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FLABobby 11-05-2011 07:11 AM

Wiring new breaker in panel
Hello all-

New to this forum and eletrical work in general ..

After having built a room (also a new area for me.. thank you time life books! ) and wiring all the outlets and switches.. I tried to patch into the line existing (this space is at the back end of a large kitchen/den area) .. but that patch didnt seem very good (lights flickerd and I wondered I few things and then decided .. cuz I am not an expert of course) that because the distance from the new space to the breaker box was relatively short (15-20 ft thru the attic) that adding in a new breaker would be a cleaner solution .

Once I had everything ready I opened the break panel and.. please verify if I am looking at this correctly. but I do not see any ground here.

No other panels are within the house, the only other one outside is the main (?) next to the meter (only 1 breaker in there)

Am I missing something ? Want to be sure I am doing this properly and avoid any accidents. Any advice on how to properly wire the ramex in here would be greatly appreciated.

I can call a pro if needed, but I am trying to learn new things and save a few dollars when possible.

Thank you all

joecaption 11-05-2011 03:45 PM

Somethings very wrong here.
Normal wire colors are black, white and a bare wire ground in a panel box.
You have red, white, blue and no visable ground.
I'd call in a pro on this one.
Older panels rn the ground and nutrals (white) to the same buss bar, but newer ones have two buss's one for nutral and one for ground.
Your incoming big wires should have two going to the main lugs and one going to a ground buss but I do not see it in your pictures.

kok328 11-05-2011 04:15 PM

Blue, Black & Red are hots which is Ok.
However, it appears to be a definite hack job. I see white being wired nutted to a black pigtail attached to a breaker. I can't see clearly enough but, I hope those white wires that attach to a breaker are actually Yellow in color which would be Ok too.
I do not see any ground buss bar either.
Grounding may be established elsewhere like a water pipe or something. You should call an electrician who will be able to see more than we can based on the pics posted.

joecaption 11-05-2011 04:21 PM

Now I see where they ran the main ground down to the bottom buss where all the whites are connected.
Not sure why anyone would have run all those mini breakers instead of full sized breakers.

BridgeMan 11-05-2011 05:50 PM

I don't see any circuits having ground wires in them (bare copper), nor does there appear to be a large copper ground wire anywhere. Two incoming line positives (hots) at the top lugs, one line neutral at the bottom.

Maybe time to call an electrician?

kok328 11-05-2011 08:36 PM

There is no ground shown in any of the pics.
As Bridgeman has indicated, the large wire at the bottom of the panel is indeed the neutral wire for the panel. That's why all the neutrals are attached to that buss bar.

joecaption 11-06-2011 06:03 AM

Look around outside in the panel area and see if you see a grounding rod with a bare copper wire attached to it, it should have been routed through the wall to the panel. (Newer codes call for two rods)
I'd be curious enough to open up an outlet anywhere in the house to see if there's any ground wires running to the outlets also.

JoeD 11-06-2011 08:49 PM

Based on the multi colour wires used I suspect this system is wired in conduit. They are probably using the conduit as the ground for the circuits.

I still don't see the main ground in the panel however. I also don't see a main breaker so there must be a disconnect somewhere else. The main ground is probably in that panel.

joecaption 11-10-2011 06:59 PM

Just a question for all you real electritions?
Why could a ground not be added by driving in to ground rods outside, run the bare ground to both then bring it inside and be connect to the open termial in the neutral buss. I know new panel boxes have two busses but all the old ones I see like this one were done that way.

evstarr 11-11-2011 06:29 PM

If there is a separate disconnect with main breakers outside, poco ground terminates there. This panel does appear to be conduit and separate conductors so there are no bare grounds. Neutral bus should be bonded to the panel and this panel should be bonded to the one outside. In locations where romex or other non metallic cables are used instead of emt, there would be another bus in the panel to accommodate those bare ground conductors.

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