LIKELY" ... "to require". with "likely" being the key word there; other key words are "WHILE ENERGIZED".

    So let's go through that:
    - "likely" as in something is electrical and is likely to, at some point in time, at ANY point in time, require servicing ... wait, there is that word "require"
    - "to require" ... well, I figure everyone here was not a dummy, thus no explaining of that was needed; this is not saying that someONE "is required" to do something, this is saying that someTHING is likely TO REQUIRE repair, service, examination, inspection, etc., ... wait, there is that pesky "likely" word ... seems difficult to explain the use of one without using the other.

    Now, being as there appears to be a dummy here, I may have to get into a more simple explanation, using simple words: when something electrical QUITS WORKING, that something electrical WILL NEED to have someone look at it and FIX IT. Also, IT IS LIKELY that someone WILL NEED to examine, i.e., "inspect", that something electrical as some time or at any time.

    The above FIXING and "inspecting" will be done WHILE ENERGINZED, as in the line side of the disconnect is energized while the load side of the disconnect is de-energized by the disconnect being operated, whether means a pull-out was removed, a switch was switched, etc.

    Quote:

    Perhaps you can reference a code section that would back up your claim that all disconnects require working space.

    The dummy already posted that code wording, but the dummy apparently does not understand how to read words, especially code words such as:
    - likely
    - to
    - require
    - examination,
    - adjustment,
    - servicing
    - or maintenance
    - while
    - energized

    Peck has no clue as to who I am, what my qualifications are, what experience I have and he has the gall to insult me repeatedly, but the damnable part is that he is wrong. Many years ago I thought the same as he when it came to the subject disconnect but since I work for one of the largest AHJ in the country, I got straightened out real quick. I didn't achieve 21 ICC certifications being a dummy. I didn't become a respected inspector in one of the largest AHJ in the county being a dummy. I inspect everything from water heaters to bridges with 12,000 volt sub-stations tossed in the mix, would that fall on the shoulders of a dummy?

    Bruce, you said to Bill Anglin: "Granted Jerry can be abrasive. But Jerry is not singling you out, he treats all posters spouting bad information equally." What a lame excuse for bad behavior. Don't feel singled out because Peck abuses everyone. He certainly singled me out and my information was spot on correct. Besides that Bruce, what do you expect to see here except bad information looking for the correct information. That is why people come here, to learn. That's why I visit forums, to learn. There is no such thing a a stupid question and if people are treated poorly they clam up and don't learn. It takes a special talent to give corrections to someone's best effort without making them think less of themselves. That's a talent Peck does not have. Not only did he tell me that I'm a dummy, he says that I can't understand English.

    Rick, you said: "Jerry can be rude, and sometimes even verbally abusive, I have on several occasion pointed this out to him. But I will say that Jerry is very knowledgeable, but most important Jerry wants to help others." So just what help does Jerry offer? Verbally abusive can get you arrested in some settings. Verbally abusive is not tolerated in any professional setting. Where do you get the Idea that Peck wants to help others? Is it the haranguing, the insults or the occaissional wrong information. Does he see a bloated sense of self esteem and feel a need to deflate those that challenge him? I see an entirely different side of the man than you do.
    You correctly point out that he is knowledgeable and that is a shame because that intelligence has been wasted on a mean spirited person so most of what he says falls by the wayside.

    I sense that Peck's defenders tolerate him because he does posses knowledge they find helpful. To you I say, how many truly informed, nice individuals have come and gone? Those that determined that it's not worth the grief to participate. Those that decided this forum is populated by too many rubes masquerading as professionals. Those that see blatant misinformation taken as gospel because it comes from a mouse that roars like a lion will just smile and think it's the blind leading the blind. That's what Peck gives you along with his knowledge. Recently Peck posted wrong info in a post about a grate over a window well. His is the last post I've seen in the string and many will assume he is profoundly correct. Many others will know he is wrong and stay silent to avoid ridicule. There is enough bad associated with this guy to outweigh his knowledge.

    I would say that I hope it gets better for you folks but then I wonder if it's just me and you like it the way it is. That is a strong possibility because apparently, you have been putting up with it for a long time. And I am the dummy?
    Well now I am done. I have said all that I am going to say.
    Well unless I decide to say more, that is.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    True, I did not refer to the actual code books but instead to the Code Check series of booklets........which is stated as being updated to the current electrical code. One of the listed authors is Douglas Hansen, whom I have always heard is reputable in the electrical field.

    I pulled up some home improvement store websites and at least one (the big orange) has verbiage that states and talks about sub panels and their purpose (Electrical Panels Buying Guide.

    You can do any number of internet searches for brand name manufacturers and end it with the term "sub panel" and you'll get multiple results. The term sub panel, for better or worse, appears to be a widely used, recognized, and accepted term in the electrical field.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    If subpanel is such an improper term, then why do code books still refer to these types of panels as subpanels? If we want to be consistent with industry terminology, subpanel is a common term in code books. Is it the way the feeders connect to the panel that determines the proper terminology?

    As long as literature like this is out there, these panels will be called subpanels.
    Nick,

    Don't feel bad about using the term subpanel, everybody does. Along with main panel, light fixture, Romex and a whole host of other terms not found in the NEC. Are you surprised to learn that light fixture isn't in the code? Well it's not because the code uses luminaire and lamp, not light fixture. We use common terms because they work better than arcane terminology. Subpanel means what exactly? It means a panel that is subordinate to a main panel. So why don't we find main panel and subpanel in the code? As good as those words are at describing what panels do, they don't go far enough for some applications and the code needs that fine line drawn {commercial and industrial}. Everyday language used in describing the built environment is replete with incorrect terms from a purist's standpoint, but you are not dealing with a purist. You are dealing with people that are familiar with what we all are familiar with. Odds are 99.999% of residential panels that feed another panel have two circuit breakers labeled subpanel. So you can get right with that .001% of the purists and confuse the other 99.999% or you can make sense to the customer.
    Keep up the good work.

    Last edited by David Bertrams; 03-29-2011 at 07:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bertrams View Post
    Nick,

    Don't feel bad about using the term subpanel, everybody does. Along with main panel, light fixture, Romex and a whole host of other terms not found in the NEC. Are you surprised to learn that light fixture isn't in the code? Well it's not because the code uses luminaire and lamp, not light fixture. We use common terms because they work better than arcane terminology. Subpanel means what exactly? It means a panel that is subordinate to a main panel. So why don't we find main panel and subpanel in the code? As good as those words are at describing what panels do, they don't go far enough for some applications and the code needs that fine line drawn {commercial and industrial}. Everyday verbiage used in describing the built environment is replete with incorrect terms from a purist's standpoint, but you are not dealing with a purist. You are dealing with people that are familiar with what we all are familiar with. Odds are 99.999% of residential panels that feed another panel have two circuit breakers labeled subpanel. So you can get right with that .001% of the purists and confuse the other 99.999% or you can make sense to the customer.
    Keep up the good work.
    And in my reports, I will not use the term hose bib because 99% of consumers don't know what that is. I call them spigots and nobody involved in that home purchase/inspection doesn't understand what I'm saying.

    Is proper terminology important? Yes. Anybody who's followed any of my threads has seen how my use/misuse of terminology (which 99% of readers can still understand) has gotten some people's britches in a bunch. But I'm not performing an inspection and writing a report with the electrician or plumber or carpenter in mind. It is for the home buying client, who has little to no exposure to the things we do on a daily basis. They are the ones who need to understand what I'm saying, verbally and in the report.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    True, I did not refer to the actual code books but instead to the Code Check series of booklets........which is stated as being updated to the current electrical code. One of the listed authors is Douglas Hansen, whom I have always heard is reputable in the electrical field.
    Douglas Hansen is reputable in the electrical field - no question about that, his reputation is not being discussed here, just the use of that term which causes so much confusion to home inspectors. It seems to me that in the interest of reducing that confusion that Code Check would drop the use of that term, but that is entirely up to Douglas.

    I pulled up some home improvement store websites and at least one (the big orange) has verbiage that states and talks about sub panels and their purpose (Electrical Panels Buying Guide.

    You can do any number of internet searches for brand name manufacturers and end it with the term "sub panel" and you'll get multiple results. The term sub panel, for better or worse, appears to be a widely used, recognized, and accepted term in the electrical field.
    Yep, and I can stand on the side of any given highway with a 70 mph speed limit and not be able to count the cars going over 70 mph, including police cars, because there are too many of them ... but does that make it right or correct? Nope. THAT is what is being discussed here.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    And in my reports, I will not use the term hose bib because 99% of consumers don't know what that is. I call them spigots and nobody involved in that home purchase/inspection doesn't understand what I'm saying.

    Is proper terminology important? Yes. Anybody who's followed any of my threads has seen how my use/misuse of terminology (which 99% of readers can still understand) has gotten some people's britches in a bunch. But I'm not performing an inspection and writing a report with the electrician or plumber or carpenter in mind. It is for the home buying client, who has little to no exposure to the things we do on a daily basis. They are the ones who need to understand what I'm saying, verbally and in the report.
    Nick,

    Two questions for you:
    1) Is the neutral bonded to ground or isolated from ground at a sub panel?
    2) Bill (the original poster) called that panel a sub panel, so the neutral should be bonded to ground, or should be isolated from ground, at that panel (the one which lead to this thread and this entire discussion)?

    Your answers, please:
    1)
    2)

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    I obviously can't answer those questions Jerry. There is no such thing as a sub panel. However, if sub panels existed, the neutrals should be isolated/separated from ground.....as I read once in sub panel mythology.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Hang in there Nick, there is a luminaire at the end of the tunnel.


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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I obviously can't answer those questions Jerry. There is no such thing as a sub panel. However, if sub panels existed, the neutrals should be isolated/separated from ground.....as I read once in sub panel mythology.

    Nick,

    Okay ... *IF* that were a mythical subpanel then the neutral would NOT be bonded to ground, the neutral would be isolated from ground.

    That is what Bill said too.

    Here is the "subpanel" problem: That panel *requires* the neutral to be bonded to ground, see the NEC code section I posted.

    Okay, again, is that a subpanel? (Even a mythical one.) Remember, the neutrals in that panel are REQUIRED to be bonded to ground ... so, is that a subpanel?

    If yes, i.e., you haven't changed your mind, why?

    If no, i.e., you've changed your mind, why?

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bertrams View Post
    Hang in there Nick, there is a luminaire at the end of the tunnel.
    That is what I am hoping for.

    I am also hoping it is not hanging on the front of a fast moving freight train heading toward Nick - I am hoping he sees the illumination from the luminaire long before that.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That is what I am hoping for.

    I am also hoping it is not hanging on the front of a fast moving freight train heading toward Nick - I am hoping he sees the illumination from the luminaire long before that.
    Can't say I understand this.

    In any event, I'm guessing the answer to your questions may lie in a first knowing the answer to a question I asked earlier which is "Is it the way the feeders connect to the panel that determines the proper terminology?". Bill said the panel is fed off a breaker in the main panel but the pic shows the feeders attached to a 60 amp breaker and not the panel lugs. Does this connection determine the way the rest of the panel is wired?

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 03-30-2011 at 06:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    And getting back to the whole sub panel term, you said.....

    "Douglas Hansen is reputable in the electrical field - no question about that, his reputation is not being discussed here, just the use of that term which causes so much confusion to home inspectors. It seems to me that in the interest of reducing that confusion that Code Check would drop the use of that term, but that is entirely up to Douglas."

    Doug Hansen's reputation is applicable as a respected and reputable name in the electrical field. And since he is a listed author of the Code Check series where the sub panel term is used, it lends more credence and acceptability to the use of the term.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Doug Hansen's reputation is applicable as a respected and reputable name in the electrical field. And since he is a listed author of the Code Check series where the sub panel term is used, it lends more credence and acceptability to the use of the term.
    Even good and knowledgeable people can misuse an incorrect term.

    Defending the use of that term just because it is in Code Check, and yet you not being able to answer the simple questions I asked, shows why Doug needs to correct his books by removing that term.

    I asked two simple questions:
    Nick,

    Two questions for you:
    1) Is the neutral bonded to ground or isolated from ground at a sub panel?
    2) Bill (the original poster) called that panel a sub panel, so the neutral should be bonded to ground, or should be isolated from ground, at that panel (the one which lead to this thread and this entire discussion)?
    Question 1) should be a simple one to answer: Is the neutral bonded to ground, or isolated from ground, at a sub panel?

    You stated that you, and it seems most everyone else, knows what a sub panel is, so why the confusion in being able to answer something you said you already know?

    You said:
    In any event, I'm guessing the answer to your questions may lie in a first knowing the answer to a question I asked earlier which is "Is it the way the feeders connect to the panel that determines the proper terminology?".
    Your statement above shows further confusion (bold is mine): "Is it the way the feeders connect to the panel that determines the proper terminology?"

    "Feeders" connect from the "service equipment" and feed panels ('not service equipment' panels, or just "panels"), "feeders" also connect to panels and feed other panels.

    "Service equipment conductors" supply "service equipment". Thus, in your statement, you have already identified the conductors as "feeders", and that indicates that you know what they are feeding.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Jerry, if I am not answering your questions correctly or to your satisfaction, why ask me why there is confusion? Speaking only for myself here, asking more questions without providing clear answers isn't helping me make any sense of this and honestly is making this entire topic more muddy. If I am incorrect with the answers I provided, please provide clarity and answers.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Nick,

    Let's start back at square one: Go to the original post, is that a sub panel?

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    jerry to some what answer your questions I believe this is what you are looking for? There is not a neutral or a ground (using correct terms) but there are grounded and grounding conductors and in a panel that is not service equipment the grounded conductors would be isolated from the grounding conductors.


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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    C'mon Jerry. I didn't jump in on this thread looking to take a test. All I'm looking for are answers and clarity.

    In your words, what kind of panel is that considered and what would be the proper wiring configuration?

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Paul,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    As such, the following applies - from the 2002 NEC for older buildings: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - 250.32 Two or More Buildings or Structures Supplied from a Common Service.
    - - (B) Grounded Systems. For a grounded system at the separate building or structure, the connection to the grounding electrode and grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded shall comply with either 250.32(B)(1) or (2).
    - - - - (2) Grounded Conductor. Where (1) an equipment grounding conductor is not run with the supply to the building or structure, (2) there are no continuous metallic paths bonded to the grounding system in both buildings or structures involved, and (3) ground-fault protection of equipment has not been installed on the common ac service, the grounded circuit conductor run with the supply to the building or structure shall be connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s) and shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded. The size of the grounded conductor shall not be smaller than the larger of
    - - - - - (1) That required by 220.22
    - - - - - (2) That required by 250.122
    The NEC code above states:
    - the grounded circuit conductor run with the supply to the building or structure shall be connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s) and shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded.

    "the grounded conductor ... shall be connected to ... the grounding electrode and shall be used for grounding and bonding of equipment", i.e., the grounded conductor (which actually is a neutral in this case) shall be bonded to the equipment grounding conductors, which is what is shown with the grounded conductors and equipment grounding conductors on the same terminal bar - that is not only okay by the NEC as stated above, but is required ... "shall".

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Now, as that panel is a sub panel (as stated by several people and what has lead to this discussion), how does the requirement in the NEC in my post above fit in with the prohibition that everyone seems to know about sub panels ... that the neutrals and grounds are isolated from each other?

    Thus my question to Nick: "Let's start back at square one: Go to the original post, is that a sub panel?"

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Time and memorial,

    Mr. Peck has been reminded on several occasions, and even by his "buddy" Joe T, that the NEC has indeed referenced "sub-panels", "sub-feeders" and "sub-feeder-panels".

    It comes down to just what IS and IS NOT a FEEDER and what IS and IS NOT a SERVICE (not getting into taps, SDS and the like here). A main power feeder is not a service.

    Finally regards to bonding - it depends. 3-wire feeders (previously allowed, and may remain) to detached structures sometimes do have bonding at the remote panel.

    Someday (I hope!) Jerry will get overhimself. There are those far more experienced and far greater respected, which will use a codes-recognized, trades-recognized, standards-recognized term.

    The 2011 edition of the NEC has removed several previously defined terms, and completely eliminated them from all text, for example in the bonding/grounding area, an area and edition that Mr. Peck is weak on, is related to this issue, and the OP.

    Jerry's argument is old, wrong, and tired. It is just as silly as insisting (because 2008 NEC no longer makes a distinction) that there is no such thing as a lighting and appliance panel, or a power panel. They exist, they existed, were listed to requirements at the time of manufacture, continue to be installed, maintained, and utilized within the limitations of their listing and labeling. A change in the 2008 code does not change the limitations of those installations, nor permit those limitations to be relaxed in a future modification, nor permit a prior non-compliant, non-safe defective modification to the premises wiring system to continue unabated, remediated, or uncorrected.

    As far as the original posts' question, even blown up there is not enough detail to determine. I see more than one breaker one of which has two handles, I do not see jumpers and cannot discern the wiring path between the first and the second. Presence of installed three switches at unattached shop disconnect is and was violation even if nothing is supplied by the two-handled 2-P breaker - requires no more than two "of the hand" or pull-out disconnect, service rated, and find it questionable that the "shop" itself has a singular 60 amp branch circuit. Therefore, as limitedly described and photographed, and without further information, no.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-30-2011 at 05:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Time and memorial,

    Mr. Peck has been reminded on several occasions, and even by his "buddy" Joe T, that the NEC has indeed referenced "sub-panels", "sub-feeders" and "sub-feder-panels".
    I had reminded Joe to do a search in the NEC for "sub-panel", which is not present in the NEC; and to do a search for "sub panel", which is also not present in the NEC; and that a search for the term "subpanel" only finds that term present in one statement in the NEC as it relates to industrial control panel. By the way, I have related here before too.
    - ARTICLE 409 Industrial Control Panels
    - - Industrial Control Panel. An assembly of two or more components consisting of one of the following:
    - - - (1) Power circuit components only, such as motor controllers, overload relays, fused disconnect switches, and circuit breakers
    - - - (2) Control circuit components only, such as pushbuttons, pilot lights, selector switches, timers, switches, control relays
    - - - (3) A combination of power and control circuit components
    - - These components, with associated wiring and terminals, are mounted on or contained within an enclosure or mounted on a subpanel. The industrial control panel does not include the controlled equipment.

    That is the ONE AND ONLY place in the NEC which includes that term, and that term is used with industrial control panel, it is not used anywhere else in the NEC. That term is also NOT defined anywhere in the NEC.

    And, in case you missed it, we are not discussing an industrial control panel.

    I guess you missed it when Joe T. also stated that those terms were NOT used or defined in the NEC ... (sigh)

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Now, as that panel is a sub panel (as stated by several people and what has lead to this discussion), how does the requirement in the NEC in my post above fit in with the prohibition that everyone seems to know about sub panels ... that the neutrals and grounds are isolated from each other?

    Thus my question to Nick: "Let's start back at square one: Go to the original post, is that a sub panel?"
    Terms! Properly phrase a question.

    What do YOU mean by "grounds". What do YOU mean by "neutrals".

    Bonding does not equate grounding. An ECG is not a GEC and vice versa.

    There is no prohibition (no rule against) segretating grounding and grounded busses from each other and corresponding feeder and circuit conductors in a panel whether service equipment or otherwise.


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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Actually I posted it well before your friend Joe T did. It has also been refered to by others before (and .com) and since.

    You really need to get over yourself.

    Now you claim it must be a DEFINED TERM...well it was.

    Then you need to get your head out of your word-search disk mode and settle on an edition.

    "The Code" has been around a LONG time. There have been MANY editions over the years.

    There is NO need to DEFINE common words, terms, or prefixes or suffixes.

    Now...when will you realize there is MORE THAN ONE CODE, and more than one edition for any "model code"...and that the "CODE(S) that apply to a particular region, jurisdiction, etc. are those which are adopted (and ammended) by the LOCAL AUTHORITY.

    SBCC limited experience and region aside....The terms and the prefixes have been around LONG BEFORE and will remain LONG AFTER Jerry Peck.

    Sub is a prefix not a word, not an abbreviation. The NFPA Style Guide has changed many, many times since ITS inception, this has likewise changed the form and punction used for a particular purpose.

    I'm Old Enough to remember when "tonight" was never written as a single word, it was "to-night" and "today" was written as "to-day". TIMES CHANGE, but it doesn't make "to-day" any more right today, or less right then.

    When APPLYING a particular edition of the NEC one also has to APPLY the appropriate references contained within, and use the appropriate editions of those same references.

    sub panels, sub-panels, subpanels are fed by sub feeders, sub-feeders, subfeeders, feeders; not services, not taps.


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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Even good and knowledgeable people can misuse an incorrect term....<snip>

    <snip>...

    "Feeders" connect from the "service equipment" and feed panels ('not service equipment' panels, or just "panels"), "feeders" also connect to panels and feed other panels.

    "Service equipment conductors" supply "service equipment". Thus, in your statement, you have already identified the conductors as "feeders", and that indicates that you know what they are feeding.
    Your Jerry-definitions of "feeders" and "service equipment conductors" is both incorrect, short-sighted, and downright erroneous. Perhaps this is part of your problem!


    Feeder. All circuit conductors between
    the service equipment,
    the source of a separately derived system, or
    other power supply source
    and the final branch-circuit overcurrent device.


    "The Code" defines these terms, and a host of others. The Code does a very good job at defining code specific terms. NFPA, its members, and the CMPs for NFPA-70 (NEC), have managed to do so without your help in this regard.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-30-2011 at 06:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    There is NO need to DEFINE common words, terms, or prefixes or suffixes.

    .
    I guess this doesn't apply to words like adjacent?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    C'mon Jerry. I didn't jump in on this thread looking to take a test. All I'm looking for are answers and clarity.
    You were not able to express yourself clearly to me, nor was I able to express myself clearly to you, so I thought it best to go back to square one and refer to the panel in the original post.

    In your words, what kind of panel is that considered and what would be the proper wiring configuration?
    What kind of panel is that? That panel is a "panel", and "electrical panel" if one must so identify it.

    That panel is an intriguing panel (and H. G. has shown us and stated to us that he does not understand it) as that panel is wired. That panel is wired as is no longer allowed - created too many issues and potentials for problems as the grounded conductor - which is also the neutral conductor - which feeds that panel from the service equipment is also serving as the grounding conductor.

    From 2008 on, the NEC would require that panel to be wired with two ungrounded ("hot") conductors, one grounded ("neutral") conductor, and one equipment grounding ("grounding") conductor, and, the neutrals in that panel would need to be isolated from the grounding conductors.

    However, prior to 2008, the NEC allowed that panel to be wired as it was, as long as certain other conditions were met, basically being that there are NO other metallic paths back to the service between that building and the building the service is in.

    In THAT panel, the neutrals and grounding conductors are connected to the same terminal bar, and they are also connected to the grounding electrode system.

    The closest thing you can get to being 'service equipment' without actually being "service equipment". Which is why that panel needs to be rated for use as service equipment.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Thank you Jerry.

    Gentlemen, have at it.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    No, that panel (as pictured AND DESCRIBED) was NOT allowed to be "as installed" even prior to 2005 on the detached "shop". The second MCCB with two handles makes that non-compliant even then. It does NOT meet the criteria for disconnect means for the remote building.

    There are additional questionable areas which cannot be determined due to the poor quality of the submitted image, which cannot be overcome by merely "blowing it up".

    I completely understand 3-wire 120/240 feeders and remote buildings, and understand far more about the distinctions with differences and the critical distinctions that YOU overlook.

    You completely overlook requirements to bond to a local to the building GEC and electrode(s).

    However, Peck, the OP won't speak to you, and you won't actually read the discussion or what was presented already. You are too busy PECKing your message (wrong though it may be) that there is no such thing as a subpanel, and still don't UNDERSTAND what IS and IS NOT a feeder.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-30-2011 at 06:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    No, that panel (as pictured AND DESCRIBED) was NOT allowed to be "as installed" even prior to 2005 on the detached "shop". The second MCCB with two handles makes that non-compliant even then. It does NOT meet the criteria for disconnect means for the remote building.

    I completely understand 3-wire 120/240 feeders and remote buildings, and understand far more about the distinctions with differences and the critical distinctions that YOU overlook.
    See, this is the type of $hit I mentioned a week or so ago in another thread. Two of the resident experts or most widely viewed experts on this board saying the other is wrong. I don't know if it's egos with you guys or not wanting to admit to being wrong about anything to the other (or both) but this type of stuff completely takes any educational usefulness out of a thread and flushes it right down the toilet. I really don't know who to believe.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  52. #52
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Thank you Jerry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I really don't know who to believe.
    That is why I post the code and try to explain it. Hopefully my post was of some help in explaining it.

    One of the problems with H. G., as Jim pointed out yet again above, is that he makes statements, and when asked for back up code or documentation he does not provide it.

    It comes down to how believable can he be when he says things like receptacles are not allowed in the sides of cabinets; refuses to support his statements; then ignores it when other point out that the NEC actually specifically allows for receptacles to be installed in cabinets in bathrooms.

    I hope I have been of help to you in understanding what was discussed in this thread.

    As for H. G. and his continued ranting on this thread ... he will have to continue on arguing with himself.

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

  53. #53
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Trade you some Jujyfruits and sno-caps for popcorn!

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  54. #54
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    I do like Jujyfruits. I can't recall if sno-caps were milk chocolate or dark chocolate.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  55. #55
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    No, that panel (as pictured AND DESCRIBED) was NOT allowed to be "as installed" even prior to 2005 on the detached "shop". The second MCCB with two handles makes that non-compliant even then. It does NOT meet the criteria for disconnect means for the remote building.
    If HG is talking about the tandem breaker it would not be the disconnect. They would be for branch circuits in the structure. The two pole to the left would be the disconnect function.

    I completely understand 3-wire 120/240 feeders and remote buildings, and understand far more about the distinctions with differences and the critical distinctions that YOU overlook.
    It doesn't seem so. Roger F expanded on what myself and Jerry also said.

    You completely overlook requirements to bond to a local to the building GEC and electrode(s).
    Did you read Jerrys post with relevant Article 250 quote? John K also posted on the requirement for an electrode.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  56. #56
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    The term "neutral" or "neutral conductor" was not defined in the NEC until the 2008 edition. By the 2008 edition, many changes had occured, including designations for panels, and requirements for 4-wire feeders.

    Selectively plucking from differing editions of the NEC in the application for a premises wiring system is down-right wrong.

    Using the "JERRY PECK" logic he applies to subpanels - use of the term "neutral", or "neutral conductor" would be similarly wrong prior to application of the 2008 NEC - since "his" use of the term is, was, and continues to be often incorrect (not unlike "his" definition of what a feeder is and is not).

    Mark Ode authored a well-writen article for ecmag on the subject of "neutrals" AS applies to the 2008 NEC. Distinctions and corrections to the area of grounding & bonding, what is and is not an ECG vs. a GEC additionally began in 2008, however a multitude of errors remained, a similar endeavor to the subject was undertaken for the 2011 edition, which now corrects the multitude of errors, including an often employed mistakenly thought to be approved - but not, unsafe practice regarding same has been clarified to be incorrect, never approved (often expressed by the CMPs in the past) and correct practices clarified.

    The referenced article is entitled "Neutral or Not?" and begins with the following:

    Defining a neutral conductor
    Everyone in the electrical industry, including the electrical apprentice, the journeyman, the master electrician, electrical contractor, electrical engineer, designer, the electrical inspector, et al., seem to use the phrase “neutral conductor.” However, until the 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC), we did not actually have a definition of a neutral. In the process of determining the definition of a neutral for the 2008 NEC, the NEC Technical Committee Task Group on the Definition of “Neutral Conductor” realized two definitions were required to adequately define this seemingly elusive component of the electrical system.
    It was published in April 2008 you can read the article in its entirety here: Electrical Contractor: Neutral or Not?

    You can also review the scope for the equipment - and the instructions for same on line.

    I realize the nuances of the faulty logic arguments and positions are easily missed by others, but expect certain individuals to "get it", although certain individuals often and continually become blinded by their personal distain for others that they cannot overcome their emotional and logical "blinders". Equipment manufacturer's series numbers, date codes, and the like can provide relevant information as to what listing, testing, and approval paramaters, requirements, etc. such is manufactured to - and can give the one reviewing same an indication as to the range of time such may have been installed, etc.

    Mixing and matching selected bits of different editions, standards, etc. is an incorrect application, and baseless argument.

    For example, one does not take a 2005 or prior panel with listed and labeled restrictions and load it with more than a procribed limitation of the number of overcurrent devices, just because 2008 has been re-written - panels listed to an earlier edition - are limited to the conditions, exclusions, limitations of that edition and standard(s) at the time of manufacture.

    So is the continuing rant about subpanels - it is just as baseless as the use of "neutral conductor(s)" or "neutral" prior to 2008 ed. or its accepted meaning prior to 2008, vs. post 2008.

    As far as the continuing, bad-behavior - off topic cross posting harassment, and mis-representations by various individuals, including two with the intitials "J.P.", it is their often demonstrated b.s. tactic.

    By avoiding discussion on the actual topic discussion "illuded to" they continue to misrepresent what was actually said by another (me). Additionally they take discussion out-of-context. By doing so, they avoid other's being able to pick up on the distinctions that they have overlooked, and keep those discussions interupted - and sprinkled all over the place, so others don't see what and when or how this was pointed out, addressed, and responded to - and allows the J.P.s to ignore their own "failures to grasp" where their positions were flawed - and others to see where they have twisted and distorted, and continue to misrepresent what was said.

    In does not equate to On, through does not equate to On. No one section or subsection of the NEC stands alone.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-31-2011 at 08:58 AM.

  57. #57
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    My bag of popcorn is empty .... I'm down to licking my fingers.

    It never ceases to amaze me about this sub-panel thing. My advice ... if you want life to get easier ... is to write 'sub-panel' 100 times on an 8 by 11 paper then wad it up and try to make a no net toss into the trash can.

    When working with single family dwellings LEARN what service equipment is and why it becomes important to identify where or what the service equipment is before mentioning panels or the dreaded sub-panel. Once you identify the service equipment the term sub-panel is no longer necessary and we don't get confused.

    Most of us understand that the term sub-panel when discussing 'panels' in single family settings is generally referring to some panel that is load side of the service equipment.

    The problem with that is there becomes two types of sub-panels ones that are wired with 4 wire feeders and ones that are wired with 3 wire feeders. Which leads to two bonding requirements for equipment grounds and branch circuit grounded conductors along with conductors qualifying as neutrals.
    Too many in the trade do not understand the distinction between these two types of so called sub-panels.Those that haven't figured it out have the understanding that a 'sub-panel' must have current carrying grounded conductors separated from non current carrying equipment grounding conductors and bonded metal. Unfortunately that is not the case .... it DEPENDS. It depends on where the 'sub-panel' is located in respect to the service equipment. It depends on if the 'sub-panel' is in a detached building or in the same dwelling with the service equipment.

    Let me try to explain by returning to the original post by Bill.

    First thing to explain is whether or not that panel is the service equipment. If it isn't then explain where the service equipment is and where the location of that pictured 'sub panel' is located in respect to the service equipment. By that I mean is it in the same dwelling that has the service equipment or is it in a detached building separate from the dwelling which has the service equipment installed?

    Jim asked these questions and Jerry showed the code sections that are relative to 'where that panel is located'. That in turn explained why we can have a 3 wire feeder to a 'sub-panel' located in a different building than the service equipment. Knowing that and knowing that the 'sub-panel' was installed under a code cycle before 2008 that allowed 3 wire feeders .. as long as certain exceptions do not exist, ..and no local code amendments to the contrary we now know about bonding requirements. 3 wire feeder = bonded 'neutral' and ground not unbonded or separated. You need to know why .. if you do not know why then you need to be asking or you will continue to misuse the term 'sub-panel' as you understand it.

    On the other side of the coin had Bill said the 'sub-panel' was located in the dwelling with the service equipment we would have known that a 4 wire feeder was required and the bonding = separation of 'neutral' and ground. Again ya need to know why or you will get confused using the term sub-panel without distinctions .... it depends.

    So why stick 'sub' in front of panel ? It really is irrelevant and not needed. Every so called 'sub-panel' load side of the service equipment is simply a PANEL. Once you come to that conclusion and identify the service equipment it eliminates all confusion as to what kind of panel you have with respect to bonding requirements.

    It was also mentioned that with the tandem breaker installed in the pictured 'sub-panel' t will not meet the requirement of a service rated disconnect for the detached building and therefore the installation is not to code.. This is true. The reason is that the listing of that panel will say something like this ... "suitable for use as service equipment with six handles or less and the panel is not used as a lighting and appliance branch circuit panelboard. That tandem breaker serving lights and receptacles makes it a L&ABCP and therefore it is not 'suitable for use as service equipment'. Not having a service rated listing by method of application makes the installation non compliant. Again this depends as in 2008 3 wire feeders are no longer allowed to detached buildings from the service equipment or other panels ... and not all panels being installed will be L&ABCP as that distinction was eliminated as was power panels in 2008..

    If an HI is a generalist and he is not a specialist then he probably needs to leave the cover door on all electrical panels cause he is going to make incorrect reports having a one 'sub-panel' definition when there are two.

    Bills original question was not hard for those that know the why of what he was asking. It was the misuse of terms, the submarine comment and the wrong definition of sub-panel for the pictured panel that lead to complications and the eating of several bags of buttered popcorn ...


  58. #58
    Russel Ray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Out here I see electricians label the "main panel" and "sub panel" as -- gasp! -- "main panel" and "sub panel." I guess they do that for the home owners who consistently use the terms "main panel" and "sub panel." However, when I use the terms, I like to write "subpanel" so that it's clear that it is a panel secondary to the "main panel" and not a panel in a submarine. lol

    I've never found a homeowner or didn't understand "main panel" and "subpanel." Now whether the homeowner could wire the darn things correctly is a different story.

    I've also never found an electrician who didn't use, or understand, the terms "main panel" and "subpanel," especially when conversing with tthe public. A few years ago I inspected a 13,000-home that had one "main panel" and five "subpanels." One of the "subpanels" had issues that needed to be corrected, but in my report I inadvertently left out the location of that "subpanel." When the electrician called me, he asked, "Which subpanel? There are five of them here." I told him it was the one in the kitchen pantry. We had nary a problem conversing with each other.

    Here is a "sub p. 2" labeled by the electrician. I can only presume that "sub p. 2" means that it is a second "sub panel."I think my presumption is pretty good since I found another "subpanel."

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  59. #59
    Guy W Opie's Avatar
    Guy W Opie Guest

    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Many if not all call a panel that is fed from the main service panel a "subpanel" We all know understand what we talking about and so does the homeowner. It may not be the proper term but is has become widley accepted by those in the trade.
    A panel that is tapped ofr the main service conductors is totally different and would never be refered to as a subpanel.


  60. #60
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Could not resist throwing something into this foray.

    Could the entire issue revolve around the spelling of this illusive term.

    If you referred to a panel as subordinated to a service, would that be incorrect?
    example: The subordinate panel which is subject to or under the authority of a superior service panel has many wires with damaged insulation.

    So if you were to use the term subordinate and then abbreviate it to sub.
    Then use that abbreviated term as sub. .
    You would have the subordinated panel as sub. panel.
    Then misspelling and offering it as subpanel, not misspelled as sub-panel what do you have?
    Is it not a mater of redundancy?
    The use of the word subordinate is redundant to the definition in NEC of the term panel where any panel other than the a service panel is subordinate to that service.
    How about using Ebonics and creating a new list of words to argue over.
    Yes jerry and others, I am having some fun with you over this issue. It seem to get so many fires up over the use of one word. In a perfect world the terns would be used correctly by all with only one definitions used by all and all words would be spelled correctly and spoken without mispronunciation not to mention there would never be a run on sentence ever used.

    How about the term toilet that in place of water closet? Aaaaah the English language.
    How about Cantonese where you can have the same work has 50 meanings just by tonal inflection? Well by now you may have forgotten what you all were arguing and bickering about. Aah to be a purist again........


  61. #61
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    I agree with Jerry. He cut through the backyard slang, and came right to the point with proper and accurate information. If you're offended by someone who uses proper terminology, then be offended. I bet the client prefers to read an inspection report that actually makes reference to the equipment terminology recognized by the industry. A person who learns from the information presented by Jerry and other people who actually do their homework, and don't make up off the wall names for what they're talking about, will become an actual professional grade HI. If you're above doing so... then remain ignorant, and bad mouth the people who provided you with proper information.


  62. #62
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Call a panel whatever you want as long as your client understands!

    I call service equipment, main panels. I call downstream panels, sub-panels.
    Everyone understands and life goes on. I really do not care what anyone else calls them, they are not paying me and I don't have to make them understand or happy!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  63. #63
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    ...<snip>

    It was also mentioned that with the tandem breaker installed in the pictured 'sub-panel' t will not meet the requirement of a service rated disconnect for the detached building and therefore the installation is not to code.. This is true.

    The reason is that the listing of that panel will say something like this ... "suitable for use as service equipment with six handles or less and the panel is not used as a lighting and appliance branch circuit panelboard. That tandem breaker serving lights and receptacles makes it a L&ABCP and therefore it is not 'suitable for use as service equipment'.

    Not having a service rated listing by method of application makes the installation non compliant. Again this depends as in 2008 3 wire feeders are no longer allowed to detached buildings from the service equipment or other panels ... and not all panels being installed will be L&ABCP as that distinction was eliminated as was power panels in 2008..
    Ding Ding Ding!

    Thank you for "getting it" Roger F! (although those branch circuits don't have to be serving lights or "appliances" they just to be serving multi-outlet branch circuits of a certain amperage or lower, or be serving lighting, and exceed the proscribed percentage limitation of such devices for the limitation of the panel to function as "service equipment" or "service rated equipment" application(s).

    Glad someone could "see the forest for the trees" besides me. Distinctions with significant differences. Of course, you're aware of this and its application after several lengthy discussions between us, wherein I referred you to UL marking guides, etc.; specifically also with your own personal application (historical and at that time current) questions many months ago, and not all that long after you joined here. Distinctions with significant differences.

    The panel as photographed and described couldn't have been correct under any edition requirements, related listing and labeling standards provisions. Of course the disconnect means (60 A breaker) would have to be appropriately rated (frame, short circuit, temp, etc.) as well, another distinction with a difference regarding those 100A and smaller (see also UL MCCB marking guides, etc. for the appropriate edition relative to date code upon the device, and markings on same). "Service rated disconnect(s)" still required on the (remote) structure 2008 forward. Existing 3-wire feeders still allowed but the required disconnect and equipment rating/use must still be applied correctly.

    Perhaps someday the JP's will "get" what they consistantly prove they do not understand, and "Peck" will learn to do other than selectively "hunt and PECK" snippets of differing code editions simply with word searches, and learn to actually apply the appropriate listing and labeling standards and equipment limitations consistant with their date of manufacture, thus proper application, installation, modification and use.

    The literally HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of times Jerry Peck has (on IN dot com & IN dot net) has been derrogatory and stated that another demonstrates that THEY do not understand, comprehend, etc. something that HE consistantly has MISSED, has become beyond tiring.

    Same, frankly goes for a number of self-proclaimed electricians who post here, and who regularly make sweeping statements contrary to the obvious, AND consistantly twist, change, and misrepresent what is said by another, missing key words, or the distinctions of particular discussion; especially as pertains to home inspection, NOT technical, or code enforcement inspection.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 04-01-2011 at 08:54 AM. Reason: quote formatting.

  64. #64
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Call a panel whatever you want as long as your client understands!

    I call service equipment, main panels. I call downstream panels, sub-panels.
    Everyone understands and life goes on. I really do not care what anyone else calls them, they are not paying me and I don't have to make them understand or happy!

    "Main" as a derrivation of "Mains" or just "main" as in primary, or singular.

    "Mains" is not a typo.

    Service rated equipment versus service equipment.

    One has to do with the quality/ratings/manufacture/sufficiency of the equipment, one has to do with the actual application (function, installation) of the equipment.

    Distinctions with significant differences.


  65. #65
    Mike O'Brien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sub panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You are so wrapped up in your insistence on calling that a sub panel that you have incorrectly related ""I know its an equipment service panel." to "Commonly referred to as a sub panel.", which is the complete opposite of reality and why I stress that you ARE NOT looking at a "sub" panel, that you are looking at a "panel".

    The panel would be required to be listed for use as "service equipment" and, as such, is in no way remotely a sub panel.

    Your post is precisely WHY YOU (and others) SHOULD NOT be trying to insist on using meaningless terms which only end up confusing you.

    Yes, I know what you are TRYING to say, but your insistence on using the "sub" panel has you all screwed up.



    Thus, in your "sub" panel / "main" panel world that would be a "main" panel (service equipment), however, because "the main panel" is back at "the main house" you are now left trying to figure out what to call this panel, and as such you have improperly identified it.

    Just another clear and plain example of why the terms "service equipment" and "panels" should be use.



    If it is a sub panel then it would NOT have "service conductor"s, it would have "feeder conductors".



    If that is a "equipment service panel" (your term) and is supplied by "service conductor" (your term), then you would expect to see the grounds and neutrals on the same terminal bar as the neutrals are bonded to ground ad service equipment panels.

    Thank you for clearly pointing out why you should not be using those unnecessary (and incorrect) terms.
    This is exactly why I don't ever ask questions on this site. Obviously, this person is trying not to be made to look like an ass and is just asking a question. Is this how you would speak to this person in a live group conversation. If so, I would certainly not be impressed. There is a way to answer the question while correcting them without making them feel like crap. Must be nice to hide behind a computer screen.


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