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Old 04-04-2019, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default No Equipment Ground - Sub-Panel

I'm working on a house that has a sub panel (located in the same house) that is fed from a 6-3 NM cable that doesn't have an equipment ground. Was this allowable at any time? Do you bond the grounds from the branch circuits to the neutral at the sub-panel in this case (as long as there are no other parallel paths back to the main panel) or do you have to run a separate equipment ground? Or, do I need to install new feeders with an equipment ground? I have seen this several times at several places. I thought there was an exception to a general rule regarding this somewhere but I am having trouble finding it. Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:27 PM   #2
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6-3 NM should have a ground with it.

Should be black, red, white and a bare copper ground.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:27 PM   #3
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I have seen this too. I think it might have been allowed at one time long ago, but I am not sure.

I will usually recommend installing a new feeder and panel.

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6-3 NM should have a ground with it.
Not the old stuff.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:28 PM   #4
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I think it was acceptable pre 87'-ish, if it is existing and you are running new circuits from it, you would attach your ground and neutrals to the same bar just as you would in a main panel.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:31 PM   #5
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Not the old stuff.
No kidding. More like SE cable then?
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:51 PM   #6
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I have seen this too. I think it might have been allowed at one time long ago, but I am not sure.

I will usually recommend installing a new feeder and panel.



Not the old stuff.
The problem here is that I believe there are parallel paths to ground so I don't want to just bond the neutral to the grounds. Like you said, I think recommending new feeders is really the best option here. I asked my inspector about bonding the ground bar to the grounding electrode/bond conductor, which happens to be close by, and he kind of hemmed and hawed about it. He said that we both know that would perform the task needed but he didn't really think it was code compliant.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:55 PM   #7
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You mean 6-3 with gnd.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:01 PM   #8
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You mean 6-3 with gnd.
No, this is older NM cable with no equipment ground; just 3 wires, red, black, and white.... No equipment ground.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
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No kidding. More like SE cable then?
Think of the old 14-2 romex that didnít have an EGC yet.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:14 PM   #10
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No, this is older NM cable with no equipment ground; just 3 wires, red, black, and white.... No equipment ground.
Is it cloth & rubber insulation?
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:24 PM   #11
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Is it cloth & rubber insulation?
In this case, it's rubber... I often see this type of wiring on older dryer circuits and range circuits too.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:29 PM   #12
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In this case, it's rubber... I often see this type of wiring on older dryer circuits and range circuits too.
I'd replace it. Don't give the customer the option of bonding the neutral.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:34 PM   #13
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It seems to me that there was exception in the code somewhere for this kind of situation but I can't find it right now... However, I'm not looking that hard as I have a bunch of other paperwork in front of me that also needs attention. (Whew! ... lot's to do.)
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:42 PM   #14
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Approx how old is this wiring?

1950?
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:54 PM   #15
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Approx how old is this wiring?

1950?
I'm guessing it's from the 80's, but I'm not positive about that.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samgregger View Post
I think it was acceptable pre 87'-ish, if it is existing and you are running new circuits from it, you would attach your ground and neutrals to the same bar just as you would in a main panel.
I'd bet Pre 60 something maybe 50ish Definitely pre 1970
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:48 PM   #17
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I'd bet Pre 60 something maybe 50ish Definitely pre 1970
Early 60's.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:02 PM   #18
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I don't think there was ever a provision in the code that allowed this for panels in the same structure. The only places I can think where the neutral could be used as a ground is at the service equipment, on dryers and ranges, and at remote structures. I have seen it done too, but I think it's just people getting away with it.

Short of replacing the cable, one fix might be to turn it into a 120 volt subpanel if practical, then you'd have all the wires necessary.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:17 PM   #19
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40's and fifties. If this one you saw had a sort of cloth material for the outer sheath. Sounds like it did it the internal wires were rubber covered. When they did do it this way , it wasn't really legal code wise but common. Usually there would be a #6 bare copper running out of the sub panel to the water heater cold and bonded to the metal of the sub panel.

Agree with the frames of ranges and dryers part. That was legal, in my lifetime.
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:01 AM   #20
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Just run a ground wire using the same route. NEC 300.3(B)2





 





(2) Grounding and Bonding Conductors. Equipment grounding conductors shall be permitted to be installed outside a raceway or cable assembly where in accordance with the provisions of 250.130(C) for certain existing installations or in accordance with 250.134(B),
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