Sub-Panel bonding - Again

Folks need a bit of input. Recently completed an inspection and found a sub-panel with a 3-Wire feed and Neutral / Ground bonded. Of course, I flagged this in the report, as well as multiple other electrical deficiencies I won’t go into. Sub-panel pic attached. The homeowner claims they have consulted an electrician, and I’m incorrect as this does not need to be brought up to code - leave out the comments on that, as I already asked him to have the electrician put that in writing on his company letterhead with license #.

The home was built in 1957. There was an electrical permit pulled in 2007 for a remodel or addition. Am I incorrect in my understanding anytime major electrical is done the system should be brought up to code?

If I’m wrong on this one, happy to admit it and go off on my merry way. However, according to everything I know, have read, and have researched this needs to be fixed.

What is your definition of “major electrical”?
Adding a couple of lighting and outlet circuits doesn’t typically dictate a system update.


There was a sub-panel added/tapped off the main panel to feed the work done in adding an addition and for a kitchen remodel - at least this is what I was told. The other sub-panel in question with the bonding was supposedly not touched.

Did the electrician also say that the double tapped lugs at top And the uninsulated neutral conductor were also permitted/allowed when this was sub panel was installed?

What size are those feeders? Looks like probably 8 awg. That would likely be too small for that panel, which would require new feeders anyways.
If you called out the lack of 4th conductor, you’ve done your job. I’m not sure that was ever allowed when in the same building as the main panel.
And what is up with those loops going to the other bus bars?

Yes, that’s what I was referring to with the double taps. Looks like there’s multiple issues that were done incorrectly, no matter when it was installed.

I don’t think you are wrong, but only because you used the word “should” in the above sentence. You deferred it to a qualified electrical contractor and that person said it is fine. Your work is done here. It’s on them now. You weren’t wrong in calling it out unless you used the word “must,” or similar.

Only the new work needs to meet the current code requirements. Older work can remain if untouched.

Three wire feeds in a detached structure were allowed until the 2008 NEC if there was no metallic path between buildings. The panel was bonded like a service.

But this is the same structure. I dont think that was ever allowed, correct?

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Correct, never allowed in the same building. I’ve run into this EXACT same scenario numerous times and it’s wrong, wrong, wrong (same scenario being some supposed electrician saying this is fine and should be, “grandfathered”). Stick to your guns - you are right here.

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You are correct. If that same electrician had been called out to do work on the home and saw that issue, he/she would have said that it was incorrect and your home inspector should have put it on your report. You did your job.

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Thanks all. Just getting back to this thread. The seller did provide an invoice and work order from an electrician (supposedly from an electrician) saying all was good. As such, I advised the agent (June) my job was done with a few more comments posted below. By the way, all those other issues mentioned in this thread were called out as well - double taps, undersized wire, etc.
Now, if you really want a good laugh, I’m attaching the picture of the supposed repair. You will clearly see why I advised the agent I’m done with this one and defer all responsibility to the electrician.

Hi June,
I was sent a picture of a panel modification (attached), one of which both did not address the original
issue, but may have potentially created a configuration more unsafe than the previous configuration.
We were sent to re-inspect for my client (the buyer), items based on the contract addendum which
states a licensed and insured electrician fix all items.
Regardless of who made the modification, we can’t remove the unsatisfactory rating in the present
panel configuration.
Best Regards,

I came to the conclusion, let the seller sue me. I would be much happier with the seller coming after me than a buyer whose child was electrocuted to death because some idiot refused to pay an electrician $400 or so for a proper repair job.