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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
While troubleshooting an open ground condition on a circuit in my home, I looked in my panel for the first time ... jaw hits floor.

Doorbell transformer inside panel (at bottom)

1 primary lead from x-former wrapped around a wire at breaker, other lead wire-nutted to one of the ground wires sticking out of wire bug

Nothing about this panel very neat or workmanlike

Black friction tape on service neutral

Many grounds too short to reach GND/Neut bar, all wire-bugged to #10 GND of dryer cable

Too much outer jacket insulation on main cable, leads too long

30A DP breaker for hot water tank, using 12-2 w/ GND wire

Panel not clearly or properly labeled

Master bedroom, living room, bathroom, and 1 duplex receptacle in small bedroom all on one circuit (20A) with all 15A receptacles, 15 of them

No separate lighting circuits

White "hot" lead for hot water tank not re-identified

One strand of grounding electrode conductor peeled back and wrapped around other strands (couldn't fit all of them in the hole?)

Front porch light and rest of small bedroom receptacles on same circuit (at opposite ends of house)

Barry P.
Western NY State

[Linked Image]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Pretty typical stuff I see all the time. Of the list of problems only a few are legitimate code issues. The rest are strictly a matter of opinion.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Tell us more regarding opinions?

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 680
I'd say the first thing is workman like? Not the neatest thing ever. But not sure its that bad.
The split bolt on the grounds is kind of unusual? Don't see the point of it. Why not use a wire nut?
I don't see any problem with the friction tape on the neutral unless one feels it reidentifies it??
I can't imagine anyone getting to upset about the outer jacket being too long or the fact the wires run up into the corner.
Not sure why 15amp recepts are a problem.

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 219
Why is this the first time you looked in your panel? Did you just move in? If this was my house, before I ever moved in, the elec system would have been the first thing I looked at. The panels are the best indicator of what the whole house looks like electrically.

Judging by this panel, your house is electrical nightmare.

Workmanlike does not matter here. The mistakes made in terminating panel negate any appearance of neat workmanship.

This leaves open the questions of why inspections of this work passed. The inspector was just as bad as the electrician.


Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Front porch light and rest of small bedroom receptacles on same circuit (at opposite ends of house)

Why would that be a problem? [Linked Image]

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 51
Thanks for the comments. I realize this was posted many months ago originally.

Thanks to Joe for re-posting it. I just happened to browse the forum.

Apparently I believed that a grounded conductor should not have been taped black, perhaps thinking that this re-identified it. I figured, either tape it white, or leave it bare.
The feeder conductors: I just didn't like the look of it, but, I suppose a little extra conductor couldn't hurt.
I was incorrect in believing that a 20-amp circuit had to have 20-amp devices on it. I have been studying the NEC, and now know better.

Sierra Electrician:
Yes, this was the first time that I had looked in the panel. I moved into the house with my mother at the age of 14, before I knew anything about electricity. My mom moved out, and I purchased the house a few years ago. Of course, now, I have a clue, and any house I buy will be checked.
Yes, the house is an electrical bad dream, maybe not quite a nightmare! HaHa!
Inspected??? That's what I thought. This house was added on to about 1980, and I wondered how it passed myself. Maybe only the "new" wiring was inspected???

It seemed odd that the receptacle at the front of the house would be on the same circuit as a bedroom at the back of the house, but I now realize that this is not a violation of NEC. It just went with the fact that the livingroom, master bedroom, bathroom, and one duplex receptacle are on the same circuit. (this in the "new" part of the house).

I have added an equipment grounding conductor terminal bar to eliminate the split-bolt, and a main bonding jumper between it and the neutral bar. I also have removed the bell transformer. Among other improvements, I can send updated pic.

Is it common for this type CH panel to not be furnished with an EGC terminal bar???
Are the "grounds" and "neutrals" intended to go under the same screw???
There are 16 slots for SP breakers, and 16 or 17 holes in the neutral bar.

Thanks everyone for the comments, give me more. I have an AOS degree in Electromechanical Systems Mechanics, specializing in automated machinery and controls. I work as a technician/electrician/mechanic in a meat packaging plant. I am learning residential wiring, and studying the NEC, I have a 2002, and a 2005 Handbook.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 51
Just to clarify previous post:

This is my house, I took the pic. My computer crashed since, and I lost the file. Nice( ? )to see it again.?.

The livingroom, master bedroom, bathroom, and one recept in the spare bedroom are all on the same ckt, LIGHTS and RECEPTS. Of course, house was "finished" before popularity of PC's, DVD's, and everything else. Oh, and no GFCI's anywhere.

I realize that this house was not built this year, I am just trying to improve the safety and functionality of my home.

I can be pretty critical of other people's work, sometimes I go overboard. Kind of a perfectionist, obsessionist, I forget not everyone else is.

Thanks again, I enjoy the site and the ECN community!!!!

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 155
That neutral that the transformer is sitting if slightly cooked isn't it?

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