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  1. #1
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    Default 240 only distribution panel?

    This panel is wired for 240 only. It is in a pump house. The feeder is 10-2 with ground coming in at the bottom right. The white is used as a "hot", so there is no neutral. The pump is 240 with ground, so that is OK. There is a 120 circuit, but this is achieved by connecting the neutral to the ground. I say "close but no cigar" even though the lights and outlets "work". Correct? If so, is it just "not right" or is it "dangerous wrong"? When they turn on the lights, did they just potentially energize the pump body, panel and any other grounded objects in the pump house?
    240 only.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: 240 only distribution panel?

    The neutral current is now imposed on the grounding conductor and creating a potential shock hazard.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 240 only distribution panel?

    Jim, I'm not familiar with that type of 230/240 v. service equipment.
    I somewhat understand what the control box achieves but have never encountered this service equipment in a swimming pool setup before.
    No main disconnect?
    Wire Gauge on the main lug look suspect as well.
    Any link would be appreciated.

    Observation: Neutral, or what appears to be a neutral conductor on the panel ground terminal.
    This can/will carry any 230/240 current on any grounding conductors.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: 240 only distribution panel?

    Should we presume that the feeder coming up from the bottom comes into the pump house from outside or underground?

    NM cable is not permitted to be installed outside or underground ... not even in conduit.

    If used only as a 240 volt circuit, the white needs to be permanently reidentified to red or some other suitable color for a 'hot' (ungrounded) conductor.

    As there is a 120 volt circuit taken off the feeder, the feeder needs to be a four-sire feeder with two 'hots', one 'neutral', and one 'grounding' conductors ... hopefully the pump house is not too far from its supply - otherwise it could be quite a bit of work to replace that feeder.

    The terminals may also not be rated for a #10 wire, they may be rated for larger size conductors (the label would state that information, I suspect that the #10 might be okay, but it needs to be checked to the label).

    I see an unused green grounding screw ... an indication that the grounding conductor has not been bonded to the metal enclosure.

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

  5. #5
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    Brookings, OR
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    Default Re: 240 only distribution panel?

    Thank you for the answers. Another learning day. If I ever stop learning, I had better stop inspecting.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: 240 only distribution panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Should we presume that the feeder coming up from the bottom comes into the pump house from outside or underground?

    NM cable is not permitted to be installed outside or underground ... not even in conduit.

    If used only as a 240 volt circuit, the white needs to be permanently reidentified to red or some other suitable color for a 'hot' (ungrounded) conductor.

    As there is a 120 volt circuit taken off the feeder, the feeder needs to be a four-sire feeder with two 'hots', one 'neutral', and one 'grounding' conductors ... hopefully the pump house is not too far from its supply - otherwise it could be quite a bit of work to replace that feeder.

    The terminals may also not be rated for a #10 wire, they may be rated for larger size conductors (the label would state that information, I suspect that the #10 might be okay, but it needs to be checked to the label).

    I see an unused green grounding screw ... an indication that the grounding conductor has not been bonded to the metal enclosure.
    1: The lack of an SEC is/was perplexing.
    2: The lonely grounding screw another.

    Is this an indoor pool? Then NM cable would be a non issue.
    Question. Why would the electrical specialist install a controller box before the service equipment panel?

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: 240 only distribution panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    As there is a 120 volt circuit taken off the feeder, the feeder needs to be a four-sire feeder with two 'hots', one 'neutral', and one 'grounding' conductors ... hopefully the pump house is not too far from its supply - otherwise it could be quite a bit of work to replace that feeder.

    I suggest a step-down transformer could be installed in the pump house to power a couple of lights from a 240 volt breaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    The panel is in a pump house near a well head, rural property.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 240 only distribution panel?

    [QUOTE=John Kogel;266742]I suggest a step-down transformer could be installed in the pump house to power a couple of lights from a 240 volt breaker.

    The panel is in a pump house near a well head, rural property.[/QUOTE

    John, thanks.
    I thought the term pump house was for pool/spa equipment.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    1

    Default Re: 240 only distribution panel?

    My opinion only, based on Ontario, Can Code:

    As described and as shown in the pic, a dangerous condition has been created by using the "Bonding Conductor" as a Neutral. For safety, the "120 Volt" circuit should be disconnected and another solution investigated.

    I agree with other posts re conductor colour and cable installed in conduit.

    the supply cable bond conductor should terminate at the green screw and all other bonding conductors should also be terminated there (likely need to add a lug or bonding bar to do this, although wire-nutting all together with a bond also to the green screw would be legal here - just sloppy)

    as there is no neutral from the supply, there should be no terminations on the panel neutral bar

    a transformer would be a great idea to generate the 120 supply needed however, if it is not supplying a single use dedicated load, another service panel would be needed and one would need to create a grounded neutral reference (ie. Ground rods) at the point of neutral creation - one cannot use the existing circuit's bond as a ground reference.

    Best idea would be resupplying the panel with a 4 wire cable, terminating on the appropriate panel lugs. Be sure to then remove the silver coloured strap between the neutral bar and the green screw as this would then be a "Sub-Panel" to the main service.

    Pat


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