On Mon, 25 Mar 2013 07:30:16 -0700 (PDT), Mikepier
The bus bar you are adding is using the enclosure as a current path.
OK for grounding but not for a circuit current path.
As long as the screw you use is threaded into the metal it is OK but
it has to be a thread forming machine screw, not a sheet metal screw.
You should be using the bus bar intended for your panel.
On Mar 25, 11:34 am, email@example.com wrote:
When I added a bus bar I ran the heaviest copper wire that would fit
the new bus bar between the old and new one, Sure the bus bar was
screwed directly to the panel but the direct connection was the heavy
copper wire. And the middle group inspector said I did a good job:)
Generally if you ran a 250.66 sized wire, (typically #4 for a 200a
panel) I would accept it as a neutral bar too but some inspectors
might want to see a neutral load calc.
I looped a #4 through all of my ground bars in my panel too. It is
easy to do if you put it in first.
On Mar 25, 11:34 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The existing buss bars have both the grounds and neutrals going into
it now, so I'm a little confused. As long as I install the new buss
bar to the enclosure and bond it to the existing one with #6 wire, why
can't the neutrals be connected to it?
Because most of the circuits come from the top, and the new gnd bar is
at the bottom, the ground wires don't reach down to the bottom so I
would have to splice the grounds to an extension to reach down to the
The NEC requires that neutral be bonded to ground at a single point,
normally the service entrance, and _only_ at that single point.
The main panel will typically have the bonding jumper, but all subpanels
In many panels, a single buss bar is provided, with a bonding screw to the
enclosure. When used as a main panel, the bonding screw is installed.
If you have only one panel, this is probably what you have.
When used as a subpanel, a seperate ground bar is installed, and the bonding
screw is removed.
If you have a seperate meter base and disconnect/main breaker, or
meter/main disconnect combo, with a seperate panel, the bonding jumper
should be located in the main disconnect, and generally not in the panel.
which should have seperate ground and neutral busses. The ground is
normally not located in the meter pan.
If you have a combined meter/main panel, it should have the bonding screw.
All other panels are subpanels, and need to have the bonding screw
removed, and seperate ground and neutral busses installed.
The rules vary a bit for detached structures. Generally, if there is a
single electrical feed, and no other ground path (such as telephone,
or CATV), then it may be possible to consider the feed to the structure
as a seperate service, with it's own ground, and no ground wire is run
between the structures. If there are multiple ground paths, or multiple
circuits, then the structure may need to be tied into the main grounding
system, and no local ground used.
Check with your local authority about local code requirements.
Generators are another fun area. A lot depends on whether the transfer
switch transfers the neutral, and the presence of accessories such as
block heaters, battery chargers, etc. Again, check with your local
-- Welcome My Son, Welcome To The Machine --
Bob Vaughan | techie@.stanford.edu | email@example.com
most home buyers inspection says must pass inspection, so anything
like a old main panel that lacked enough slots for the number of
needed breakers kills the deal.... plus W is out of that business..
When I was young, just out of high school I serviced machines at the
Westinghouse breaker plant in vanport, beaver pa. It was a fasinating
and busy place. They offered me a job, with a raise no interview
I didnt know why but passed on the job.
A short time later their business collapsed, last time I was there
everyone with less than 20 years were let go.
Today that plant carries a different name but still builds some
things. The parking lot is mostly empty, and over half the plant was
leveled. I drove by and could see the outlines on the concrete floors
where I used to service machines:(
re: I drove by and could see the outlines on the concrete floors
where I used to service machines :(
I used to work at large plant that has slowly been reduced to just a
few buildings. As they tore down unused buildings, they would crush
the brick and use it as landscaping material around remaining
buildings and along roadways.
We would drive through the plant and try to guess what building a
given pile of landscaping material used to be based on the color of
That would have to be really something, a panel with
not enough slots for all the breakers. Where do you put
the extra ones, hanging on the wall? You're creating
a strawman that doesn't exist. If you have a main panel,
it contains it's breakers and the sub panel contains it's
breakers. Neither lacks enough slots and the arrangement
is code compliant. That is what Mike is planning on doing,
You're assuming that most or all home inspectors are going
to fail a properly done sub-panel and I believe that just isn't so.
For one thing, they sure would be wasting a lot of time
answering questions on those inspections when the seller
produces a permit showing it was inspected and approved
by the AHJ. Then what do they say? They have the home
buyer calling them, the home seller calling them.....
Plus, most home inspectors ain't very smart. I would think
they would want to avoid any such controversy by sticking
to what is code compliant and working and what is not.
I said earlier that if it's true that no compatible breakers
are available for that panel, then I would replace it instead
of doing a sub-panel. But the OP has not said if that is
in fact, the case.
And again, I'm not saying Mike shouldn't price out doing
the service upgrade, main panel replacement, as opposed
to just adding a sub-panel. But I also don't buy the horror
story that you can't sell a house because it has a sub-panel
and the home inspector is going to flag it as an item needing
repair. Google "subpanel home inspection" and you'll get
lots of hits of discussions involving home inspectors. I
didn't do a close look in detail, but just looking at the overall
results, every discussion is about how to inspect them,
how they should be correctly installed,
improper bonding, etc. Not one says if you find a sub-panel,
flag it as an item that is unacceptable.
In this case the need for a sub panel shows the panel isnt big
What anyone does has ZERO effect on me:)
Home inspectors have become very fussy, they can get sued for missing
so everything can get flagged.....
Personally I think its better to avoid home inspection issues than
create them, but maybe thats just me
Anyone can get sued for anything by anyone that feels like
going down to the court house. However, home inspector contracts
are well written, with plenty of protection and outs for them.
It would have to one hell of an obvious mistake to prevail.
We agree on that, in general. I said Mike should evaluate
doing a panel replacement, service upgrade as well as adding
the sub-panel. I hope he gets back to us with his results and
decision. What I don't agree with is that adding a sub-panel is
going to result in it being flagged by a home inspector. Not
if it's done right. Did you google and see all the home inspectors
discussing the details of inspecting them? I didn't see any
saying, don't bother, just flag a sub-panel as unacceptable.
differential is so small it never made any sense to me. I am an
electrical contractor, and I've been in the business for over 40 years.
Guess what size service I have in my house.
NO, I didn't install it, but, as it is perfectly adequate, it's on the
low priority list for replacement
*Several years ago I got a call from someone who wanted a service upgrade.
I went and looked at the job and figured to upgrade to 200 amp. The
customer got mad at me and said he didn't need or want a 200 amp service.
He insisted on upgrading to 150 amp only. I explained to him that there
really wasn't much price difference, but he was adamant about only getting a
150 amp service upgrade.
I repair office machines mostly in schools for a living, its my own
One day I found a machine missing its ground pin. The machine was
under maintence so the new plug was FREE. The principal came in and I
mentioned I would replace the plug, since the lack of ground was a
The principal argued with me she ONLY wanted the gound pin replaced in
the molded plug. There was no way to do THAT!
So when she left I cut off the plug, and installed a new one. And
called my contact and told him about her wanting me to replace just
As far as I know she never caught what I did.
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