Sub-panel or main panel


Old 09-19-06, 04:53 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2
Sub-panel or main panel

I am wiring a cabin and a barn in Alabama. I currently have a 200A 1Ph main power and meter at the pole and plan to run undergound wire to each of my structures. My question is do I consider the panels on my structure as mains or sub-panels - can I bus the neutral and ground together or do they need to separated and a 4th wire (gnd) be run from the main approx 150' away. My books indicate that it must be treated as a sub-panel, but from a safety standpoint, I feel that the GFCI's would be more effective to have the panels on the cabin as barn wired as mains with gnd and neutral bused together with a gnd rods at the structures. Advice?

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Old 09-19-06, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Your GFCI receptacles and breakers won't care what you do. They look downstream, not upstream.

Regardless of what you do you need ground rods at each panel.

Do you have a disconnect at the pole? Whether the panels at the bard and cabin are considered sub panels or main panels depends on the what is at the pole.

Either way, you can probably get away with only three wires from the pole to each structure.
Old 09-19-06, 05:06 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2
thanks, I have a disconnect (200 amp main breaker) at the pole.
Old 09-20-06, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 274
If you use a 3 wire feeder be sure that there is no other metallic path between the main panel and the sub-panels, or between the barn and the house..
Such as a phone or TV cable.

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