sub panel?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by joe6677, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. joe6677

    joe6677 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Hi,
    I have a question relating to sub panels and grounding.
    I have a 200 amp service panel mounted on a pole where the meter is, ( 50' from house). It has feed through lugs which feed a 200 amp service panel inside my house. It has only 3 wires connecting the 2 panels but, each panel is grounded at each location ( ground rods ).
    Since this is coming from a pole outdoors and is not another building, is this a sub panel?
    Would I seperate the grounds and neutrals or leave them bonded?
    Is it ok not having a ground be between the 2 panels since they are grounded at each location?

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor
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    NY State, USA
    First point, the ground rods are NOT "grounding" anything. This is not where your ground (as you know it) comes from.


    Second, you are fine with the 3-wire feeder between the outside panel and the house. The house panel is treated as a main and the neutral is bonded to the ground. THIS is where your "ground" comes from.
     
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  4. Johnny C

    Johnny C Electrician

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    Elect Teacher, Consultant, Seminar Presenter, Elec
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    Mass. & now Virginia Beach, VA
    Sub-panel ???

    The NEC uses the terminology "building or structure" in an installation where a fused or unfused disconnect or circuit breaker is mounted on a pole (structure) or building remote from the main building or structure served.
    Section 250.32(A) and (B) provided the requirements for properly grounding a grounded system installation of the type you describe.
    If the installation consists of a three-wire edison system, two hots and one grounded conductor (neutral), the neutral conductor from the utility must be connected to earth at the first disconned by means of one of the methods permitted in Section 250.53 ie. ground rods, ground ring etc.and the metal enclosure must be bonded to the grounded conductor (neutral).
    Where only two hots and a grounded conductor (neutral) are installed from the pole to the second building or structure, the grounded conductor (neutral) is grounded again and the metal enclosure bonded to the neutral.

    The above is based on the 2005 NEC
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  5. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

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    What code cycle governed the installation?
     
  6. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    The 2008 NEC removed the wording allowing a 3-wire feeder between structures. IMO a pole or pedestal service is NOT a structure. I'm sure some will disagree.

    How are folks under the *#@% 2008 NEC finding this? Are inspectors allowing 3-wire feeders between a main-breaker pedestal service and a dwelling?
     
  7. joe6677

    joe6677 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Thanks for the quick responses!
    As far as code for the installation, I did it myself and inspections are not required at my location. I had worked with electricians in the past and did a couple of installs similar to this and we always used 3 wire feeds. This has been in place for about three years with no problems, I was just curious because someone suggested that the panel in the house was a sub panel and that I might need to seperate the grounds from the neutrals. I really didn't think it would be considerd a sub panel since it was coming from a pole instead of a building.

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  8. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

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    Then why even ask?
     
  9. joe6677

    joe6677 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Reasurance that I'm not missing a safety issue.
     
  10. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

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    The meter is not the service disconnecting means and IF there is not a disconnect on the same pole then the main panel is the first official stop the service entrance makes.

    if this is the case then this is a main panel and neutrals and grounds can be tied together.

    If however, there is a disconnect at the pole then your panell will be a sub panel at which points neutrals and grounds are separated and only the equipment grounds are bonded to the panel.
     
  11. joe6677

    joe6677 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2008
    "If however, there is a disconnect at the pole then your panell will be a sub panel at which points neutrals and grounds are separated and only the equipment grounds are bonded to the panel".


    This is what I have. There is no problem seperating the neutrals and grounds, however, does an EGC have to run between the 2 panels? or, is an EGC at each panel acceptable?

    Thanks for your help,

    Joe
     
  12. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Again, a "3-wire" feeder IS and was legal and safe. You DO NOT need to have an EGC between a pole service and the house....UNLESS the installation was done under the 2008 NEC as I said earlier in post#5.

    I have installed dozens, if not more, 3-wire feeder pedestal services all inspected, ALL legal, ALL safe.

    When was your service installed and where do you live?
     
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