Quick background: I’m currently working through the 120-hour course load for becoming a FL CHI and have been using my own home as a guinea pig for completing the essay assignments. I am confused on the following situation in my main service panel:
Square D 200 amp panel with 200 amp main with lateral service on a 2018 production built home in South Florida. Slab-on-grade foundation with concrete block walls and stucco finish.
I’m not seeing the main grounding wire entering the panel and the green bonding screw is unused. Don’t see a grounding rod outside the lateral entrance and meter either.
I believe an alternate grounding method can be utilized via rebar and other steel embedded in the slab or within the walls which I may not see. However, the bus bar appears to be lacking a solid return to Earth with the exception of the white-taped service line that lugs to it. Being a lateral, the service travels 3’ underground, over 80-feet to the pole and transformer, but inside PVC conduit.
Can someone explain if there is a safety or code issue in this setup or this is a new normal?
Post pics of the outside service equipment (meter, any disconnects/ panels). Something is off here. At first I took your word for it and did not examine the pic lol
Why do you say that? It has the main disconnect, and the neutrals and grounding conductors are bonded, with a bonding screw.
Magnus, the grounding is carried through your neutral service feeder, to the meter, and the meter is where you will have the GEC going to the earth. Your panel does have a green bonding screw, bottom left on the bus bar. Unless you are saying it is backed out, but if it is unused, it should have been removed. I am also in FL, and that is the way I see it 95% of the time.
Look for the GEC conductor to exit at the bottom of the meter, and then it is probably covered over with the stucco. If you dont see a ground rod, it likely goes to rebar. As long as you can see it exiting the meter can, you are good.
Because I read his description and went by the description. I didn’t realize in time for you to reply
Haha, I figured… you have helped me numerous times as well
Are my eyes bad or did I see neutrals and grounds lugged on the same bar on both bus bars?
Your eyes are fine The picture is of the service panel.
He said that the green bonding screw is unused, it is present but does that mean that it is not threaded into the cabinet? Also the GEC can terminate elsewhere upstream of the service. A Simon mentioned other photo’s may fill in the blanks.
Thank you all for chiming in on this topic. At the request of @srechkin below is a photo of the meter outside. Is that widget with the painted over flex conduit below the meter part of the GEC?
Would this widget connect meter ground to rebar in the wall/foundation?
If so, how does that grounding pass from meter to panel? A hard connection between the two? Or is it via the 2/0 copper re-labeled with white tape coming into the panel?
Correct, take a screw driver, remove the one screw cover and peek inside. This widget, btw, is known as intersystem bonding terminal and is used to bond cable/telco gear.
Correct, via the neutral (grounded conductor) re-identified with white tape. The GEC is allowed to land on the neutral conductor anywhere between the service point and the service panel. In your case, it’s done at the meter in between the two.
That is called a IBT or intersystem bonding termination device. As Simon suggested remove the cover and see what’s there
There is no “ground” from the meter to the panel. The panel neutral conductor is bonded directly to the panel enclosure.
Thank you so much for the clarification, Robert and Simon.
I’m anticipating many newer homes in my area wired in this manner and it’s good to know the ins and outs of this now before hitting the field.
Utilizing the first photo I attached of the panel interior, I’d like to ask another question:
Two of the double pole breakers have white wire exiting them that has not been re-identified. The 40-amp in the photo is for the A/C compressor while the 30-amp is for the water heater.
Is this another common scenario with newer construction or a mistake on the electrician and municipal code inspector’s part?
Reference: the electric water heater is hardwired (not a receptacle at the appliance) and the outdoor A/C unit has a separate box on the exterior wall with flex conduit running to the unit. This box most likely has its own disconnect for the service technician.
Correct, those white colored conductors used as a hot (ungrounded) conductor are part of a cable assembly and have to be re-identified. If conductors are pulled inside a conduit and are or smaller than #6 they have to be of right color, cannot be reidentified. #4 or larger can be reidentified. Too many rules!
So, even if those were reidentified as red/black it would still not be to code because they are #10 and #8 respectively and pulled through conduit? (the water heater circuit exits the wall in metal flex and the A/C exits to the exterior enclosure) Definitely a lot to remember
Thank you for all the insight!
Post pics of the upper portion of inside of the panel. I doubt they are in a “conduit”.
I agree with Simon the more photos you can provide the better the responses will be.
Individual conductors smaller than #4 need to be installed with the correct color insulation. A white conductor in a cable can be reidentified as a hot regardless of size.