Load Side Panel

Hey folks,

Inspected this home, new construction, SE beside meter with a 4-wire feed to the load side panel. The grounded and grounding conductors are both on the same bus in the load side panel, and multiple grounded conductors were installed in each lug. Can someone give me a IRC or NEC code reference for these violations.



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NEC 408.21 Grounded Conductor Terminations. Each grounded conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual terminal that is not also used for another conductor.

The other is a bit trickier to quote but you can start at… 250.24 (A)(5) Load-Side Grounding Connections. A grounding connection shall not be made to any grounded circuit conductor on the load side of the service disconnecting means except as otherwise permitted in this article. (None of those exceptions would apply).

It might be easier to just say “Neutrals may not be bonded to the grounding system anywhere but the Service Equipment.”. No electrician should argue with that…No code needed.

You might also include that the grounding conductors must be bonded to the load side panel.

I also don’t see any bonding of the service panel-----anyone know if bonding via the meter base is acceptable?

Thanks for the code references. I have got to get a NEC manual. Both panels are bonded. SE by use of bonding screw and the load side panel has a bonding clamp installed into a lug on the bus with Neutral/Grounds (wrong). These are typical findings in this builders homes. I had at least 21 deficiencies including at least 10 code violations which were mostly electrical.

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It also looks like the neutral conductor coming from the meter ought to be tagged white on its black insulation to identify it as the neutral.

If you are talking about the bond between the Meter Cab and the Service Panel…the Neutral " grounded conductor " will take care of that…if you are talking about the GEC to the GE…then depending on the AHJ…it could be bonded from the Meter or the SE…more than not it is at the Service Panel…

Personally…We always take the GEC to the Service Panel…on all homes…we ONLY change it in wintergreen IF the local AHJ demands it.

lol…this looks like the mobile home feed thru’s we use down here…If the image to the LEFT is the panel inside…and back to back it could be still 3 wire…all this is still considered outside of the building…

If it is changing over to 4 wire because the panel is remotly located furthur in that point of entrance then the GEC should leave from this panel shown( on the right )…thus the indoor panel become a 4 wire SUB…BUT based on this panel if the feed through at the bottom does not have a breaker to shut it off…and the panel inside is REMOTE…it would be wrong.

Man…you gotta forgive me tonight guys…I am beat…short handed and swamped…I am outta here for the night…

No problem Paul. Mr. Moore covered it quite well. . . :wink:

Just wanted to pass on to you all, that the Building Official was called to inspect these panels and informed the builder that these panels conformed to current building codes. There is no problemo!!! :twisted: This is happening more and more frequently with these officials. What am I to do? Feel frustrated. Do you guys experience these problems and what do you do?

Is that what the nice builder told you?

If you write “it” up and recommend corrections by a qualified electrician “for enhanced safety” you do away with the code reference while still covering yourself.

Just an idea.

Well he’s wrong.

It may be that they were passed, but there is no code that allows for this installation.


if you feel their is a major issue then by all means you can go over the local AHJ’s head and go to the head building official and state your case…in terms of the images shown…

1.) If the picture on the LEFT is the panel located within the house that is controlled by the MAIN breaker of the image shown in the picture to the right then the installation of the panel located in the image to the left is wrong…

Variables: If the panel in the image to the left is DIRECTLY behind this and a 4 wire was run…BUT not seperated at the indoor panel as shown here then you have additional issues…so we wont go their.

We really need to know the FULL story of this setup…if the panel in the image to the LEFT is not controlled by the main breaker in the image to the right and is simply fed from the bottom and is a feed thru style then the inspector would be ok in his comments…but again depends on that main breaker…in the image to the right…

Conclussion- Based on the way the image on the right lOOKS to me…the panel shown on the right…SHOULD be the location of the GEC and GE for the system…the fact the EC ran (4) wire from this panel to the panel image shown on the left inside…means it is a “remote distribution panel” and the grounds and neutrals should be separated as called for in the NEC.

However…is their ANYTHING else in this setup you are not listing…

Hey guys,

Update, talked to the builder last PM and discussed the panel issues. Reinspected the home this morning and the neutrals and grounding conductors have been separated in the load side panel and the boding clamp removed from the neutral bus. I was amazed that they did the right thing.

Paul, the exterior panel (SE) has a 4 wire feed (approximately 30’ of conductor) to the inside panel (sub or non service rated panel).

Thanks for all of the input, and code references.


Excellent…See…You look like a hero and MAYBE the electrician learned something…lol…glad they are not in my apprentice class as I would give them hell for 4 years…:slight_smile:

I have seen many service equipment panels that are just plain wrong, but had just been passed by a local AHJ inspector.

That’s why I don’t bother citing code (and am, in this state, prohibited from doing so), I just point out national standards, like the NEC, but only as a national standard, as also mentioned in our state law.

Inspected a new townhouse in a small local town. They had only accepted an old NEC and had many local variances to the NEC. No GFCI or AFCI protection. It was ‘code’ (according to the local AHJ) but was dangerous (or, at least, not as safe as modern standards would have it).

Again, the client (and his lawyer) were confused. As usual, they believed that there was no higher standard than the village code. I explained the realityies of life (and politics) to them for about 20 minutes, and they finally got it. They decided that they did not want to buy a house where the builder had so little regard for their safety.

A tough row to hoe, we have.

Man…Will I am just picturing you bashing us electricians " its Code" like you did in OHIO…lol…I got a picture to post on that…let me see if I can upload it in the next few days…lol

Not ‘bashing’, Paul. I would never bash an accomplished professional (as most electricians are). You misunderstand.

Think like a home inspector (In other words, be distrated about those long island ice teas awaiting us at the end of the day!) for a moment.

Local codes are the creation of local politicians, sometimes with the input of educated, experienced, qualified and expert consultants. But politicians are politicians. They have to weigh many sides of every story.

  • Developers and builders want to do the minimum possible at the lowest cost.
  • Subcontractors want the same. They also don’t want to come back and re-do work and not get paid for it (and most won’t).
  • Buyers want the lowest price, but also want the safest, most trouble free house. And they simply refuse to do their part with regards to regular maintenance and testing (how many laymen actually test their GFCIs every month?)
  • Politicians want ot be re-elected.

Because of this, the client will not always be protected like they should be (even from themselves!), yet, they will always look to ‘government’ to have already given them the needed protection. And when the manure hits the rotating blades, and they find out that they are not protected as they would like to be and they have to dole out mucho dinaro, They will be angry. They will sue. They can’t sue the politicans. They can’t sue their own RE lawyer. They can’t sue the builder or the seller (because it would take too long and they want immediate relief and they wouldn’t winn anyway) and they won’t accept their own fault. They can’t sue the electrician (his defense? “It was code!”).

Who is left?

The home inspector.


Here’s what I say:

"The load side equipment panel (sub-panel) in the (insert location here) had neutrals and grounding conductors tied to the same bus bar. Sub-panels are required to have a floating neutral bus and a bonded ground bus. Separation of grounds and neutrals is required to achieve this. This panel box is not installed correctly. "

lol…No I didn’t WILL…just bustin your chops fella…thehehehe

Oh wait…you dont like my theheheheheheh…lol…