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TOPIC: Sub & main panel question

Re: Sub & main panel question 11 years 8 months ago #29950

Yes, the service drop is in there along with the ground.

Quick story about that setup.  I had a condo with a stange electric glitch.  Some of the 120v room outlets would become inoperative when we turned the AC system on.  Two home warranty program pros couldn't find the problem.  An electrician was finally called who located a loose main service drop lug inside that remote service disconnet.  I've forgotten the exact scenario, but it is possible for an issue way over there to cause some very strange activity within the individual unit, which in this case was a couple hundred feet away at the opposite end of the building.

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Re: Sub & main panel question 11 years 8 months ago #29954

If I understand the arrangement correctly, the panel to the left of the meter would be the main panel (and you should find a ground somewhere in that assembly) so the inside panel would be a sub-panel and should have a 4 wire feeder.
P.S. - don't know about CA, but in our area an external disconnect is generally required by the fire department.

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Last Edit: by Frank Newman.

Re: Sub & main panel question 11 years 8 months ago #29970

Frank-look at my first post. The in unit panel or sub, has only 3 wires, no ground and it has a bond present. I do not think it needs the ground wire because the conduit acts as the ground. But, there should not be a bond in the sub as far as I can remember.

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Re: Sub & main panel question 11 years 8 months ago #29973

That is correct - you should have observed a ground wire and connection either leaving the meter box or the main panel located next to it.  Neutral and ground woudl be connected together in that main panel.  In the sub panel, no external ground is required, but the neutral and ground busses should be separate, thus requiring 4 conductors to be feeding that panel.

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Re: Sub & main panel question 11 years 8 months ago #29976

Frank take a look at the panel in my first post and tell me what you think. I see 3 conductors, 2 hot, 1 neutral, and the bond.

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Re: Sub & main panel question 11 years 8 months ago #29995

Based on what I see, if the sub-panel was in a single-family it would be incorrect - the ground and neutral busses should not be bonded.  There should be 4 wires, 2 hot, 1 neutral, and one ground.  Then ground bus in the sub-panel should be bonded to the panel only.  The service entrance should be grounded at the main panel (the general principle is that the ground should be connected at only one point, as near to the  the service entrance as possible).

Now, all that said, this is just my opinion - I did not go back to the code sections applicable to multi-unit service to see if there are any exceptions and I don't know what, if anything, the local authority having jurisdiction approved.  For other opinions, I would suggest asking the same question at NACHI.org; where you will definitely get more opinions. :-)

P.S. - just noticed where you are located and the conduit used, which may be serving as the ground conductor to the sub panel.  In that case, (again IMHO) if the path is continuous, the number of conductors would be ok, but the neutral and ground busses should still not be connected together.

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Last Edit: by Frank Newman.
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