Ground Bar In Panel. Ground Strap.

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Old 06-20-02, 01:00 PM
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TomBrooklyn
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Question Ground Bar In Panel. Ground Strap.

1) Is the "ground strap" a metal strap that connects the neutral bar and the ground bar in a panel box?

Should the ground bar be installed and connected to the neutral bar in a main panel right off the meter? An apprentice electrician with only a few years of experience installed replaced a 40 amp panel that served the basement and common areas of a three family house with a new 100Amp panel and didn't install the ground bar. He said it wasn't needed.

2) A 220V 60 amp CB serving a single 50A receptical was installed and the ground of the receptical was brought to the neutral bar. Is this OK?

(This receptical is intended to power the 2 year old style Miller Thunderbolt welding machine. Note that the welding manual indicates the welder pulls up to 70amps, but it comes with a 50A plug. I don't know why they use only a 50A plug. A 2 pole 60 Amp CB was used because a 70amp was not available at the time of the install. It has never tripped, although the welder has not been run at it's maximum output to date.)
 
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Old 06-21-02, 06:33 AM
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At the main panel, ground=neutral. So if there is two separate bars, they should be strapped together to make them electrically equal. At sub panels or for that fact any other place but the main disconnect should have the neutral and grounds separate.
If the welding recept. circuit is run back tot he main panel, then the ground conductor may land on the neutral bar since the neutral and ground should be connected.
 
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Old 06-21-02, 09:14 AM
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TomBrooklyn
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Ground Strap, Multiple Main Panels, Moving Panels

Hi Ron, thanks for the reply.
In a four family house I own, there are five main panels. One for each apartment and one for the basement, hallway and common area circuits. Each of these panels has their own meter and are installed right above the meter. The meters are about 25' from the incoming service box which is fused.

None of these meters have a ground bar. All neutrals and grounds such as the welding receptical ground are attached to the neutral bar which is of course electrically isolated from the panel. Each neutral bar is connected via a white insulated conductor back to the meter. This house is in NY City, and all the branch circuits are run in either armored cable or metal conduit. Is this all how it should be?

I was interested in converting the existing four apartment panels into what would essentially disconnect switches by removing all branch circuitry, installing a main breaker, and then adding a panel in each apartment and connecting the branch ciruits there.

Would those panels be considered new main panels or more likely subpanels?

In those panels, I suppose a ground bar should be used?

Any then, in the case of any added dedicated 220V receptacle circuits such as air conditioning would it be proper to use two wire and let the ground on the receptical run through the conduit, or use three wire, tape the white green, and attach it at the receptacle to the ground and at the apartment panel to the ground bar. This is probably a redundant ground. Do most electricians use it or is it code to do it?
 
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Old 06-21-02, 10:03 AM
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Tom,
NYC is almost another world from the rest (electrically) and is interpreted differently by every inspector, even some of the basics that you ask about. In NYC you must use metalic conduit whether flexible (BX or AC) or rigid (EMT or galv steel).
For a regular air cond recept, you only need two conductor bx and the jacket is used as a ground. If you used 3 wire, it's ok, you can not terminate the white on either end or terminate it as a ground and reidentify the conductor with green tape.

Regarding the meter/main panel situation, you will have to ask the NYC inspector as what I might tell you would only be my opinion based on the code and not the real answer.
 
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