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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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Hello fellow electricians,

I'm in a bit of a situation here, and I'm not sure if I am interpreting this correctly.:unsure:

I'm currently installing a new 200a service entrance on a local residence. (I'm located very far in eastern Canada)
I've always used a #4 bonding wire going from my panel to my meter base. However, the inspector has come back to me, saying that they have changed their inspection guidelines (Apparently nobody knew this before, until an inspector stumbled across it in the CEC)

They are now saying that because I used aluminum conductors in my service entrance, I have to use a #4 bonding wire from the panel to the meter base, citing Table 16 as the reason for the change. They state that in the table, under "Aluminum AWG or Kcmil", it states #4.

However, I disagree with that interpretation. I have always interpreted those sizes to be dependent on whether then bonding wire's material is either copper or aluminum, and has nothing to do with the service conductor materials... I used copper bonding wire, and installed a #6, and they said it has to be changed.

Am I interpreting this wrong? or is my local Government going even more bananas?
 

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Well, your inspector is insane. The Gov't always has been !

If your bond wire is copper, then the Table CLEARLY states #6. Period.
Go over his head.
 

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Because you do not have overcurrent protection on your service conductors, you must use the ampacity of the conductors to size your bond.

What size are the feeders?
Good point, he may have gone over 4 aught
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Because you do not have overcurrent protection on your service conductors, you must use the ampacity of the conductors to size your bond.

What size are the feeders?
Here in Newfoundland, our government forces us to use 250MCM Aluminum (205A @ 75 Deg.) [Table 4]

Using the 75 degree values because the main breakers in panels are [mostly] all rated for 75 degrees.
So, in your theory, yes, I would have to use #4 because I'm exceeding 200A value in Table 16.

However, the CEC states that 0000 Copper exceeds 200A as well, (230A @ 75 Deg.) [Table 2]
Service NL will allow a #6 copper, because the service conductors are copper... :unsure:

The size of the bonding and grounding is based off the main breaker/disconnect. In this case, is 200A.

As always, the only overcurrent protection for the conductors in the meter base is the fuse on the primary side of transformer, which is most likely somewhere around 60 amps @ 14,400v. Which case, you'd never be able to affordto bond a meterbase.
 

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Here in Newfoundland, our government forces us to use 250MCM Aluminum (205A @ 75 Deg.) [Table 4]

Using the 75 degree values because the main breakers in panels are [mostly] all rated for 75 degrees.
So, in your theory, yes, I would have to use #4 because I'm exceeding 200A value in Table 16.

However, the CEC states that 0000 Copper exceeds 200A as well, (230A @ 75 Deg.) [Table 2]
Service NL will allow a #6 copper, because the service conductors are copper... :unsure:

The size of the bonding and grounding is based off the main breaker/disconnect. In this case, is 200A.

As always, the only overcurrent protection for the conductors in the meter base is the fuse on the primary side of transformer, which is most likely somewhere around 60 amps @ 14,400v. Which case, you'd never be able to affordto bond a meterbase.
Your inspection authority has made their own rules it seems, much like every other province. But if you follow the actual code, this is what it says.

1- If you have an overcurrent protecting the conductors then you use the overcurrent size.

2- If the conductors do not have overcurrent, (like the secondary of a transformer or a residential service) or if the conductors are oversized for any reason, then you must use the ampacity of the conductors.

Having overcurrent downstream does nothing if there is a fault on the service conductors. Table 16 has changed many times and not I believe they got it right.

What does your inspector do if you oversized the service conductors for voltage drop or whatever, how would you size the bond?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What does your inspector do if you oversized the service conductors for voltage drop or whatever, how would you size the bond?
Not sure to be honest. Most likely that they would size their bond by the overcurrent protection, as that has been what I've seen in the past by experience. But who knows.

Honestly, I have no problem with them going with a #4 copper if the issue is the service conductor ampacity. But thats entirely their problem. They made the mess of upsizing the service conductors in residential services not the CEC. If they wants a #4 because it's aluminum, they should for copper as well, as 0000 copper has a higher ampacity then 250 aluminum.
 

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Not sure to be honest. Most likely that they would size their bond by the overcurrent protection, as that has been what I've seen in the past by experience. But who knows.

Honestly, I have no problem with them going with a #4 copper if the issue is the service conductor ampacity. But thats entirely their problem. They made the mess of upsizing the service conductors in residential services not the CEC. If they wants a #4 because it's aluminum, they should for copper as well, as 0000 copper has a higher ampacity then 250 aluminum.
That is a common issue when different provinces make their own rules. Inspectors get confused on what is required, no consistency amongst them, and There are always other rules that contradict it.

This is a perfect example of that. Your inspector does not understand the table and how to use it.
 

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Sounds like your on 2021 CEC. Eddy pointed out that in this edition, they ditched table 39.

000 copper is 200A , so still a #6 bond.
0000 would be oversized for voltage drop, and require #4
 

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Manitoba deleted table 39 from the 2018 cycle. 200A service is 200A conductors always. 3/0 copper or 250mcm aluminum. #6 ground. We bond our meter sockets thru the neutral.

In this case OP, your inspector is reading the table wrong.
Anywhere else we use copper or aluminum, the aluminum is 2 sizes bigger then copper, same as this table. Just because the circuit conductors are aluminum doesn't magically mean you need a bigger copper bond! If we follow their logic, then a 15A circuit wired with #12 aluminum conductors (say its an old house) needs a #12 copper bond, which would be a #10 aluminum??? So the bond conductor is bigger then the circuit conductors?? Not!
 

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Here in Newfoundland, our government forces us to use 250MCM Aluminum (205A @ 75 Deg.) [Table 4]

Using the 75 degree values because the main breakers in panels are [mostly] all rated for 75 degrees.
So, in your theory, yes, I would have to use #4 because I'm exceeding 200A value in Table 16.

However, the CEC states that 0000 Copper exceeds 200A as well, (230A @ 75 Deg.) [Table 2]
Service NL will allow a #6 copper, because the service conductors are copper... :unsure:

The size of the bonding and grounding is based off the main breaker/disconnect. In this case, is 200A.

As always, the only overcurrent protection for the conductors in the meter base is the fuse on the primary side of transformer, which is most likely somewhere around 60 amps @ 14,400v. Which case, you'd never be able to affordto bond a meterbase.
I鈥檝e helped with at least a dozen in PEI the last year and a half. They get us to use 250 single conductor for overhead (al) and so far haven鈥檛 had an issue with us using 4/0 al for underground. We always use #6 bare cu from the bonding lug in the panel (neutral bar) and it goes out to the ground plate they will fail us if we run it to the meter socket. That being said if we use tec and it鈥檚 an underground the bond wire in the tec DOES go to the bond lug in the meter socket and the main panel is still grounded the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I鈥檝e helped with at least a dozen in PEI the last year and a half. They get us to use 250 single conductor for overhead (al) and so far haven鈥檛 had an issue with us using 4/0 al for underground. We always use #6 bare cu from the bonding lug in the panel (neutral bar) and it goes out to the ground plate they will fail us if we run it to the meter socket. That being said if we use tec and it鈥檚 an underground the bond wire in the tec DOES go to the bond lug in the meter socket and the main panel is still grounded the same.
Once upon a time here in NL, not that long ago actually, you would mount your neutral in the provided lugs in the meter base, and you wouldn't need to run a bond there at all.

Nowadays, they make us take the neutral bus mount out of the meter base and install a bond wire from the panel out. If we do mount the neutral to the meter base, we have to bring the ground wire into the meter base instead of the panel and ground there, and then run a bond from the meter to the panel. The idea of course is first point of contact to the neutral has to be where the ground wire runs.

. However, what I really like to know is what genius thought that a # 4 or # 6 copper wire would be able to handle a ground fault in the meter base better then the already existing much larger neutral is beyond me. Especially for me, as I never downsize the neutral conductor. so my neutral was, in this case, also a 250 MCM Aluminum. I'm sure someone out there has a great answer for this, but unfortunately that someone isn't me.

I know many electricians do drop their neutral size. But from experience, life has taught me that bad grounding/bonding, and a undersized neutral can cause much grief down the road, especially when people who don't know what they are doing starts to throw additional devices and circuits in the panels. Which is all too common here.
 

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Once upon a time here in NL, not that long ago actually, you would mount your neutral in the provided lugs in the meter base, and you wouldn't need to run a bond there at all.

Nowadays, they make us take the neutral bus mount out of the meter base and install a bond wire from the panel out. If we do mount the neutral to the meter base, we have to bring the ground wire into the meter base instead of the panel and ground there, and then run a bond from the meter to the panel. The idea of course is first point of contact to the neutral has to be where the ground wire runs.

. However, what I really like to know is what genius thought that a # 4 or # 6 copper wire would be able to handle a ground fault in the meter base better then the already existing much larger neutral is beyond me. Especially for me, as I never downsize the neutral conductor. so my neutral was, in this case, also a 250 MCM Aluminum. I'm sure someone out there has a great answer for this, but unfortunately that someone isn't me.

I know many electricians do drop their neutral size. But from experience, life has taught me that bad grounding/bonding, and a undersized neutral can cause much grief down the road, especially when people who don't know what they are doing starts to throw additional devices and circuits in the panels. Which is all too common here.
Like I said I鈥檓 still pretty new to the trade but I鈥檓 pretty sure they鈥檇 fail us if we did it that way. We (so far) always use the same size neutral as hots and they get terminated in the meter base and panel. I don鈥檛 have the answers to why they want it done differently.
 

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Im in new brunswick.The services I've done here we put in 250al with a #4 ground. Bond to neutral done at the meter base, and run to the panel where the jumper gets removed.

Sounds like our wholesalers are out of 250 this week.. Along with most everything else we need.
 

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Manitoba deleted table 39 from the 2018 cycle. 200A service is 200A conductors always. 3/0 copper or 250mcm aluminum. #6 ground. We bond our meter sockets thru the neutral.
plus our neutral is #4 copper for residential
However, commercial we must install full size neutrals with a #6 ground
 
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