3-Wire Feeder to Distribution Panel

Hey Guys-

This was in a home built in 1991. The service panel was located on the exterior of the home with a 175 amp breaker. The interior distribution panel was located on the opposite side of the home in the basement. It was fed by a 3-wire feeder, not in a metallic raceway. So the EGCs and the grounded conductors were not isolated from each other and they connected the two together in the same lugs.

My question: Is it possible to correctly bond and ground a distribution panel with only a 3-wire feeder? Thanks.


Where does the panel to the right of the meter get’s its supply from?

Discounting the exterior panel to the right, I would call the panel to the left simply a disconnect with OCP for the long feeder to the main panel in the basement. Therefore the basement panel would be wired correctly (with the exception of double-tapped neutrals). That’s my opinion. We’ll see what others think.

I don’t know. It appeared that it was tapped into the meter…but that’s only speculation. The other feeder on the main distribution panel went to an attached garage distribution panel. The first pic below is the distribution to the right of the meter. The second pic is the distribution panel in the garage.

Probably so. If that’s the case, flipping the disconnect to the left and the 2 or 3 breakers to the right would kill all the power to the home and I don’t see a problem with that.

With the service disconnect being at exterior the panel in basement is a remote distribution (sub) panel, and should be wired as such with neutrals isolated.

The 3 wire cable to the interior panel is incorrect. It should have been 4 wires. The disconnect to the left of the meter is the service equipment.

The only way that would have been proper would be if it were in a detached building from the service with no metallic paths between the two buildings.

Wow, if I had all day I could give you a list of all of the visible violations in this group of photo’s. :shock:

Hey it’s been this way since 1991. :wink: :smiley:

The answer to your question (as others have indicated) is no.

The EGC to the interior sub panel is now a current-carrying conductor (as a neutral), and to make matters worse, it’s a bare conductor. Where does the additional set of feeders go to or come from?

The panel to the right of the meter is (apparently) tapped directly to the SEC’s in the meter cabinet. So this panel is essentially part of the service equipment. I’d be curious to see the connections.

Quite a mess you’ve got there.

Then the panel in the garage is also incorrect. needs four wire feed.

Jeff, the second set of feeders in the main (big) distribution panel goes to one of the smaller distribution panels in the garage. The second picture in my second post above.

Thanks for all the feedback guys. It’s amazing how something so cleanly done can be so wrong.

Square D QO… top of the line equipment. Electrician…not so much…