5

If one were to add a new branch circuit to this panel and didn’t want to use metal conduit, where would you land your ground wire to? Would you need to add a grounding location to the panel? enter image description here

9
  • 1
    Can usually put grounds with neutrals in a main panel(only in main, not sub panels). One of the white thick wires seem to be grounded, but in the sunlight so hard to tell. Also seem to have some rust/corrosion on the panel, which can lead to extra heating at connections.
    – crip659
    Jun 1 at 22:59
  • 3
    make sure that it is legal in your area or occupancy to NOT use conduit. Generally if the wiring is all in conduit, it's because doing otherwise is not legal (specifically at my house, it's legal to do otherwise but I'm paranoid about burning the place down - and I've seen too much rodent damage in remodels over the years to trust cables that can be snacked on.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 1 at 23:24
  • 9
    Does the cover say Federal Pacific stab-lok by any chance? Adding a ground might be the least of your worries.
    – JACK
    Jun 1 at 23:36
  • 4
    That sure looks like a stab-lok panel. Given the current utilization, are you sure you don’t want to just replace it? Jun 2 at 0:15
  • 3
    "...didn’t want to use metal conduit" That's not your call. You need to comply with local codes. If the last guy used all conduit, that was because Code requires it, and you can't just ignore code because of watching a few Youtube videos. Anyway, conduit is better even if it's new to you. Jun 2 at 4:27

2 Answers 2

19

You might as well just replace the whole panel

There's absolutely no sense trying to hunt down the correct grounding bar for your panel -- it's a FPE Stab-Lok, whose breakers and busbars are both dangerously defective. As a result, you're far better off simply getting a new panel -- you could even go with a 12 or 16 space, 100A, outdoor rated (NEMA 3R) main breaker panel if you're that pinched for budget, although I'd recommend a 24 or 30 space panel instead.

If this is directly off your meter, you'll need to coordinate shutting the power off with your utility, by the way. (Many utilities can do this remotely for free during business hours, even, thanks to smart metering!)

10
  • Just curious. FPE had fuse boxes and the separate fuse blocks used the same "stab-lok" configuration to attach to the bus. There's a whole subdivision out here that used them and I have seen quite a few burned blocks. Were those part of the "recall"?
    – JACK
    Jun 2 at 13:01
  • 2
    The idea of working on a panel with a service that hasn't been physically disconnected/locked out seems weird to me... What kind of assurance do you have that the power won't unexpectedly come back on when it's been shut off remote?
    – Logarr
    Jun 2 at 13:47
  • @JACK there was no actual recall, unfortunately -- my linked answer goes into a little bit more detail as to why Jun 2 at 22:51
  • @Logarr -- unless you want to pay for two truck rolls from your utility, the remote disco is your best bet for a service panel changeout Jun 2 at 22:53
  • 3
    @Logarr Well, you could stop paying your bill about 4 months before you are ready to upgrade. When they cut off power for non-payment, do the panel replacement, then head on over to the utility office and pay the bill. Jun 3 at 1:10
5

To answer your simple question "Where is the ground" on my panel.

You have a ground connector at the bottom right.

Messing with this outdated panel is at your own risk, of shorts and fire.

ground

6
  • 2
    The OP has much bigger problems than not having a ground wire, that's pretty definitely a FPE Stab-Lok from the busbar design and the breakers shown... Jun 2 at 1:33
  • 3
    @ThreePhaseEel correct, but he asked about ground connector.
    – knowitall
    Jun 2 at 1:35
  • 1
    +1 for helping the OP learn. However, agree 100% with the "replace the whole panel" suggestion from TPE.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 2 at 12:18
  • 5
    While it's true that the entire panel should be nuked from orbit I think this answer is overall useful for anyone that might stumble upon this question trying to figure out what a ground bar even looks like. I disagree with whoever downvoted this answer.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Jun 2 at 12:31
  • @MonkeyZeus main issue with this answer is that the "ground connector" pointed out is actually the wire terminal on a grounding locknut/bushing used to bond the end of a metal conduit protecting the GEC to the neutral bar Jun 2 at 22:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.