Detached Building Sub Panel

I had erased my original post. Sorry about that. Having troubles these days. I am in my 50th year and I must be getting old.

Here is the picture of my remote distribution panel.

What do you think?

I agree the wiring is sloppy!!

I watched the video PA and BG presented on Nachi TV. They touched on detached buildings, mine does not seem right.

Sub Panel 001 (Small).jpg

Sub Panel 001 (Small).jpg

Sub Panel 003 (Small).jpg

Sub Panel 001 (Small).jpg


Relax, I can see nothing technically wrong with what you did. The 4 wire feed would have allowed you to have 2 different hot legs in the panel. As it is you only have one. The adjacent space for breakers is unusable as there is no feed to that buss.

The 3 and 4 wire feed to a building is based on having 2 hot legs and a neutral. With the 3 wire, which used to be legal, the neutrals and grounds are again bonded together the same as service equipment.In the 4 wire the neutrals and ground are run separately to the subpanel and there would be no neutral to ground bond.

Grounding would be the same regardless of 3 or 4 wire.

On a side note I your panel could have been wired more neatly.

Why nevermind???..I see I am too late to see what as posted. Did you get logged into my site david?


I had posted earlier and then I deleted. Jim was kind enough to respond to the original post. I rentered the photos and now you can view the pics.

I changed emails for the Guru board and I hope to participate later today.

Paul thanks for taking time to answer my questions. I know you are busy!!

Ok David…From what i can see you are simply providing a branch circuit to the detached building in compliance with 250.32(A) Ex. . So you are also in compliance with 225.31 regarding the disconnecting means requirements. It is rather sloppy work as jim stated.

The main problem I see is this panel says only 240V rated breakers are to be used…not 120V breakers.

This is my house and I am the sloppy electrician. I did this about 4 years ago. (I would hope that I am a much better inspector and have better electrical knowledge than 4 years ago)

I can see that there are many varations of the codes. Like a code states specifics but than refers to other codes that may allow the application.

I guess I do not understand the portion of the video when you talked about detached structures and remote distribution panels.

What is the proper way to label this panel? Like you stated!!


Watch that portion of the video again…You have to understand that their are many variations that come into play and all simply can’t be covered. In your case you would typically have a detached structure that is being fed by a branch circuit. Trust me, you want this versus having us comment on what you would do if you installed a panel…because we would then say you need a grounding electrode system?

What you have done is build an extreme into the equation…one thing about electrical training is that as we all see it goes on and on and on as so many versions of installations come into play and dfferent codes have to be dealt with.

In your case, I will have to say that if you intended to install a panel for additional loads you would be also having an issue with 225.39(D) and the 60A minimum requirement for your disconnection means ratings. So lets call them switches and you intended to meet the other requirements I posted earlier and slap your wrist and dont do it again…lol

label the panel as 120V Loads Only.

When I try to make a case to say it is compliant to make you feel better…lol…I find reasons why I would have to fail the inspection. I don’t believe it raises the hazard in your case. I would not loose too much sleep over it.

I can’t tell however…is the Grounded Conductor isolated…it needs to be in this case. Since you are running a branch circuit to a set of switches ( man I use that loose…fella…) you have an EGC ran with the circuit and you dont want a case to neutral connection in the detached structure…


Could you please circle the area of the label where it says only 240 volt breakers?

I need a kick in the head instead of a slap in the face.

I did install a seprate GEC for this panel. It comes in at the bottom.

Could I have just installed a switch/junction box instead of the remote distribution panel.

I need to watch the entire video again and again.

I must say there is a lot more on the legends then I was aware off.

I noticed some panels have no ratings marked in the legend were it stats max ampacity. They leave a blank area. What is up with that!

Well…what always keeps me interested in Electricity is that it works and keeps on working even when done incorrectly. If that panelboard was rated for minimum 60A then it would be ok as a remote panel for a detached structure…alas this one is not. The reason some are blank is because the enclosure has a rating and lets say it is 200A rated enclosure but you only want to use it as a 150A enclosure then there you go…fill in the blank. ( I could be wrong on that…lol )

We see that alot actually…but usually the panel enclosure do have a maximum rating on it…just gotta lookie for it.

Now…I will say yes…you could have installed a simple SNAP switch in compliance with 225.31 and actually you could have run a 12-3 UF and had (2) circuits ( one for lighting and one for receptacles ) and met the code. You would the not need a grounding electrode system.

As you have it now…you have a mixture of everything in your setup…lol

Also here in NE Ohio the local jurisdiction probably would not allow the unprotected Romex. They dont in a garage.

I have been really good about pulling permits and having professional contrators do the work.

In this case I did not hire a professional or pull a permit and you can see the shoddy work that I did.

Maybe one day soon I will redo the outbuilding (Or hire someone who knows all the codes) so even a Guru could be proud!!

lol…I am proud…You noticed their was a problem because you are starting to think about all the possible issues of an installation.


I did learn alot from the video. I did not do so well on the challenge game.

I had trouble with the -19, -20 with the 1/0 aluminum wire questions.

What is the -19 and -20 refer to??

I also had trouble with the pictures!! I was not sure if the question was for panel cover 1 or panel cover 4.

Is the panel in the challenge game the same as the one in the video?

I dont know…I did not do the game and really had nothing to do with it or the questions.

By the NEC definition that UF cable is an undersized feeder.

"ARTICLE 100 Definitions
Scope. This article contains only those definitions essential to the proper application of this Code. It is not intended to include commonly defined general terms or commonly defined technical terms from related codes and standards. In general, only those terms that are used in two or more articles are defined in Article 100. Other definitions are included in the article in which they are used but may be referenced in Article 100.
Part I of this article contains definitions intended to apply wherever the terms are used throughout this Code. Part II contains definitions applicable only to the parts of articles specifically covering installations and equipment operating at over 600 volts, nominal.
Feeder. All circuit conductors between the service equipment, the source of a separately derived system, or other power supply source and the final branch-circuit overcurrent device.

215.2 Minimum Rating and Size.
(A) Feeders Not More Than 600 Volts.
(2) For Specified Circuits. The ampacity of feeder conductors shall not be less than 30 amperes where the load supplied consists of any of the following number and types of circuits:
(1) Two or more 2-wire branch circuits supplied by a 2-wire feeder "

The simplest remedy is to substitute enclosed switches from the panel’s manufacturer for the breakers. Those are likely to be a special order item though.
The other thing about the installation is that you left too much cable jacket inside the enclosure. The materials used in insulation are required to be self extinguishing but not so cable jackets. That is why it is a good idea to trim the jacket back until it is just visible on the inside of the cabinet.

Tom Horne


I think we actually established this in the previous comments in regards to the compliance of the panel. He is given an option to not have the panel at all and still be compliant. The statement regarding the 60A disconnection means is relevant to If he chooses to operate as a panel in which would envoke other requirements.

Regarding the NM Cable within the enclosure other than 1/4" of an inch as listed in , would you mind giving me the reference as I have spoken many times with the NFPA regarding this and have a formal interp on this in our office in Richmond. Please provide me with the reference that says NM Cable within an enclosure can’t exceed 1/4".

In fact many placed in the NEC say that you must maintain aleast 1/4" of jacket into boxes and so on.

I look forward to the reference because I need to inform the NFPA they are incorrect with their interp.