Feeder Cables

Hey folks,
I don’t usually see individual feeder cables supplying a panel board from the SE. This just doesn’t look right. Shouldn’t these cables be installed in a conduit? Any help would be appreciated.

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IRC E3702.2.2
Cable installed parallel to framing members

Where cables are installed parallel to the sides of rafters, studs, or floor joists, guard strips and running boards shall not be required, and the installation shall comply with Table E3702.1.

I’d recommend stapling of these cables to the floor joists.

Hi to all,

That whole installation is obviously a homeowner special and should be further evaluated by an electician.

  • Unattached wiring
  • Double tapped breaker (left side)
  • Neutral and ground on the same bus in a sub panel


And somebody installed the insulation upside down.

I am not surprised anymore at how poorly some installations are. This ties in with aother post I made earlier about how the installations are possibly not being installed by electricians, and people who do not know what they are doing are really creating not just violations, but some serious hazards.

The wiring you are referring to is not “cables”, they are conductors". You will be able to find them in table 310.13. You will also note the NEC and all other codes require conductors to be installed in one of the methods described in chapter 3. Those are open conductors and you are correct in stating they need to be installed inside one of the raceway types in chapter three.

You can also see in one of your photos, that the 100 amp 2-pole breaker is supplying a 3 conductor cable (copper). If that is supplying a subpanel, there is no neutral conductor installed with it.

I will not comment on any other part of buildings, but it is good to see the effort you are all making in trying to protect the consumer from the abominations we are seeing on the electrical threads.

What I thought too.

I’m not sure that rule applies to to high amperage main feeds inside the house. I have only seen them run inside BX or in conduit and terminated inside the panel.

Forget stapling these cables.

They are required to be in a raceway.

But that’ll make it too hard to tap into them when we need a light in the attic. :stuck_out_tongue: :roll:

It could be a very bright light…no pesky breakers to trip.:mrgreen:

The individual conductors that feed this sub really need to be in conduit.
I can’t see any white tape on the neutral in the subpanel.
All of those breakers are different types. Are they allowed to be mixed in this panel?
Is this panel allowed to have tandem breakers or have they been modified to fit in this panel?
There is double lugging on the neutral bar on the right hand side.
There is a ground wire on the neutral bar on the right hand side.
Its too hard to see whats going on with that 100 amp breaker and the wires going to it…need a better pic to tell.
There may be double lugging on the middle breaker on the left hand side. If breaker is not rated for this, flag it…need a better pic to tell.
Take a closer look at the wires coming into the top of the panel. There are a lot there and I cant tell how they are secured…need a better pic to tell.

You’ve got enough there to justify a proper electrician fix this panel.

Sorry I haven’t responded sooner to your posts. The owner of this home works for the power company and probably got these conductors from the utility. I think these conductors are utilized for service drops and should be in a conduit with a dwelling.

The AHJ in our area grandfathers 3 wire feeds to sub panels, I alway write it up.

I knew it just didn’t look right and found several IRC code violations which resulted in my recommendation for evaluation/repair by a licensed electrician.

I really appreciate the opportunity to participate on this forum. It is and has always been a positive learning experience.


To the best of my knowledge, a “three-wire” feed has never been allowed (unless inside a metal raceway) for a load side panel. How can this be grandfathered? Four conductors have always been required.


Go figure, 1960 home with 100 amp service and SE located inside in a hallway (old fuse panel with disconnect- usually a Walker panel in this area), gets a service upgrade to 200 amps and the original panel becomes a sub off the new panel (now the SE) installed beneath the meter. Find it all the time and the AHJ and all electricians will tell you the 3-wire original panel is a grandfathered installation. In other words, they will not require a 4-wire feed be installed in the remote panel.

Now, if it is a new permitted installation of a remote panel, a 4-wire feed is required. But in actuality, I rarely find them done correctly.

Anyway, this panel should have been a 4-wire feed from the SE and I always write it up.

AL? Where is that? Alabama? Friggen Hillbillies :smiley: :wink:

Call it what you will, but allowing that type of set-up is not grandfathering, it’s just wrong. There should be an equipment grounding conductor and a neutral conductor.


I totally agree. But as I mentioned, see this all the time and no one around her seems real concerned.

Same scenario seen on todays inspection, 3-wire no ground to interior panel, neutrals and grounding conductors on same bus, panel not bonded fed by 100amp breaker from the 6 throw disconnect beneath meter. I guess were just hopeless here in the hills. Well, got to go slop the pigs!;);-):smiley:

Steven, how do you write up the “missing” 4th wire in the subpanel in this case?

A 4 wire feed has 3 hots and one neutral. What would a house be 3 phase.

A 4 wire setup to a Sub-Panel ( Remote Distribution Panel ) does not have “3” hots…it has (2) Ungrounded(HOT) conductors, (1) Grounded and (1) Grounding(EGC) to the secondary enclosure.

The missing wire peter is speaking of is the “EGC” or Grounding Conductor for that SUB-PANEL ( Remote Distribution Panel ) as the statement was the main panel is now outside and it feeds the interior panel.

Thanks Paul for the clarification. So how would “Paul” write this up?
( I have writer’s block).