Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Jerome W. Young's Avatar
    Jerome W. Young Guest

    Default condo - grounds / neutrals

    I hate to beat a dead horse on this subject, but it always throws me when the obvious is just that... too obvious. This is a panel , or what I would consider a main panel due to the main disconnect, in a second story condo (proper). They floated the neutrals and grounds. Is this considered a main panel even though there is probably a main at the meter room? and should these grounds and neutrals be connected?
    Thanks!

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    They didn't "float" the grounds. "Floating" refers to isolating a bus, usually the neutral bus, from the enclosure. The ground bus is bonded to the enclosure. If, in fact, there is service equipment elsewhere, then the neutrals bus should be "floated" and not bonded to the enclosure or grounds.
    I think I dimly recall Jerry Peck mentioning that there is no such thing as a "main" panel...


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,286

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    As Jerry P. has pounded into my head, grounding and neutral (grounded) conductors are bonded together only in the service equipment panel. Since this is in the interior of a second story condo, this is probably not the service equipment. The service equipment is probably located at the exterior or possibly in an exterior closet along with the meters for all of the other condos. Assuming that this is not the service equipment, then isolating the neutral and ground is proper. A disconnect can be put in any panel. Therefore, this does not necessarily mean that this is the service.

    Clear as mud?

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,308

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome W. Young View Post
    This is a panel , or what I would consider a main panel due to the main disconnect,
    Jerome,

    (breathe deep, count to 10, slowly exhale)

    There are only TWO (2) types of things to remember regarding this:
    1) SERVICE EQUIPMENT (where the first main disconnect is)
    2) NOT SERVICE EQUIPMENT (anything downstream from 1), such as panels)

    Neutrals are only bonded to ground at 1).

    There should be a disconnect for the condo either at: a) the service equipment for the condo building, or, b) in the meter room ... (depending on how large the condo building is will depend on whether or not the all the disconnects are grouped in one location at the service equipment or spread out of different levels of the condo building).

    Nonetheless ... the "service equipment" for a condo building is just that ... for the condo building. Each condo unit is fed off from that service in some manner, thus even 'the disconnect' for the condo at the meter center is not always 'at the service equipment' and is also typically not 'part of' the 'service equipment'.

    Thus, a condo panel will always be, should always be, "not service equipment".

    Being as it is "not service equipment", that gives the answer.

    What you have is what I would like to always see, but seldom found, a 'main' disconnect for the condo panel within the condo panel by which the occupants can shut everything down with one hand movement - that 'main'.

    Like everything which is safer, it also costs more, and, because it is not required, it is seldom done.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,286

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Hah! I finally got in a response before Jerry!

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    (breathe deep, count to 10, slowly exhale)
    You did remember to inhale after all that, right? Jerry? Jerry?!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,308

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Hah! I finally got in a response before Jerry!
    You did not have as much to type as I did.

    While holding my breath - for John.

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

  8. #8
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Is this panel (inside) on an exterior wall?

    The reason I ask is that it appears that there is evidence of moisture entering the panel.

    RR


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,308

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post
    Is this panel (inside) on an exterior wall?

    The reason I ask is that it appears that there is evidence of moisture entering the panel.

    RR
    Richard,

    That's from what's his name cleaning the panel with that doggy do goo stuff to remove the paint, etc.

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

  10. #10
    Jerome W. Young's Avatar
    Jerome W. Young Guest

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    roger...thanks all!
    Jerry, you going to the spring conference?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    The frustrating part of doing inspections here is this. Almost every place I do on a fairly large piece of land, 1 acre and above, there is a main disconnect on a pole away from the house typically where the meter is. EVERY time the panel in the house is wired as a main. I called it every time at first. Then I met the elec. inspector here and asked him why its done that way. Well their opinion is if there is a ground rod at the pole, and one at the panel at the house its all good. I asked him about the potential differance etc. and he had no idea what I was talking about. I think they dont want these people to pay for that 4th wire running for several hundred feet. Anyway not sure why I left S. Florida to deal with a bunch of mountain idiots. Also several neutrals under the same screw is all good???

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Almost forgot something. The Pikes Peak region of Colorado is the 2nd or 3rd highest lightning strike capital of the country. Go figure.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,308

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome W. Young View Post
    Jerry, you going to the spring conference?
    Jerome,

    Probably not, I've just been going to the December meeting in Orlando now that I'm retired.

    I think it is next month and next month's weekends are all taken up with trips or friends visiting.

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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Sometimes, they even label it for you; for the edification of future observers both ends of the "bonding jumper" at each of the four load side panels at this morning's inspection were marked with green tape:

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 02-13-2008 at 01:22 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  15. #15
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Yikes!!

    The overheating of that conductor (next to bottom) on the right hand leg is a wee bit of a problemo...

    RR


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post
    Yikes!!

    The overheating of that conductor (next to bottom) on the right hand leg is a wee bit of a problemo...

    RR

    If you look closely, there are two on that side, actually.

    Also...

    "We were wondering if you could tell us why there is power in the first floor front apartment even when we turn off all the breakers at the box...."

    The new service drop to the garage was pretty slick too...

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  17. #17
    Steve Lowery's Avatar
    Steve Lowery Guest

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Pushmatic? Who made them and are there any special things to look for with this breaker?


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lowery View Post
    Pushmatic? Who made them and are there any special things to look for with this breaker?

    Bulldog ITE. See em' all the time here in Chicago, no special problems, breakers are still available - they even make GFCIs - but expensive.

    All of O'Hare Airport was done in Pushmatics, most is still there and working.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,308

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Sometimes, they even label it for you; for the edification of future observers both ends of the "bonding jumper" at each of the four load side panels at this morning's inspection were marked with green tape:
    Which you were pointing out as being incorrect, right? (bonding from ground/enclosure to neutral).

    Not that it appears to matter there, looks like the small screw just to the left of the right neutral terminal is bonding the neutral terminal bar to the enclosure anyway.

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

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kondzich View Post
    The frustrating part of doing inspections here is this. Almost every place I do on a fairly large piece of land, 1 acre and above, there is a main disconnect on a pole away from the house typically where the meter is. EVERY time the panel in the house is wired as a main. I called it every time at first. Then I met the elec. inspector here and asked him why its done that way. Well their opinion is if there is a ground rod at the pole, and one at the panel at the house its all good. I asked him about the potential differance etc. and he had no idea what I was talking about. I think they dont want these people to pay for that 4th wire running for several hundred feet. Anyway not sure why I left S. Florida to deal with a bunch of mountain idiots. Also several neutrals under the same screw is all good???
    You can put up to a dozen in your area under one scew. The cold climate keeps the arcing, heat and welding/fusing down to a safe exception.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,308

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    You can put up to a dozen in your area under one scew. The cold climate keeps the arcing, heat and welding/fusing down to a safe exception.
    Now there's a man thinking outside the box ... the electrical box ...

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

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Which you were pointing out as being incorrect, right? (bonding from ground/enclosure to neutral...
    Correct, it's incorrect.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not that it appears to matter there, looks like the small screw just to the left of the right neutral terminal is bonding the neutral terminal bar to the enclosure anyway.
    Closer look to two of them:

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: condo - grounds / neutrals

    A few more, from the attic, note the K&T at the bottom of the first picture.

    I had a ride-long on this one, and it was a *great* property for that purpose...

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

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
  •