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  1. #1
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    Default main panel/sub panel

    I know this is not worth asking, but,,,,there is a main disconect at the exterior of the home as pictured, so that makes the other panels, one in the basement and one in the attic, sub panels. So that means that grounds and neutrals should be seperated, with the neutral bar isolated from the ground/panel enclosure. The sub in the basement is about 40 feet from the main at the exterior.

    I included the 3rd photo for your viewing pleasure.

    Thanks, Russ M

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    The disconnect next to the meter is the service and the neutrals and ground can be bonded. All other panels require separation between neutrals and grounds.

    Those cables are too small to be run along the bottom of the joists. They should be through drilled holes or on running boards.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Without putting on my snorkel and fins to dive down to the sub to address those sub panels ... that must be why they used so much goop (sealant?) at the top of the meter can?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Not sure what you mean Jerry. I don't know why they used so much sealant.

    I assume they installed the main disconect because the panel in the basement is at the other end of the home. At least they got that right.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Melville View Post
    I don't know why they used so much sealant.
    Looks like they used the wrong fittings, which may be why they had to use so much sealant.

    I assume they installed the main disconect because the panel in the basement is at the other end of the home. At least they got that right.
    The service equipment needs to be as close as possible at the point of entrance into the structure of the service entrance conductors, having the service equipment on the outside puts the service disconnect before entering the structure. If the service equipment was inside the structure, it would need to basically be on the other side of that wall ... not down at the other end of the house.

    My comment on the sub, snorkel, flippers is, because unless you are in the top thing shown in my avatar and looking at the panel shown at the bottom of my avatar ... you are not looking at a "sub panel".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Looks like they used the wrong fittings, which may be why they had to use so much sealant.



    The service equipment needs to be as close as possible at the point of entrance into the structure of the service entrance conductors, having the service equipment on the outside puts the service disconnect before entering the structure. If the service equipment was inside the structure, it would need to basically be on the other side of that wall ... not down at the other end of the house.

    My comment on the sub, snorkel, flippers is, because unless you are in the top thing shown in my avatar and looking at the panel shown at the bottom of my avatar ... you are not looking at a "sub panel".
    Sorry, what does your cryptic last sentence mean?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Richter View Post
    Sorry, what does your cryptic last sentence mean?
    It means to look at the upper left of my posts, you will see a "sub" and a "panel", that is a "sub panel".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    I am glad i am not the only one that didn't have a clue.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Melville View Post
    I am glad i am not the only one that didn't have a clue.
    Jerry has made a career of helping people understand there is no reference to a Sub Panel in the NEC. Only Service panels and Distribution panels. As such, Sub panels are only found in submarines.

    Most of the regular posters have come round to using the most correct terms possible and trying to use the terminology in the various code books. Sub panel is a slang term.

    The main disconnect is located in the service panel. All subsequent panels are distribution panels, not subpanels. Once you learn this distinction, it makes it much easier to determine if the grounding system is proper.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Most of the regular posters have come round to using the most correct terms possible and trying to use the terminology in the various code books. Sub panel is a slang term. .
    Actually, "sub panels" are remote panels, but I've never, not once, heard an electrician call them a remote panel.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Actually, "sub panels" are remote panels, but I've never, not once, heard an electrician call them a remote panel.
    Actually, there are two types of panels:
    1) Service equipment panels where the service disconnect is.
    2) ALL OTHER PANELS downstream of the service equipment panel, i.e., 'other-than-service-equipment-panels are - depending on which you prefer: "panel"; "electrical panel"; "remote panel" (even if right next to the service equipment panel); 'downstream panel" (downstream from the service equipment panel); "sub-fed panel" (a downstream panel is sub fed from a breaker in the service equipment panel); and possibly even referred to by other names - even "main panel" as the service equipment panel is frequently not "the" "main" panel with all the breakers in it - many times the service equipment panel only has the service disconnect in it, and many times it will have the service disconnect and a few other breakers, while "the *main* panel with all the breakers" is somewhere else.

    The code does not address "main panel" or "sub panel", the code addresses "service equipment" panels and other panels (other-than-service-equipment-panels).

    Where is the neutral bonded to ground?
    - At the main panel? No ... and define "main panel" - leaves a lot open to get hung up on.
    - At a sub panel? No ... and define "sub panel" - leaves a lot open to get hung up on.
    - At a panel? No ... and define "panel" - leaves a lot open to get hung up on.
    - At the service equipment? Yes ... at the service equipment panel ... leaves nothing open for discussion to get hung up on ... it IS the "service equipment" panel and it IS that because that is the panel where the "service disconnect" is located.

    So I have tried to keep it simple over the years - if you are not in a sub (submarine) ... you are not looking at a sub panel.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Jerry has made a career of helping people understand there is no reference to a Sub Panel in the NEC. Only Service panels and Distribution panels. As such, Sub panels are only found in submarines.

    Most of the regular posters have come round to using the most correct terms possible and trying to use the terminology in the various code books. Sub panel is a slang term.

    The main disconnect is located in the service panel. All subsequent panels are distribution panels, not subpanels. Once you learn this distinction, it makes it much easier to determine if the grounding system is proper.

    So if I follow this correctly does that mean all these "Sub Contractors" are actually working on secret submarines all over the country - Must be a conspiracy of special subs that travel below the soil or maybe secret under ground rivers - I think I will take my medication now anyone seen Muldner and Scully


  13. #13
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Jerry has made a career of helping people understand there is no reference to a Sub Panel in the NEC. Only Service panels and Distribution panels. As such, Sub panels are only found in submarines.

    Most of the regular posters have come round to using the most correct terms possible and trying to use the terminology in the various code books. Sub panel is a slang term.

    The main disconnect is located in the service panel. All subsequent panels are distribution panels, not subpanels. Once you learn this distinction, it makes it much easier to determine if the grounding system is proper.
    The "code" also does not mention wire nuts, duplex receptacles, ground rods, and many other common terms in the trade. To use the terminology of "main panel" or "sub panel" is perfectly O.K. in the real world because it is more important to communicate effectively than to be technically correct in most cases.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Twitty View Post
    To use the terminology of "main panel" or "sub panel" is perfectly O.K. in the real world because it is more important to communicate effectively than to be technically correct in most cases.
    Using those terms with home owners, your clients, is (from my experience and that of many other inspectors I have talked with) no clearer, and is even less clearer, than using the terms "service equipment" and "electrical panel".

    As soon as you have to say 'you know, where the breakers/fuses are' then you have confirmed that "main panel" and "sub panel" are meaningless to them.

    Okay so ...

    - Define a "main panel".

    - Define a "sub panel".

    Let's see what your definitions are.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    I've always used the term feeder panel. I thought that was code terminology. Am I wrong?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    I've always used the term feeder panel. I thought that was code terminology. Am I wrong?
    100-1 contains a definition for "panelboard".

    550.2 contains a definition for "distribution panelboard:
    - Distribution Panelboard. See definition of panelboard in Article 100.

    - Article 408
    - - Switchboards and Panelboards
    - - - 408.3 Support and Arrangement of Busbars and Conductors.
    - - - - (C) Used as Service Equipment.

    Back to Article 100, Defintions:
    - Panelboard. A single panel or group of panel units designed for assembly in the form of a single panel, including buses and automatic overcurrent devices, and equipped with or without switches for control of light, heat, or power circuits; designed to be placed in a cabinet or cutout box placed in or against a wall, partition, or other support; and accessible only from the front.

    Thus, there are panelboards and panelboards used as service equipment ('service equipment panels').

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

  17. #17
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    Default Re: main panel/sub panel

    New one from last week. That house has a "Pony Panel".

    It is loose in the wall, and the cover is on there with old wood screws, yippyay yippyay.

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