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  1. #1
    Adam Proud's Avatar
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    Default GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    I have a GE Powermark Gold Service Panel that has the neutral and ground wires separated on the two bus bars. The grounded side has the green bonding screw installed to bond the bus to the panel enclosure but the neutral side does not have the bonding screw. In addition, there appears to be no bonding strap between the two bus bars. As this is a main service panel, is this installed incorrectly? If so, what are the hazards of this installation? Some pictures are attached of the panel and two close ups of the neutral and ground bus bars.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    The installer incorrectly removed the bonding bar/strap between the ground and neutral busses. It would be mounted at the top where the open holes are.

    You have a violation of 250.24(A) NEC

    250.24 Grounding Service-Supplied Alternating-Current
    Systems.
    (A) System Grounding Connections. A premises wiring
    system supplied by a grounded ac service shall have a
    grounding electrode conductor connected to the grounded
    service conductor, at each service, in accordance with
    250.24(A)(1) through (A)(5).


  3. #3
    Adam Proud's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Thanks Derek.

    This is what I suspected. What are the risks if the bar isnt replaced? Also, not sure if you picked up on this, but the panel is installed with the main breaker at the top, and the main feed comes in the house from the top. The installer decided to enter the panel from the top, but run the service cable inside the panel and installed the main breaker at the bottom. Other than scratching my head why this was done, any concerns with this?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern



    Sure looks like there is a tie bar running between the busses where circled. A problem more serious than no neutral bond exists if there is not a tie bar as the right side bar has grounded conductor (neutral) connections and would be using the ground path to complete the circuit. This means that the metallic plumbing, if any, is possibly carrying current.

    Last edited by Bill Kriegh; 01-15-2012 at 06:56 AM.
    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Sure looks like there is a tie bar running between the busses where circled.
    Here is a zoomed in look and it does look like a tie-bar between the buses.

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  6. #6
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Sorry but your photo's are too blurry to actually determine if the bus on the left is connected to the bus on the right. If they are connected then the panel is fine. I only wonder why they mounted it upside down.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Sorry but your photo's are too blurry to actually determine if the bus on the left is connected to the bus on the right. If they are connected then the panel is fine. I only wonder why they mounted it upside down.
    I would bet the busses are not connected. I have install piles of these GE panels and the buss connection is a bar that would be bolted at the end opposite the MB.

    The empty holes are where it was removed.

    As far as upside down, who knows? The position of the MB handle allows it.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Here is a GE link. See page 3, it shows the tie bar.

    http://www.geindustrial.com/catalog/buylog/01_BL.pdf


  9. #9
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Guridi View Post
    I would bet the busses are not connected. I have install piles of these GE panels and the buss connection is a bar that would be bolted at the end opposite the MB.

    The empty holes are where it was removed.

    As far as upside down, who knows? The position of the MB handle allows it.
    You might be right, here's an old photo of a GE panel with the tie-bar clearly on the bottom.




  10. #10
    Adam Proud's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    There is no tie-bar. I have taken 2 more close ups. One of where the tie-bar should be where the missing screws are and one where a couple others thought there might be a bond where the neutral and ground tie into the bus bars. I have circled for clarification.

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  11. #11
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Proud View Post
    There is no tie-bar. I have taken 2 more close ups. One of where the tie-bar should be where the missing screws are and one where a couple others thought there might be a bond where the neutral and ground tie into the bus bars. I have circled for clarification.
    Since this panelboard contains the service disconnect there was no need to remove the bar connecting the two buses together.

    Does anyone have a problem with the GEC's landed on the EGC bus and not the neutral bus?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Is the main breaker in this panel the first disconnecting means or is there a disconnect between this panel and the meter?

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  13. #13
    Adam Proud's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    The main breaker (200) is in this box. The only thing outside is the meter box. The meter is basically directly above this panel outside.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    And so the reason for CLEAR photos shows up again. Quite honestly the panel looked like a marriage between a couple of brands with the "phantom" tie bar where I'd have expected to see one from CH or Siemens.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Does anyone have a problem with the GEC's landed on the EGC bus and not the neutral bus?
    On this panel, and some others similar to it, with the proper listed tie-bar in place, not so much of a problem (although the neutrals are probably required to be on the neutral terminal bar any way on some panels, on other panels, both bars are neutral/ground terminal bars and it would not matter). Basically, the neutrals should be on the same bar as the neutral for the service entrance conductors unless the panel specifically allows otherwise.

    On some other panels, absolutely, as the ground bus is bonded to the neutral terminal bar by a thin strap or by connecting both to the enclosure. I have seem many panels, some I recall were Cutler-Hammer, which not only needed the neutrals on the neutral terminal bar instead of on the ground terminal bar for the preceding reason, but the listing and labeling (as shown in the schematic) also required it.

    Usually a quick look will indicate what is allowed where, followed by looking at the schematic for verification.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Separating the two bus bars is fine if done correctly. In this case it's unnecessary and creates a few violations. For one, the system bonding jumper (green screw) is only visible on the EGC bus which means that the neutral bus is not bonded to the enclosure. Secondly the two bare solid copper GEC's must now be landed on the neutral bus not the EGC bus. Best solution is to simply reinstall the jumper between the two buses.


  17. #17
    Adam Proud's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Thanks for the help to everyone. I have no idea what the electrician did with the jumper, so one will need to be purchased. Still unclear as to why they set it up this way, but will get it corrected.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    [quote=Robert Meier;187366]

    Does anyone have a problem with the GEC's landed on the EGC bus and not the neutral bus?[/quote]

    Yes.

    250.24 Grounding Service-Supplied Alternating-Current
    Systems.
    (A) System Grounding Connections. A premises wiring
    system supplied by a grounded ac service shall have a
    grounding electrode conductor connected to the grounded
    service conductor, at each service, in accordance with
    250.24(A)(1) through (A)(5).
    (1) General. The grounding electrode conductor connection
    shall be made at any accessible point from the load end
    of the service drop or service lateral to and including the
    terminal or bus to which the grounded service conductor is
    connected at the service disconnecting means.



  19. #19
    Paul Johnston's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Here is a zoomed in look and it does look like a tie-bar between the buses.
    Jerry I thought if the neutral/ground are bonded at the meter (which may be the case) they would not be bonded here.


  20. #20
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Johnston View Post
    Jerry I thought if the neutral/ground are bonded at the meter (which may be the case) they would not be bonded here.
    Yes it would be but the main bonding jumper is required to be installed at the service disconnecting means. {250.24(B)}


  21. #21
    Paul Johnston's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Yes it would be but the main bonding jumper is required to be installed at the service disconnecting means. {250.24(B)}
    But what if there is a disconnect in the meter box. It would help to know this information.


  22. #22
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Johnston View Post
    But what if there is a disconnect in the meter box. It would help to know this information.
    Well certainly that would change a few things regarding this installation, but we've already established that there isn't and this panel contains the service disconnect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Proud View Post
    The main breaker (200) is in this box. The only thing outside is the meter box. The meter is basically directly above this panel outside.



  23. #23
    John Williams's Avatar
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    The panel may have been installed upside down to make it easier to get the service conductors into the main breaker. It is easier with some slack to work with.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    .....

    Last edited by ken horak; 03-30-2012 at 04:49 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: GE Powermark Gold Bonding concern

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Johnston View Post
    But what if there is a disconnect in the meter box.
    The meter is separate, always is ... even in a combination enclosure the meter is separate.

    The neutral is bonded to ground at the service equipment, not at the meter because the neutral at the meter is already still both the grounded conductor (neutral) and grounding conductor.

    I suspect you may be thinking of where the grounding electrode conductor is landing - in the meter can instead of in the service equipment.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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