The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
12/02/16 04:24 PM
On Delay Relay with Auto Reset
by Potseal
12/01/16 09:59 AM
Wow, that was close!
by jraef
11/28/16 07:06 PM
Earthquake in New Zeeland
by RODALCO
11/27/16 11:25 PM
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by Tjia1981
11/27/16 06:33 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 13
HotLine1 9
Texas_Ranger 8
sparkyinak 7
Trumpy 6
Who's Online
1 registered (sparkyinak), 245 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#190971 - 12/13/09 04:22 PM Any violations in this panel?
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Tonight I googled to find a picture of a US panel in order to explain some things over at some German dicussion board. I stumbled across this pictures, and before I make any statements on it, I wanted to ask you guys if you see any obvious violations.
Panel picture
According to the web site this is a new panel (site is dated 2008) installed in Taunton MA. A few things struck me odd, such as the apparent lack of a GEC and the white wires on those DP breakers top right.

Top
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#190976 - 12/13/09 06:50 PM Re: Any violations in this panel? [Re: Texas_Ranger]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Good eye, TR. Let me explain what I see:

First, I believe this is a 'main' panel, being fed from underground. This is suggested by the type of cable used, the lack of a separate ground buss, and the use of a green bonding screw to bond the case to the neutral buss (visible in lower left).

(Edited to remove a sentence with a big goof! Oops! )

As such, there ought to be a nice, big, fat bare copper wire in there that would connect to a grounding electrode. I see no such wire, though the lug for it is laying in the bottom left of the panel. (That type of lug is designed to attach to the neutral busa).

Generally, the clamps where the cables enter the panel are approved for use with two cables. It appears that this was done.

Looking at the combined neutral/ ground busses, I see several places where more than one wire is landed under a screw. While you are generally allowed as many as three ground wires under one screw, each neutral wire must be mounted separately. In at least on place, there are two white wires under the same screw- an error.

In the far bottom left of the panel is a breaker with some white wires attached to it. This is an AFCI breaker, and the connections are correct.

In the upper right of the panel are several 2-pole breakers with white wires attached. This is wrong; the wires need to be clearly identified as 'hot' wires. This is usually done by marking a significant part of the white wire with colored tape, heat shrink tubing, or colored ink/paint.

The white wires can always be properly marked. How the guy plans to connect to the ground electrode has me puzzled; with the wall closed up, it won't be easy.

============================================
There's another way to look at this panel.

Perhaps there is another another disconnect before this panel. This is very possible, almost certain - as I don't see a meter present either. The grounding electrod conductor might very well be connected at that point.

IF that is the case, there should be FOUR wires entering the bottom of the panel - 2 hots, a neutral, and a ground - and a separate ground buss for the ground wires. The green screw should NOT be used in this arrangement.

Until fairly recently, the part of our code that addresses this situation was a lot more confusine than it is today. With no metal path between the disconnect and the panel - note that the wiring method is a cable, rather than conduit - this is more of a 'technical' violation than a real safety risk.

==========================================

In summary, the guy mixed two different methods in this installation, resulting in something that complies with neither.

Top
#190977 - 12/13/09 07:00 PM Re: Any violations in this panel? [Re: renosteinke]
NORCAL Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 807
I see a main breaker in that HOMEline panel, but do not see a GEC in there & would hope that is not a SE UG feed, I am glad that SE cable is not used here as not a method allowed in the PG&E Greenbook.

Top
#190978 - 12/13/09 07:03 PM Re: Any violations in this panel? [Re: NORCAL]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
You're right ... there is a main breaker ... I was so busy looking at trees I missed the forest! Oops.

Top
#190979 - 12/13/09 07:09 PM Re: Any violations in this panel? [Re: renosteinke]
frenchelectrican Offline

Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
There are couple quirks I will say in here the netural conductors that bundled in each hole that is a no-no but for EGC c'est ok IMO it will be alot nicer if it have own grounding bussbar for this useage which I done all the time it cost little more upfront but in long run it look much neater plus what more .,,

If that area requied a extreal disconnection source it is very easy to swap over to 4 conductor set up.

Merci.
Marc
_________________________
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


Top
#190980 - 12/13/09 08:11 PM Re: Any violations in this panel? [Re: frenchelectrican]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
As A Massachusetts guy-

Doubled up neutrals- very wrong.
As far as GEC- Based on bonding screw- lower left corner.
(1) Perhaps it is plastic water pipe (main)= no connection.There fore no visible GEC in panel.
-Unless done all in 'PEX' I'm concerned about no bonding conductor to what little copper pipe there may be.-
(2) 2 ground rods- connected at the meter socket (not uncommon here).
(3) Uffer extended outside,same as above.

As far as the SE cable, very common here as well.
I can't see enough below the panel to comment on UG or not.

Basically,looks OK.

Top
#190983 - 12/14/09 08:52 AM Re: Any violations in this panel? [Re: leland]
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
I already thought the bottom left ought to be a GFCI/AFCI breaker based on the curled white wire. However, the top right ones are (even to my outside view) clearly double poles, so I expected re-identified whites as Reno pointed out.

@leland: so you don't run a ground between meter and main panel then, only the neutral which is bonded to the enclosure at the main panel?

Top
#190995 - 12/14/09 06:21 PM Re: Any violations in this panel? [Re: Texas_Ranger]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
Originally Posted By: Texas_Ranger
I already thought the bottom left ought to be a GFCI/AFCI breaker based on the curled white wire. However, the top right ones are (even to my outside view) clearly double poles, so I expected re-identified whites as Reno pointed out.

@leland: so you don't run a ground between meter and main panel then, only the neutral which is bonded [color:#CC33CC]to the enclosure at the main panel?
[/color][/color]

That is correct,here. Bond at the meter OR the panel,Again,Concern about no visual bond to water Piping.
As far as 're-Identification', on the residential end,Very rarely to never.

This panel may just be a "change out",Therefore not requiring the AFCI,(it does look like 'very'new wires though) Bottom left is most likely the GFCI feeding the bathrooms,garage and outside receps.

Top
#190996 - 12/14/09 06:38 PM Re: Any violations in this panel? [Re: leland]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
Above comments based on 'assumption',That this is the MAIN panel.
Drop to meter,then to main breaker.

Top
#191001 - 12/14/09 09:43 PM Re: Any violations in this panel? [Re: leland]
JoeKP Offline
Member

Registered: 03/29/08
Posts: 144
Loc: Berkley, MA
in Taunton Ma eh? i may have to go hunt this one down, its in the town just next to me. ill remember to take pics if i can find it wink
_________________________
-Joe
“then we'll glue em' then screw em'”
-Tom Silva
TOH

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals