Electrical Panel in $750,000 new house

You know the contractor used the cheapest electrician he could find when you look inside the panel.


Well at least they separated the ground and neutral wires. LOL
What a friggin mess.

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I don’t know if he didn’t know any better or just didn’t give a damn. In rural area in the state there are no building codes or unions, so most electricians, plumbers, carpenters learned from their dad who learned from his dad and so on. There was a weak link in his family tree. Due to possible inbreeding some family trees make a complete circle.


Besides the mess in the panel, that explains the lack of multiple AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers.

Both would be a good assumtion.

Unfortunately, I see this too often in new construction.

How do these panel even pass an electrical inspection? It looks like in the photo that there are multiple neutrals under one terminal on the neutral bar. A better photo might show other violations.


Dad & grandad never learned about sub-panels! Couldn’t put much more in that one.

Are you sure that panel allows that many tandems?

In my area the interior of the final electrical panel wiring is not inspected on the final inspection. During the pre-drywall inspection the wires are just ran into the panel.


New construction or old school? Looks like a typical 80 - 90s install around here. Box too small overcrowding double lugging no bond etc. etc. I see this regularly.

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Morning, Randy.

Not saying I disagree with you Randy but, being the cheapest does not always corollate with bad workmanship which is clearly visible in that panel board. Lots to report on the way I see it.
IMO: Cheep electrical contractors use less cable, skimp on AWG regulations, and points for terminations.

A bit of a long post. Bare with me please.
Builders, General Contractors rely on open tenders, competitive bids, for the various building trades projects, when building a homes. Those bids are used to obtain the ‘best possible price.’

But it is also up to the Builders, General Contractors, to insure the trades contractors bidding for those jobs are licensed, when applicable, insured and that any of their workers, tradesmen, retain an ‘up to date competency card.’
Moreover, in some jurisdictions, contractors must have a surety Construction Bond.
A construction bond is a 3 party agreement in which the bonding company (surety) guarantees that a contractor will perform obligations according to the established plans and specifications of a contract.

This is how it works now in my neck of the woods, Randy. It was only recently mandated. Within the past 6 or 7 years if my memory serves me well.

Without this surety Construction Bond, and proper building oversight, litigating errors and faults becomes a long winded venture with a 3-way finger pointing exercise played out in the courts with the only real financial winners being lawyers. Plaintiffs are left either exhausting finances or fixing non compliant issue themselves at their own expense.
Once a third party touches the structure, system or component, any guarantees by the original builders contractor or subcontractor is likely null and void due to third party interference, unless arrangements are made allowing the contractor to work on the non compliant structure, system or component. In that case complicated wavers are signed. What’s in the waver should be addressed by a contract lawyer.\

Long story short. It doesn’t have to be the cheapest tender. Its the tender that does not perform their work to compliance which could be the highest. It just so happened that that job was not done properly.

I concur with your second post. The farther away you are from a major municipality the greater the chances or workmanship errors. Typically, AHJ inspect new construction. When there aren’t enough AHJ, the greater the chances of non compliance in the building trades the further you get away from major municipalities and large cities.

Easily, when they are not inspected. Which in many cases, they are not inspected.
Too bad. So sad, but true.

I guess that it depends where you’re located. Around here you’re not getting a CO for a new house if you don’t have all of your final inspections signed off. Now if the inspector doesn’t do his job that’s a different issue.

What’s even more disturbing is Martin’s comment about being in an area where they’re doing a rough inspection but not a final inspection on a panel.


I absolutely concur. Location.

It was not long ago in my location, and still remains the same today, unless an AHJ accepted the installation, it goes unreported until someone on the front lines like home inspectors, report the infraction.

Long story short; there are not enough AHJ.

My goodness… you folks are just picky! OMG 2 neutrals, OMG it’s not pretty :japanese_ogre: It prob be still working long past our life times :smiley: AFCIs/GFCIs ha? have you checked how much those $$$ cost? 60% of folk in great US of A live paycheck to paycheck for a reason! Keep on adding the great modern gadgets to that panel!

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Interesting comment. At first, I thought you were making a tongue-in-cheek comment, but on second reading, I think you are saying that you don’t think double-lugged neutrals are a safety issue and AFCIs / GFCIs are worth the expense. If my assessment is true, then we disagree.
I have never subscribed to the “If it only saves one child” theory of regulation. As it turns out, these codes save far more than one child even if it is not millions of children. Getting the neutrals and grounds wired correctly is easy and inexpensive, so why not do it right? The reasons are well documented.
AFCIs and GFCIs are stinkin’ expensive, and both have almost certainly saved a boatload of lives and property. Somewhere, 4-5 years ago, I saw a stat that there had not been one single house fire started on a AFCI protected circuit in the US! If true, that is an amazing statistic.
Obviously, the first generation of AFCIs were garbage. I had one burst into flames when I pressed the test button. That made for a few exciting seconds followed by lengthy conversations…sigh. But today, AFCIs are reliable and arguably worth the expense vs. the safety and money that they save from prevented fires. Now surge protectors add a good hundred bucks to a panel, but after watching my neighbor’s large home burn to the ground from a lightning strike, I added a surge protector to my panel. The odds of getting struck by lightning are tiny, but I’ve had two neighbors get hit (The fire department was more successful on the other one). For a lousy hundred dollars, I am a fan of surge protectors, too, although I did a few hours of research into them before I was convinced that that little doohickey could actually protect from a lightning strike.
And finally, as a Denver city inspector said to me last year, “If I was grading on craftmanship, it would fail, but I am looking for code compliance and it is code compliant.” I treat things similarly. The OPs panel is a mess both artistically, and far more importantly, compliant wise. It’s the latter observation that is the concern.
I have amused many clients and agents over the years, by observing that the electrician was an artist when I open up a beautifully, symmetrical panel with parallel wires and perfect right angles. But if he/she double-lugged a neutral, that panel gets written up!


It’s worth noting that in the 2020 NEC all dwelling units are required to have surge protection devices.

230.67 Surge Protection.
230.67(A) Surge-Protective Device.
All services supplying dwelling units shall be provided with a surge-protective device (SPD).
230.67(B) Location.
The SPD shall be an integral part of the service equipment or shall be located immediately adjacent thereto.
Exception: The SPD shall not be required to be located in the service equipment as required in (B) if located at each next level distribution equipment downstream toward the load.
230.67(C) Type.
The SPD shall be a Type 1 or Type 2 SPD.
230.67(D) Replacement.
Where service equipment is replaced, all of the requirements of this section shall apply.


Regarding surge protectors, if you get hit with a direct strike, over energized circuits are probably the least of your worries, but a proximity strike can super energize the circuits also and that is where a surge protector can save your electronics. As Robert said, if your area has adopted 2020 NEC, then you should be looking for them in new panels. That same 2020 NEC added the requirement for a readily accessible exterior disconnect that sometimes will add to the cost of electrical service and changes, but arguably a worthy safety addition particularly for hundred-year-old houses with the old panel located in a dark closet corner of the basement.