Remote distribution panel or subpanel?

That’s what I see too.

It looks like the remote panel feed grounging conductor is located directly above where its grounded conductor is terminated. It is a little hard to tell sizewise but the count is correct.

Thank you. That’s why I asked…

Marc, Paul and any other electricians who are kind enough to come on this BB,

Please continue to share code citations as I and others find the references helpful.

I see nothing wrong with giving the code reference as long as a layman’s explanation is also provided.

The codes are a great resource for the home inspector even if we are not code officials. If one understand the reason behind the code he can be a better inspector IMO.:slight_smile:

It doesn’t matter if it happens to be fed with 4-wire. There is nothing that would compel a person to seperate the grounds in a panel in a detached structure with no other metallic paths. A ‘subpanel’ needs a 4 wire feed with grounds and neutrals seperated except when that load side panel is in a detached structure with no other metallic paths. Simple as that. Calling it out would be irresponsible in this case, if there happen to be no other metallic paths between the two structures. If there are, or you can’t tell, calling it out might be prudent. Otherwise, there’s no violation. Seperating the grounds and neutrals would be totally optional in that case.

I’d be more concerned with whether that type NM cable that’s feeding that panel is pulled in an underground conduit. I’d be more concerned with what appears to be a missing bond screw or strap. I’d be more concerned with what appears to be a missing grounding electrode system. I’d be more concerned with what appears to be at least one sorely overfilled conduit. I would not be a bit concened about a 3-wire feed to a detached structure with no other metallic paths.

Oh, on the subpanel rhetoric, Jeff… the NACHI SOP happens to use the word subpanel.

Here is what I’m referring to Greg (bold is mine)

That certainly doesn’t make it right.

The use of the word “subpanel” is fine, as long as everyone is on the same page, which is rarely the case with home inspectors. Do a search on this forum (or any other HI Elec forum for that matter) and you’ll see hundreds of examples where there is confusion - the original post in this thread is a prime example.

I’ve read posts stating things like “this is a picture of the main service subpanel,” or, "the main disconnect located in the subpanel." Or my favorite, “can the grounds and neutrals be connected at the main supanel?”

There’s a simple solution - stop using a term that causes confusion. If it is not “service” equipment, it must be “other” equipment. If it’s not a “service panel,” it must be an “other panel.”

What say you then, to this?

(referenced in my above post)

Which is why I would prefer to see it called

Sub-Panel = Remote Distribution Panel
Main Panel = Service Panel or Main Distribution Panel

Makes it easier when teaching…but thats just me…personally the use of Sub-Panel does not bother me as long as they understand the concepts that are involved with it clearly.

Sure you can have a OCPD in a “Remote Distribution Panel” and to be honest that is just what it is…an overcurrent protection device which is probably redundant in basic cases because of the OCPD located in the “Service Panel " or " Main Distribution Panel”…in fact we hardly ever use MLO panels just because of the cost…I can usually get Service Panels that have the ability to also be " Remote Distribution Panels" for a bit less…guess it is supply and demand.

In regards to the 230.32(B)(2) statement…this is VERY hard for a HI to determine in an routine inspection…hell it can be hard enough in a municiple inspection but sometimes we find it…take the example of my brother I use in my seminars…he wont talk to me these days because of a violation I called out when filling in for a AHJ…he had tried to use 230.32(B)(2) yet in the trench he also had structured wiring between the buildings and a concrete walkway with rebar…all of which presented a PATH that would not allow 230.32(B)(2)…so I failed him…and thus we have not talked since…

BUT this was during a municiple inspection…not a home inspection…so it is very hard to determine if this rule is being applied…what I would concern myself with is if the detached facility has the proper bonding and grounding associated with it…

I know when I visited the ITA school in Manassas,VA I was sitting in and they got to that section and point blank said you MUST have a 4 wire setup to a detached garage…and anything else was a violation of the code…and in no uncertain terms…while I did not agree I spoke up and explained all the in’s and out’s…obviously to the dismay of the instructor but it needed to be spoken.

dgsdfg

:smiley:

tom

Marc,

I think you know this…but as being compelled…not seperating them in a “remote distribution panel” that was done with 4 wires would create a parallel path…if installed as a 3 wire setup to a detached structure in 250.32(B)(2) would allow…

IN the above the " metallic paths " are the reason that 250.32(B)(2) can’t be done…so in running 4 wires and NOT being compelled to separate them would be a direct violation of 250.32(B)(2) in a technical sense.

http://www.mikeholt.com/onlinetraining/page_images/1014156469_2.gif

This subsection added a new requirement and it reads:

(B) Grounded Systems
(2) Grounded (neutral) Conductor.** Where (1) an equipment grounding conductor is not run with the supply to the building or structure, and (2) there are no continuous metallic paths bonded to the grounding system in both buildings or structures involved, and (3) ground-fault protection of equipment has not been installed on the common ac service, the grounded circuit conductor run with the supply to the building or structure shall be connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s) and shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded. **

The size of the grounded conductor shall not be smaller than the larger of:
(1) That required by 220.22 (maximum unbalanced neutral load), or
(2) That required by 250.122 (equipment grounding conductor size). Figure 250–10

Intent: The new sentence specifies how to size the grounded (neutral) conductor to a building or structure, when an equipment grounding conductor is not run to the separate building or structure.

Author’s Comment: When an equipment grounding conductor is not run to a separate building or structure, the grounded (neutral) conductor must be used to provide the effective fault current path required to clear any line-to-case faults in addition to carrying any unbalanced neutral current.P.s…those are Mr. holts comments…not mine…:slight_smile:

. . .and it must be connected **to the building or structure disconnecting means **(in other words, a switched or fused neutral, no?)

I’m about to start my final inspection for the day. I’ll check back in later. . .

Thought they were familiar.

As for Marc, I think the dude is on the Marc! (pun intended).

tom

**250.6 Objectionable Current over Grounding Conductors.

(A) Arrangement to Prevent Objectionable Current.

**The grounding of electrical systems, circuit conductors,
surge arresters, and conductive non

–current-carrying materials
and equipment shall be installed and arranged in a
manner that will prevent objectionable current over the
grounding conductors or grounding paths.

This would make it a compelling argument to NOT tie the Grounded and Grounding conductors together in a 4 wire setup to a detached garage so to speak…the 250.32(B)(2) section has been debated for many years…some think it will disappear in future cycles…

I wouldn’t connect the feeder ECG to the bar either, and havn’t said that’s proper. It’s okay that they ran 4-wire and only have the panel connected as 3-wire, but the ECG should remain unconnected. It is a parallel path for the neutral. The panel has plenty of issues, but being connected as a 3-wire panel is not among them.

Jeff that is telling you to bond the 3 wire feeder grounded conductor to the disconnect enclosure, where you also connect the ground electrode conductor. This is simply treating the second building like the first where you had a 3 wire service drop.
If there is a 4th wire in the feeder you WILL NOT reground the neutral in the second building. I doubt an inspector would simply let you tiee it back if he saw it was avaiable. It is true 250.32(B)(2) is going to be deleted in the 2008 assuming there is no last minute stay of execution. This is the same logic that made 250.50 go away (3 wire to dryers/ranges). The war is over, there is no reason to save copper anymore. Cost is no object if you can squeeze out another .0001% of safety … or so it seems.

I understand the practical application of a 3-wire feed, and I know that installers/technicians say that it’s proper, but you will have a difficult time convincing me that the code implies anything other than what it says.

This is simply one of the reasons why I say “a home inspector should defer a 3-wire feed to a qualified electrician.”

I am not going to try and convince anyone that my interpretation is absolute, and I’m not going to try and verify “no other metallic pathway.” I’m going to state that the three wire feed should be verified as compliant by a qualified electrician (or something to that affect).

You still have 225.38 that says this can be (dis)connected via a busbar.

This is the example in the handbook, see a disconnect on the neutral?

Image1.jpg

250.32 (B)(2) Grounded Conductor. Where (1) an equipment grounding conductor is not run with the supply to the building or structure, (2) there are no continuous metallic paths bonded to the grounding system in both buildings or structures involved, and (3) ground-fault protection of equipment has not been installed on the common ac service, the grounded circuit conductor run with the supply to the building or structure shall be connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s) and shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded.

The intent is to connect the grounded conductor to the disconnect for grounding and bonding of the equipment, just like it is required at other equipment. The last part of the section makes this clear.

Brian,

Yep…as long as all the FACTORS in that article are met. Just want guys to be clear that IF you have a 4 wire setup to a detached garage…you MUST have the Grounded and Grounding separated as you would normally see in a typical “remote” distirbution setup in a dwelling…lets not confuse the two as 250.32(B)(2) is very specifiic in nature.

It will certainly be easier when/if this section of the code “goes away.” I like the thought that the 4-wire feed will be the new mandate, but until then, I still see this as a switched or fused neutral.

I’m not arguing with any of you that there cannot be a different intent than what I am proposing, I’m simply giving you the information as I understand it and as it was explained to me by two different city inspectors.