New feeder wire for sub panel

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  #1  
Old 04-24-06, 09:04 AM
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New feeder wire for sub panel

I am installing a new feeder wire to my interior sub panel. I have a few questions.

1. I am upgrading the feeder wire to a four wire type. My current feeder panel does not have a separate grounding bar. It appears that existing ground wires coming into the panel attach to the neutral bar. Do I attach the ground wire to the neutral bar in the feeder panel?

2. The feeder panel does not have a main power breaker. Should I simply trip all the breakers in the feeder panel to work safely in it?

3. I am pulling off of a 50 amp breaker. Is a 6 guage feeder wire the right size to use for the sub panel?
 
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  #2  
Old 04-24-06, 09:46 AM
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You say 4 wire, I assume you mean black, red, white, and bare ground? This is actually called three conductor. The only time you ever count the ground in a cable is when it is an extension cord type (cab tire) cable. Yes your cable size is OK for your breaker ( at least here in Canada). There should be a main disconnect or breaker, if not I'd have one installed. Make sure you remove the bonding screw form your new panel-very important. Hook the ground of your subpanel feed with the other ground wires in the feeder panel. Really there should be a ground strip. Only your neutral is grouded in your main service. your circuit grounds are just bonded to the neutral via bonding screw. Can't stress enough to remove bonding screw or strap from sub-panel
 
  #3  
Old 04-25-06, 12:30 PM
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Based upon your questions, I think that you need to do a bit more reading.

Originally Posted by crosby09
I am installing a new feeder wire to my interior sub panel. I have a few questions.

1. I am upgrading the feeder wire to a four wire type. My current feeder panel does not have a separate grounding bar. It appears that existing ground wires coming into the panel attach to the neutral bar. Do I attach the ground wire to the neutral bar in the feeder panel?
Ground and neutral should be connected in one, and only one, location: at the main service disconnect. In this panel, a single bar may serve as both ground and neutral. This is the most common case in residential main panels.

If the panel that supplies the feeder contains the main service disconnect, then you should connect both the neutral and the ground wire to the neutral bar. If the panel that supplies the feeder does not contain the main service disconnect, then you have other problems to fix first.

Originally Posted by crosby09
2. The feeder panel does not have a main power breaker. Should I simply trip all the breakers in the feeder panel to work safely in it?
The panel that supplies the feeder _should_ have a main disconnect. However there are several circumstances where it may not. It may be that you have an outdoor 'meter-main' with a main breaker there. It also may be the case that several breakers together are considered the 'main disconnect'.

If you have an outside 'meter-main' then you should turn that off prior to working in your panel. Also, if you have an outside main disconnect, then you probably need to fix the ground bonding in your feeder panel.

If several breakers are together your main disconnect, then you should carefully evaluate the situation before proceeding, and you should probably call an electrician to do this work. You may have a situation where exposed bus bars are _always_ energized in your panel, or a situation where you

Originally Posted by crosby09
3. I am pulling off of a 50 amp breaker. Is a 6 guage feeder wire the right size to use for the sub panel?
Generally, 6 gage _copper_ wire is suitable for a 50 amp breaker, and is often suitable for even higher currents. However circumstances such as high ambient temperatures could make this assessment incorrect.

-Jon
 
  #4  
Old 04-25-06, 04:16 PM
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not 4 wire?

i suppose that you have never heard of 4 wire that was called 4 wire? quadplex and such that has 4 insulated conductors?
 
  #5  
Old 04-25-06, 04:47 PM
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shawnyc, for the most part on these boards we refer to feeders with regard to all the conductors.
Example: 6/3NM w/G would be a 4-wire feeder to a sub-panel.
SEU, (3c) URD, etc would be three wire feeders.
 
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