Adding extra ground/neutral buss bar in electrical panel or add sub-panel?

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Nah, the nutball doesn't think you can get insurance for a house if you've sneezed in it without an inspection. He *IS* a nutball.
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On 3/26/2013 8:34 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

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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.
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On Mar 25, 11:34 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.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:)
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wrote:

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.
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On Mar 25, 11:34 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com 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?
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On 3/25/2013 1:18 PM, Mikepier wrote:

what's probably a 2/0 aluminum neutral conductor. Why not just transfer a pile of ground wires to the new bar, and use the panel buss for the new neutrals
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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 new bar.
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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 will not.
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 authority.
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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 needed.
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:(
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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 the chunks.
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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, right?
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.
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wrote:

In this case the need for a sub panel shows the panel isnt big enough.......
What anyone does has ZERO effect on me:)
Home inspectors have become very fussy, they can get sued for missing anything.....
so everything can get flagged.....
Personally I think its better to avoid home inspection issues than create them, but maybe thats just me
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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.
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On 3/25/2013 8:37 AM, Mikepier wrote:

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
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*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.
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On 3/26/2013 5:25 PM, John Grabowski wrote:

Some folks are just ignorant, and nothing you say is going to enlighten them. You should have charged him more for the 150.
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*I haven't compared lately, but I think a 200 amp loadcenter combo package with branch breakers included at Home Depot is cheaper than a 150 at the supply house.
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On 3/26/2013 7:35 PM, John Grabowski wrote:

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I repair office machines mostly in schools for a living, its my own business.
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 safety issue......
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 the pin:(
As far as I know she never caught what I did.
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