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  1. #1
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    Default Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    This is a remote panel within a home built in 1964. The remote panel lacks isolated ground nuetral bars and no four (ground) conductor. The panel is original (installed in 1964)

    When was the four conductor and isolated Grnd-Neut bars required for a remote panel? Is this panel grandfathered under an earlier code?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    If I recall correctly, the code began referencing that in the late 1920's or early 1930's editions; however there was was much confusion, misunderstanding and misinterpreting of just what was being required even up into the 1960's.

    I remember heated discussions and debates over that in the late 1960's; by the early to mid 1970's that had been sorted out pretty much understood by most, if the not all, eelectrical contractors.

    Kind of like pool bonding versus grounding, which is still not understood by some electricians even today, 50 years or so after it first came into the code.

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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    I'm pretty sure that the requirement predates 1964 as Jerry mentioned. It might just be me but that panel does not appear to be almost 50 years old.
    Thanks for the quick feedback, I was just finishing my report - good timing.
    I was also amazed at the condition of this equipment. It was all original from a very high end house.

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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I remember heated discussions and debates over that in the late 1960's...

    I was a kid in the '60s. Just how OLD are you, anyway?

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  5. #5
    Steve Gagnon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    When you refer to a "remote panel" I assume you mean a sub-panel?

    That being the case then there is nothing wrong with the panel as shown as a sub-panel. Essentially, a single panel supply for the home combines common and ground conductors on neutral buss bars, it's when you add a sub panel that you are required to "un-bond" the MAIN panel. that means that the common and grounds must be separated (on the MAIN).

    This normally takes place by removing the metal bond between terminal strips on the main panel and putting the grounds on one buss, the commons on the other.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Gagnon View Post
    When you refer to a "remote panel" I assume you mean sub-panel
    Many here no longer refer to remote distribution panels as sub-panels because sub-panels are only found in submarines.

    The real reason is because so many who do still use the term sub-panel get the isolation of neutral from ground mixed up and backwards.

    The ONLY place the neutral is bonded to ground is at the service equipment. The neutral is REQUIRED to be isolated from ground after the load side of the service equipment.

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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Many here no longer refer to remote distribution panels as sub-panels because sub-panels are only found in submarines. ( and the NEC Handbook) Submarines do not have sub panels they have marine panels

    The real reason is because so many who do still use the term sub-panel get the isolation of neutral from ground mixed up and backwards.

    The ONLY place the neutral is bonded to ground is at the service equipment. The neutral is REQUIRED to be isolated from ground after the load side of the service equipment.
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    Only here is the term sub panel taboo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    . It might just be me but that panel does not appear to be almost 50 years old.
    I'm with Robert on this one, I'll bet good money that the panel in that picture is NOT original.
    I do not believe they were stamping "TOP" inside panels in 1964. Looing at the bus bars makes me queston the age as well, seems much newer


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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    Jerry
    I fixed for you
    Only here is the term sub panel taboo
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    IMO the term sub-panel is perfectly acceptable for describing remote panelboards in structures other than submarines even if it's not defined in the NEC.
    I agreed with you previous to years of people using that term and not understanding what they were referring to and getting it wrong, thus I started promoting the fact that they are 'remote panels' (some else's term), 'distribution panels', 'load centers', and the like, but, in fact, they are 'other-than-service equipment panels'.

    Like with Steve Gagnon's post above, if he had thought of that panel as a 'other-than-service equipment panel' (or one of the easier terms such as remote panel or distribution panel) then I suspect that he would have realized what he was saying.

    Now, if you were to say that it was a sub-fed panel, then I would agree with you because that is stating that the panel is sub-fed off a breaker in an upstream panel, and that upstream panel 'could be' a service equipment panel or even another sub-fed panel.

    When people start using a term other than sub panel, sub-panel, etc., then the understanding of the differences is easier. Besides, the term 'sub-panel' implies that there is a 'main-panel' someplace and, in fact, the remote panel (the sub-fed panel) may be the 'main panel', in fact, it may be *the only panel* as it could be sub-fed off the service equipment panel which only has a service disconnect.

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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Sometimes a drawing helps out making sense of terms and what actually is going on.
    Look at the link below and go to PAGEs 16 to 19.


    http://www.prospex.us/DOCS/ELECTRICA...OUNDING%20.pdf


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Here in San Diego we apparently have three types of panels. Electricians like to label the main and the subs. Homeowners label the third type.

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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    If I recall correctly, the code began referencing that in the late 1920's or early 1930's editions; however there was was much confusion, misunderstanding and misinterpreting of just what was being required even up into the 1960's.

    I remember heated discussions and debates over that in the late 1960's; by the early to mid 1970's that had been sorted out pretty much understood by most, if the not all, eelectrical contractors.

    Kind of like pool bonding versus grounding, which is still not understood by some electricians even today, 50 years or so after it first came into the code.
    Called out a similar situation recently, Client asked me if a fourth wire could be run with existing three wire cable, and a new isolated neutral bar added. I told him to review with Electrical Contractor. Any ideas, any way to upgrade these situations short of adding new 4 conductor cable??


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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by JOHN PAVAN View Post
    Called out a similar situation recently, Client asked me if a fourth wire could be run with existing three wire cable, and a new isolated neutral bar added. I told him to review with Electrical Contractor. Any ideas, any way to upgrade these situations short of adding new 4 conductor cable??
    The panel first needs to be listed for use as 'suitable for use as service equipment' and not 'suitable for use ONLY as service equipment'.

    If it is only listed for use as service equipment, then it needs to be replaced with a new panel.

    If it is listed for use as other-than-just-service-equipment, then adding the 4th conductor becomes a possibility, depending on how it is wired to start with. If it is wired with SE cable then the SE cable will need to be replaced.

    If wired with PVC raceway then a 4th conductor may not be able to be pulled in - if the conduit fill is not exceeded.

    If wired with metal raceway then that metal raceway may be able to serve as the 4th (grounding) conductor.

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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Many here no longer refer to remote distribution panels as sub-panels because sub-panels are only found in submarines.

    The real reason is because so many who do still use the term sub-panel get the isolation of neutral from ground mixed up and backwards.
    The NEC uses "remote panel", therefore that is the correct technical term, but in common usage, everyone and I mean every human in north america, understands what a sub-panel is and you'll spend a minute explaining that the correct term is "remote" and not "sub" whenever you call them a remote panel.

    One truth about language, when a term becomes common usage, it becomes the correct term. The second most important part of our job is to communicate what we find to our clients. We constantly find ourselves correcting clients who don't know what the name of something is, but imo, this is one of the exceptions to that rule. The correct name, "remote panel" is the obscure term. I have never, not once, heard an electrician call it a "remote panel". I got tired of explaining what a remote panel is a few years ago. I returned to calling them sub-panels. There's no confusion or misunderstanding. I've had a few agents call several days after an inspection and ask me to explain.....again.......the difference between a sub-panel and a remote panel. I'd just as soon not revisit those conversations for such trivial things.

    So, Jerry and the rest of you are completely correct, except that they aren't called sub-panels because they are in submarines (but that's a great line). Rather because they are subordinate to the main service panelboard. Wait, let's all call them the "subordinate panel." I have found the compromise term.

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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    The NEC uses "remote panel", therefore that is the correct technical term, but in common usage, everyone and I mean every human in north america, understands what a sub-panel is
    If only that were true ... then there would not have been any reason for me to start making a point of the differentiation.

    In fact, as has been shown here over the years, and even very recently in this thread ... your statement of "everyone and I mean every human in north america, understands what a sub-panel" is absolutely false.

    I wish your statement was true, however, it simply is not, and thus the reason for why I point that out about "service equipment panels" and panels which are other-than-service-equipment.

    Just because *you* understand what it means, and because many understand it, does not mean that "everyone and I mean every human in north america, understands what a sub-panel" - if only that were true ...

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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    If only that were true ... then there would not have been any reason for me to start making a point of the differentiation.

    In fact, as has been shown here over the years, and even very recently in this thread ... your statement of "everyone and I mean every human in north america, understands what a sub-panel" is absolutely false.

    I wish your statement was true, however, it simply is not, and thus the reason for why I point that out about "service equipment panels" and panels which are other-than-service-equipment.

    Just because *you* understand what it means, and because many understand it, does not mean that "everyone and I mean every human in north america, understands what a sub-panel" - if only that were true ...
    Ok, I'm sure you're correct that somebody somewhere doesn't recognize the term sub panel, but then they probably won't recognize remote panel either. I haven't mentioned this to every person in north america, there's an old lady up the street that I haven't brought it up with, but I will still contend that most folks recognize the term sub panel.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Ok, I'm sure you're correct that somebody somewhere doesn't recognize the term sub panel, but then they probably won't recognize remote panel either. I haven't mentioned this to every person in north america, there's an old lady up the street that I haven't brought it up with, but I will still contend that most folks recognize the term sub panel.
    I'm with you on this one.

    Every person whom I've ever talked electricity with during the course of my 45+ real estate career, and that includes both electricians and laypersons, always knew what a subpanel was. Even many children understand what a subpanel is, many being able to tell me that "the main panel is on the front corner of the house and the subpanel is in the garage."...................lol

    I've used subpanels and main panels regularly in my home inspections reports since the day I started my company in October 2001 and never had anyone be confused by it.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Is this enclosed panelboard supplied by the "main power feeder" for the residence/dwelling unit itself?

    The labeling at the inside right top side wall of the cabinet should provide information, if not a direct date code - by reference to NEC article format, as to the age/date of manufacture of the panel and application requirements including a wiring diagram. Review of the vintage UL white book applicable should provide further as would the at-the-time(of mfg) edition of the NEC and the standard(s) for safety. The feeder conductors appear to be a replacement pull as well. Unknown regarding restrictions to the L, the Girder to the R limits/defines R side working space & clearance.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-20-2013 at 08:25 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Remote panel - Grounding-Bonding

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Is this enclosed panelboard supplied by the "main power feeder" for the residence/dwelling unit itself?
    Or is this enclosed panelboard supplied by the "service conductors" for the residence/dwelling unit service equipment?

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