Two subpanel questions

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  #1  
Old 08-02-06, 04:22 PM
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Two subpanel questions

1. When we our house was built three years ago, the builder told me that the subpanel in the basement had only been wired for 110V, not 220V. I have no need for 220 down there, so didn't really care. Now that I've opened it up and am planning on wiring several circuits on it, though, I'm confused. There are 4 wires coming into the panel - 2 hot, 1 neutral, 1 ground. In the main panel, the breaker for the subpanel is a double pole breaker. To me, those two things indicate that the subpanel has 220. So, was the builder confused or am I? I guess it doesn't really matter that much since I still don't have any need for 220 - just want to know what I'm working with.

2. The subpanel has a single grounding strip on the left side of the panel. Being the anal person that I am, I want my wiring in the panel to be nice and neat, so I'd rather have a grounding strip on each side. The local Borg carries the one I'd need, but I'm not sure about installing it. Since the existing grounding strip is grounded to the panel itself, does that mean that I can just screw in the second grounding strip and be done with it or do I need to splice the ground wire coming in from the main panel to both of the grounding strips.

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-02-06, 04:55 PM
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First you should determine if you indeed have 240 volts to this subpanel,, this can be done by taking a meter and reading across the two (hot wires),, they could be black/black,,, or black /red,,, now that we know if we have just 120 or 240,, lets move on to the next question,, but a bit on subpanels first,, the Neutral bar,,(the bar with the main white wire attached),, is (REQUIRED) to be isolated from the grounding strip and ground wire you see coming from your main panel to,,this may be visually seen by looking at it and see if it mounted on a piece of plastic,,I.E.,,NOT touching any part of the panel itself,, also look at the neutral buss and make sure theres no screw running through the buss and into the panel,,, if it is indeed isolated,, then you have a true subpanel,, when running your circuits,, all whites get connected to the strip with the white wire from the main panel attached to it,, and all grounds get attached to the grounding (strip),,, and you can add another grounding strip if need be,, but if it were me,, and I knew what the main breaker size was(AMPERE RATING),, I would connect the 2 grounding strips with a ground wire sized accordingly,,, A rather long winded answer,, but hope it helps
 
  #3  
Old 08-02-06, 05:12 PM
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It occurred to me shortly after my initial post that I should just stick a meter across the two hot wires. Duh. Will do that shortly.

I'd already checked to make sure that the neutral bar was isolated from the panel & grounding strip. Looks like I'm good there.

As far as the second grounding strip - I wasn't sure if you meant just running a single (appropriately sized) wire from gounding strip one to grounding strip two or if you meant I should remove the ground wire from strip one and pigtail it to both strips.

Thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 08-02-06, 05:18 PM
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Leave the original ground attached,, and run a second ground to the other grounding strip you intend to install,, hope that helps and is more clear then my original answer,, sometimes my fingers type faster then my brain thinks things through,,
 
  #5  
Old 08-02-06, 09:11 PM
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Thanks. That definitely clears it up. (I understand what you mean about the fingers getting ahead of the brain.)

It's a 60 amp subpanel. What size wire should I run from the one grounding strip to the other?
 
  #6  
Old 08-03-06, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dukescotts
It's a 60 amp subpanel. What size wire should I run from the one grounding strip to the other?
Same size as the ground run with the panel feeder. Should be min no 10. If larger was used for some reason originally, Go with the larger size.
 
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