Homeline subpanel installation questions

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  #1  
Old 09-13-06, 07:07 AM
JayBay
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Homeline subpanel installation questions

I'm in the middle of installing a 60a subpanel in my detached garage. The new wiring is #6, 3 wire + ground, in underground schedule 80 conduit. I purchased what I thought was a subpanel from the local electrical supply place. It's a Homeline load center, 125a max with 6 breaker slots.

So here are my questions...

1. The Homeline load center they gave me has bonded neutral and ground bus bars. The bonding bar runs across the top of the panel, with the plastic molded around the bar, it doesn't look like it's made to be removed. I may be able to cut away a small part of the plastic to remove the bonding bar from the panel, but is this something I should try? Or should I just buy a new, dedicated subpanel? I was told this panel will work as a sub, but without this modification I can't see how to separate the ground and neutral bus bars.

2. Since I am running a ground wire from the main panel (in the house) out to the sub in the garage, do I still need to use grounding rods for the subpanel? And if so, I assume I would tie the grounding rod to the ground bus in the subpanel, is this correct?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheers,
Jay
 
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  #2  
Old 09-13-06, 07:44 AM
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Not being able to see that exact subpanel, I can only tell you that IF it can be used as a subpanel there MUST be some way to purposely separate the neutrals and grounds. Did you read through all the instructions? You may need to call Square D.

BUT, I, too, had the exact same problem with a recent 200A Square D subpanel. It was for an uninspected installation and I read all the instructions and still could not figure out how they intended for me to separate the neutrals from the grounds.

I wound up doing as you thought, but took my time and did a very thorough and clean job of it. But I couldn't give that as an official recommendation nor guess that it might pass an inspection. Yes, I was quite irritated with Square D, too. I did not have to cut any plastic. I was able to remove the bar completely, separate it and reinstall cleanly.

I've installed a lot of Square D subpanels and that was the only one that gave me that problem, but it was also the only Square D Homeline main lug 200A that I have installed as a subpanel recently.

To your second question, you need a ground rod regardless of whether you are running a 3-wire or a 4-wire subpanel to your detached building.
 
  #3  
Old 09-13-06, 08:03 AM
JayBay
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Thanks for the reply Mac. Sounds like we've run into the same issue. I'll take a closer look at the panel tonight and see if I can get that bar out without compromising the panel.

With the ground rod, that will connect directly to the ground bar in the subpanel, correct? Any tips or recommendations for where to put it?
 
  #4  
Old 09-13-06, 08:16 AM
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Jay

Does this panel need a ground bar kit. If it has 6 spaces I'm thinking it is sold as a 100 amp panel with 125 rating.
Square d Homeline uses the split neutral design on many of their small and large panels. Normally these come with an included ground bar kit... some dont include it. Take a look on the panel back and see if there are some predrilled holes to accept a ground bar kit part #PK7GTA

Roger
 
  #5  
Old 09-13-06, 08:22 AM
JayBay
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Hi Roger,

This panel came with the seperate neutral and ground bars already installed, but connected via a metal strap along the top of the panel. There's just no obvious way to remove the ground/neutral connection.
 
  #6  
Old 09-13-06, 08:29 AM
JayBay
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Here's another question on the grounding rod for the sub...

The garage has an old metal conduit running out from the house that contains the original wires for the garage. This conduit runs 50' at a depth of 3'. Once the new subpanel is complete, the wires in this old conduit will be disconnected at each end. Can I use this conduit as a ground rod for the sub in the garage, rather than driving a new 10-ft ground rod?
 
  #7  
Old 09-13-06, 08:58 AM
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What I believe you are looking at is the neutral buss on both sides of the panel. There should be no reason to have to cut this buss. What part number do you have, HOM6-12L100?

Square D auxillary ground bars mount in raised bumps that are tappped for the screws packaged with the ground bar. Look for these holes around the outer edge of the enclosure.

Square D Customer service 1-800-432-2599
 
  #8  
Old 09-13-06, 09:09 AM
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PC Boss is refering to what I was saying, Split neutral means it has two bonded neutral bars with a needed ground bar kit for sub-panel use. It still should have a green bonding screw however. You would not use the green bonding screw in your case after you install the ground bar kit. You land your whites (neutrals) on the two factory neutral bars and grounds to the ground bar you install in the raised swaged holes in the back of the panel.

The way it is now it was intended for the service main panel. You need the ground bar kit to convert it for sub-panel use.

No you cannot and wouldnt want to use the conduit as your grounding electrode. Smile the ground rod really is only 8 foot.....

Roger
 
  #9  
Old 09-13-06, 09:14 AM
JayBay
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I'll have to check the model of the box tonight, but for now I found this... http://ecatalog.squared.com/pubs/Circuit%20Protection/Miniature%20Circuit%20Breakers/QO-QOB%20Circuit%20Breakers/48940-013-03.pdf

If you look at the drawings for Homeline Series S1 Load Center, that is exactly how my model appears.
 
  #10  
Old 09-13-06, 09:16 AM
JayBay
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Ah ok, I see what you're saying with the ground bar kit. Now, the other way to get the same effect is to remove the bar that currently joins the two neutrals, so that one is the neutral and the other (as long as it's bonded to the box itself) is the ground.
 
  #11  
Old 09-13-06, 09:19 AM
JayBay
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Can the line from the ground rod to the panel go through the wall (wooden) of the garage? Or do I need to blast through the concrete floor for this?
 
  #12  
Old 09-13-06, 09:28 AM
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You can go through the wall.
 
  #13  
Old 09-13-06, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by JayBay
Ah ok, I see what you're saying with the ground bar kit. Now, the other way to get the same effect is to remove the bar that currently joins the two neutrals, so that one is the neutral and the other (as long as it's bonded to the box itself) is the ground.
If both of these bars are on insulated standoffs removing the bonding bar isnt what you want to do if no where in the instructions does it tell you you can do this. Somewhere on the panel cover spec. sheet or installation intructions it should say something about ground bars. Normally a ground bar part# is stated on the cover door spec. sheet. If nothing else call the 800 number.
 
  #14  
Old 09-13-06, 09:39 AM
JayBay
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Ok, I'll take another look at the panel tonight, and get the ground bar if need be. I have a pretty clear idea of what I need to do now, thanks a bunch for all your help.
 
  #15  
Old 09-13-06, 10:03 AM
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Jay look here and see if anyof these are what design you have

http://ecatalog.squared.com/pubs/Electrical%20Distribution/Load%20Centers/Homeline%20Single%20Phase%20Load%20Centers/1170BR9601R1003.pdf
 
  #16  
Old 09-13-06, 10:18 AM
JayBay
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I took the liberty to grab a picture from that page. It looks similar to this one, but with less slots for breakers...

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/3634/panelhz0.gif

It's hard to tell if it's the same from the picture, but on my panel, that top bar that connects the busses is set in the plastic and doesn't appear to be removable. Also, I did look through the directions thoroughly last night and they didn't mention removing that bar, or adding any kind of ground bus.
 
  #17  
Old 09-13-06, 10:32 AM
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Check the Chart

JayBay,

If you check the website Rodger gave you, there is a chart listing all of the Homeline load centers at the end of the page--right after the photo you copied.

Check your model number against the chart and it will give you the part number for the ground bar.

Other pictures also show possible locations for installation of the ground bars.
 
  #18  
Old 09-13-06, 10:45 AM
JayBay
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Thanks, I'll check it out tonight and see what I come up with.
 
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