Need clarification on wiring shop panel please.


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Old 03-08-14, 04:39 PM
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Need clarification on wiring shop panel please.

I have had several "recommendations", but they conflict with each other. The one I felt most comfortable with, has been hard to get in touch with for a week. Short of hiring an electrician on this long ongoing shop build, I thought I'd throw the question out here.

I have a 200a service line on my house drop pole, with meter that feed's the house. I have a 125a breaker for the main box and have buried 1/0 al tirplex in PVC 120' to my almost finished shop (been an ordeal over a few years LOL)

I had already bought a 200a panel and have it bolted to unistrut welded to the purlin (all metal shop, on slab). No other metal lines,pipes, or cables between shop and service /meter pole.

The box is a GE Power mark Gold, with the Ground and neutral connected with a strap on the bottom.

What I was told to do. Leave the strap connected and put in 2 ground rods (which I have done 15' apart) and run the #6 ground wire and a building #6 wire ground to the "bar on the left". Also said "DO NOT tighten green screw to touch the can"

After thinking about it and doing some reading, I was thinking the electrician assumed I had a separate ground small bus attached to the box (can). ?? Since I didnt understand the "small bar" after looking in the box again.

I am not sure exactly where to connect the #6 Ground rod wire? I have single line copper lugs I could screw to the box???

If it would help, I could probably post a photo of the box?

Thanks for thoughts. I have been trying to get this done for several years with medical and work issues and am about done!!
 
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Old 03-08-14, 07:04 PM
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I have a 125a breaker for the main box and have buried 1/0 al tirplex in PVC 120' to my almost finished shop (been an ordeal over a few years LOL)
Here's you first major problem, you should have installed quadplex. You definitely need 4 wires running to the remote shop building; 2 hots, 1 neutral and 1 ground. The shop panel needs an auxilliary ground bar installed. Remove the neutral bus to panel bond strap and throw it away. The ground wires from rods and the building steel frame both attach to the new auxiliary ground bar and NOT TO THE NEUTRAL.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 06:48 AM
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Casual Joe, Thanks for the reply. From what I have been told, I have it ran the way it was done allot before 2008?? Since the line has been there, not sure I could run another leg through the pipe? Does being the 1st box from the main make any difference? My understanding is this is not considered a "sub panel" ran this way??

Options now at the point I'm at?
 
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Old 03-09-14, 07:22 AM
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My understanding is this is not considered a "sub panel" ran this way??
If it's fed from your house panel, it is a subpanel.

From what I have been told, I have it ran the way it was done allot before 2008?? Since the line has been there, not sure I could run another leg through the pipe?
Has it been final inspected yet? I am sure the final inspection will require the feeder to meet the current code in force.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 07:45 AM
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Not fed from my house panel, rather from the 200a main on the power pole (just below the meter). The house is fed from this same pole which sits about 40' from the house and 120' from the shop.

I wont have an inspection out here in the county. Never the less, I want to do it safely on the shop. Only inspection I have been required to have, was the sewer tanks and field lines.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 09:04 AM
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from the 200a main on the power pole
If the main has the first OCPD (breaker or fuse) then everything after it is a subpanel.
I wont have an inspection out here in the county
It is more a matter of safety. The rules were changed for a reason.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 09:13 AM
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Thanks Ray, That is a clarification I can understand "breaker or fuse". Then this would be a sub panel since I had to order a 125a breaker for the main box.

I can understand "It is more a matter of safety. The rules were changed for a reason". So the millions of sub panels with 3 wire service are unsafe? The rest of my property (well house and outbuilding) where wired with triplex from a separate Co-op meter in the back of the property when we bought this place? It would cost me a fortune to change all that wire back there alone!!
 
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Old 03-09-14, 10:30 AM
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millions of sub panels with 3 wire service are unsafe
No, less safe. Note if any metallic pathways such as phone or water they didn't meet pre 2008 code either.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 10:36 AM
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TX is currently using the 2011 NEC. Just run a separate ground wire from the main to your shop and make it current. Bare copper can be directly buried in the ground.

You do not bond the panel steel on a sub panel (green screw) You will need a ground bar and the neutral bar will "float".

So the millions of sub panels with 3 wire service are unsafe?
Not unsafe, just not as safe as the current code. Remember, back in the day Knob and tube wiring with no grounding was considered safe.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 01:00 PM
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There are no metallic pathways to the main/meter pole. Just the Al triplex I buried in PVC conduit.

So copper is direct burial and AL has to be in conduit, correct? So then it would come down to cost.

Another question please.

Why would 2 electricians on other boards and the electrical supply Co. tell me I only needed the triplex? When my house was connected, I was told told 4 wire, which is what we ran.

I guess they may have not been electricians, but they knew the lingo so well, it was confusing.

Thanks for the repys and I'm glad I didn't just try to "wing it"!
 
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Old 03-09-14, 01:32 PM
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Does the triplex have three insulated wires?
 
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Old 03-09-14, 02:10 PM
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I was told told 4 wire, which is what we ran.
If you ran 4 wires, then you ran quadplex and your A-OK.

Quad = 4
Tri = 3
 
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Old 03-09-14, 04:47 PM
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Tolyn, I ran "quad" from the meter pole to the house and triplex from the meter pole to the shop. Looks like I have some digging to do.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 07:40 PM
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Why would 2 electricians on other boards and the electrical supply Co. tell me I only needed the triplex?
They are obviously country electricians, you said no inspections were necessary. If they aren't faced with inspections, they have little incentive to learn and keep up on the code.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 07:24 AM
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Makes sense.

2 questions and I should have it down.

1. Would #6 bare copper be sufficient for 125a feed?

2. Can I run it separate, either bare in the ground,or in its own small PVC conduit? There are several bends in the current supply PVC and it was a PITA getting the 3 wires in, doubt I could get another through there .
 
 

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