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Thread: Subpanel Question

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    Subpanel Question

    Okay so I have a few more electrical problems associated with putting in a new light. It seems that my electrical panel that all my my pool equipment runs to is run straight off my service. My service goes into the garage and attaches to the main panel but also goes to the subpanel that's about 8 feet away in conduit by the pool. I assumed it was subpanel but all my neutrals and grounds were on the same busbar so I traced it back to the service via the conduit. I can't figure out if this is safe enough or not to have a pool light attached to it.
    Any help is appreciated.
    24,000 Rectangular Vinyl IG, Sand, 1.5 Hayward Pump

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Subpanel Question

    I am a little confused by how you described your panel setup. From what I read..you have two panels feeding the pool?...or just one?

    Regardless, I can still answer some questions.
    Any panel after your main service/disconect panel is considered a sub panel. In your main panel both the neutral and ground bars are to be bonded. Any panel after that needs to have a separate ground and neutral wire along with the hot leads. The neutral needs to be "floating" which means it is not bonded in any way to anything in the groung system. There was a time that this was not a requirement. I know that back into the late 70's, when I started to work with electricity, that a floating neutral was an NEC requirement. I do not recall when this was put into the code. The problem with the neutral being bonded to the ground system is that the bare ground wire can become a current carrying conductor during normal use. If you could post pictures of the insides of your sub panel(s) it would help to determine the best way to correct this.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Subpanel Question

    I'm a little confused too. Is there a breaker in the main panel for the pool panel?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Subpanel Question

    Sounds to me that both panels are connected to the service in the meter? So it is not really a sub panel.

    Not sure if that is legit or not. At a minimum the pool panel would require it's own grounding rods I think.

    probably worth changing it to a true sub panel off a breaker in the main panel.

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    Re: Subpanel Question

    Correct both my house panel and my pool panel are fed straight from the meter. Yes I do have 2 grounding rods but the wire is very thin. Its like they took the ground out of 12/2 romex and tied the grounds in with that. Sorry about late reply.
    24,000 Rectangular Vinyl IG, Sand, 1.5 Hayward Pump

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    Samantha Sabrina's Avatar
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    Re: Subpanel Question

    Hmmmmmmm, was this wired by an licensed electrician?

    If so then I would assume it was done to local code, sometimes local codes do not follow NEC guidlines, or they tend to lag behind when changes and updates are made.

    My main disconnect below the meter, (on the pole), has space to add additional breakers below the main, so I can run seperate circuits straight from the main disconnect box properly without having to find a spot in the house service panel.

    the bare copper wire the power company uses here when they set a pole is not very large either, (maybe 10ga at most), but they staple the gound wire to the bottom of the pole before they drop it in the hole, and it runs up both sides of the pole, one side to the transformer and the other side to the disconnect box.
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    Re: Subpanel Question

    Quote Originally Posted by acroberson
    Correct both my house panel and my pool panel are fed straight from the meter. Yes I do have 2 grounding rods but the wire is very thin. Its like they took the ground out of 12/2 romex and tied the grounds in with that. Sorry about late reply.
    OK, you have two branch feed wires coming from the meter socket. One to each breaker panel. There is no disconnect box near the meter socket? I would be surprised if that meter socket is rated for two branch feeds. My suspicion is that someone double tapped the load lugs in the meter socket.
    Could you post some pictures of your meter socket and panels?

    Anyway, getitng back to your original question on hooking up the light. I don't see a problem with hooking up the light provided you follow the manufacturers directions. with out a doubt they will include hooking to a GFCI circuit and also being properly bonded to the bond grid around the pool.
    Ground rods in this instance are of no use as they are primarily used for high current events such as lightning strikes. Surge supressors also can rely on them in the event of a high current event thru the electrical system. Minor electrical events such as a short circuit in a motor rely on the ground path back to source to trip the over current device (breaker).
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Subpanel Question

    It's not a sub panel and as long as the rest of the installation meets code you're safe to hook the light up.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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