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Hope all is well. happy New Years. I will be installing a 30…

Hello Jason. Hope all is...
Hello Jason. Hope all is well. happy New Years. I will be installing a 30 amp breaker for a audio amplifier. My service panel doesn't have a ground. I'm planning on using a 10/3 cable. What should I do with the ground cable?Also, is this considered a floating ground? What problems can arise when not having a proper ground?
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1/17/2018
Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,298
Experience: Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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Hi Johnny. I am doing well. Thanks for asking. Is there no ground wire included in the wires feeding the service panel?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No this is actually a sub panel about 100 feet away from the main entry and doesnt have the ground coming from the main.

You could use a volt meter to take a reading from one of the live feed wires to the metal enclosure of the sub panel (assuming the feed is in conduit for the entire run between panels). If you get the same reading you get when testing between a live and the neutral, the metal enclosure of the sub panel is grounded by the conduit.

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In that case you could install a ground lug that would be bonded to the metal enclosure of the sub panel, then connect your load ground to this lug.

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On audio systems, grounding is very important. I would add a ground wire to the run between panels if necessary, to get a good ground path for the load. Or, feed the load from the main panel, if a ground is present in that location.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Jason I didnt remove the front panel at but what I did was put the positive probe to an outlet thats being fed from the panel and the negative terminal touching the box the outlet is in and I get 125vac also I touch the actual side of the panel and get 125vac. We still don't know if they connected the neutral or grounded the panel from the main correct? I will most likely have to remove the front and see physically correct?

I would want to know about the feed between panels, so my recommendation is to open the sub and look inside. If possible, posting a photo here would be helpful for me.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok I will post tomorrow by the afternoon.

Looking forward to it. I'll reply as soon as I get home from work. Have a great night.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Jason it appears that the conduit bringing the main into this sub panel has a ground lug connected to it. I measure voltage from one of the hot metal blades and to the ground on the left hand side and I get 127vac.I also used the outside of the panel as ground and one of the hot metal blades and get 127vac.Is this normal practice to ground the panel? I'ma little concerned. Is this safe.
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Actually, this is a proper and acceptable installation. When metal conduit is installed for the entire length of a feed between a main panel and a sub panel, and there is a proper grounding bushing in place, the conduit is allowed to act as the grounding conductor. I wouldn't be worried about this at all. But it wouldn't be a bad idea to install a ground bar, which should be bonded to the back of the metal enclosure in the photos.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Jason when I put a ground bar will it be safe to remove the ground cable from the lug to connect to the ground bar while everything is live?

There really isn't any reason to disconnect the ground cable from the ground lug. In fact, doing so would potentially remove the bond between the metal conduit and the enclosure of the sub panel. Simply install a ground bar that is screwed to the back of the enclosure, making direct metal to metal contact. Then, any load grounds you add to the sub panel can be connected to the new bar.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Can you send me a picture of what your asking me to do?

The photo marked 3.3 on this page shows a ground bar on each side of a panel. You can see the one on the left a little better.

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If you screw a ground bar directly to the back of the panel in this way, any load grounds you connect to it will then be common to the conduit between the main panel and the sub panel.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok so since the ground lug is connected to the side of the panel by screwing the a new ground bar like in the picture the ground bar will be grounded as well. Correct?

Yes, that's correct. The enclosure of the panel is acting as a bonding point. Perfectly legal and safe.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
OK thanks.Will this link below work?https://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-14-Terminal-Ground-Bar-Kit-GBK1420CS/100199885

Yes, that bar is a good one to put in the sub. You may have to drill and tap one or both holes for mounting, if the spacing of existing holes isn't right for this bar, but that's pretty easy to do.

Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,298
Experience: Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
OK thanks.

Happy to help. Is there anything else I can do for you at this time?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No at this time. I might follow up with you when I'm about to do it.
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