How do I fix this?


  #1  
Old 04-25-14, 09:06 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
How do I fix this?

Maybe a better question would be how soon do I need to fix this.

I have an outbuilding served by a 50A 2-pole breaker in my main panel. It is connected to my house by 2 overhead wires on a messenger cable with the messenger being the ground. The outbuilding has another outbuilding connected to it by a 8 foot breezeway (roof only) and the 2nd outbuilding only has overhead lights but I would like to add some receptacles. The first outbuilding has one receptacle, overhead lighting, and some outdoor lighting.

To further complicate things, The sub panel also powers my pump house which is about 100' away on the other side of a creek. The pump house is connected to the sub panel by 12/3 UF cable run underground and under the creek. The pump house itself has a 4-space sub panel that I installed mostly so I could switch the pump off without killing the pump house lights.

The only ground rod is at the house at the service entrance. It appears that now, this should be all 4 wire runs. All of this wiring was done in the '70s so it may have been ok then. Eventually, I want to replace the overhead run with underground cable and will run 4-wire cable then. Should I make this a higher priority to bring it up to current standards? What about the barely attached 2nd outbuilding? Does it need its own ground rod? And does the pump house need a ground rod? It already has a 4 wire cable running to it. Any guidance I could get would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 04-25-14, 09:24 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 7,458
Upvotes: 0
Received 6 Upvotes on 5 Posts
Welcome to the forums!

I have an outbuilding served by a 50A 2-pole breaker in my main panel. It is connected to my house by 2 overhead wires on a messenger cable with the messenger being the ground.

To further complicate things, The sub panel also powers my...
It sounds like you have a 50A subpanel in the first outbuilding. If so, a second path to ground should be provided there. The second outbuilding doesn't need one, but the subpanel in the pump house should have one.

You should bring everything up to current codes as soon as you can, but it doesn't sound like a hair-on-fire priority.

If you haven't already done so, you might pick up some useful tips on doing this work by reading Sub Panel Diagrams.

Note that some jurisdictions require two ground rods for the connection to ground and some only require one. The difference depends on the conductivity of the soil in. You should check with your local inspectors to find out which you'll need where you are.
 
  #3  
Old 04-29-14, 06:28 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thank you for the reply Nashkat1.

I looked things over a little closer and realized that there is a ground rod at the first out building. It's not copper but it looks like the same material that the ground rod for the house is made of. It looks like steel but there is no rust on it so maybe it's galvanized. I don't know how deep it goes. There's also a frost proof yard hydrant/faucet there with a metal pipe going down into the ground.

In the pump house there is a iron casing that goes into the ground about 20 feet. Is there some way to measure or gauge how good of a path to ground these provide? I have not yet checked with an electrical inspector here in Frederick County, MD.

Thanks.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: