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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Calling JohnT and BD!!! Sub panel issue!!!

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Sparktrician

07-27-2013 06:14:42
198.144.56.35



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Separate your grounds and neutrals in the sub panels. Make SURE the sub panel feeders are terminated correctly at the distribution point. Not sure what your sub panels are fed from? I assume a center pole maybe?

Your electrician probably didn't say anything because it has been that way, right or wrong. As a electrical contractor who does a lot of agricultural work, I always do things right on my work......but it is often a real struggle to get a farmer to change something that has been "working ok" for years, even if it is not right.

Most guys don't seem to want to spend much more than they have to on electric work. I understand that.

Example, often on service calls I will notice subpanels with no separate EGC, and the neutral and grounds landed on the same bar in the panel. I mention the issues with this, and what we need to do to fix it. Often, I get the response of it works, has always worked, why change it? (not fix, change, lol)

One guy even had 12 Holstein cows die while milking one night due to stray voltage.....and couldn't convince him why his silo service needed ground rods.....after the overhead service burnt up, and it burnt all the silo unloader wire up, and wire to the rotating bunk feeder up, searching for a path to ground......It found it somehow through the rebar in the concrete and the silo unloader. some guys just don't get it.

Separate your grounds and neutrals in your subs, a ground rod at the panel is not a bad thing. Make sure your main service is put together correctly also.....that will be just as important.

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Bob Bancroft

07-27-2013 10:57:04
97.73.64.150



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 Re: Calling JohnT and BD!!! Sub panel issue!!! in reply to Sparktrician, 07-27-2013 06:14:42  
What do you recommend on a farm such as mine with several sub panels, each fed with three wires, all buried cable a LONG way from the main panel? No animals. No trouble. Ground rods at all locations. Apparently code has changed since my installations. It appears all neutrals and grounds are hooked together in all panels.



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John T

07-27-2013 11:16:26
216.249.76.176



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 Re: Calling JohnT and BD!!! Sub panel issue!!! in reply to Bob Bancroft, 07-27-2013 10:57:04  
I recommend you do NOTHING, thats the way the code was for yearsssssssssssssss, it was likely legal when installed and maybe Grandfathered in by your local authority??????? In those days for 120/240 volt single phase three wire you only ran 3 wires to the outbuilding, 2 Hots and Neutral, just the same as the utility ran the twisted triplex 3 wires to your home. Then the Neutral was wired to a suitable GroundING Electrode and Neutral and Ground busses (if it even had two) were tied together.

But do as you please, I wouldnt be too anxious to raise any red flags i.e. dont ask dont tell and keep under the radar. Sure as you ask some bureaucrat and bring it to his attention he may call the SWAT team and the EPA and OSHA and run out and shut you down lol

PS Im always preaching do it right and safe, but while I believe the new 4 wire system to be better, the old 3 wire arent any great hazard in my opinion provided correctly installed and good earth grounding BUT IF A NEW INSTALLATION GO WITH THE CORRECT MODERN 4 WIRE

My opinion only, your choice now

John T

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Bob Bancroft

07-27-2013 12:01:30
97.73.64.155



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 Re: Calling JohnT and BD!!! Sub panel issue!!! in reply to John T, 07-27-2013 11:16:26  
As always, thank you John. Indeed, I see questions asked on here that make me wonder if the SWAT/EPA/OSHA/NSA/etc. isn't going to come after us freedom loving rednecks! I'm not about to dig everything up. Short of adding a wire, by my limited understanding, there's nothing else to do. I just wondered if there was something that could be done at the panels.



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John T

07-27-2013 06:31:28
216.249.76.176



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 Re: Calling JohnT and BD!!! Sub panel issue!!! in reply to Sparktrician, 07-27-2013 06:14:42  
EXCELLENT,,,,,,When I was practicing I had a great relationship with my electrical contractors, we listened to and learned from each other, a two way relationship based on mutual respect, I learned from them and they learned from me......Of course, I was older and more experienced by then, NOT some punk pimpled wet behind the ears kid fresh out of engineering school, they kind they didnt like lol

Couple comments: "some guys just don't get it"

I agree, Ive fought that for over 15 years here AND THEY NEVER WILL lol

"a ground rod at the panel is not a bad thing"

When I practiced I specified a proper GroundING Electrode at EACH AND EVERY buildings electrical service entrance.

Fun chat, I think JD has the picture now, but I'm rusty on those ag building exceptions

Ol John T and all

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