What defects do you see in this main panel?

-No bonding device, and…

Main panel 2.JPG

I think you better call Paul Abernathy to explain all the problems.
He can right a book on it. LOL:D

I can see all kind of problems, undersize wires, double tapping… and the panel is not even finish

What look like double-taps are actually neutral wires connected to neutral bus bars partially hidden beneath circuit breakers. Wire gauges were correct.

All of the cables entering at the bottom left are a problem. That MAIN CB is backfed so that would require a retention clip, bolt or other device to hold it in place. Is the backfed CB the service disconnect?

Panel is not flush, or projecting out from a combustible surface. Unused wires should be terminated with wire nuts (good practice). No retainer clip on backfed breaker. Cables not attached to panel.

Edit … RM, ya beat me to the punch by a few minutes while I was spell checking … Rats! But in your rush to be the winner, ya missed a few things … :stuck_out_tongue:


I will not teach in this area.
Certified Master Inspector does not mean I can explain the problems of a panel in detail.
The AHJ in this area is Paul Abernathy.
If he sees anything missed he will point it out in more detail and that is the CMI way.:smiley:

Are the feeders trimmed to fit the breaker lugs, can’t quite tell.

Yes, and the main disconnect is my main area of concern.

Are you concerned about the fact that the main breaker is backfed apparently without a retainer clip, or that it may not be rated as suitable for use as service equipment if backfed (would have to check the panel cover).

I think the backfed, double-pole main breaker (which connects to both busbars, just like any other 240V breaker) being used as the service disconnect on this lug-only panel is what’s throwing you Kenton, as that configuration is not the local practice in Boulder… but is fine, IMHO.

Anyway, I think it’s a subpanel because the grounds and neutrals look to be split, but I’m not an electrician (which is why I referred to this remote distribution panel or secondary panelboard as a “subpanel” ;-)).

OK, this is then the service which means that the GEC(s) from the grounding electrodes should terminate here on the neutral bus not on the equipment grounding bus. Also the neutral should be bonded to the enclosure. The backed CB is fine if it has the aforementioned clip, screw or other device to hold it in place. You would still have an issue with of the cables entering in the lower left of the panel and the panel edge not be flush with a combustible material (wood).

I only see a handful of issues … most of them not major. Paul is not the local AHJ, but he is a master electrician (and a really good and knowledgeable guy also). But these are some pretty basic issues for an experienced inspector. As a master inspector you should at least be able to identify the issues.

JMO & 2-Nickels … :wink:

Good point … but I see that all the time. Just like neutrals terminated on the ground bar (but apparently not in this panel) … :roll:

Come on it’s a “ground” wire … it must go to the ground bar … :shock:

Inspector points makes him the AHJ.:smiley:
Not any code crap company.

The equipment grounding conductors terminate on the grounding bus bar which is fastened directly to the metal panel. The neutrals terminate on the neutral bus bars which float, are bonded to each other, but lack a bonding strap or screw. I recommended a bonding device be installed. I don’t see any problem with that.
This is the first time I’ve ever heard the term “backfed” breaker used except with a grid-tie PV system. Never heard it mentioned on a job, an inspection , or by any electrician. It’s not mentioned in any of the inspection books we have (including Paul’s) and I’ve never seen one in Colorado. My impression is that they’re more common back east.
Ya think that maybe sometimes things are done differently in different parts of the country?

Backfed panels are sometimes found in my neck of the woods. The big thing is the main breaker/disconnect needs some type of devise (clip, bolt, bracket) to hold the breaker in place. Otherwise it could come loose and still be energized by the service wires … :roll:

Example backfed panel with retainer bolt …

Another more sticky issue is that some panels are not listed for use as service equipment with a backfed main breaker.

My point exactly Kenton!
Unless you have been everywhere you can’t make comments on Electrical this complicated without being in the same area. Yes there are evident things up front but I also have not seen this type of set up here either. Back fed panels sometimes but not very often.

I can respect when someone posts a question about something they havent seen before that isn’t covered in reference books they have, as opposed to just disclaiming everything for a master electrician to figure out.