Is a sub panel required to have its own breaker?

Home has a 200amp main panel with a 200 amp sub panel. There is no seperate breaker for the sub.

The conection of the one of the2/0 AWG grounded conductors off the ground nuetral bar seems a poor application.

Q. Is the wire supposed to be identified with white tape or is this only needed in the main panel?

Q. What is the largest wire that is allowed on the ground nuetral bars? This would be at a screw & not a lug.

Wouldnt a better application of been to install a 200 amp breaker for the sub off the bus instead of just attaching the wires? And to use a lug attached to the nuetral ground bar for a better connection? The wire is somewhat difficult to see. I could not tell if they cut the wire as I see that a lot in this type of application.


Hi David,

That is a very cheap and nasty installation.

In answer to your questions
The neutral should be identfied
The conductor size would be part of the UL listing

My concern here would be the 2/0 connections to the buss, if they didn’t us properly rated lugs then they must have seperated the conductors in the 2/0 to jamb them into several smaller possotions on the bus, that would be improper.

What does the remote panel look like?



Whoa! You’ve got several issues right off the bat.

There is NO way that a 4/0AL can terminate on that bar without special lugs or terminations. I cannot see if anything is being used under all those wires but it looks like not.

How about the feed-through cable (bare) ground wire? I can’t see how that is terminated.

Does that feed-through block have a hold down screw? I can’t see one.

That twin breaker at the top looks as if it has both wires of a multi-wire circuit terminated on it. NOT cool.

Q. Clarify if these are 2/0 or 4/0. I thought the sleeve stated 2/0 above the main panel. (This is the first picture)

If 2/0 this would only be a 150 amp panel.

Here are a few more picks.(The 2nd pic is the sub panel)


The issues seem to be centered around how the grounding and grounded conductors are attached to the neutral bus. I don’t see a problem with the ungrounded conductors. The feed through lugs are not “backfed” so they don’t need supplimental hold downs and the conductors are properly protected by the 200a service disconnect.

Thanks for helping me try to understand this setup.

Side bar for Speedy Petey.
How were you able to tell those were aluminum conductors from the top photos.?

Sorry. I am wrong and Greg is correct about this. Those feed-through lugs do NOT need a screw. They only do if they are being used as back-feed lugs.

The neutral conductor in the SER cable is factory identified. In this photo it looks gray, which is also an acceptable color.

Lots of problems with this panel.

Bob O.84,pa.15330


I agree with Peter on the issue with the breaker in the upper left side. It appears to be a tandam on a multiwire circuit so make sure point that out.

In regards to the termination of the " Grounded " conductor in the main panel onto the “grounded/neutral” buss bar…changes are at its location it is not under a lug and no you can’t split the “grounded” conductor up and put some strands under one screw and the other under another…so check for that.

I also believe you have some 408.41 issues ( multiple “grounded” conductors under or sharing a termination on the buss bar ).

Also none of the conductors above these panels are secured properly ( within 12 inches ) of that enclosure.

Now i can’t tell from the image if you are indeed looking at 2/0 or 4/0 but the SE I am familiar with does look like what we are looking at here and if it is then it is indeed rated for 200A per 310.15(B)(6)…

Now…honestly I do not like feed thru panels like this…when I see this and notice the radius puts strain on the terminations and such I start to wonder…but alas…it is done so focus on what you can see my friend.

Gotta run…doing the FAMILY get together thing…Merry Christmas!