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Thread: Service Panel

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    Default Service Panel

    100 amp Service Equipment (Main) in 11 year old house. Separate bus bars for Neutrals and copper grounding. Never see this except for secondary panel Anyone know why this was this done? Problem? Double checked at Meter, no Main breaker. Thanks

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    100 amp Service Equipment (Main) in 11 year old house. Separate bus bars for Neutrals and copper grounding. Never see this except for secondary panel Anyone know why this was this done? Problem? Double checked at Meter, no Main breaker. Thanks
    No reason not to do it, as far as I know, as long as the neutrals and equipment grounds are bonded to each other and the enclosure.

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    as long as the neutrals and equipment grounds are bonded to each other and the enclosure.
    The ground terminal bar is already bonded to the enclosure (with its mounting screws), bonding the neutral terminal bar to the enclosure automatically bonds it to ground as well, thus, the neutral does not need to bonds, only one to the enclosure.

    Just clarifying what John was saying.

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Thanks John and Jerry for quick reply. Much appreciated.


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    Default Re: Service Panel

    I've often thought electricians do this sometimes so you could easily turn it into a sub panel someday. For instance, on a rural property where you might want to split your service and run a line out to an out-building from the meter rather than from the panel.

    Or, maybe they just like the way it looks


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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I've often thought electricians do this sometimes so you could easily turn it into a sub panel
    The only way you can make that into a sub panel is to put it in a sub, and that ain't going to be very easy, at least not unless you ordered your sub "without wiring - I can do it myself".

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Jerry,

    I'm not I'm clear on what your response means... what I am referring to I overheard an electrician telling a buyer once. He was proposing to isolate the grounds and neutrals from one another inside the main panel, therefore making it a sub panel and feeding it from a new service in the outbuilding. This eliminated the need to install an entirely new panel in the house.

    Maybe there was more to the story that I missed but it sounds pretty logical to me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Jerry,

    I'm not I'm clear on what your response means...
    I was referring to your use of the word 'sub' to describe an 'electrical panel', ALL of which are wired the same.

    There is a fallacy out there which thinks that different types of panels are wired differently, but they are not.

    The different wiring (i.e., neutral bonded to ground versus neutral isolated from ground) is based on whether or not you are referring to "service equipment" or "not service equipment".

    A "panel" is a "panel" is a "panel".

    what I am referring to I overheard an electrician telling a buyer once. He was proposing to isolate the grounds and neutrals from one another inside the main panel, therefore making it a sub panel
    There is no difference in how you wire a panel - they are all wired the same. Trying to refer to them as "main" and "sub" simply confuses the matter and means nothing as there is no such thing as "main" or "sub" panels, they are all just "panels".

    They electrician was talking about making a "panel" into "service equipment", and, without knowing what else he was planning to do, simply isolating the neutral from ground *IN THE SERVICE EQUIPMENT* will not make it "not service equipment", it will only make it "service equipment wired wrong".

    and feeding it from a new service in the outbuilding. This eliminated the need to install an entirely new panel in the house.
    *Some* service equipment is rated as "suitable for use as service equipment only" and other service equipment is rated as "suitable for use as service equipment".

    Again, though, to take existing "service equipment" and turn it into "a panel which is not service equipment" would require more than just isolating the neutral from ground. Where was the ground grounded to? many other things to consider.

    Maybe there was more to the story that I missed but it sounds pretty logical to me.
    Sounds to me like you probably did not miss much of that story, but the electrician was missing a lot of thinking in what would need to be done for that conversion.

    Yes, it could be done, and, depending on various conditions present, may be 'easy' or may be 'quite a lot of work'.

    Just not enough information to know here.

    The main point, though, is that if you think in "service equipment" and "not service equipment, panels", things will be much easier to understand. *ALL* "panels" are wired the same the neutral is isolated from ground.

    The neutral is only bonded to ground "at the service equipment".

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Thanks for the detail.... now, back to my original thought - and the original question;

    Wouldn't isolating grounds and neutrals on separate bars during the original install make it easier to somday convert the panel from a type that could share neutrals and grounds to a type that couldn't? Basically, the only change needed would be to remove the bonding strap between the two bars as opposed to re-organizing the grounds and neutrals on separate bars, had they originally been mixed.

    Last edited by Matt Fellman; 07-31-2007 at 10:12 PM. Reason: still learning to spell

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Matt,

    It's perfectly fine to use the terms "main panel" and "sub panel" to describe boxes with the service equipment and boxes fed from the service equipment. An enormous number of construction references use those terms, even though the NEC does not. Everybody knows what you mean, even Jerry.

    And you are exactly right; separating the neutrals and grounds in any interior main panel is the sensible thing to do. It is extremely likely that when the service is updated, the service equipment will be required at the meter. Then, when the 4-wire feeder is run from the new main panel to the "old" main panel, the work is almost done. Removal of the bonding strap is all that is left to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Thanks for the detail.... now, back to my original thought - and the original question;

    Wouldn't isolating grounds and neutrals on separate bars during the original install make it easier to somday convert the panel from a type that could share neutrals and grounds to a type that couldn't? Basically, the only change needed would be to remove the bonding strap between the two bars as opposed to re-organizing the grounds and neutrals on separate bars, had they originally been mixed.



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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Wouldn't isolating grounds and neutrals on separate bars during the original install make it easier to somday convert the panel from a type that could share neutrals and grounds to a type that couldn't?
    Nope.

    There is more to changing from "service equipment" (your continued use of the term "panel" for "service equipment" is complicating it for you) to a "panel".

    Basically, the only change needed would be to remove the bonding strap between the two bars as opposed to re-organizing the grounds and neutrals on separate bars, had they originally been mixed.
    Nope.

    You are not just isolating the neutrals from ground "in a panel", you are taking "service equipment" and trying to make it into "not service equipment", for which that "service equipment" might not even be rated for use as.

    If you start thinking "service equipment" (where the main disconnect is) and "panels" (or 'not service equipment'), then you will begin to understand what is required for "service equipment" and what would need to be changed for "not service equipment" panels. Just isolating the neutrals from the grounds will not suffice.

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thomas View Post
    Matt,

    It's perfectly fine to use the terms "main panel" and "sub panel" to describe boxes with the service equipment and boxes fed from the service equipment. An enormous number of construction references use those terms, even though the NEC does not. Everybody knows what you mean, even Jerry.
    I know from his post, and know yours, that neither of you understand the question, or the answer.

    And you are exactly right; separating the neutrals and grounds in any interior main panel is the sensible thing to do.
    Why?

    It is extremely likely that when the service is updated, the service equipment will be required at the meter.
    ???? Why?

    Then, when the 4-wire feeder is run from the new main panel to the "old" main panel, the work is almost done.
    Huh?

    You mean from the new "service equipment" to the old "service equipment?

    Removal of the bonding strap is all that is left to do.
    Nope, not likely.

    Rob, your problem, and that of many others, is that HI schools teach "main panel" and "sub panel", heck even many electricians use the term "sub panel", BUT THEY ALSO KNOW that "service equipment" and "main panel" are different things.

    THEY use 'sub panel' to refer to a panel fed off another panel', their 'main panel'.

    YOU are using 'main panel' for "service equipment", and anything fed off the "service equipment" you are calling a 'sub panel'.

    No wonder you are confused.

    The term 'sub panel' derived from the fact that some panels are 'sub-fed' from another panel, making them a 'sub-fed panel', which, for practical use was shortened to 'sub-panel', then to 'subpanel'. Yet, THEY KNOW that a 'sub-fed panel' and the panel it is fed from are both wired the same.

    It is obvious from your post that you would wire them differently. That you would wire what you call 'a main panel' as you would "service equipment". You would be wrong, and could be "dead wrong" even.

    You should wire "service equipment" differently (neutral bonded to ground), but the panels should be wired the same (neutral isolated from ground).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    I'll not waste a moment of time chasing your foolish circular logic, or engaging your pedantic observations.

    The most certain way for people here to gauge my intelligence is to read what I write and verify it for themselves. The most certain way for them to gauge my ignorance is to see me waste time sparring with you.

    Matt can consider my response and be assured that in every realm outside of your head the the information is solid. Or he can consider your responses, and he'll be fine, too. But I will never have enough time to waste to have another conversation with you. I do not suffer fools gladly.

    RT


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I know from his post, and know yours, that neither of you understand the question, or the answer.



    Why?



    ???? Why?



    Huh?

    You mean from the new "service equipment" to the old "service equipment?



    Nope, not likely.

    Rob, your problem, and that of many others, is that HI schools teach "main panel" and "sub panel", heck even many electricians use the term "sub panel", BUT THEY ALSO KNOW that "service equipment" and "main panel" are different things.

    THEY use 'sub panel' to refer to a panel fed off another panel', their 'main panel'.

    YOU are using 'main panel' for "service equipment", and anything fed off the "service equipment" you are calling a 'sub panel'.

    No wonder you are confused.

    The term 'sub panel' derived from the fact that some panels are 'sub-fed' from another panel, making them a 'sub-fed panel', which, for practical use was shortened to 'sub-panel', then to 'subpanel'. Yet, THEY KNOW that a 'sub-fed panel' and the panel it is fed from are both wired the same.

    It is obvious from your post that you would wire them differently. That you would wire what you call 'a main panel' as you would "service equipment". You would be wrong, and could be "dead wrong" even.

    You should wire "service equipment" differently (neutral bonded to ground), but the panels should be wired the same (neutral isolated from ground).



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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Since it seems traditional to ask for code back-up on this forum - can anyone provide NEC or IRC verbiage that includes "sub-panel"?
    I haven't read every post carefully, so, if this has already been covered, excuuuuuse me!

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    The term subpanel is used throughout the 'Codecheck' books.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    The term sub panel is used throughout the 'Codecheck' books.
    Not in the Glossary of definitions section. They mention sub-feeder no sub-panel. Personally I only care what the NEC says. When it comes to Electricity they are the one.


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    Default Re: Service Panel

    This is just a pointless splitting of hairs... but here it is twice on one page of the 'Codecheck' books... If the NEC doesn't use the term that's great for them. It just seems completely ridiculous to say this term is incorrect, as if no one knows what is being talked about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Since it seems traditional to ask for code back-up on this forum - can anyone provide NEC or IRC verbiage that includes "sub-panel"?
    There is no officially recognized term of "sub-panel" or "main panel". They are simply all "panelboards".

    From the NEC.
    - Panelboard. A single panel or group of panel units designed for assembly in the form of a single panel, including buses and automatic overcurrent devices, and equipped with or without switches for the control of light, heat, or power circuits; designed to be placed in a cabinet or cutout box placed in or against a wall, partition, or other support; and accessible only from the front.

    The "panelboard" is the "interior section" of the panel where the overcurrent devices and conductors mount to within an enclosure (where "panel" is used to signify both the enclosure and the panelboard).

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    This is just a pointless splitting of hairs... but here it is twice on one page of the 'Codecheck' books...
    And you take *everything* in the CodeCheck books as gospel? You've never found any of the errors others of us have found?

    If the NEC doesn't use the term that's great for them.
    They don't, and, yes, it is GOOD for them. It cuts out the confusion caused by the uses of the term.

    It just seems completely ridiculous to say this term is incorrect, as if no one knows what is being talked about.
    It is only ridiculous to those who refuse to learn, grow and change.

    Regardless, if you are going to pull out terms from within the CodeCheck books, pull them out correctly.

    On the page you scanned in and posted ... it states "SERVICE PANEL", not "main panel".

    At least (even though it is an incorrect term) using the term "service panel" let's the other person know you are referring to the "service equipment", and that the "service equipment" is more than just a "main disconnect", it also includes a "panelboard" section (i.e., it includes a "panel" section in addition to the "service equipment" section.

    Using partial names? That just adds even more to the confusion.

    So, before you get your shorts all twitched up in a knot over this, go back and start using the 'right' "wrong" terms. At least that way, what you are saying will make more sense.

    Remember, CodeCheck is not the same as "code". Close, but if you were to take the CodeCheck books into court and the other party were to bring in the code books, you will be dead in the water.

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And you take *everything* in the CodeCheck books as gospel? You've never found any of the errors others of us have found?



    They don't, and, yes, it is GOOD for them. It cuts out the confusion caused by the uses of the term.



    It is only ridiculous to those who refuse to learn, grow and change.

    Regardless, if you are going to pull out terms from within the CodeCheck books, pull them out correctly.

    On the page you scanned in and posted ... it states "SERVICE PANEL", not "main panel".

    At least (even though it is an incorrect term) using the term "service panel" let's the other person know you are referring to the "service equipment", and that the "service equipment" is more than just a "main disconnect", it also includes a "panelboard" section (i.e., it includes a "panel" section in addition to the "service equipment" section.

    Using partial names? That just adds even more to the confusion.

    So, before you get your shorts all twitched up in a knot over this, go back and start using the 'right' "wrong" terms. At least that way, what you are saying will make more sense.

    Remember, CodeCheck is not the same as "code". Close, but if you were to take the CodeCheck books into court and the other party were to bring in the code books, you will be dead in the water.
    Wow, thanks for the conern over my 'shorts' but I'll leave it to the others to determine whose shorts lie where.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Matt,

    As I stated before, everyone knows what a sub panel is, and that's the most important consideration. In my world, none of my clients own a copy of the NEC, but a good many of them buy DIY books at Lowe's, and most of those books use the terms "main panel" and "sub panel". I say, use terms they know. Don't try to make them learn a new language just to read an inspection report.

    With respect to the larger problem here: some people require agreement for their own validation. I suggest avoiding such people whenever possible.

    RT


    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Wow, thanks for the conern over my 'shorts' but I'll leave it to the others to determine whose shorts lie where.



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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Thanks Rob... You touch on a valuable point. The amount of technical BS we all toss around amongst ourselves is really irrelevant to our clients. The best inspector is of no value if he can't comminicate his findings in some format that can be understood easily.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Service Panel

    You do not have to use technical BS. Just explain to people. Use something like this in report.

    SERVICE EQUIPMENT:
    : The Service Equipment is where the Main Breaker is located.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thomas View Post
    Matt,
    With respect to the larger problem here: some people require agreement for their own validation. I suggest avoiding such people whenever possible.RT
    Matt - Assuming Rob is talking about Jerry Peck - after frequenting this forum for years now, I can tell you that avoiding Jerry's posts is the last thing you want to do, if you want to learn. The amount of time Jerry has spent educating home inspectors on inspectionnews is mind-boggling. The thin-skinned among us are shooting themselves in the foot, to mix metaphors, when they get defensive.

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    I would like my competitors to ignore Jerrys posts.


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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thomas View Post
    In my world, none of my clients own a copy of the NEC, but a good many of them buy DIY books at Lowe's, and most of those books use the terms "main panel" and "sub panel". I say, use terms they know.
    I suggest, as a minimum, you at least use those terms as those books use them, not just how you chose to use them.

    A "main panel" is never "service equipment". At least the CodeCheck reference referred to that as a "service panel".

    With respect to the larger problem here: some people require agreement for their own validation. I suggest avoiding such people whenever possible.
    Thanks for the tip, I will try to avoid you and your posts in the future.

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    You do not have to use technical BS. Just explain to people. Use something like this in report.

    SERVICE EQUIPMENT:
    : The Service Equipment is where the Main Breaker is located.

    BINGO!

    We have a winner!

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Service Panel

    And in this instance, you have told your client exactly ... nothing.

    Your client wants and needs to know where the main disconnect is. Have you told him? No. You've told him it's on or in the service equipment. Can he find it? Does he know 'what' the service equipment is? No.

    You've wasted time that you could have used to provide information your client can use. Tell your client this: The main disconnect is in the main panel in the laundry room. A sub panel is in the garage and another sub panel is in the garden shed.

    If your client goes to Taunton/Fine Homebuilding and buys a book about wiring, or if he goes to Lowe's and buys a book about wiring, the terms he reads will match the terms you used in the report. If your client buys a copy of the NEC, he will never understand it, just like many electricians don't understand it (just read an electrical online forum if you don't believe me).

    I only know of one person who doesn't know a main panel is a main panel because that's where the main disconnect is. And he is the only person I know of who doesn't know what a sub panel is. On the other hand, I Googled "wiring a sub panel" and got 1,880,000 hits.

    Don't make this job harder than it needs to be.

    RT






    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    You do not have to use technical BS. Just explain to people. Use something like this in report.

    SERVICE EQUIPMENT:
    : The Service Equipment is where the Main Breaker is located.



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    Default Re: Service Panel

    I can remember arguing with Jerry about this when I first arrived here, based on my construction experience and the almost universal use of "sub-panel" in my area.

    FWIW, I have since since come around to his point of view (about this at least), as I've discovered that dividing the world into "service equipment", and "load side panels" (all others downstream) helps me to think and communicate more clearly about what I'm describing; especially if service equipment, a "main distribution" load side panel, and one or more additional load side panels are all present.


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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thomas View Post
    Tell your client this: The main disconnect is in the main panel in the laundry room. A sub panel is in the garage and another sub panel is in the garden shed.
    No, tell your client: The main disconnect at the service equipment panel in the laundry room. There is an electrical panel in the garage and another one in the garden shed.

    Don't make this job harder than it needs to be.
    You are sure trying to.

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I can remember arguing with Jerry about this when I first arrived here, based on my construction experience and the almost universal use of "sub-panel" in my area.

    The "almost universal" use of a term makes me wonder why you would want to swim upstream against it.

    FWIW, I have since since come around to his point of view (about this at least), as I've discovered that dividing the world into "service equipment", and "load side panels" (all others downstream) helps me to think and communicate more clearly about what I'm describing; especially if service equipment (main panel), a "main distribution" load side panel (sub panel), and one or more additional load side panels (sub panels) are all present.
    Nothing could be more clear than explaining a concept in terms people understand. If "service equipment" and "load-side panels" does that for you and your clients, then nothing could be better. However, if the use of the term "sub panel" is almost universal (as it is in the rest of the English-speaking world), then I can see no reason not to embrace it.

    Use the term that works for you, and leave the pedants behind.

    RT


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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thomas View Post
    I'll not waste a moment of time chasing your foolish circular logic, or engaging your pedantic observations. RT
    Changed your mind, I guess.

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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Rob,

    I'm not Michael (obviously), but when you quote someone, you should quote them or not quote them, but to quote them with your own words added into their quote, that's just plain wrong.

    It may be okay for you, but for the rest of us, I suspect we would rather our quotes not be changed - unless you are going to attribute the changes to yourself.

    This is what you "quoted" Michael as saying:

    Re: Service Panel
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Originally Posted by Michael Thomas
    I can remember arguing with Jerry about this when I first arrived here, based on my construction experience and the almost universal use of "sub-panel" in my area.

    The "almost universal" use of a term makes me wonder why you would want to swim upstream against it.

    FWIW, I have since since come around to his point of view (about this at least), as I've discovered that dividing the world into "service equipment", and "load side panels" (all others downstream) helps me to think and communicate more clearly about what I'm describing; especially if service equipment (main panel), a "main distribution" load side panel (sub panel), and one or more additional load side panels (sub panels) are all present.


    THIS is what Michael actually said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I can remember arguing with Jerry about this when I first arrived here, based on my construction experience and the almost universal use of "sub-panel" in my area.

    FWIW, I have since since come around to his point of view (about this at least), as I've discovered that dividing the world into "service equipment", and "load side panels" (all others downstream) helps me to think and communicate more clearly about what I'm describing; especially if service equipment, a "main distribution" load side panel, and one or more additional load side panels are all present.
    You've put your own meanings to Michael's words, implying that Michael said them.

    I guess misrepresentation is what you are good at?

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

  34. #34
    Rob Thomas's Avatar
    Rob Thomas Guest

    Default Re: Service Panel

    Michael,

    When I added my comments (in BOLD type) to yours in a conversational style that would be easy to follow, I assumed everyone would instantly recognize what you had written, and what I had added ... particularly when I continued my comments below the quote box, still in bold type.

    I suppose I gave some folks (at least one) more credit for their comprehension skills than they deserved. On a public message board, it's very difficult to know everyone's limitations..

    RT



    Re: Service Panel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Thomas
    I can remember arguing with Jerry about this when I first arrived here, based on my construction experience and the almost universal use of "sub-panel" in my area.

    The "almost universal" use of a term makes me wonder why you would want to swim upstream against it.

    FWIW, I have since since come around to his point of view (about this at least), as I've discovered that dividing the world into "service equipment", and "load side panels" (all others downstream) helps me to think and communicate more clearly about what I'm describing; especially if service equipment (main panel), a "main distribution" load side panel (sub panel), and one or more additional load side panels (sub panels) are all present.


    Nothing could be more clear than explaining a concept in terms people understand. If "service equipment" and "load-side panels" does that for you and your clients, then nothing could be better. However, if the use of the term "sub panel" is almost universal (as it is in the rest of the English-speaking world), then I can see no reason not to embrace it.

    Use the term that works for you, and leave the pedants behind.

    RT


  35. #35
    Rob Thomas's Avatar
    Rob Thomas Guest

    Default Re: Service Panel

    I beg your pardon? What draws you to the conclusion that I have changed my mind?

    RT

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Changed your mind, I guess.



  36. #36
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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Rob,

    What I came to realize that to the extent non-electricians (including contractors) understand such concepts at all, they often don't realize that the "main panel" or "main distribution" panel often is a "sub-panel".

    And that this is usually because they think of "sub-panel" in terms of location (where it is), when we are actually concerned with function (what it does and how it does it - including how it should be wired).

    Worse (around here, anyway) licensed electricians (or at least a lot of people doing such work) don't know the difference either - which is why Home Inspectors keep finding improperly installed "main panels" downstream of the actual service equipment.

    Practical example:

    If I state that:

    "The main distribution panel in the basement is downstream of the service equipment and improperly wired, the neutrals and grounds are bonded together, which is not correct as this is a "sub-panel",

    I'm often just going to get into an argument about location; "No it's not!" the GC and/or electrician (confusing location and function) will argue, "Thats the main distribution panel, the sub-panel is in the addition..."

    OTOH, if I state that:

    "The "main distribution panel" in the basement is downstream of the service equipment and improperly wired, the neutrals and grounds are bonded together, which is not correct as this is a load-side panel" IMO the problem is much clearer - because I've citied the panel's function, not its physical location, as the issue.

    Location vs function: I don't think Jerry has ever presented the issue in exactly those terms, but when I though his arguments through, IMO that's the difference at the heart of the matter.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 08-02-2007 at 02:53 PM.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Service Panel

    It's obvious Jerry has a lot knowledge to share, and for that I commend him. What's unfortunate is the condesending, sometimes rude tone that his posts take. It's one thing to have the knowledge but its of little value if people are turned off before they even get past his name at the top of the post heading.

    This entire thread could have been avoided if some more kind words were given at the start in an educational tone rather than a condesending tone. I'm relatively knew to this board, but not home inspections. It makes me much less likely to want to post here or hang around here when I have to sift through insults to get to an answer to my questions.

    Of course, it's the internet, it's free and unfortunatly sometimes you get what you pay for.

    Thanks to everyone (yes, you too Jerry) for sharing your knowledge.


  38. #38
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    It's obvious Jerry has a lot knowledge to share, and for that I commend him. What's unfortunate is the condesending, sometimes rude tone that his posts take. It's one thing to have the knowledge but its of little value if people are turned off before they even get past his name at the top of the post heading.

    This entire thread could have been avoided if some more kind words were given at the start in an educational tone rather than a condesending tone. I'm relatively knew to this board, but not home inspections. It makes me much less likely to want to post here or hang around here when I have to sift through insults to get to an answer to my questions.

    Of course, it's the internet, it's free and unfortunatly sometimes you get what you pay for.

    Thanks to everyone (yes, you too Jerry) for sharing your knowledge.

    I think we have all felt that way one time or another with Jerry's answers but over time it's like your parents yelling at you. You ignore it.
    Really though Jerry is very helpful to all and is willing to share vast knowledge.
    In fact I am amazed how much time and care he is willing to put into his answers to help someone out. He is also very patient and helps newbies out.
    Do not take it personally, tons of great information here.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    It's obvious Jerry has a lot knowledge to share, and for that I commend him. What's unfortunate is the condesending, sometimes rude tone that his posts take.
    Matt,

    You will notice, should have noticed, that when I start making those comments, I make them only to follow when others start down that road. When they start, I follow right along, and, when they come back down civil, I follow right along too.

    Keep it civil and it will be kept civil on my part.

    If they start making those types of comments, they'd better have a thick skin, or it may hurt their feelings, when it does, that is when you hear their cries.

    I am all for keeping it civil and friendly. But I will also not hesitate to go where they lead.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 08-02-2007 at 02:45 PM. Reason: speeling
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    over time it's like your parents yelling at you. You ignore it.
    David,

    I had not thought about it, but it could be like a parent waiting, waiting, waiting for teenager to get into their twenties and start leaving that 'I know it all already' stage behind them.

    I know my Dad, for some unknown reason, 'got smarter as I got older'.

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

  41. #41
    Rob Thomas's Avatar
    Rob Thomas Guest

    Default Re: Service Panel

    (Note to pedants: Michael Thomas wrote the words that are not bold. Rob Thomas wrote the words that are bold.)


    Practical example:

    If I state that:

    "The main distribution panel in the basement is downstream of the service equipment and improperly wired, the neutrals and grounds are bonded together, which is not correct as this is a "sub-panel",

    The term ďmain distribution panelĒ is confusing because you are using it to describe a sub panel. It can only be a ďmain distribution panelĒ if the ďmain disconnectĒ is in there.

    I'm often just going to get into an argument about location; "No it's not!" the GC and/or electrician (confusing location and function) will argue, "Thats the main distribution panel, the sub-panel is in the addition..."

    Iíve never been involved in a disagreement that was predicated on the location of the panelbox. Thatís a new slant. Here, for years the AHJs didnít understand the need to isolate the neutrals in a sub panel, so they didnít enforce it.

    OTOH, if I state that:

    "The "main distribution panel" in the basement is downstream of the service equipment and improperly wired, the neutrals and grounds are bonded together, which is not correct as this is a load-side panel" IMO the problem is much clearer - because I've citied the panel's function, not its physical location, as the issue.

    Location vs function: I don't think Jerry has ever presented the issue in exactly those terms, but when I though his arguments through, IMO that's the difference at the heart of the matter.

    Location in the house is really not relevant to this discussion, and neither is the function of the panelbox. The only issue is: from where does the box get its energy? If it gets it from the meter, itís the main panel. If the box gets its energy from the main disconnect, even if it is in the same room as the main disconnect, then it is a sub panel. If it gets its energy from any breaker beyond the main disconnect, itís a sub panel.

    That aside, if your conceptualization works for you, then that is all that really matters. In the end, we just donít want anyone to get shocked when they go in the crawlspace and bump into a metal water pipe.

    RT


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Service Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thomas View Post
    Location in the house is really not relevant to this discussion, and neither is the function of the panelbox. The only issue is: from where does the box get its energy? If it gets it from the meter, itís the main panel.


    (sigh)

    Some just insist on drowning at the water's edge.

    First, you have the transformer on a pole or on the ground.

    Next you have the overhead service drop or the underground service lateral.

    Then you have the meter.

    Then you have the service equipment, which includes the main disconnect.

    If the box gets its energy from the main disconnect, even if it is in the same room as the main disconnect, then it is a sub panel. If it gets its energy from any breaker beyond the main disconnect, itís a sub panel.
    After the service equipment/main disconnect you have the panel.

    This part gets a little complicated because you have two basic setups:

    a) the service equipment/main disconnect is by itself;

    b) the service equipment/main disconnect also contains a panelboard section. Being as this is all in the same enclosure, the panelboard section is still 'part of' the service equipment. Hence, in the posted scan from CodeCheck, it was referred to as the 'service panel'.

    With setups as in a), where the service equipment/main disconnect is by itself, there is little room for confusion. There is nothing there to mistakenly call a "main panel".

    With setups as in b), where there is a panelboard section in with and as part of the service equipment, it does give something to mistakenly call a "main panel". *It is* "service equipment" plain and simple. I must say that, at least, the reference in the CodeCheck scan referred to it as "service panel", which is at least still calling it the "service" panel, but that disregards the fact that the "main disconnect" is in there too, and, that the "main disconnect" being there is more important than the "panelboard" section being there. Still, at least it does locate that "panel" at the "service", i.e., "service panel".

    But "main panel" ... where does that come from?

    The panel at the service equipment could be a 6 circuit panel with a main disconnect, and the 42 circuit distribution panel, the "main" panel, could be located (and probably is) elsewhere in the structure. There could also be "another panel" located somewhere else, maybe in the garage, calling that the "garage panel" is accomplishing both its location and it use, i.e., it is "in the garage" and it is "a panel". It's just not a "sub" panel.

    But this discussion could go on forever, especially when another insists that the "service equipment" is the "main panel", and it is not. At least (for a start) change it to "service panel", even CodeCheck knows that's not a "main panel".

    (lob)

    Ball is back in your court, Rob.

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

  43. #43
    Joe Tedesco's Avatar
    Joe Tedesco Guest

    Default Re: Service Panel

    Here's a former proposal for the 2002 NEC:
    http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf/A100.pdf

    (Log #2499)

    1- 191 - (100-Subpanel (New) ): Reject

    SUBMITTER: Andre R. Cartal, Bldg Dept., Princeton Borough, NJ
    RECOMMENDATION: Add a definition of "Subpanel" as a
    panelboard located in the same building as the service equipment
    that supplies it.

    SUBSTANTIATION: The use of the term subpanel seems to be on
    the increase in many code articles and seminars and while the NEC
    does not use this word we would then all know what the word meant
    when it was used.

    PANEL ACTION: Reject.

    PANEL STATEMENT: The term "subpanel" is not used in the Code
    and therefore does not warrant a definition.

    NUMBER OF PANEL MEMBERS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE: 13
    VOTE ON PANEL ACTION:
    AFFIRMATIVE: 12
    NOT RETURNED: 1 Macias


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