I just finished an inspection and saw that in the main panel the neutral and ground bus bars were isolated from each other. Neutral/white wires terminated on the neutral bar and ground/bare wires terminated on the ground bus bar and connected to the panel ground. This home had (outside) incoming underground service to the meter into a main disconnect and then into an automatic generator transfer switch (large 60K generator) and then underground into the house. Is the separation of the neutral and ground because this is now a subpanel? would it be okay to separate the neutral and ground in the main panel under any circumstances?
The disconnect is the service. All others are just panels.
I agree with Jim the service equipment ends at the service disconnect. From that point the neutrals and EGC’s need to be isolated from each other. I would wonder about the neutral with a yellow stripe if that conductor is listed for use within a structure.
Ok so in most cases the main breaker in the panel is used as the main disconnect, which is why the grounded (neutral) conductor is typically bonded there. If, however, there is a disconnect before the panel. It’s likely that, that will be the location where the grounded (neutral) conductor will be bonded. If this is the case, the grounded (neutral) and grounding conductors must be kept separate after this point in the system. So if the grounded (neutral) conductor is bonded before the panel, you’ll have to have 4 conductors from the point of bonding to the panel.
Got it thanks guys!
The first means of disconnect after the meter is the service where the bonding takes place.
A panel can have a main breaker and not be a service panel.
That’s exactly why (when it comes to home inspectors) I try to discourage the word “main” when referring to panels.
You have “service” panels and you have “other” panels. Neutrals must remain isolated at all points past the “service” panel.
Great advice that I try to adhere to, though I have years of using the other terminology to overcome.
Jeffrey - good advice I will definitely be changing the way I refer to panels from this point forward. Thanks
I see Homeline and Siemens breakers in the panel, both don’t belong there.