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#88140 - 05/11/04 01:16 PM panel change
cmv Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 4
Loc: texas
I am getting some conflicting info and would like some clarification.
Here is the setup...I have overhead service coming down the pole to the meter, below the meter is a 200 amp fused disconnect. From the disconnect the 3 wires (two hot and one nuetral) go into rigid conduit underground approximately 50ft to my garage (which is attached to the house) where they go to a FP panel. I am having the panel changed out with a square d 200 amp with a main disconnect.
My question is can the nuetral and ground be bonded at this panel, that is how it currently is and has been since construction. Bonding at the disconnect will be very prohibitive to run another wire and I would rather not have to go that route. Also should I put a ground rod at this new panel, there currently is none?

Thanks for any help.

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#88141 - 05/11/04 01:49 PM Re: panel change
triple Offline
Member

Registered: 04/01/02
Posts: 182
Loc: Wisconsin
Yes, you have to bond the neutral and ground together in the garage panel since you do not have a fourth wire running from the pole. Also, you have to install 1 or 2 ground rods at the garage. Bond to the water as well if applicable.

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#88142 - 05/11/04 01:54 PM Re: panel change
triple Offline
Member

Registered: 04/01/02
Posts: 182
Loc: Wisconsin
Sorry, I glossed over the fact that you have rigid conduit from one panel to the next. That is your fourth wire so you want the neutral and ground separate at the second panel.

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#88143 - 05/11/04 01:58 PM Re: panel change
triple Offline
Member

Registered: 04/01/02
Posts: 182
Loc: Wisconsin
After rereading I am not sure I understand your situation. I have two questions.

1) Are you sure that the rigid conduit is continuous from one panel to the other?

2) Is the ground and neutral bonded in the first panel (because it should be)?

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#88144 - 05/11/04 02:15 PM Re: panel change
cmv Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 4
Loc: texas
I am not sure of the integrity of the conduit from the fuses main to the panel in the garage. It is aluminum in construction. How can I check the integrity without digging it up?
The current 1960 era FP panel in the garage has the nuetrals and grounds terminated on the same bar (there is only one). At the main fused disconnect below the meter, I see a bare ground wire on the same lug as the nuetral feeder but it has been cut for some reason.
Two different electricians have given two different fixes.
From what I have read I am assuming it is acceptable to drive a ground rod at the main disconnect and reattach to the nuetral lug with the nuetral feeder wire. At the breaker panel (with a main disconnect as well), I have gathered that I can drive ground rods and connect to the ground bar and leave the nuetral and ground bond there.
Does this sound correct?
What would be the problems with doing it this way even if the aluminum conduit was continuous?

Thanks

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#88145 - 05/11/04 02:45 PM Re: panel change
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Without seeing this, it is impossible to properly answer. Of the 2 electricians you have quotes from, 1 may be giving you the correct answer, while the other is giving you the easy answer. Or 1 may be giving you the correct answer and the other giving you a method that will make them more money.

That said, get another quote or 2. Or ask the local building department's electrical inspector for what he wants to see upon inspection, you might even pay for a pre-inspection.

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#88146 - 05/11/04 02:56 PM Re: panel change
cmv Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 4
Loc: texas
One is says pull another wire for ground and unbond nuetral and ground at the panel. The other says leave it like it is.
I just want it the safe way. No permit and no inspection required where this is located.

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#88147 - 05/11/04 06:20 PM Re: panel change
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
If you have aluminum conduit in the ground since 1960, I would be real concerned with the condition of the conduit.
Take a look at an aluminum box that was in the groung for only 6 years. http://electrical-contractor.net/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000525.html

[This message has been edited by LK (edited 05-11-2004).]

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#88148 - 05/11/04 06:32 PM Re: panel change
hbiss Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
Want to know the RIGHT way? Since the continuity of the conduit is questionable I would pull a ground wire. This assumes that you CAN pull another wire through that pipe. One reason for not being able to is because the conduit has corroded. Expect this after 40+ years in the ground. I would replace it along with the 40 year old junk out on the pole.

Either way, the neutral should (and should have) been bonded at the disconnect with the panel in the garage being a sub panel. There should be a separate neutral and ground bars.

-Hal
_________________________
www.myphonetechs.com

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#88149 - 05/12/04 08:53 AM Re: panel change
cmv Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 4
Loc: texas
One thing I forgot to add and I don't know if it makes a difference or not....The main fused disconnect outside also controls the barn as well. I am not sure if this has anything to do with the location of nuetral bonding or not?

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