Sub Panel

What is wrong in this SUB PANEL???

Well, Buck, it isn’t fed with 4 wires, the grounding conductors (grounds)and grounded conductors (neutrals) aren’t separated and the grounded conductors (neutrals) aren’t isolated. I didn’t look beyond that.


Thanks, neither did I. It is amazing what people do.

Is there anything wrong with those smaller wires to the 30 amp breaker using the same conduit as the larger feeder wires? I know it’s a short run, does it matter how long the conduit is?

The proper term for that panel is a distribution panel.

The ground feader needs to be marked as a ground.
looks like you have one mis-match breaker? can see very well.
looks like you have sheet rock screws holding the panel to the wall?



I did notice a bond screw and strap lying on the bottom of the sub-panel. They do a better job when properly attached. This raceway is fine with multiple wires in it as long as the conduit fill isn’t exceeded.


Better late than never. :wink:

  • The 2#10 lines coming out of the main distribution panel are illegal. By doing this you are feeding a circuit from the sub panel that goes somewhere into your house from the main distribution panel. You cannot use the main distribution panel as a junction box. Put the circuit straight into the sub panel even if you have to extend the cable with using a small junction box.

  • A case or equipment ground should have been installed from the main distribution panel to a main ground lug that seems to be missing. Your panel is grounded with the threaded offset connector but how many people actually sand the paint off the panel for a good ground.

  • The neutral wire isn’t identified with white on both ends.

  • The circuit grounds need to go directly to a ground bus on the case.

  • The three wire on the right side of the panel needs to be on a double pole breaker, not two singles.

  • There is too much insulation on the 2#14 wire coming in at the bottom of the panel.

  • You need to use proper screws to support the panel.

  • The main distribution neutral in the sub panel is already bonded in the main distribution panel. Therefore, your neutrals are bonded. If you use the bonding strap at the bottom of your panel it will create a double bonding situation. The distance is short for the double bonding and wouldn’t pose a threat but double bonding is illegal.

Just my two cents. :shock:

Why wouldn’t they have put a ground bus in that sub-panel, or am I missing it.

Hi John,

Well, I just asked in another thread for a Sparky to clarify something with me. I didn’t realize till seeing a second panel here that the grounds are always tied with the neutrals in the USA.

In Canada they’re not. Neutrals go to neutral bar screws and grounds go to the ground bar screws. Bonding takes place with a jumper. All thought I do have a keen eye for electrical deficiencies, I believe I screwed up here. I will know for the future if I have my question answered.



I found a panel here in the threads that have the grounds attached to a ground bar. So maybe I’m not mistaken after all.

I guess maybe the grounds are supposed to be grounded to the box and bonding is taking place in the main distribution panel or main disconnect. I know one thing for sure, if the system is bonded somewhere else then these grounds shouldn’t be on the neutrals here.

Neutrals are current carrying conductors. If you tie the bare ground onto a neutral the bare ground becomes a current carrying conductor as well. Grounds shouldn’t carry current except under a fault condition.The only place that it should meet the neutral is at the bonding point to take the fault current to earth ground. Anything ahead of that and you possibly have current in your walls on bare grounds. A neutral is insulated for a reason. Why would you connect them together at the neutral bar???

Darn it, I just looked at the panel again and the neutral bar doesn’t appear to be isolated from the case. So I’m back to square 1.

Where’s the Sparky? lol



I did a little homework on US installs.

A normal service entrance should have the main service disconnect bonded with a jumper. Neutral and ground (electrode or street side water main ground) are connected and isolated from the main service disconnect. This is the only point where the ground and neutral should touch together in a system.

From the main service disconnect you enter your panel and the neutral should go on the neutral bar and the grounds on a ground bar and there should be no jumper to the panels enclosure. I provided a picture of a panel but it’s a pic from the US.

This is what I’m talking about, it should be like this and I don’t know why most of the panels I see here are connected differently.

If there was no main disconnect ahead of a combination panel with main breaker, then the jumper would be installed in the panel and the grounds and neutrals would still be wired as shown in the panel. We never tie neutrals to grounds at two points in a system let alone 1, it’s a hazard.


Many times the main panel is considered the disconnect. Houses were not always built with a breaker/disconnect on the meter can or a fused disconnect in between the meter and the main panel. It is quite common to find the grounding and grounded conductors together on the same bar. When they’re under the same lug on the bar, that’s the no-no.


First of all, thanks for all the research.
I think it’s the same in Canada as in the US.
In the main panel with the disconnect, the neutral and ground come together.
In a sub-panel, the neutrals and grounds are separated, and the neutrals are isolated from the panel as well.
I was just wondering why, since the picture is of a sub-panel, there is no bus bar for the grounds.

Hi John,

You’re welcome about the research.

Yes the main neutral (service entrance) and main ground (earth ground) come together on the main neutral bar lugs and these lugs are isolated from the panel enclosure except by a jumper. If there is no disconnect ahead of the panel and the panel is the disconnecting means this is correct.

The circuit grounds do not go on the neutral bar screws in this type of installation nor do they go together in a sub-panel installation. The circuit grounds are separated by a neutral bar jumper to ground in the main distribution panel. The sub panel never has the jumper installed and the grounds go on the enclosures (panel casing) ground bar and are completely separated from the neutrals.

This is what I tried to explain in my last post.



But that’s what I’m saying, I don’t see the ground bar in that sub panel.

Michael, where did you get this info? I do not believe this is a violation, at least in the U.S.

Canadian Electrical Code

12-3034 - Wiring Space Enclosures

Enclosures for overcurrent devices, controllers, and externally operated switches shall not be used as junction boxes, troughs, or raceways for conductor feeding through to another apparatus.

Well you’re right, this is a Canadian code.

Mike :wink:

Hi John,

I know, I just wanted to re-interate on the fact that grounds from the circuits in the main distribution panel never touch neutrals either.

So almost all of the panels I’ve seen here in this forum thus far have the circuit grounds wired to the neutral bar screws and they’re not correctly wired.


If you are trying to say that the neutrals and grounding conductors can’t be on the same bar in the main dist. panel, you are incorrect. In the States, anyway. If you are trying to say that the neutrals and grounding conductors can’t be under the same lug, then you are correct. I’m just a little confused on how you worded your statement.