What Do You See?

Sparky said everything is AOK.

main panel.JPG

Couple of connectors missing in the knock outs.
Either/ or a couple of conductors reversed or improperly marked.As in I see two commons going to breakers not marked w/ black tape but then at the ground terminal receiving two black conductors.
Maybe they thought that would be easier than reversing every outlet they wired wrong.

Who knows…?

First thing I noticed was lack of conductor protection at panel entry. (no bushings)

Maybe a double tap at top right.

Looks like the main feed has really been trimmed down at breaker… or it’s an optical illusion :slight_smile: hard to tell.

Have that “sparky” put it in writing and sign his name and license number.

That way, when the house burns down, guess who gets to pay the bill…:roll:

Where are those wires going on the lugs below the main breaker?

Based on my limited knowledge, there are three things I would question;

  1. This looks like one of those panels that started out life as a Main-Lugs-Only panel that has had a 100a. main breaker field-installed, with its load side connected to the lugs where the smaller wires are attached now. It doesn’t seem correct to take off a sub-feed (?) at this point - the main breaker is overrated for protection of this sub-feed. Also, notice how sharply those conductors are bent in order to force them into such a small space.
  2. Where is the neutral that follows the main conductors? I am guessing that the uninsulated stranded conductor goes with that sub-feed (?) attached to the main bus lugs, unless it’s hidden beneath something.
  3. Others have probably things such as the open knockouts, lack of connectors for cables, white wires to breakers not re-identified, Trimming (derating) of the main conductors, etc.


There are quite a few problems with this panel for sure;

  • There are 4 CU-AL (more aluminum) conductors at the top left hand side of the combination panel. This panel gives you an option to use the main breaker or to have a disconnect ahead of it and tie your lines directly onto the main lugs. The main lugs shouldn’t have been used in this case. There is a neutral (second extreme left), L2 (red-middle left), L1 (black-middle right) then a ground (far right). A little red insulation is showing on L2 near the 3#10 wire that still has a full jacket near the breaker.

  • The main L1 and L2 are going to the main 100 Amp breaker and the neutral is cut and spliced with a few smaller neutrals going to the main neutral bar lug.

  • The smaller neutral wires are obstructed by the wire coming in from the bottom left hand side of the panel.

  • The main ground was also split and spliced with white wires and they too are going to the neutral bar as there is no main ground lug in the panel.

  • The two bare copper grounds at the top of the panel are connected to this ground as well. There are some grounds attached to the neutral bar directly.

  • The cable at the bottom left appears to be in a lead sheath and does have 3 conductors but the neutral is stripped and goes to the neutral bars main lug. The grounding is supposed to take place from the lead sheath but there isn’t even a connector in place for it to do that. The wire could have been a two wire with ground and is now being used as a three wire.

  • This panel needs a ground bus and all the grounds need to go to it. There is a double bonding here as I know there is a main disconnect ahead of this panel and it’s bonded there. The wires feeding this panel are not service entrance wires straight from the meter. The potential for hazard exists, the neutrals and the grounds need to be separated.

  • The bare neutral at the bottom needs heat shrink and or white tape bare minimum and the main aluminum neutral at the top needs a proper white #3 AWG wire extended with a crimp on barrel covered in heat shrink and ran to the neutral lug as well.

  • The wire at the bottom needs to be on a breaker as the main lines are of a higher ampacity. I see two slots available at the bottom right corner as there is nothing attached to the breakers. Put a double pole for the #8’s or #6’s that are on the mains right now.

It’s a bit hard to see in the panel and I may have made a mistake in what I saw but a lot of what I said still stands. :wink: