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"Expert" Panel Install #180940 09/17/08 11:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
First, a little background ....

The gent who did this work is licensed ... as a plumber. Yet, the local courts have twice accepted him as an 'expert witness' on electrical matters.

He did this work in his own home, with a permit, and described the inspector as well informed and picky.

Functionally ... the smaller panel on the left is fed from a basement 'sub' ... and in turn feeds both the panel to the right, as well as a detached garage.

Here's an overview:

[Linked Image]

Bringing in his ground, he solved his lack of a ground buss by just getting a bigger lug, One wire to the source, one to the garage panel, none to the new panel:

[Linked Image]

In place of a ground wire to the new panel, the inspector accepted the locknut and added 'teks' screw. Do you think they can carry the fault current to trip the 100 amp feed?:

[Linked Image]

Here's a closer view of the buss connection. Again, note that there is no 'big' wire to the ground buss. Nor is the neutral wire marked white:

[Linked Image]

Finally, he "supported" the wires to the panels by deliberately braiding them together:

[Linked Image]

When I commented that it looked as if he had done this job by fishing his materials out of dumpsters .... his reply was "Why, yes, I did! Saved a lot of money too!"

Last edited by renosteinke; 09/17/08 11:40 AM.
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Re: "Expert" Panel Install [Re: renosteinke] #180946 09/17/08 02:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,235
HotLine1 Offline
Wonder how his 'plumbing' work looks???

What state/area is this from ?

Re: "Expert" Panel Install [Re: renosteinke] #180947 09/17/08 03:37 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 50
hardwareguy Offline
That's not a's a "fault indicator" It glows orange in case of a fault.

Re: "Expert" Panel Install [Re: hardwareguy] #180951 09/17/08 04:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
Reno, Nv. ..... oddly enough, claimed by many newly arrived contractors to have overly strict code enforcement!

BTW ... I did clean this up ... somewhat. I really wanted to rip it out and put a properly sized panel in it's place, but that wasn't on the menu. He now has a fault path that will carry 100 amps. He also now has Siemans breakers in the Siemans panel, and Sq D breakers in the Sq D box.

Last edited by renosteinke; 09/17/08 04:21 PM.
Re: "Expert" Panel Install [Re: renosteinke] #180966 09/17/08 08:46 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
EV607797 Offline
If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that Mr. Plumber's pipe nipple is made out of brass. Bushings? We don't need no stinkin' bushings.

Next, how in the world can both panel covers be installed with no spacing between them? I've installed hundreds of those QO612 panels in and I can assure you that even their surface cover can't be installed in a situation like that. The cover 'wraps' around the sides by about a half-inch. No doubt that the Siemens/ITE panel on the right probably has a 'combo' cover, so IF both covers were installed, the cover for the right panel would have to be removed before the cover on the left could be. Maybe he was considering this to be a safety feature.

Does he have a branch breaker leaving the panel on the left to feed a "main" breaker on the right? I guess you can never be too safe.

I especially like those plumbing pipe clamps. That's a sure sign of a professional. Whatever happened to "All materials shall be approved for the purpose"?


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Re: "Expert" Panel Install [Re: EV607797] #180987 09/18/08 10:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
Yes, he has a breaker feeding a breaker. Now that you mention it, I'm not sure that the second panel even has lugs for connecting the feed. Specifically, a 100 amp breaker feeding a 50 amp breaker.

The appearance of the nipple is due to the color of the light / flash. It looks like a galvanized nipple of some sort. I agree about the bushings.

The panel on the left ... is a surface-type, with lips on the cover that wrap around the edges of the box. However, the edges of the box are also slightly bent in, so the cover isn't any wider than the box. As a result, there is a slight space between the panels at the front only; the sides are tight against each other.
The Siemans panel has a face-mounted cover, with no overhang.
As a result, the two covers do not interfere with each other ... but the cover on the left has to be aligned 'just so,' and given a good whack with a hammer to seat.

Re: "Expert" Panel Install [Re: renosteinke] #182564 12/02/08 03:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 47
sbi Offline
Is he proud of his work?

when in doubt jump it out
I happily work for slumlords
Re: "Expert" Panel Install [Re: sbi] #182592 12/03/08 03:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 144
JoeKP Offline
Lovely, how do you put the covers on? (if there are any)

“then we'll glue em' then screw em'”
-Tom Silva
Re: "Expert" Panel Install [Re: JoeKP] #182596 12/03/08 08:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,235
HotLine1 Offline
Welcome to ECN. Covers? Probably were there; Reno would know. Old saying...'covers (and drop ceilings) hide a multitude of sins!

Re: "Expert" Panel Install [Re: HotLine1] #182598 12/03/08 08:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
Well, sorry to say, the guy IS proud of his work; he is particularly proud in his 'skill' in salvaging the panels, and other parts, from sundry jobs. frown

The two covers CAN be installed, though it does take an exact alignment, following things in a precise order, and a bit of "persuasion."

Mind you, but this guy, and his wife, pull down respectable incomes. This house is in one of the nicer parts of town. In making this addition to the house, a great deal of effort was expended, and costs were significant. Yet, this guy was unwilling to either engage one of his best friends ( a REAL electrician), or spend the $40 an adequate panel would have cost him.


Last edited by renosteinke; 12/03/08 08:36 PM.


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