Circuit Box - Is it Bad

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-04-06, 08:24 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5
Unhappy Circuit Box - Is it Bad

I have just purchased a Square D QO Circuit Box that has 6 breakers.
I have wired it from an existing Circuit Box, connecting the new one
with a 100Amp breaker using the alumimun service wire.
The 100Amp breaker has two hot wires that connect to the new box.

After connecting the two wires to the box. Now, If I connect a GFCI breakers to one of the hot wires it is fine. But when I connect it to the second wire it trips. I have tried replacing the hot wire that goes from the 100amp breaker to the new circuit box. Thinking maybe the wire is bad. That did not help.
If I connect a regular 15amp breaker it does not trip but it does blow the
light bulbs that are connected to that line. So, I am thinking that there is
some kind of current instabillity.

Could this be that the circuit box is bad?

Thank you for any help that you can provide.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-04-06, 08:29 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You need to better describe your setup. I cannot understand what you mean.

Are you saying that you are using this new box as a sub panel to the existing panel? If so, you should have four wires from the existing panel to the new one. (Unless you have the new panel in a separate building, and even then four wires is preferred and sometimes required.)
 
  #3  
Old 12-04-06, 09:09 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,342
> thinking that there is some kind of current instabillity.
> Could this be that the circuit box is bad?

No; you have a mistake somewhere in your wiring. Please describe in detail what wires go where including colors, gauges and type of wire.
 
  #4  
Old 12-04-06, 03:56 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,113
Lightbulb

Get professional help (electrician), Before you need professional help (mortician).

I Feel you may be in over your head, and this could have serious consequences.You first need to understand what you are dealing with. With respect,I don't feel you do.
 
  #5  
Old 12-04-06, 04:39 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6
Neutral

You need a neutral and a ground in addition to your two hots. without them you will never get an GFCI-fault breaker to work.

Originally Posted by Vitaly15 View Post
I have just purchased a Square D QO Circuit Box that has 6 breakers.
I have wired it from an existing Circuit Box, connecting the new one
with a 100Amp breaker using the alumimun service wire.
The 100Amp breaker has two hot wires that connect to the new box.

After connecting the two wires to the box. Now, If I connect a GFCI breakers to one of the hot wires it is fine. But when I connect it to the second wire it trips. I have tried replacing the hot wire that goes from the 100amp breaker to the new circuit box. Thinking maybe the wire is bad. That did not help.
If I connect a regular 15amp breaker it does not trip but it does blow the
light bulbs that are connected to that line. So, I am thinking that there is
some kind of current instabillity.

Could this be that the circuit box is bad?

Thank you for any help that you can provide.
 
  #6  
Old 12-04-06, 04:43 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,811
The way I read it is no neutral and he is hooking the N wire on the GFCI breaker to the other hot. The lights blew because he wired them across the two hots.
 
  #7  
Old 12-04-06, 07:24 PM
rdn2113's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wally World
Posts: 451
my thoughts exactly ray2047.

vitaly15: go to Home Depot and buy a copy of "The Complete Guide to Home Wiring" by Black and Decker. On page 218 you will find a section on installing sub-panels. Read it. If you don't understand the topic after reading and studying it, call an electrician.

Like lectriclee pointed out, not knowing what you are doing could have fatal consequences, or you could burn your house down.

Take care!
 
  #8  
Old 12-07-06, 10:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5
Thank you for all your comments. I did have one wire in the wrong place.
I hooked up one of the hot wires to Neutral bus and had the electricity flowing in the opposite directions. I color coded them and now it is OK.

By me screwing up the wiring from the start, could that burn any light
switches and/or outlets?

The new sub panel that I have only has one neutral bar, it does not have a ground bar. So, I just grounded the wires that I run to the outlets and lights to the sub panel. But I did not ground the service cable that runs from the existing panel.

I have four wires running to the sub panel. Two are hot, neutral and ground.
The subpanel is one foot away from the existing panel. Currently, I have just the three wires hooked up from existing panel to the sub panel. Do I still need to ground the service cable that is connecting the sub panel?

The guys at Home Depot told me to connect the neutral and the gound wires to one bus where I run my main Neutral wire. But, I do not think that is right.

Once again, Thank you for your help.
 
  #9  
Old 12-07-06, 10:54 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Your setup now is unsafe and incorrect.

Go and buy a ground bar. Install the ground bar in the sub panel. make sure the ground bar is bonded to the metal panel and that the neutral bar is not. Connect all ground wire to the ground bar.
 
  #10  
Old 12-07-06, 11:05 AM
nap's Avatar
nap
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,163
and in response to the damaged switches and/or receps

probably not. simply having power to them will not damage them and if they were actually used, if they were damaged should be apparent when you try to use them again, once all is connected correctly.

the voltages involved were not great enough in itself to cause any damage to a switch or receptacle.

anything that was actually turned on may have been damaged (like the light bulbs). If there is no apparent damage, there probably isn't.

and if you run across "the guys" at HD, tell them to quit giving obviously unqualified advice. It puts their company in a bad position as far as liability is concerned and it could cause injury or death if incorrect.
 
  #11  
Old 12-07-06, 01:01 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
I think we should maybe explore all bases with your install of that sub panel cause your scaring the be-jesus out of me.

Where is the 100 amp breaker? Is it in the main panel and then wires from it to the sub-panel....just how have you got the sub-panel wired from the main panel?

What size wire did you use?

What do you mean you wired using the aluminum service wire?

Did you use anti-oxidant paste on the aluminum wire where you stripped it to connect to the lugs of the sub-panel?

Does the sub have a main breaker or just lugs to connect the wires from the main panel?

It sounds like you bought one of those economy kits at HD with breakers already supplied. Is this a 100 amp rated panel?

NAP is correct the guys at HD told you wrong about the grounds and neutrals going on the same neutral/ground bar in the sub-panel. Thats why Bob is telling you to buy a ground bar. Neutrals and grounds will not land on the same bar in the sub. You will not use the green bonding screw.

Is the sub in the same building as the main panel or is it in a detached building?

Please answer all questions so we can get a better idea of what you have there.

Roger
 
  #12  
Old 12-08-06, 05:37 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5
The sub panel is about one foot to the right of the main panel.
The main panel has a 100 amp breaker that has two hots feeding
the sub panel using aluminum service wire. The same gauge as the
main panel is using. I have connected the two hots to the two lugs
in the sub panel. The sub panel does not have a breaker of its own.
To kill the power to the sub panel it will be using the 100 amp breaker
on the main panel. I have then connected the neutral from main to neutral in the sub panel. I have now also got a ground bar and connected all of the grounds and the wire that is feeding the sub panel to it. Yes I have used
the anti-oxidant to cover the two hots and the neutral of the feeding wire where it was exposed at the tips.

Thank you.
This has been great help to me...
 
  #13  
Old 12-08-06, 09:08 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Thumbs up

Ok I feel better now. Sorry but that connecting a hot to the neutral bar worried me some about the rest of the installation. Was not trying to be demeaning just wanted you to have things right.

Sounds like you have it right now. Be sure the panel is 100 amp rated, but I would say it is since it has 6 spaces for breakers. Make sure that no bond is existing between the neutral bar and that ground bar. It's a safety thing to keep objectionable current off the ground wires in the event of a open neutral fault on the feeder.

Be sure if the service entrance wire is individual wires that you put a conduit between the panels to run the wires.

Be sure you installed the ground bar in the predrilled swaged holes of the sub.
You will notice that square d uses the green screw method for bonding. The neutral bar is set on insulated standoffs the green screw goes thru the neutral bar and threads into the metal can of the panel to which your ground bar is fastened... this creates the bonding. So no green screw no bond.
This is what you want in a sub in your situation. You are correct the equipment ground wire in the feeder from the main panel connects to that ground bar you installed in the sub.

In the main panel you must have the bonding of the neutral and ground so dont think you are supposed to unbond in the main panel.


Roger
 
  #14  
Old 12-08-06, 09:49 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5
I have bought a gound bus. Are you saying that the ground bus screws are also need to be green? The panel that I have bought did not have predrilled
holes for ground bar installation. So, I drilled the holes and secured the ground bar using the copper looking screws that came with the ground bar.
Yes, the neutral bar was already installed in the sub panel and it is not touching the panel.

I have used the sub panel for basement wiring. I have checked all the outlets for proper installation with that plug-in tool that tells you if the wiring is correct.

Is there a tool that you can recoment tha I can use to ensure that there is no arch's in the installation without installing the arch fault breakers?

Thank you
 
  #15  
Old 12-08-06, 10:58 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Well there actually is a way to do as you said that square d allows but I cant say as I know of a square d panel of late that does not have provisions for the installation of the ground bar kit. No the screws are not green for the ground bar just the main bonding screw that usually comes installed through the neutral bar or is just inside box attached to a piece of cardboard and you intall it. That is the screw you do not want to use in your situation.
Square d requires that you drill and tap (thread the panel back) in order to be an acceptable ground bar installation when pre drilled holes dont exist.

Can you post the model# of the panel you bought? I would like to check it out.

Are there any pre-drilled pairs of holes in your subs panel? You say no so I tend to think this panel was for service equipment only and not convertible to a sub-panel.

It is posible that you did not buy a ground bar specifically for your square d panel and it would not match up to these holes. Most 100 amp square d's Take the PK7-GTA ground bar kit.

Roger
 
  #16  
Old 12-08-06, 01:36 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5
Roger,

Now that I think about it. Yes there are two holes not far from each other.
But like you said it did not fit the ground bar that I was installing. I will look for PK7-GTA ground bar kit.

Also, I do see one green screw. Which, you say I should not use in my scenerio.

I will reply with the Model #.

Thank you
Vitaly
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'