Is the sub panel properly grounded, only Load and Neutral wiring were located at the sub panel as shown below. This Sub panel is at a single floor Condo, built 1970, Updated with Newer Electrical Appliances, all functional 3 prong receptacles. Subject Condo in a multi Condo-building, maybe 30 Condos. As a realtor in Southern California' s area, I see some inspectors' reports that reflect NO grounding bar at the sub panel, similar to the attached photos. Similar conditions are found in condos type building, typically with several Condos, maybe 20-50 Condos at the building, typically built in the early 70' s and thru mid 80' s. So I am trying to determine the following; Were this kind of wiring and / or sub panel installation commonly done back in the days, some 30-40 years ago, is it considered properly grounded done today? Thank you! enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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    As a sidenote: I hope the inspector called out the mess of paint/mud in the breaker box... May 29, 2020 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


That work is in metal conduit.

You don't have any ground wires because the grounding function is being handled by the metal conduit pipes. All my buildings have the same setup. Nary a ground wire in sight.

The dead giveaway of conduit is the non-"standard" wire colors; it isn't all black-white with the occasional red. You will also note writing on the wires itself, not something you'll see with cable installations.

Metal conduit is typically seen in commercial installations. Note that large condo and apartment complexes, particularly high-rises, tend to be done to that standard.

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    And to finish the point, no ground wires means you don't need a ground bar. Home Inspectors are not fully versed in all aspects of what is allowed etc., so this kind of notation is not that uncommon, but it is irrelevant. Now, if someone were to ADD wires and those circuits were NOT in metal conduit, then you would need to have a ground wire add a ground bar to the panel.
    – JRaef
    May 28, 2020 at 23:26
  • @JRaef -- well, you'd need a ground bar then :) but even with a ground bar present, the feeder EGC can still be a metal conduit (you might have a conduit feeder but traditional MC for the branch circuits, for example) May 29, 2020 at 0:23

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