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Thread: AKA sub-panel

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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    One more example of why the term 'sub panel' should be forgotten and one should think in terms of:
    - service equipment panel (where the main service disconnect is)
    - other than service equipment panel (remote panel, electrical panel, branch circuit panel, etc)

    There is another issue you did not mention in your post, maybe you addressed it, maybe not, and it is directly related to the difference between the two above panels.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    One more example of why the term 'sub panel' should be forgotten and one should think in terms of:
    - service equipment panel (where the main service disconnect is)
    - other than service equipment panel (remote panel, electrical panel, branch circuit panel, etc)

    There is another issue you did not mention in your post, maybe you addressed it, maybe not, and it is directly related to the difference between the two above panels.
    Panel is a downstream service panel (remote panel) I will work on that


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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Panel is a downstream service panel (remote panel) I will work on that
    Sam,

    What do you see in that remote panel (other than service equipment panel) which you should NOT see?

    (Hint: Where is the neutral bonded to ground? Where is the neutral NOT bonded to ground?).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Sub-panel wired with 2 hots and a neutral (no ground) ...
    Sam,

    See that metal lock nut behind that plastic bushing? There might be - might be ... can't tell from the photo - a metal conduit feeding that remote panel.

    That metal conduit is likely being used as the equipment grounding conductor path back to the service equipment.

    You see the other issue I referred to?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Sam,

    What do you see in that remote panel (other than service equipment panel) which you should NOT see?

    (Hint: Where is the neutral bonded to ground? Where is the neutral NOT bonded to ground?).
    Neutral can engergize panel because its bonded to enclosure with jumper


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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Sam,

    See that metal lock nut behind that plastic bushing? There might be - might be ... can't tell from the photo - a metal conduit feeding that remote panel.

    That metal conduit is likely being used as the equipment grounding conductor path back to the service equipment.

    You see the other issue I referred to?
    Yes I do, OK I understand. do you still need a separate ground bar?


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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Neutral can engergize panel because its bonded to enclosure with jumper
    The neutral does not energize the panel, however, with two things: 1) that bonding jumper; 2) those grounds connected to the neutral terminal bar ... will allow the neutral current an alternate path back to the service equipment, meaning that some portion of the neutral current will be on the metal conduit (presuming that it is metal), on the metal panel enclosure at this end, and on the metal panel enclosure at the other end (all the way back to the service equipment).

    The two things to remember are:

    - Where is the neutral bonded to ground? At the service equipment.

    - Where is the neutral NOT bonded to ground? Anywhere AFTER the service equipment.

    Which is why thinking "service equipment" and "other than service equipment" (electrical panel, remote panel, etc) is so helpful ... when you think 'this is not the service equipment panel' that neutral/ground connection jumps right out at you because your brain knows that the neutral is is not supposed to be bonded/connected to ground there.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Yes I do, OK I understand. do you still need a separate ground bar?
    That's the only way to isolate the neutral from the grounds at that remote panel.

    Remove that bonding strap and relocate those grounds to a ground terminal bar mounted to the back of the panel enclosure.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The neutral does not energize the panel, however, with two things: 1) that bonding jumper; 2) those grounds connected to the neutral terminal bar ... will allow the neutral current an alternate path back to the service equipment, meaning that some portion of the neutral current will be on the metal conduit (presuming that it is metal), on the metal panel enclosure at this end, and on the metal panel enclosure at the other end (all the way back to the service equipment).

    The two things to remember are:

    - Where is the neutral bonded to ground? At the service equipment.

    - Where is the neutral NOT bonded to ground? Anywhere AFTER the service equipment.

    Which is why thinking "service equipment" and "other than service equipment" (electrical panel, remote panel, etc) is so helpful ... when you think 'this is not the service equipment panel' that neutral/ground connection jumps right out at you because your brain knows that the neutral is is not supposed to be bonded/connected to ground there.

    - - - Updated - - -



    That's the only way to isolate the neutral from the grounds at that remote panel.

    Remove that bonding strap and relocate those grounds to a ground terminal bar mounted to the back of the panel enclosure.
    Simple enough (thanks for your time)


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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    See those holes in the back of the enclosure below the breaker?

    I can't tell in the photo, but if one or more of them are 'bumped inward' (the opposite of the 'bumped outward' mounting feet and holes), then those would be designed and intended for mounting a separate grounding terminal bar.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    See those holes in the back of the enclosure below the breaker?

    I can't tell in the photo, but if one or more of them are 'bumped inward' (the opposite of the 'bumped outward' mounting feet and holes), then those would be designed and intended for mounting a separate grounding terminal bar.
    Yes I do, good to know


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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Great string.
    Much thanks.

    On another note.
    Ray pouting instead of posting?

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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    On another note.
    Ray pouting instead of posting?
    If Raymond has been reinstated and is not posting, there is no way I would ever consider it "pouting" ... I would consider it potentially "very good judgement".

    It was Brian's choice to ban Raymond.

    Likewise ...

    It is Raymond's choice as to whether or not Inspectionnews is worth his time to share his information and knowledge.

    Apparently some here complained and did not want it, if Raymond does not post here, it is their loss and the loss of Inspectionnews, it is not Raymond's loss.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    The NEC does not recognize the term "sub panel." We're discussing a panelboard on the load side of the main panel. Let's learn "line" and "load."

    - - - Updated - - -

    The NEC does not recognize the term "sub panel." We're discussing a panelboard on the load side of the main panel. Let's learn "line" and "load."


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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin O'Hornett View Post
    The NEC does not recognize the term "sub panel." We're discussing a panelboard on the load side of the main panel. Let's learn "line" and "load."
    Kevin,

    I'm trying to follow your logic, but ...

    - "The NEC does not recognize the term "sub panel." "
    - - Agreed.

    - "We're discussing a panelboard on the load side of the main panel."
    - - Huh? The NEC does not recognize the term "main panel" either.

    There are "panelboard", some are listed for use as "service equipment", others are not listed for use as "service equipment". The NEC recognizes "service equipment" panelboard and (basically) 'other than service equipment' panelboards.

    Thus, there is no real use for the term "main panel" either.

    There is "service equipment" and 'any panelboard after (on the load side of) the service equipment'.

    Every panel has a line and load side, the line side of service equipment is the service entrance, the load side is (basically) everything else; the line side of (basically) everything else is feeders, the load side being (again, basically) the breakers or fuses which go to branch circuits.

    If you want to address it in the simplest way, then there is "service equipment" and 'not service equipment' (which is the simplest way, and this can be 'simplified' by using a term such as 'remote panel', or just plain old 'electrical panel', to described a panelboard which is 'not service equipment').

    No need to complicate things by dismissing one non code term and then injecting another non code term ... "illogical" (as Spock would say).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    I find the majority of licensed professional electricians in my area use the term (Sub Panel) when referring to downstream or remote panels. Most clients and Realtors have heard the term "sub panel" and typically understand what I am referring to.

    I sometimes use the term "remote electrical panel" however "sub panel" is more widely used and recognized. Because of this, I will continue to use the term (sub panel). As inspectors it's important to use correct building terminology, however it's just as important to use terminology that's commonly used and recognized.


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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    I find the majority of licensed professional electricians in my area use the term (Sub Panel) when referring to downstream or remote panels. Most clients and Realtors have heard the term "sub panel" and typically understand what I am referring to.

    I sometimes use the term "remote electrical panel" however "sub panel" is more widely used and recognized. Because of this, I will continue to use the term (sub panel). As inspectors it's important to use correct building terminology, however it's just as important to use terminology that's commonly used and recognized.
    If you were to use the term "electrical panel", I am confident that EVERYONE would know what you are referring to.

    Home inspector to client: 'This is the service equipment, this is your main disconnect which shuts power off to the house.' (I suspect everyone would understand that.)

    Home inspector to client: 'This is the electrical panel where the breakers are.' (I suspect everyone would understand that too.)

    Client responding to home inspector: 'Okay.' (While client is nodding their head up and down in agreement with everything the home inspector says - as though they really understand everything the home inspector is saying.)

    Do you still call roof underlayment "tar paper"? No? Why not, all your clients would likely know that too.

    It truly boggles the mind with all the excuses and 'justifications' that home inspectors give just to continue using the term 'sub panel' ...

    ... if everyone else was jumping off a cliff and everyone you talked to seemed to understand what it meant - would you follow and jump off the same cliff? (Yeah, I know, probably sounds like something everyone's mother told them when they were kids ... apparently it sank in to some and did not sink in to others.)





    It's just plain ...

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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    There are still people that call refrigerators an ice box.


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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    There are still people that call refrigerators an ice box.
    Are they home inspectors calling their clients refrigerator an ice box?

    If so, they probably also call building paper/felt "tar paper", and if that is the part of the country they live in - where everyone uses iceboxes and wraps their houses in tar paper ... then so be it ... but that is still *no* excuse for a home inspector ... who should be a professional ... to call a refrigerator an ice box, or call building felt tar paper, or call electrical panels sub panels ...

    ... unless that is how you want this profession to be viewed - in which case maybe Billy Bob and Jimbo can git wid Johnny Joe an' 'nock back a brewsky or two.

    As I said before ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
    It truly boggles the mind with all the excuses and 'justifications' that home inspectors give just to continue using the term 'sub panel' ...


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    I find the majority of licensed professional electricians in my area use the term (Sub Panel) when referring to downstream or remote panels. Most clients and Realtors have heard the term "sub panel" and typically understand what I am referring to.

    I sometimes use the term "remote electrical panel" however "sub panel" is more widely used and recognized. Because of this, I will continue to use the term (sub panel). As inspectors it's important to use correct building terminology, however it's just as important to use terminology that's commonly used and recognized.
    I have had agents, buyers and electrical contractors refer to the "sub-panel" (panel, remote electrical panel, branch circuit distribution panel, whatever) as the "main panel". This is because it is where all of the branch circuits are located and this is where you go to reset a breaker. As far as I am concerned, it makes as much sense as referring to it as a "sub-panel".

    Probably 12-14 years ago, Jerry convinced me to use the terms "Service Equipment" and "Panel" (or more specifically "Laundry Area Panel", "Garage Panel", "Basement Panel", whatever) and I have yet to have anyone call me and ask for clarification.

    Jerry, my advice... Give up trying to change us. Most of us are just too bullheaded.

    Just my two cents.

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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Probably 12-14 years ago, Jerry convinced me to use the terms "Service Equipment" and "Panel" (or more specifically "Laundry Area Panel", "Garage Panel", "Basement Panel", whatever) and I have yet to have anyone call me and ask for clarification.

    Jerry, my advice... Give up trying to change us. Most of us are just too bullheaded.
    Your statement above is why I will only give up when there is too much dirt covering me to reach my keyboard ... you and the others who understand it are worth the effort ... the others who do not understand it ... well, my wife, family, and friends say I am stubborn - I say that I am persistent.

    LOOK! The horse MOVED! I saw it move! It's not dead ... yet!

    (The difference between stubborn and persistent? The giver thinks of it as being persistent, the receiver thinks of it as being stubborn. )

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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Jerry....chill. I wasn't talking about home inspectors. I was just making a comment that a whole lot of people do not use the proper name for something, and yet, others under stand them.

    I understand what you are saying, and I agree we, as home inspectors, should always be professional, and project a professional image. But I have many clients call panels fuse boxes, any HVAC system a heat pump, and refer to the attic access as a crawlspace. Don't even get me started on the HOT water heater, that not only a lot of people refer to, but lots of home inspectors as well.

    As a side note, I try to be a professional and polite when I'm working. I may be wrong, but I do not correct my clients when they call out fuse boxes, hot water heaters, or God forbid, an ice box. I think that would be rude.

    While I do appreciate your one-man crusade to educate the unwashed regarding the proper terminology, I don't think its going to change the way that most inspectors (and their clients) identify said parts. This thread was excellent, and you answered Sam's original questions with a great detailed explanation. But, like Gunnar and Trent indicated, you have a large hill to climb.

    I think that if Lisa/Nick started a free online class, with a bright and shiny certification award for Electrical Terminology, then possibly the entire industry would start using the correct terminology overnight. Or not.


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    Default Re: AKA sub-panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I think that if Lisa/Nick started a free online class, with a bright and shiny certification award for Electrical Terminology, then possibly the entire industry would start using the correct terminology overnight. Or not.
    Especially if they gave away a new title with that certificate ... Super Duper Master Electrical Inspector of the Highest Order ... that would be a grand slam home run as all the SDMEIHO inspectors would use the list of approved electrical terms, included with their certificate, and it would be a done deal.

    Jack, I think that is a wonderful idea for Nicky to do: they could create their own alphabet soup list of credentials ... oh, wait ... they are already doing that ... Dang!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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