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#88661 07/03/04 09:50 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3
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bjwill Offline OP
Junior Member
The plant where I work at had a 1200A 480V 4W 3PH Panel installed. I got involved in shutting down the sub-station so the EC could tie-in the feeders. They ran 4-sets of 350MCM in 3” IMC. They had a 1/0 equipment ground in each conduit, but after checking with the code book it appears it should have been 3/0 according to Table 250-122. Is there some reason the EG was reduced, i.e. because IMC was used or is there some other reason for its reduction? Other then replacing the 1/0 with 3/0, what can be done to remedy this issue? Maybe something like parallel cables in 250-122(F) (2).

Something else that was kind of odd, they installed bonding bushings on all the conduits. But they didn’t run a bonding jumper from the bushings to the ground bar in the panel. Why would you install bonding bushings but not bother with the jumper isn’t that the function of a bonding bushing, to make sure your conduit is electrically bonded to the enclosure? I agree all that was need on IMC are two locknuts one on the outside of the box and one on the inside and then use a plastic bushing. Why go to the expense of bonding bushings and not use them. They also did the same thing at two junction/pull boxes, used bonding bushing at the conduit entries but didn’t bother to put jumpers or bond to the junction boxes.


[This message has been edited by bjwill (edited 07-03-2004).]

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#88662 07/03/04 11:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
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Moderator
They did not have to pull a grounding conductor at all, the IMC is a suitable grounding conductor.

Once they decided to run or the job specifications required a grounding conductor it must be installed per code.

Table 250.122 requires a 3/0 cu for a 1200 amp OCPD and 250.122(F)(1) requires that size EGC in each raceway.

As far as the bonding bushing they may have been used just as the insulating bushing required by 300.4(F). Depending on the installation bonding bushings may not be needed.

If these are feeders and the IMC is not entering the enclosure through concentric KOs bonding is not required by NEC.

Bob


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
#88663 07/03/04 11:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
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Moderator
Quote
Other then replacing the 1/0 with 3/0, what can be done to remedy this issue? Maybe something like parallel cables in 250-122(F) (2).

250.122(F)(2) can not be used for raceways, cables only.

Strangely enough the only code compliant remedy short of replacing the 1/0s with 3/0s would be to simply cut off the 1/0s and use the IMC as the equipment grounding conductor.

That of course is only OK if the IMC is electrically continuous and job specifications allow a steel EGC.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
#88664 07/03/04 12:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 182
B
Bob Offline
Member
Iwire
I agree with your comments. It seems to me that the 1/0 could be bonded at both ends of the EMT and would be ok. Conforming to the letter of the code can produce strange results.
Bob

[This message has been edited by Bob (edited 07-03-2004).]

#88665 07/03/04 10:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
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Moderator
It is possible that specs may have called out insulating bushings with a 150°C rating as opposed to 105°C, and all that was reasonably available meeting that spec were metal bushings with nonmetallic-insulating inserts. [150°C parts are less susceptible to damage/cut-through by smaller-diameter rope/line during cable pulling.] Or—they could have been ‘surplus’ from another job.

On the lopped-off 1/0s, there may be objections to abandoned conductors left in new work.

#88666 07/04/04 06:48 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 650
W
Member
Is there any possibility that 250.122(F)(2) was used to size the equipment ground? If the ground fault current is limited to less than 800A, then 1/0 equipment grounds are acceptable.

In addition, I wonder if individual OCPD on the parallel conductors would meet the requirements of 250.122(F)(1), for example if 'limiting lugs' were used so that the current on an individual phase conductor in an individual raceway was limited to less than 800A, would the 1/0 equipment ground be acceptable?

-Jon

#88667 07/04/04 07:10 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
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Moderator
Jon 250.122(F)(2) does not apply to raceways, only to multiconductor cables.

Bob


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
#88668 07/04/04 07:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
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Moderator
I believe that OCP on the parallel conductors would violate 240.8.

Bob


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
#88669 07/04/04 01:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
R
Moderator
What is length? IF 250.4(A)(5) can be satisfied mathematically, this may be something to consider.

As an inspector, I don't use 90.4 to waive specific requirements very often, but if the math shows that an undersized EGC is installed in a metallic raceway is better than a full sized EGC installed in say PVC, I would consider OK'ing the installation.

Can you give us the length so that I could crunch numbers?


Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
#88670 07/05/04 09:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 650
W
Member
Bob,

Thanks for double checking those code references. 250.122(F) describes parallel conductors in raceways _or_ cables, and I didn't notice that 250.122(F)(2) further restricted to multiconductor cables only.

Regarding 240.8, I see how one could argue that this might or might not apply to the situation of using limiting lugs on the individual cables in a parallel set. Current flow in the conductor set clearly is in parallel to the final load, but each limiting lug is in series with a different conductor; so the limiting lugs are _not_ directly in parallel.

Ryan,

What happens if you have the undersized EGC in a metallic raceway, and you have a phase to insulated EGC fault that doesn't involve the raceway? It seems to me that the problem that 250.122(F) tries to address is all of the fault current flowing in a single EGC from the parallel set. I would suggest that if a variance were permitted, it would be better to stretch 250.122(F)(2) to include conductors in raceways, then to try to allow an undersized EGC on the basis of the _potentially_ parallel raceway.

Hmm, which leads to another silly 'what happens when you stretch the code' questions on this topic, relating 250.122(A) to conductors in parallel. Does 250.122(F) every force the EGC to be larger than the phase conductors, or does 250.122(A) prevent this? If a 600A service were run as 5 1/0s Al in parallel, how large should the EGC be

-Jon

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