Sub panel bond ground/neutral in attached vs Detached...

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Old 12-16-09, 07:48 AM
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Sub panel bond ground/neutral in attached vs Detached...

Alot of confusion on this topic as I have seen...What is considered attached vs dettached (is it only physical proximity or some other metric). So if detached then bond nuetral/grd and put in grounding rods. If attached, then DO NOT bond nuetral and ground and use 4 wire?

I have old subpanel in garage (attached) and home inspector (not county insp) said I needed to separate the nuetral from ground (new code) so I assume they are currently bonded. It is an old panel and I am thinking of replacing with newer one since I am doing the pier work anyway (see that thread).

The breaker in this sub and the breaker in main box are only 40Amp, so if I replace the box do I have to move up to 60Amp breakers (new code cited in other threads)? If so, it sounds like I stick with exisiting panel, separate bond and go about my business.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sandyharry View Post
So if detached then bond nuetral/grd and put in grounding rods. If attached, then DO NOT bond nuetral and ground and use 4 wire?
The confusion comes from the fact that this is a recent change (2008) in the code, and not every state adopts the new codes as they come out. However, pretty much everyone is on 2008 now which does not allow three-wire subpanel feeders in any circumstance. A four-wire feeder with unbonded neutral and ground is the only configuration allowed. Existing three-wire installations are grandfathered as long as the feeder is left as-is. Ground rods at the subpanel are only required when the main panel and subpanel are in separate structures.

I needed to separate the nuetral from ground (new code) so I assume they are currently bonded.
You don't need to in a legal sense, but it does provide for a somewhat safer panel. If you already have four wires from the main panel to the sub, separating neutral and ground is easy but if not then you'll need to install a new feeder.

The breaker in this sub and the breaker in main box are only 40Amp
The breaker size is determined by the distance, AWG of the wire, and rating of the panel. If I remember right, the distance wasn't very far (< 50') and the wire was #6 copper, right? If that is correct then you could go up to 60A.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 08:22 AM
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"separating neutral and ground is easy"-

I assume there is a bonding srew or something else in the panel I look for and remove?



"The breaker size is determined by the distance, AWG of the wire, and rating of the panel. If I remember right, the distance wasn't very far (< 50') and the wire was #6 copper, right? If that is correct then you could go up to 60A.[/QUOTE]-

I dont need more AMPs I thought I have read there was a minimum size that you needed, If I dont need to spend more on new breakers I am happy!!!!!
 
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Old 12-16-09, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by sandyharry View Post
I assume there is a bonding srew or something else in the panel I look for and remove?
Yes, there's usually a bonding screw or strap which bonds the neutral bar to the metal box which must be removed. Then you also need to buy an add-on ground bar kit which is usually like $10. You move the white wires to the neutral bar and the bare wires to the new ground bar.

I dont need more AMPs
If you don't need more power then there's no reason to change it.
 
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