Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Raleigh
    Posts
    117

    Default When were grounds and neutrals required to be separate in subpanels?

    What year did the requirement kick in that required grounds and neutrals to be separate in a subpanel located within the home? This home was built in 1977 and had a main panel, in what I believe was a garage or carport that has been converted to living space, and a subpanel in the laundry room.

    I stated this as a hazard in the report and home owner's "electrician" said this was not required until 1999 (incorrect). I usually see this separation back to the 1960's unless subpanel was added after construction (and typically has other problems, indicating homeowner installation).

    Similar Threads:
    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    27,393

    Default Re: When were grounds and neutrals required to be separate in subpanels?

    I reached into my old NEC code books shelf and pulled out a 1940 NEC (for no particular reason other than it was easy to pull out from between the other NEC code books).

    The 1940 NEC states:
    - Article 250-Grounding
    - - Location of Grounding Connections
    - - - 2521 Current Over Grounding Conductors
    - - - - The grounding of wiring systems, circuits, equipment, arresters, cable armor, conduit, or other metal raceways as a protective measure shall be so arranged that there will be no objectionable passage of current over the grounding conductors. Temporary current set up under accidental conditions, while the grounding conductors are performing their intended protective functions, are not to be considered as objectionable. If an objectionable flow of current occurs over a grounding conductor, due to the use of multiple grounds, (1) one or more of those grounds shall be abandoned, or (2) their location shall be changed, or (3) the continuity of the grounding conductors between the grounding connections shall be suitable interrupted, or (4) other means satisfactory to the authority enforcing this code shall be taken to limit the current.

    In plainer (is "plainer" a word?) English: The wiring system (from the service equipment in) shall have the grounding conductors grounded to the grounded conductor at the service equipment and not down stream from there, because grounding the grounded conductor at another location creates a parallel path for grounding current from the grounded conductor to take (on the equipment grounding conductors) and that is deemed to be "objectionable current" ... which is not allowed.

    When "objectionable current" happens/is found, steps shall be taken to eliminate that parallel path (disconnect/unbond the grounded conductor from the other grounding conductor path).

    I didn't check back to my older NEC codes, but that "1940" puts an easy to remember "1940 and later" date ... with the caveat that connecting the grounded conductor to ground downstream from the service equipment was likely prohibited even before 1940 (as can be seen, the wording used was different, but that is what the wording says).

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 07-06-2020 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Noticed a "will will be", is now "will be" as it should have been
    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,909

    Default Re: When were grounds and neutrals required to be separate in subpanels?

    Uh Oh!

    Jerry... Are you feeling okay? No "Main Panel" lecture?

    Or, are you just tired of telling every single home inspector over and over again that there is no such thing as a "main panel"?

    There's an easier way. Just post a link to one of many informative comments.

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...ght=main+panel

    FYI: At Jerry's recommendation, I started using the term "service equipment" in my reports back in 2004. As of today, I have received no calls asking what the service equipment is. The nice thing is that a few local electricians have told me that they appreciate that I use the correct term because it makes their job just a teeny bit easier, plus they have confidence that I know something about electrical systems and am not just another shoe salesman who decided to become a home inspector.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    27,393

    Default Re: When were grounds and neutrals required to be separate in subpanels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Uh Oh!

    Jerry... Are you feeling okay? No "Main Panel" lecture?

    Or, are you just tired of telling every single home inspector over and over again that there is no such thing as a "main panel"?
    Gunnar,

    I read the question, saw the use of subpanel, looked and saw this was not a submarine board, and closed my browser, not answering the question.

    Then I couldn't stop myself later from logging back in, holding my nose, and pulling out an old code book ... the smell of which covered the stink of that word, allowing me to post the answer.

    But I don't know how much longer that will work ... so many seem to "not get it" about the advantages of sounding like they know what they are talking about.

    He's been a member since 2009, so he should know better.

    Too many try to 'justify' their use of incorrect terms.

    Maybe I'm just getting too tired of dealing with it?

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,909

    Default Re: When were grounds and neutrals required to be separate in subpanels?

    In all fairness, I don't use the term "luminairs" for a light fixture, "lamp" for a bulb, "fenestration' for windows, and probably other items in a report.

    I even will occasionally make up a term. The rectangular sheet metal lid on top of a wood-framed chimney chase, for instance. I have heard it referred to as a chimney chase cap, chimney chase cover, pan flashing and chimney chase top. Frankly, I don't know what it's called.

    In paleontology, the spiky tail of a stegosaur is a "Thagomizer". Prior to being identified by Gary Larson in a Far Side comic, it had no name, but is now used by paleontologists as the semi-official term. I wish I had that kind of influence. It would be nice to be able to name something and have it recognized as a term.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    27,393

    Default Re: When were grounds and neutrals required to be separate in subpanels?

    In all fairness ... no one talks about the screw shell silver or light screw versus the brass or dark screw connection and the connection of the identified conductor (typically white, ribbed, or other means of identification) either.

    We talk about service equipment and electrical panels and the grounding of the grounded conductor.

    Light bulb or lamp ... or is a lamp setting on a table or a floor ... no those are now "luminaires" ... and those are not what we talk about.

    Talking about lamps (light bulbs) do you know (or even care) what the designation of shape and size indicate?

    I worked with those for about 5 years as part of One of the things I did ... but there has been no need for such here.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 07-07-2020 at 05:23 AM.
    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    27,393

    Default Re: When were grounds and neutrals required to be separate in subpanels?

    Gunnar,

    I thought about adding a smiley face to my first reply to you, however ...

    ... as my tongue was in my cheek, as they say ... but it was so firmly planted in my cheek that I didn't feel like putting a smiley face there ... a half-hearted smiley face would have been okay if we had one.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,909

    Default Re: When were grounds and neutrals required to be separate in subpanels?

    Jerry,

    I believe I understand the sentiment. I have been trying in my little corner of CA to do the same thing. No luck here either.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: When were grounds and neutrals required to be separate in subpanels?

    Sorry to the guy who asked a good question. I'm continuing the hijacking of the thread.

    I've belonged to the forum here for a couple three years, and have learned so much from you guys.

    I now can picture how electricity flows through a well-constructed network. I chuckle at the "pros" bemoaning misuse of terms. Irregardless is now a word according to Merriams. I get it.

    I built a 200 amp service drop to my 1879, balloon framed house. I had to find someone with an electricians license for the city to approve my work. In Wyoming, DIY work on the service drop isn't allowed. The owner of a company he started when he was in his early 20s - he's now in his 70s, checked in with the city inspector to see if I could do work to code. I paid him $75 and he let me loose. He spent his time with me telling me horror stories from bad work and vaping - he had emphysema.

    I installed the mast and wiring, service equipment/panel and have two downstream "distribution panels." Terminology aside, what you guys taught me is that the service equipment grounds everything. I put in two eight food ground rods, eight feet apart and connected them to the one of the busses in the "main" breaker box - they have a bridging bar that's huge.

    There is no neutral or ground buss bars. They are the same in the service equipment/main panel/breaker box.

    My two distribution panels have separate neutral and ground buss bars.

    When the lineman came to make the switch between my old and new service equipment I asked him if I should connect the ground at one of the distribution/sub-panels, he said, and I quote, "The more grounding the better."

    I asked another question and he quickly said, "I'm not an electrician, I'm a lineman."

    Based on what I've learned from you all, I won't ask a lineman questions about anything having to do with equipment downstream of the service drop.

    One more hyjack step - I installed a on demand electric water heater that can draw 120 amps. It's stepped - three circuits that activate on demand. On my LED dimmable light circuits the lights dim when I turn on the hot water faucet. This doesn't happen on non-dimmable circuits. Normal?

    Jeffrey Olson
    Laramie WY


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •