200 Amp Main Panel adding ground

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  #1  
Old 05-19-05, 10:27 AM
scott5405
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200 Amp Main Panel adding ground

I have a 200 Amp main panel. There is no earth ground in it. Only the electric companys neutral. I want to add an earth ground. I put in a copper 8 foot rod and #6 bare copper wire. Do I just hook it to an available space on the neutral bar? Help Scott
 

Last edited by scott5405; 05-19-05 at 10:30 AM. Reason: added email notification
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  #2  
Old 05-19-05, 10:55 AM
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Slow down. If you're going to do this, it needs to be done properly. Improper grounding can be worse than no grounding.

Are you sure that you have no ground rod? Are the neutral and ground wires from the circuits connected to the same buss in the panel? Is there any wire going to the water pipes near where they enter the house (or anywhere else for that matter)?

Your ground connections, and there probably need to be at least two, should all be to the same place in your service.
 
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Old 05-19-05, 03:04 PM
scott5405
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grounding

All the neutral wires and ground wires are connected to the same bus. All the wires on this bus come from the house wiring. A house inspecter told me there was no ground in the panel. All wires are accounted for and from what I can tell there is no earth ground. Scott
 
  #4  
Old 05-19-05, 03:11 PM
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Then it does sound like you need a ground. If the water pipe entering the house is metal then this ground MUST be that water pipe. You would also need another ground means, such as a ground rod. If the pipe isn't metal, then you probably need two ground rods and/or another ground.

Regardless of whether the incoming water pipe is metal, if the pipes in the house are metal then they MUST be at least bonded to the electrical system earth ground.

Your solution is not as simple as simply putting in a ground rod and connecting it. There is more.
 
  #5  
Old 05-19-05, 03:23 PM
scott5405
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grounding

Yes the water pipe comming into the house is copper. There is some plastic pipes but these are near the end of the plumbing. I can connect to the water pipe where it comes thru the wall near the main panel. Should I use some of the bare #6 wire I have? And should I connect it to the neutral bus? Then also use the ground rod and connect it to the neutral bus anyplace there is a spare connection? Along with this I am placing a sub panel in the garage. I understand I can't place this panels ground on the neutral bus it has to be separate to prevent parallel gounding? Is this true, I read it in another forum on electricity. Before I make the sub panel hot I want to correct the grounding issue with the main panel. Scott
 
  #6  
Old 05-19-05, 05:24 PM
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The wire to the water line would need to be #4 and needs to connect within the first 5' of where it enters the house. Any bonding between hot, cold and gas line if available would also be #4.
 
  #7  
Old 05-19-05, 07:06 PM
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You must also jumper around the water meter.

This is no place for someone just learning what they are doing. Electricity can kill.

Now my concerns. Why is it that a 200 amp panel has no grounding? Was this a do it yourself job (by you or a previous owner). If this only half done, what else is half done?

How did an inspector get in on this? Are you buying the house? Are you selling the house? You might be better getting the ENTIRE electrical system looked at by a professional. Home inspectors are sometimes not the best source for electrical issues.
 
  #8  
Old 05-19-05, 08:13 PM
scott5405
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grounding

I just bought the house and the inspecter said that there was no earth ground. I can't see where there is one either hooked to the water pipe or coming in from outside. The panel looks neat, no brreakers are doubled up and all wiring is 12 gauge. except for the stove which is maybe #4. I am very careful when working with electricity. I have never run into a panel not grounded and wanted to do it right. And actually did not know that the ground hooked up to the neutral. Thanks for the help, Scott
 
  #9  
Old 05-20-05, 10:26 AM
scott5405
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grounding

Is there a good book that explains wiring a panel and adding a sub panel and why things need to be the way they are.I always thought it was just black,white and ground. Obvisiously I was wrong. Help Scott
 
  #10  
Old 05-20-05, 10:56 AM
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Here is something to put in the back of your mind as a lesson learned.

You should have insisted that the sellers correct this problem as part of the sale. I would also have had a thorough electrical inspection done, since you aren;lt sure what else may have been done improperly or incompletely.
 
  #11  
Old 05-20-05, 11:32 AM
scott5405
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grounding

Ok, Thanks Bob for the information. Scott
 
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