Service Panel Upgrade to 200 amp

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  #1  
Old 03-21-05, 09:35 AM
rauhouse
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Service Panel Upgrade to 200 amp

Question: I am installing a Square D exterior 200 amp main disconnect on the outside of the house and a Square D 200 amp interior breaker panel, 40 spaces, behind it on the interior. The meter can has a ground cable connected to a ground rod. There is no other grounding on the existing system. The ground wires and neutral wires are connected on the same bar inside the breaker box. When installing the new breaker box should I install ground bar kits in the breaker box and connect all grounds to these bars seperate from the neutrals. If so, how should these ground bars be grounded?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-21-05, 01:07 PM
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Location: NW Ohio
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rauhouse,

A good place to start would be to call your power company and ask them what they require. Your exisiting grounding situation may be an old system or may be different if upgraded, they can help you.

In my area none of the power companys or co-ops want their meter grounded. However I have been in parts of the country where they required the ground to be from the meter.

If your situation were in my area, the meter would not be grounded-but the first point of disconnect would be. (In this case it would be the 200 amp outdoor disconnect.) From there, the 200 amp main breaker panel would be grounded to the disconnect. Also in the main 200 amp panel the neutral would be bonded to the box and all circuit grounds and neutrals would share all buss bars. Any sub panels beyond that would have neutrals isolated from grounds.

Hope that helps.
 
  #3  
Old 03-21-05, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rauhouse
The meter can has a ground cable connected to a ground rod. There is no other grounding on the existing system.
You'll have to install a #4 copper wire from the neutral bus in the panel to your water line. The connection point has to be 5 feet or less from where the water line enters your house. Don't forget to bond the hot and cold water pipes.
 
  #4  
Old 03-21-05, 05:53 PM
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Yikes! Mine is 50 feet away.

Originally Posted by thinman
You'll have to install a #4 copper wire from the neutral bus in the panel to your water line. The connection point has to be 5 feet or less from where the water line enters your house. Don't forget to bond the hot and cold water pipes.
Now I am worried. I just found a pencil thick bare AL wire (house is wired AL) connected to my copper piping at the back of the house about 20 feet from the service enterance. I assume this is the same wire you are talking about. Since the water comes into the house at the front, I guess the piping comes out of the ground about 50 feet away from the connection. This means that a short would use 50 feet of copper piping before discharging into earth. Was that acceptable in 1968?
 
  #5  
Old 03-21-05, 06:07 PM
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I assume this is the same wire you are talking about
That may or may not be a good assumption. Can you tell where the wire goes? Is there any connection to the plumbing near where it enters your house?

I guess the piping comes out of the ground about 50 feet away from the connection
That may or may not be a good guess.

This means that a short would use 50 feet of copper piping before discharging into earth
This shows a fundamental misunderstanding. Shorts never discharge into the earth. That's not the purpose of a plumbing ground. A plumbing ground is mainly intended to deal with electrical activity outside your house (e.g., electrical storms and downed power lines).
 
  #6  
Old 03-22-05, 12:06 PM
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Thanks, I thought I jumped the gun

I should have known better than shoot off my questions without finishing my reading of the NEC and Wiring Simplified. I cannot see where the other end of the bare AL wire connects, but it is going toward the panel. When I said I guessed 50 feet, I did not measure the distance, why I need to measure it is another question.
 
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