Grounding Bus Questions

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by eric3872, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    You have all been really helpful with your advice and suggestions. I'm wiring a new clothes dryer and am at the final step. I've run into a snag. I ran 10/3 from a new 30amp outlet. I have a 2pole 30 amp breaker ready to add to my panel (I'll be freeing up a slot by adding a 20amp tandem to one of the slots and removing another breaker that serves a dedicated outlet than is not in use). The snag I've ran into is:

    The 10/3 wire has a dedicated bare copper ground. The way my panel was wired, it appears that there are either two neutral bus bars, or the grounding bus bar has neutral wires attached to it. Is it possible that both bus bars are for the neutrals and there is no grounding bar? The whole house is wired with BX, so there are no ground wires in the panel connecting to anything as far as I can tell. My question is, can I attach the copper ground to one of the bus bars that has neutrals on it, or do I have a more complicated problem on my hands? See photos of panel below. Also, there is what appears to be a grounding clip in the panel, but nothing is attached to it. Any help would be appreciated.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    you can't post a link to YOUR COMPUTER and expect the world to see it! You REALLY don't want the world to see your computer at will!

    Upload those pics to a free account at photobucket.com


    Without seeing your details, in a main panel the neutral bus and the ground bus are tied together. Speedey will tell us if it is ok to mix and match whites and bares on either of those busses.
  3. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Not everyone can see your pictures.

    If you have a older box then you may not have a separate ground bus.

    What ever bus that your box Ground rod is connected to is where the bare ground wire should be connected.


    DonL
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    The neutral and ground are connected together in the panel, so if your panel does not have a separate ground bar, it is acceptable to connect the ground wire to one of the neutral bars.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    CLOSE! Select one of your photos. Underneath it are some options. One is direct link. Copy that line and post it. if you keep the size small enought the photo will appear using the format. If it is too big...no worries. Readers just click the link to see it.



    Well, the text didn't copy, but you will see it on your photobucket. I left the photo below because it is cool! Yup, that't me. This is the new navy...battle stations torpedo, aloha shirtz!
    28% [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v512/jimbo6679/DSCN0482.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  7. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    I see. Here they are:

    http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc453/eric3872/photo3.jpg

    http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc453/eric3872/photo2.jpg
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If I am interpretting your photos correctly, it appears you have a pair of #10, or so, wires feeding the panel, and if so, that panel is much too "busy" for that feed. It appears that it would be stretching it even if they are #8s, and I really doubt that they are #6s.
  9. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    Is that a sub panel,it does not look like a main panel.Is it a100amp panel,it looks like the feed is # 8
    You might want to check the AMP load on the line side of that panel to see how many AMPs it is drawing.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It appears that the panel originally had 16 single devices, but over the years 6 of them have been converted to "twin" breakers so now it has 22 circuits in it, and he is adding #23 a two pole 30 amp one. I cannot imagine how that panel is NOT overloaded, even given that not ALL the circuits are drawing power at the same time.
  11. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    This is a sub panel I believe. It's a multi-family house There are three electric meters with main panels in the basement for each apartment. This one is located in the apartment. Believe it or not, this is a new panel with new service throughout within the past couple years. The contractor that renovated the house before I bought it was an idiot. The electrical system is just one part of a ridiculous renovation that I fixing in bits and pieces as I go. How do I check the AMP load?
  12. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    I am removing two of the tandem circuits to make room for the 30 amp breaker. So there will not be any additional load added to the panel.
  13. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    That is a nice picture.

    How were you able to get the camera off the Sub? I know don't ask because you can not tell...
    Looks like you are on the surface.

    I worked on the Sonar Systems, but can't tell... Only the Fish know...

    Very nice. Very cool...


    Have a great weekend.


    DonL
  14. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    If this is true "This is a sub panel I believe. It's a multi-family house There are three electric meters with main panels in the basement for each apartment. "

    I would make sure that you do not overload something. Could be easily done...

    Be careful playing with electricity.


    DonL
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  15. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well, the secret is that the pic is taken on the USS DOLPHIN ( AGSS-555) which is now a museum sub. at the San Diego Maritime Museum! It was a deep diving ( 5000') researh sub, and all the sneaky-peaky equip. is removed, but it is otherwise a nice exhibit of a fully operational submarine....well, they cut a hole in the side for visitor access, so it won't dive again soon!
  16. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    There does not appear to be a separate ground connection to either bus.
  17. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    The main feed wires are definitely larger than #10. They are not labeled, so I can't tell what gauge, but they are at least twice the thickness of everything else in the panel.
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Are you COMPLETELY removing the tandem breakers AND the wiring to them? If so, and it was because they were not being used then they were not a factor in the original panel's load, and you are adding 25-30 amps to the panel.
  19. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    They are being completely removed. They feed outlets that are not being used. There are at least 4 dedicated circuits on this panel that feed outlets for window air conditioners. The previous owner must have had air conditioners in every window. I am removing two of these dedicated circuits to make room and have no intention of ever using the others. I was planning on removing the wires from the panel and capping/disconnecting at both ends (panel and outlet), otherwise I'd have to rip open walls all over the apartment to completely remove the wires. That being said, I would still like to test the panel to see how many amps it is drawing before I go ahead with this. What is the best way to test it?
  20. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    You need an AMP meter.
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