Did an inspection today on a home built in 2005. The service panel is outside and the distribution panel is located in the garage directly behind the service panel. There are only 3 conductors running from the service panel to the distribution panel and the conduit connecting them is plastic.
The panel has 2 neutral bars located on each side of the main busses which hold the circuit breakers. There is a metal bar at the top that connects the 2 busses. The panel does not have a separate ground buss.
The neutral wires are connected to the buss on the left and the ground wires are connected to the buss on the right. The right buss has a bonding screw installed which in this case is bonding the neutrals and the grounds to the panel.
I pointed out that the neutrals and grounds are only permitted to be connected together in the service panel and that there should be 4 conductors between the panels so that the grounds and neutrals can be isolated from each other. The buyer asked me how the home could have passed an electrical inspection and I told him that it should not have. That was where it got sticky.
The seller was also present and asked what the problem was. I explained it to him and he was not too happy. It turns out that he is a building inspector for the county where the home is located. He got on the radio and called the chief electrical inspector, who is supposed to go there tomorrow.
I know it is not supposed to be done that way but my question is, what danger is there from having the neutrals and grounds connected together and bonded to the panel?
The first photo shows the entire panel and the second shows the bar connecting the two busses and the bond screw.