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  1. #1
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    Default Main and submarine panels bolted together

    The remote panel is bonded to the main with a conduit stub and also a couple of carriage bolts. I call this 'amateur workmanship with possible hidden defects'.

    The glaring mistake is in the bottom of the pic. A bare copper grounding conductor is terminated on the neutral bus. It is still wrong, is it not? How wrong is it? Really really wrong or just a bit wrong?

    PS, I've masked the ID of the lower panel because it is the brand Americans love to hate.

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    Last edited by John Kogel; 05-13-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The remote panel is bonded to the main with a conduit stub and also a couple of carriage bolts. I call this 'amateur workmanship with possible hidden defects'.

    The glaring mistake is in the bottom of the pic. A bare copper grounding conductor is terminated on the neutral bus. It is still wrong, is it not? How wrong is it? Really really wrong or just a bit wrong?

    PS, I've masked the ID of the lower panel because it is the brand Americans love to hate.
    If you look at it from the safety perspective it is way wrong if all that is holdong that box is the carriage bolts then the bottom of the box is not secured to the wall at all so any slight movement would cause wire tension and tons of possible arcing to say the least


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The remote panel is bonded to the main with a conduit stub and also a couple of carriage bolts. I call this 'amateur workmanship with possible hidden defects'.

    The glaring mistake is in the bottom of the pic. A bare copper grounding conductor is terminated on the neutral bus. It is still wrong, is it not? How wrong is it? Really really wrong or just a bit wrong?

    PS, I've masked the ID of the lower panel because it is the brand Americans love to hate.
    How do you find this more or less wrong then supplying a 120/240 sub-feeder panel with out a grounding conductor, bonding a feeder neutral to a sub-feeder panel box, using service panel without isolating the neutral bus as a sub-feeder panel, or tapping a main power feeder without properly bonding the equipment?

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-14-2012 at 08:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Quote Originally Posted by billy claggett View Post
    If you look at it from the safety perspective it is way wrong if all that is holding that box is the carriage bolts then the bottom of the box is not secured to the wall at all so any slight movement would cause wire tension and tons of possible arcing to say the least
    I didn't get that when I removed and replaced the cover. The panel isn't loose. It is unprofessional, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    How do you find this more or less wrong then supplying a 120/240 sub-feeder panel with out a grounding conductor, bonding a feeder neutral to a sub-feeder panel box, using service panel without isolating the neutral bus as a sub-feeder panel, or tapping a main power feeder without properly bonding the equipment?
    None of those conditions are present here, so what are you saying..??

    Here's the deal. My clients wants to upgrade the service from 100 to 200 amp. He knows this is a crappy installation. It may be 6 months to 2 years before he gets his new service installed.

    The remote panel is physically bonded to the main panel. The neutral bus in the remote panel is isolated from the panel box.
    What hazard is presented to the occupants by having a grounding conductor terminated on the neutral bus in the lower panel?

    I'm waiting for a trained professional to tell me if there is a shock or fire hazard here.
    He can't move the wire, so it will be $150 for an electrician's 10 minute fix. Is it a pressing issue?????

    Last edited by John Kogel; 05-14-2012 at 05:25 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Just move the EGC to the proper bus. If it's too short just splice on a piece of conductor. The panel should be fastened to the wall.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Does not matter if it is 1" away or 100 feet away - still needs the neutral isolated from the ground in the other-than-service equipment panel ... at least here in the states, and I presume 'up there' too.

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Simple question, I thought. Does the ground on the neutral bus in the remote panel constitute a danger to my client that requires immediate repair?

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Simple question, I thought. Does the ground on the neutral bus in the remote panel constitute a danger to my client that requires immediate repair?
    Simple answer, I thought. Yes. It could. Yes. I would.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    None of those conditions are present here, so what are you saying..??
    You asked for the wrongness to be quantified.

    The remote panel is physically bonded to the main panel. The neutral bus in the remote panel is isolated from the panel box.
    No, it is rebonded via the ground bus and the improperly landed grounding conductor upon same and has created an alternate path for what would be objectional current on the grounding conductors, the sub feeder panel box, the conduit and anything connected/bonded thereto.


    What hazard is presented to the occupants by having a grounding conductor terminated on the neutral bus in the lower panel?
    objectional current, and the consequences thereof which may include: shock, injury, death, also possiblity of fire. Certain safety, critical, or protection equipment may fail to function properly (safety systems, equipment, life monitoring, support, warning systems, surge protectors) possibly putting persons at risk, equipment, and property itself (fire) under certain circumstances. .
    I'm waiting for a trained professional to tell me if there is a shock or fire hazard here.
    He can't move the wire, so it will be $150 for an electrician's 10 minute fix. Is it a pressing issue?????
    Well worth it (that's canadian $$s), spend a few more and have him review further - a screw up so obvious there's bound to be more elsewhere. While he/she's there they can address the other issues pictured, perform load calculations, and provide a precise scope of work (& price) for the upgrade; may not need to "upsize" the service -- just provide a larger panel with more (number of circuits) capacity.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-14-2012 at 09:03 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    You asked for the wrongness to be quantified.



    No, it is rebonded via the ground busand the improperly landed grounding conductor upon same (You mean the neutral bus, I think) and has created an alternate path for what would be objectional current on the grounding conductors, the sub feeder panel box, the conduit and anything connected/bonded thereto.

    objectional current, and the consequences thereof which may include: shock, injury, death, also possiblity of fire. Certain safety, critical, or protection equipment may fail to function properly (safety systems, equipment, life monitoring, support, warning systems, surge protectors) possibly putting persons at risk, equipment, and property itself (fire) under certain circumstances.
    How so? The neutral bus in the lower panel is bonded to the main panel by 18" of #6 copper wire. Is it not at or within a few milliamps of ground potential?

    How is this any different from a large split bus breaker panel, except that it is not an approved installation?

    Well worth it (that's canadian $$s), spend a few more and have him review further - a screw up so obvious there's bound to be more elsewhere. While he/she's there they can address the other issues pictured, perform load calculations, and provide a precise scope of work (& price) for the upgrade; may not need to "upsize" the service -- just provide a larger panel with more (number of circuits) capacity.
    There are some circuit repairs to do, but those are within the client's capabilities. He intends to get rid of an oil furnace and add a basement suite and he will certainly need a larger service, eliminating this whole mess at that time.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Main and submarine panels bolted together

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    How is this any different from a large split bus breaker panel, ...
    See that bottom of the upper enclosure? And those two bolt thingys (technical term). And the top of the lower enclosure?

    That there is referred to as being "separate", as in the upper enclosure panel is "service equipment" and the lower enclosure panel is "other-than service equipment" (i.e., a distribution panel)

    The neutral is bonded to ground within the service equipment panel (the upper enclosure). The neutral is isolated from ground from the load side of the service equipment on, and that lower enclosure panel is 'from the load side of the service equipment on'.

    Now, in case you have not yet noticed the difference in what you are asking ... ... "a large split bus breaker panel" will be contained within *one* single enclosure.

    ... except that it is not an approved installation?
    It might have been approved. Should not have been, but it might have been.

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

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