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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2951
Experience:  29 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
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I have three breaker boxes mounted side by side. Can I use

Customer Question

I have three breaker boxes mounted side by side. Can I use a ground clap attached to each box with #6 solid wire going from one box to the other (straight no breaks) and attach one end to the neutral ground in one box and the other end attached to a water pipe. The only time the ground enters the box is when it is attached to the neutral ground bar through the knockout on the side of the box?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. 1) Is this a residential or a commercial or industrial application? 2) How are the 3 boxes connected to each other? By EMT metal conduit or Rigid Metal Conduit or PVC conduit or by NM Romex cable? Is there an equipment grounding conductor spanning between each box? 3) Is one of the boxes, the main service panel and the other 2 boxes are downstream sub-panels?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Residential one house box and two apartment 1st and 2nd floor. There is no connection between boxes.
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for the confirmation. 1) At the house, do you have a main service disconnect to kill power to the entire home or do you kill power at each breaker box?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Kill power at each box
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for the replies. 1) Since each panel has it's own separate disconnecting means, the size of the ground wire to the street side of the cold metal water supply pipe is dependent upon the amperage of the main breaker in each panelboard. 2) Each panelboard would then require a neutral bond to the panel. 3) What is the amperage of the main breaker at each panelboard?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is there some place I can view a drawing to get a better understanding of the connections?
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
1) Unfortunately, I don't have a drawing that shows your arrangement. I suspect that you have a 3 meter wall pack installed with each meter feeding a separate panelboard that has it's own main disconnect breaker. I will opt out of the question and place it back to the open board. Perhaps another expert here has a drawing readily available. No need to reply back to me. You will be notified once another expert picks up the question. Thanks.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes, that's what I have
Will each box need to be connected to the water pipe separately or can I attach a single ground through a connector attached to each box and then to a water pipe. The other end of the ground would be connected to neutral ground inside of (a) breaker box?
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
1) You can either install a common grounding electrode conductor tap or install 3 individual grounding electrode conductors to the water pipe. 2) i would need to know the main breaker size in each panel?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
100 amps per box
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for confirming. 1) You can either install (1) one contiguous 8 AWG Copper grounding electrode conductor (GEC) from box to box landing on each neutral bus bar or you can install a separate/dedicated 8 AWG copper GEC (home run) from each panelboard to the street side of a city metal water supply pipe and then jumper back across the water meter. If tapping or daisy chaining the GEC, the size is based upon the largest service entrance conductor. Since all 3 panels are 100 amps, then only (1) one common GEC size is required and a grounding tap is not required. 2) A 100 amp service has 4 AWG copper service entrance wires. Therefore, the GEC is sized based on the service wire size. The GEC required for service wires less than or equal to 2 AWG Copper = 8 AWG copper. 2) At each panelboard, the main bonding screw or main bonding jumper is required at the neutral bus bar. Each panel is configured as a main disconnect and are not configured as sub-panels. If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you. Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off. Thanks..............Kevin:)
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you. Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off. Thanks..............Kevin:)
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you. Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off. Thanks..............Kevin:)
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you. Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off. Thanks..............Kevin:)
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you. Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off. Thanks..............Kevin:)
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you. Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off. Thanks..............Kevin:)
Expert:  Kevin replied 7 months ago.
If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you. Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off. Thanks..............Kevin:)

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