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Sub-Panel grounding and GFCI labeling - help settle a debate

Sub-Panel grounding and GFCI labeling - help settle a debate


Old 07-11-06, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Midwest
Posts: 80
Sub-Panel grounding and GFCI labeling - help settle a debate


I got in to a debate today with a friend over the proper grounding of a sub-panel. He says that a sub-panel in an ATTACHED garage needs it's own seperate grounding rods. It was my understanding that this is not required, so long as it's an attached structure. I thought that a seperate or additional grounding system is required in deteched structure only. Who's right?

Also, he told me that recepticles down-stream of a GFCI that are GFCI protected need to have a sticker on them identifing them as a GFCI protected recepticle. I thought that this was only required if you had GFCI protected reciplecles in an old 2-wire house with no grounding. Again, who's right?

Next, he told me that even though I have a plastic water service coming in, that I have to bond the grounding system to the copper pipe within 5 ft. of the water meter. The elcetrical inspector said it had to be bonded with #4AWG, but did not mention any distance requirement from the entrance or meter. Can someone please explain this to me, and the reason why? I did bond my grounding system to the pipes like my inspector told me to, but it's not within 5ft of the meter or entrance.

Thanks for any replies,

Joe Michel
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Old 07-11-06, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
A sub-panel in the same structure as the main panel is NOT grounded. Your friend is incorrect.

My understanding is that GFCI receptacles do not need to be identified as such.

The bond to water pipes in a residence (when it is a bond only) need to be accessible. There is no requirement that they be at any particular location.
Old 07-11-06, 04:52 PM
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Your buddy owes you THREE beers, and needs to study up on his electrical code.
Old 07-11-06, 10:02 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Midwest
Posts: 80
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm a DIY'er with a good basic understanding of wiring and have learned enough from reading here and books like Wiring Simplified 2005 NEC to feel comfortable hooking up my own 200A service to our new home, and doing a 100A subpanel and complete wiring job in our new garage. I'd like to thank all the very knowledgeable people here for helping me do that!

I just don't like having someone telling me I did it wrong! Everything was wired per code and passed inspection.

Joe Michel

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