Tell me what's wrong with this sub-panel

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  #1  
Old 04-07-19, 10:18 AM
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Tell me what's wrong with this sub-panel

Hello...

I had a new 200 amp panel installed in an older home a few months back. The scope of the work for the electrician was to just upgrade the panel.

This house has a backyard pond with a pump, the pump connects to a sup-panel in the backyard.

The sub-panel is supplied with 10-2 uf-b wire, see supply wire connection from new panel here:
https://imgur.com/pUO9RoR
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Yesterday I went out and opened the sub-panel in the backyard, here's what I found:
https://imgur.com/dJUp70f
Name:  sp2.jpg
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Size:  58.8 KB

Note:
-I circled in red the incoming uf-b wire
-the 20 amp breaker with an 'x' is not used
-the sub-panel has a ground rod in the dirt below

Tell me what's wrong with this picture.

Thanks!
 

Last edited by PJmax; 04-07-19 at 12:13 PM. Reason: added pics from links
  #2  
Old 04-07-19, 10:46 AM
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Should have been a 3 wire with ground feeder(10/3). Using ground as neutral to obtain 120V is wrong. Neutrals should be isolated from grounds. Wires not clamped properly at box. The yellow romex in conduit that goes under ground is wrong. Romex not allowed in wet areas.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 10:52 AM
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The 10/2 UF cable is feeding 240 volts only to the subpanel via the 2 pole 30 amp breaker. Here are the issues I can see in the sub panel:

1) The white wire is not colored black showing it as a hot conductor. (same in main panel)
2) The panel is fed with 240 volts only and there is no neutral available.
3) Because it is only fed with 240 volts, and there is no neutral for 120 volt loads, they are using the ground as a neutral.
4) They are using regular NM cable outside (Yellow "pond" cable)
5) PVC conduit not properly connect to panel.

The easiest fix would be to convert the panel to 120 volt only by changing the wiring and/or breaker in the main panel. Move the white wire in the sub to neutral bar at the top, and move the ground wire to the ground bar on right. The unused breaker can stay there as a filler as that bus will not be powered.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 11:49 AM
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Is that panel being supplied by two 10/2 cables?
 
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Old 04-07-19, 11:56 AM
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Tolyn / pattenp:

I totally agree with both of your assessments.

My plan is to just remove the sub panel entirely.

I only need the circuit for the pond pump anyway, the other circuits in the existing sub-panel aren't used.

I'll just run a single 120v 20 amp circuit to the backyard using the existing 10-2 ufb wire.

I'll run the 10-2 ufb wire up a post (inside conduit) to one of these outdoor boxes:
https://imgur.com/zzi7t3n

I'll remove the double pole 30 amp breaker inside the main panel, and replace with a single 20 amp breaker, I'll connect the 10-2 wire to this new breaker (of course I'll run the white wire to the main panel neutral bar, and the ground to the ground/neutral main panel bar)

Does this sound like a good plan?

thanks for your insight, much appreciated.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 12:06 PM
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No, the other uf-b wire you see in the panel feeds a non-used receptacle.

There is only one 10-2 uf-b wire feed to this panel.

thx
 
  #7  
Old 04-07-19, 12:16 PM
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Be aware the circuit needs to be buried 18" if in PVC conduit or 24" if direct buried. If less than those depths to a minimum of 12" the circuit must be GFCI protected, which means it needs to have a GFCI breaker. The 12" depth with GFCI protection is for 120V, 20A or less circuits.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 12:20 PM
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You can keep the sub panel. It can be used for 120v operation. At the main panel.... move the white wire to the neutral bar. Replace the two pole breaker with a single pole 30A breaker.

At the sub panel... move the white wire to the insulated bar for neutrals. Keep the black where it is. You can use two breakers on the black wire. Cap off the other two or leave the old ones in as fillers.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 12:22 PM
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Pete:

I kinda want to get rid of the outdoor box in favor of a single branch circuit with receptacle.

Also, I don't believe this sub-panel is even outdoor rated.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 12:34 PM
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By all means..... send it packing. You can use the 10-2 directly on a receptacle although it will be a challenge due to the wire thickness. You'll also need to install a single pole 20A breaker at the main panel.
 
  #11  
Old 04-07-19, 07:05 PM
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I don't believe this sub-panel is even outdoor rated.

True, it is a NEMA1 panel and should never have been installed outside.
 
 

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