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  1. #1
    Melvin Esh's Avatar
    Melvin Esh Guest

    Default Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    In a condominium inspection I did today there is a main electrical disconnect in the basement and an electric panel in the unit with the grounds and neutrals connected. Isn't the panel in the unit a subpanel?

    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Melvin Esh View Post
    In a condominium inspection I did today there is a main electrical disconnect in the basement and an electric panel in the unit with the grounds and neutrals connected. Isn't the panel in the unit a subpanel?
    Based on your description with a separate main disconnect in the basement, the panel inside the condo unit would be a subpanel and would need to wired as a subpanel with the grounds and neutral separated and not connected. Any pics?

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    A sub in the unit itself would be a normal installation while the service is in an electrical room with the meters.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  4. #4
    Mbrooke's Avatar
    Mbrooke Guest

    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    If, the main disconnect is else where, any panel after that automatically becomes a subpanel. The panel should be fed via 4 wires hot, hot, neutral and ground that being either metal conduit, a green wire, or a bare wire, or the 4th wire bare in SER cable. The neutral bar is left floating.

    Any pics to verify?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Melvin Esh View Post
    In a condominium inspection I did today there is a main electrical disconnect in the basement and an electric panel in the unit with the grounds and neutrals connected. Isn't the panel in the unit a subpanel?
    Melvin,

    Regardless if there is a disconnect in the condo unit's panel (no single 'main' disconnect is required in the condo unit's panel), the "service equipment and service disconnect" is elsewhere at the service equipment of the building, thus the neutral and grounds are bonded together at the service equipment, and the neutral is isolated from ground at all points after the service equipment (which is not even that condo unit main in the basement).

    It is extremely nice to have a 'panel main' at the unit's panel, just not required.

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

  6. #6
    Melvin Esh's Avatar
    Melvin Esh Guest

    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    Thanks for your feedback. Just needed confirmation, since it is a large condominium and other units are likely to have similiar wiring.
    I tried to attach a picture. Am new to this site.
    There are other issues as well as misuse of tandem breakers, double tap.


  7. #7
    Mbrooke's Avatar
    Mbrooke Guest

    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Melvin Esh View Post
    Thanks for your feedback. Just needed confirmation, since it is a large condominium and other units are likely to have similiar wiring.
    I tried to attach a picture. Am new to this site.
    There are other issues as well as misuse of tandem breakers, double tap.
    Welcome!

    You can either attach the pics via "upload photos" in the additional options box below the box you are typing in or you can create a free flickr/photo bucket account and link to that.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Melvin,

    Regardless if there is a disconnect in the condo unit's panel (no single 'main' disconnect is required in the condo unit's panel)....
    Wow! All that and no mention of Submarines ??! Ok, what have you done with the real Jerry ?

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Klampfer View Post
    Wow! All that and no mention of Submarines ??! Ok, what have you done with the real Jerry ?
    The submarine captain gives the command to load 1 & 2 and hold fire pending what is addressed ... When they ask about bonding neutral to ground and refer to main and subs ... the command is given to fire 1 & 2 and load 3 & 4 ...

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    Sub's cannot be bonded to ground. The rod through the hull causes leaks.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Main Panel or Subpanel in unit where main disconnect is in basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Sub's cannot be bonded to ground. The rod through the hull causes leaks.
    The connection could be exothermically welded to the hull ... but the GEC would have to be rather long to accommodate much movement of the sub - that tether ... er ... GEC would be a bit of a pain to deal with.

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

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