Outdoor: 5 lines in one conduit?

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Old 04-26-20, 10:52 AM
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Outdoor: 5 lines in one conduit?

I don't really know where to start on this multi-electrical project so, I'll try to present this where it makes at least some sense.

About a year ago, I had a sub-panel installed on the outside of the house in prep for this project (although it has grown).
The subpanel was installed by an experienced, licenced electrician & look like a good job to me with my limited electrical experience. The subpanel is installed as:
60 amp breaker in a 200 amp main panel inside the house. One cable that consists of 4 lines. One red, 2 black & one copper from the main panel to the subpanel outside & connected to a 50 amp breaker.
The subpanel has six spaces.... two now occupied by the 50 amp breaker.
This 50 amp breaker was installed to run out to what I will refer to as the "old shop" (cause I am getting a new one).
Since there is no main breaker in this sub panel, I am assuming that the way this subpanel works is the 50 amp breaker is supplying the power to the remaining 4 spaces???

Ok, now to the question at hand.
I have 4 things to run out of this subpanel:
1) 50 amp breaker will go to the old shop
2) a single breaker to the water well pump
3) a single breaker to a new portable building to be delivered in about 3 weeks.
4) a single breaker to go to a new Gazebo that we will either buy in about 3 weeks or I will build later this year.

All lines will be buried.
1) Can I put all 4 lines in the same conduit & add a "Y" in the conduit where needed to run each line to the separate locations.... or will I have to put each line in individual conduits?
2) All lines will be in my back yard. How deep should the line or lines needs to be?
 
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Old 04-26-20, 01:07 PM
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A sub panel on the same structure doesn't need a main breaker so all 6 spaces may be hot.

Y's aren't a thing in electrical. You can have a single conduit leaving the box - correction factors will require you to up-size wires. Then use a in-ground accessible junction box in the yard to split the runs.
18" would be depth needed for plastic conduit in the yard.
 
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Old 04-26-20, 04:40 PM
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Ok great thanks. so, with one cable & four wires coming into the sub, both blacks are connected to the breaker, red is to the neutral bar & copper is to ground bar. That would make the other spaces hot?

18" deep... thanks.

When I said put all lines in one conduit, I meant that I would install 3 more breakers in the subpanel, & come off each of the (total) 4 breakers with a line (four lines total) & run those four wires through one conduit.
All of the lines are going in the same general direction from the house to the back yard so, I wanted to run all four lines from the subpanel... in one conduit, then once I get to the pump/well, I would "Y" off & run that line to the pump. Continue on with the remaining three lines in the single conduit. Once I reach the old shop, I would "Y" off again & run the appropriate wire to the old shop. Then continue one with the remaining two lines in the single conduit, etc, etc.
I understand that you're saying "Ys" aren't allowed in electrical, so I would have to end the conduit & connect it to the junction box (rather than using "Ys", & connect my pump conduit to the side of the junction box & run it to the pump like that.
Then just continue the remaining three wires through the junction box & resume my conduit to the next exit for the old shop & add another junction box ... etc, etc... correct?
So, to be clear, can I run multiple lines/wires from multiple breakers, out of one sub panel, to multiple places in one conduit?
 
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Old 04-27-20, 06:32 AM
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Hi, RED for neutral? not acceptable must be colored white, as for junction points, install J boxes at each point if there is a change in direction.
Geo
 
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Old 04-27-20, 08:40 AM
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This is the second post in a month about a "electrician" using red for neutral. Must have been a YouTube class.

Please post a picture of the insides of the panel as things don't add up for feeding your old shop with 50 amps along with three other circuits.
 
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Old 04-27-20, 08:48 AM
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Your use of the term Y is not really acceptable in this context. Putting all of the conductors in the same conduit for a length of distance then having a junction box to allow conductors go a different direction is what is going to happen.
Junction boxes can be above grade or below. For below grade think sprinkler boxes. Depending on the amount of water you have in the soil would determine for me if an underground line voltage boxes with splices would be used. Water and spliced conductors is always a recipe for failure at some point in time.

The sub panel with 6 spaces does not need a main breaker, the 50 amp. The code states line of sight and 25 feet for a disconnect. So the breaker in your service is acceptable.
All of these loads should be served by GFCI breakers. Little excuse to go to all of this trouble to discover when you sell your house that it does not meet the electrical code.
Personally I would run the pump separately whether that be in conduit or direct bury cable. Anything that deals with water IMO should have the ground unbroken to the source. That is not in the code except for swimming pools and spas. This installation screams spa to me which requires an unbroken ground.
Yes can put several circuits in one conduit. HOWEVER there is a derating table in the code for this. The one item I missed in your question was the distance the loads are from the service. This matters and directs the size of the conductors and ultimately the size of the conduit.

I suggest that you try and make a drawing for clarity. If you have windows you can use Paint. A drawing can make the issue a lot clearer. Include distances and expected load.
 
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Old 04-27-20, 04:47 PM
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I dont know where my mind was when I was looking at this sub panel last week. This is nothing like what I remember seeing. I remember thinking how good of a job he did. The panel is wired correctly. My mind is not.
I swear....... I dont know what I was thinking.

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Old 04-27-20, 05:16 PM
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That panel is not wired correctly. There is no grounding bar and the cable connector is missing.
 
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Old 04-28-20, 04:46 AM
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...The subpanel was installed by an experienced, licenced electrician...
Sorry to say then this "licensed electrician" did not know what he/she was doing. The concept of wiring a sub panel where the ground and neutral are separated from each other and the neutral is isolated from the cabinet is basic wiring 101-01.

Do a Google search of how to wire a sub panel and you will see that the neutral and grounds should be kept separate.
 
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Old 04-30-20, 02:29 PM
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Ok does anyone want to instruct me on how to correct this? I do not want to call this guy back. I prefer to DIY & learn how to do this. Can I add a neutral bar? Will I have to get a different sub panel with a neutral bar already in it?

Unfortunately, I dont have a lot of room in this box. If I remember right, one video I watched a few weeks ago showed how to put the ground & neutral bars in. If I remember right, your supposed to screw the ground bar directly to the sub panel box. The neutral bar is supposed to be mounted to plastic spacers or something so it wont be "also" grounded to the box. Correct?

I'd appreciate any help in learning how to correct this.
 
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Old 04-30-20, 03:15 PM
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.

Ok, I took your picture and did what I could with it.

The ground wire (red arrow) going to the neutral bar must be moved to a ground bar. You need to purchase a ground bar that will fit the area (two small red circles). You need to know the brand and model number of this panel. It should have a label inside of it which will give you this information. The ground bar should come with the machine screws to mount it to this panel and it will fit where the "humps" are. You need to be sure you know the brand and model number of the panel so you order the proper grounding bar for it.

Once you have the grounding bar, mount it over the two humps with the machine screws provided. Take the bare copper wire out of the neutral bar and place it securely into the ground bar.

I don't know the brand or model number of your panel so when you buy the ground bar you may need to also by an attachment like this to add to the ground bar so that your ground wire will fit onto the ground bar. The thickness of the ground wire may be too large for the ground bar holes so this will give you a larger hole to place the end of the ground wire into. This attachment will slip into the holes of the ground bar and you tighten it to the ground bar. This attachment I gave you a link to is just to show you what it looks like. Since we don't know the brand and model of your panel we can't give you the proper link to the one you need for it. I just wanted to show you what it looks like.

Notice: the neutral bar is not bonded to the metal panel as there is plastic under it. Presently your neutral bar is isolated from you panel (it will be separated from the ground once the ground is placed and secured onto the new ground bar you will install).

As far as the cable clamp is concerned (for the feeder cable) the person who popped out the knock-out took out the entire knockout so now You will have to enlarge the hole in the brick wall to accommodate a much larger cable clamp because that panel is mounted right up against the brick wall. Alternative would be to mount two strips of wood to the brick wall. Mount the panel to the two strips of wood mounted to the wall. Be sure the distance between the back of the panel and the brick wall will be enough to accommodate the clamp that you will need to use for the feeder cable.

Also, the one last thing we need to know is if there is a grounding screw in this panel presently. The picture makes it hard to know for sure. A close up clear picture would help. Usually it would be a green screw that is mounted into the sub panel which would then connect the neutral to the panel. I don't see one from what I can tell though. Just want to be sure.

.
 
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Old 04-30-20, 04:11 PM
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This is a Homeline. I am assuming it is a Square D cause that's what breaker is in it.

HOM612L100RB

Rain proof outdoor enclosure

100 amp max

120 / 240
 
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Old 04-30-20, 04:14 PM
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A PK7GTA ground bar will work.
 
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Old 04-30-20, 04:37 PM
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As far as the cable clamp is concerned (for the feeder cable) the person who popped out the knock-out took out the entire knockout so now You will have to enlarge the hole in the brick wall to accommodate a much larger cable clamp because that panel is mounted right up against the brick wall. Alternative would be to mount two strips of wood to the brick wall. Mount the panel to the two strips of wood mounted to the wall. Be sure the distance between the back of the panel and the brick wall will be enough to accommodate the clamp that you will need to use for the feeder cable.
Ok, I finally understood what your're saying. Not that you didn't explain it right, I just don't understand (some of) the trade.
I am assuming the only need for the cable clamp is for code, correct? I mean, I know what you're saying, but I don't know the purpose of why I am doing this. If I understand "why", it makes more sense to me, helps me finish the job correctly & helps me understand the trade better.
I know what you want me to do but I just dont know why. I am assuming.. only because its code. But whats the reason for the code?
And the only reason for the wood blocks is to correctly install the clamp... correct?

HD has 6 of these. I can pick one up tomorrow.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D...TACP/202353316
 
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Old 04-30-20, 04:43 PM
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Also, the one last thing we need to know is if there is a grounding screw in this panel presently. The picture makes it hard to know for sure. A close up clear picture would help. Usually it would be a green screw that is mounted into the sub panel which would then connect the neutral to the panel. I don't see one from what I can tell though. Just want to be sure.


I didnt notice a green ground screw in the neutral bar. There is one screw missing near the middle of the bar. I'll double check though. I assumed taht he had removed that green screw.
(By the way, I thought the current bar... was the ground bar & that the neutral was on the wrong one. I understand now through your post that it is a neutral bar & the ground is on the wrong one.)
 
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Old 04-30-20, 06:40 PM
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The clamp secures the cable to the enclosure as required. It prevents strain on the conductors and ensures the wires do not get abraded.

You can install reducer donuts so the smaller clamp can be used.
 
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Old 05-01-20, 04:13 AM
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As pcboss explained in his post #16 is the reason for the clamp. sorry, I should have explained that in my post.

pcboss I thought about the reducer donuts also but I was concerned if there would be enough space between the back of the panel and the face of the brick wall for the back end of the clamp to fit properly so I suggested the boards to give more space between the back of the panel and the face of the brick wall. I am not quite sure if the existing hole in the brick wall would be large enough to accommodate the back end of the clamp. Chipping around the existing hole to enlarge it in the brick with the cable already in there may prove to be a bit tricky.

Also dixie2012 please be sure that you shut off the breaker first feeding this sub panel before you work in it.
 
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Old 05-01-20, 05:14 AM
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the help & education. I'll take care of this, this weekend.
 
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Old 05-01-20, 10:06 AM
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@afjes I always chip the hole large enough so the connectors can be flush with the surface.
 
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Old 05-03-20, 09:53 AM
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Ground bar added... ground wire moved. Issue fixed. Again, thanks guys.
 
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