Sub Panel Wiring

Hi, I’m relatively new to NACHI and this is my first posting, hope I’m doing things right. I inspected a condo and with regards to the electrical this is not something that I had seen before. The condo is a two bedroom unit, located in Southern California, approx. age: 20 years. The service panel serves 4 units. The sub-panel of the condo that I inspected is located in the hallway of the unit. On inspection, I observed paint overspray spray in the box and on the wiring - wrote that up, but the wiring is what I found curious. The ground terminal is located under all the wiring on the right side of the box - was not able to give a proper inspection. The ground wires going to the terminal were white and not “labeled” green - wrote that up. I was not able to determine if the the terminal was bonded due to the wiring on top of it. I did not find a neutral bus bar as expected, but found a bundle of aluminum “neutral” wires clamped together, as shown in the picture. The bundle was isolated but I noted that it was very close the the breakers. While I did not write it up I did note it as a curiosity and that it would not be a bad idea to have a qualified electrician to review the panel. I would valve your thoughts and opinions.




What a mess.

I believe you’ve got aluminum branch wiring there…Big Red Flag.

Did you see the wire type at the breaker connection?


What was being used as the feeder to this dist. panel? Maybe it was too difficult to tell. The kearney (split bolt) appears to be clamping AL (possibly the neutral conductor?) and Cu…is it rated for that?? There’s no way of knowing with the kearney in that position. Where are the Cu conductors (clamped in the kearney) originating from? Are these the grounding conductors? have they been wrongly clamped to the neutral? I’ve seen kearney’s used in gutter’s (ahead of overcurrent protection) but never in service or dist. panels. It tough to tell from the photos, but I’m wondering if the Neutral and Grounding conductors are mixed up.

Sorry for raising more questions…At a very minimum I would indicate unconventional wiring practices and call in the electrician!

The split-bolt is clamping AL to CU and needs a divider (if it’s even listed for this).

It seems that the “bundle” is actually a stranded conductor - could be wrong. It appears to be the EGC rather than the “neutrals.” As such, it would be required to be bonded to the enclosure.

The paint and plaster are an issue, and the whole mess should be deferred.

Yep, that splitbolt is installed incorrectly as it is only designed for (2) conductors and I count at the least (3) and chances are it is not a AL/CU bolt but I can’t say on that as it does not show the listing on it.

Also as a sub panel it should have that “BAR” you are looking for…in fact it should have (2) of them and the one with the neutrals should be insulated from the enclosure.

I agree on this panel you wont go wrong by simply making some basic notes on the improper splitbolt and lack of a proper grounding buss as your basis and I am sure the electrician will find other issues and solve the problems.