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  1. #1
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    Default Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Easy question but still learning. Scenario: Typical meter box on exterior with main panel just opposite on interior of garage connected via PVC conduit. Often I see a bare ground wire from the meter to the main panel and sometimes not. I'm assuming that the neutral is acting as the ground when no ground wire but why sometimes a ground wire and sometimes not. Thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    In my area most POCOs do not allow grounding conductors in the meter pan. If there is one, IMO it should be terminated to a grounding electrode, not in the panel.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Your question is about 'bonding' the breaker panel to the meter box. The 'grounding' is a different question. I can't answer the question, BTW.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Dpends.

    If only the meter is outside (no service disconnects), then the neutral serves as both the grounded neutral and the grounding conductor.

    If the meter and service disconnect(s) are outside, then a separate neutral and a separate grounding conductor are required.

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Dpends.

    If only the meter is outside (no service disconnects), then the neutral serves as both the grounded neutral and the grounding conductor.

    If the meter and service disconnect(s) are outside, then a separate neutral and a separate grounding conductor are required.
    Jerry, exactly what I was looking for, thank you very much.
    And yes; there was only the meter (no disconnect).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Richter View Post
    In my area most POCOs do not allow grounding conductors in the meter pan. If there is one, IMO it should be terminated to a grounding electrode, not in the panel.
    Brad, Jerry thanks again


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    [QUOTE=Jerry Peck;246154]Dpends.

    If only the meter is outside (no service disconnects), then the neutral serves as both the grounded neutral and the grounding conductor.

    If the meter and service disconnect(s) are outside, then a separate neutral and a separate grounding conductor are required Between the exterior service disconnect(s) and the interior panel(s).




  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    If the meter and service disconnect(s) are outside, then a separate neutral and a separate grounding conductor are required Between the exterior service disconnect(s) and the interior panel(s).
    Correct. I left it implied that was to an interior panel, I should have specified that is was to an interior panel.

    Thanks,

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    This link has a good description. Grounding and Bonding ? Part 1 of 3 | Code Basics content from Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine Many local AHJ's will not allow PVC pipe in the service, even though the NEC does.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Cook View Post
    Many local AHJ's will not allow PVC pipe in the service, even though the NEC does.
    Scott,

    What's your location?

    What is the reason AHJ don't allow for PVC in the service?

    I've seen rusted off - completely rusted off - rigid service risers ... I have never seen a rusted off PVC service riser.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Jerry,

    I should have clarified that to the pipe between the meter back and the load center must be steel. This is what the OP was referring to as far a bonding jumper is concerned.

    Underground laterals are almost always PVC, but the pipes above ground must be either steel or Sch 80 pvc if on the exterior of a building which is considered "subject to physical damage." Since the underground elbows are RMC to prevent melt-through on pulls, it only makes sense to come up out of the ground with the RMC. The inspectors will often require additional protection from riding mowers on many commercial jobs when RNC is used.

    We also were never allowed to use aluminum wiring in homes back when it was approved, and you will never see service entrance cable used on a service. We also have to bring the whole home up to the current NEC when replacing a service. Our codes are a lot stricter than the NEC in many sections. I don't make the rules, I just follow them.

    I'll bet I've seem more crushed PVC than you've seen rusted off Rigid Metal Conduit.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    For those of you who complain you have to take out permits for every little job, check out this paragraph, in its entirety from our city ordinances, as to what electrical work requires a permit:

    Electrical

    An Electrical Permit is required to do all electrical work except the replacement of lamps, the connection of portable appliances to suitable, permanently installed receptacles, or for the replacement of overcurrent protective devices which have become defective or inoperative.


    People around here consider themselves lucky that there was an exception for changing light bulbs.



    City of Springfield, MO: Building Permit Requirements

    Last edited by Scott Cook; 07-31-2014 at 02:24 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Scott, how can the entire home be brought up to the current code? This is simply not practical given the cost and or complexity of new circuits etc. That could make a 2k service change a 20k job and displace homeowners for weeks.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Scott ... your location is ...

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Scott, how can the entire home be brought up to the current code? This is simply not practical given the cost and or complexity of new circuits etc. That could make a 2k service change a 20k job and displace homeowners for weeks.
    Jim, It is not every single little thing that is upgraded as my statement appeared to mean, it is just many of the major code requirements that must be met. Most of the work is done by an experienced apprentice, and the journeyman only builds the service and visits the job in the morning and afternoon to help with any problems. We got out of residential work about 20 years ago, but even with inflation its not near 20K even in most two story homes. It may cost 6-7K for a 3 bedroom single story, but it depends on the age.

    Most existing circuits are reusable, and ungrounded circuits can be converted to GFCI protected. New circuits typically are washer, furnace, two kitchen counter circuits, outdoor receptacle. GFCI protection where ever required by code and AFCI's on bedrooms (not all circuits as, in the NEC). Also, interconnected battery backup smoke alarms in each bedroom and one per floor. They don't nitpick things like receptacle spacing or the fact that existing cloth romex is still in use. Knob and tube is the one thing that will really drive up the cost.

    A good apprentice can knock out most of the work in two weeks with the help of a journeyman. Why would you replace/upgrade to a new service and leave the rest of the electrical in serious safety violations? Because it's cheaper for the slumlords? I don't think the average Home Inspector would look the other way to save a Seller some money, and I suppose our city inspectors feel the same way.

    Repairing a service is a different story. You just have to bring the service up to the basic requirements. The rest of the house is not changed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Scott ... your location is ...
    As in the link I posted above, Springfield Mo.

    Last edited by Scott Cook; 07-31-2014 at 09:23 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    I can see the opposite happening. The HO doesn't have that kind of money so they live with an old or undersized service because they cannot afford to be disrupted, live with the mess or afford it.

    Simply because a service needs to be increased does not mean that other items are a serious safety hazard.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Cook View Post
    As in the link I posted above, Springfield Mo.
    But not elsewhere - add your location to your profile so it shows where you are and you will get responses which are more applicable as those responding know where you are.

    No need for us to go searching around to figure out where you are, simply post it in the Location so it will show on your posts. The default location simply asks for 'state', it is better to do it as 'city, state'.

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

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I can see the opposite happening. The HO doesn't have that kind of money so they live with an old or undersized service because they cannot afford to be disrupted, live with the mess or afford it.

    Simply because a service needs to be increased does not mean that other items are a serious safety hazard.
    Your argument has some merit, but I don't make the rules. It costs about the same amount to do a roofing tear-off and install architectural shingles ($7000) as to upgrade the electrical. Hundreds of people in the US die every year from electrocution and electrical fires, how many die from a roof leak? Just upgrading a service is a deceptive ploy to fool potential buyers into thinking the home's electrical system has been upgraded, when in fact, it amounts to putting a fresh coat of paint over rotted wood.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    But not elsewhere - add your location to your profile so it shows where you are and you will get responses which are more applicable as those responding know where you are.

    No need for us to go searching around to figure out where you are, simply post it in the Location so it will show on your posts. The default location simply asks for 'state', it is better to do it as 'city, state'.
    I can do that, but I don't see what the point is. Rules vary from state to state and even city to city. More so in a state that does not have statewide licensing. Unless you talk to our inspectors, you will not know the rules here, they do not put them online, nor do they have a written document containing what exceptions they have to the NEC. I have contacted the City Manager is the past, complaining about that very thing. No response was ever given.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Cook View Post
    I can do that, but I don't see what the point is. Rules vary from state to state and even city to city.
    The very reason to put your location.

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

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The very reason to put your location.
    I have made the necessary additions.

    As It Is Spoken, So Shall It Be


    p.s.
    When you get your database built for code variations throughout all Cities in the US, be sure and send me a copy.

    Last edited by Scott Cook; 08-01-2014 at 09:08 AM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Cook View Post
    I can do that, but I don't see what the point is. Rules vary from state to state and even city to city. More so in a state that does not have statewide licensing. Unless you talk to our inspectors, you will not know the rules here, they do not put them online, nor do they have a written document containing what exceptions they have to the NEC. I have contacted the City Manager is the past, complaining about that very thing. No response was ever given.
    IMO not having written documentation is absurd.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Certainly not a defensible position by not having any documentation when enforcing rules. How is one supposed to know what are the accepted rules? Also looks like the possibility of discrimination and or favoritism depending on which side you are on.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Cook View Post
    Unless you talk to our inspectors, you will not know the rules here, they do not put them online, nor do they have a written document containing what exceptions they have to the NEC. I have contacted the City Manager is the past, complaining about that very thing. No response was ever given.
    There is an easy way - look up the ordinance which adopted the NEC as the code ... no exceptions listed in that ordinance means no exceptions - unless there is a subsequent ordinance with amendments amending the NEC, the NEC stands as written and adopted.

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

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Exactly my position. The city inspectors can change the rules to favor certain contractors. Here are just two paragraphs from the four page letter I sent to the City Manager: You may not be aware, but the codes change on a three year cycle and it is up to the city, or AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction), to adopt the new code. Many times certain paragraphs are not adopted due to concerns over problems with the wording or implementing of the changes. Likewise, many jurisdictions add on more stringent rules or changes that they feel will improve the safety and design of the electrical work. This is a necessary thing and is not a problem unless the AHJ refuses to put these changes into writing. I, and other contractors, have lost bids and money on several occasions because of conflicting opinions of the rules by different employees in the Department. For example, one person in that department told me I didnít need $1800 worth of the new Arc Fault Circuit Breakers on a job, only to have someone else come along (after I gave the customer a bid)and told me I will be required to use them. Can I argue with them? No, none of these variations of the rules have ever been put in writing.

    There was only one time in my whole lifetime of dealing with this department when the rules were put in writing and that was when Pamela Buck was down there. Everyone was just amazed that someone in Building Development actually tried to make the rules visible. To this day I still have every document she sent my company explaining what the city required outside of the rules spelled out in the NEC. It was like they finally had hired an honest person to run things. She didnít last long, I donít think honesty works well with those people. A good lawsuit would fix this problem, but it shouldnít have to come to that.
    If the city has requirements that are different from the National Electrical Code, why arenít they in writing where everyone can see them?
    I'll be unsubscribing from this post now, as I will be out of town for a while. I hope the OP isn't too upset with my digression from his original question. I also hope the link I posted in my initial reply helped answer his inquiry.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Cook View Post
    Exactly my position. The city inspectors can change the rules to favor certain contractors. Here are just two paragraphs from the four page letter I sent to the City Manager: You may not be aware, but the codes change on a three year cycle and it is up to the city, or AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction), to adopt the new code.
    .
    .
    I'll be unsubscribing from this post now, as I will be out of town for a while. I hope the OP isn't too upset with my digression from his original question. I also hope the link I posted in my initial reply helped answer his inquiry.
    Except that the city does not have to adopt the new code, the city may adopt the new code, until it does adopt the new code ... the previous code is still in effect - regardless of how out of date it is.

    He is unsubscribing now that he has said what he wanted to say but no longer wants to hear what anyone else says - should have suspected as much.

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

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Ground wire from meter can to main panel box

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    He is unsubscribing now that he has said what he wanted to say but no longer wants to hear what anyone else says - should have suspected as much.
    Someone that knows everything learns nothing.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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