steel building additon

ctaylo360860

Senior Member
Location
colorado
Occupation
ME
I have an existing building and service, that is getting a steel framed addition added to it. I’m wondering if I need to bond the steel frame of the building out to the service disconnect, or if I’d be able to come off the sub feeders on the existing building. The service, grounding, and bonding are not done correctly at all. Basically the double throw at the pole was retrofitted with breaker so now instead of it being service equipment it’s a service disconnect, and now instead of the service disconnects being on the two panels in the existing building they are now considered sub panels and do not have 5 wires ran to them. All grounding and grounded conductors are bonded together in both panels. Would it be easier if I put another term box in place of where the double throw is and then I can have my service disconnect back at the panels inside the buildin. Set a ground bar and bond from of one of the services, and then begin to bond steel, water, ufer if it’s even present, or set two ground rods if not?
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petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
If an existing building gets an addition you still have a single structure.

It is possible that the new part of the structure has an additional grounding electrode that needs to be bonded to the existing grounding electrode system. Keep in mind that you are only required to use one concrete encased electrode if there is more than one present, and that the building steel may not qualify as a grounding electrode.

I'd be inclined to throw out the existing service equipment and start over.

i seems to me there should be a GES connection to neutral at the service equipment.

It looks to me like everything is in metal conduit so no wire type EGC is required from the service equipment to the panelboards.

it also appears like neutrals and grounds have been mixed together on the two panelboards, which would be inappropriate downstream of the service point.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector (Retired)
It's difficult to know where to start. If, by building Code, it is one structure, you can't have two feeders to one structure.
The runs appear to be PVC so if the interior panels are subpanels ypu would need have an EGC and separate the EGs and neutrals if the two feeders were approved.
 

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
That is a mess for sure. I think this is one of those situations where you need to get the inspector involved before you commit to anything. What jurisdiction is this in?
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
It's difficult to know where to start. If, by building Code, it is one structure, you can't have two feeders to one structure.
The runs appear to be PVC so if the interior panels are subpanels ypu would need have an EGC and separate the EGs and neutrals if the two feeders were approved.
Can you move the service equipment off the pole to the building so there's no longer two feeders to the building?

I took another look at the pictures and realized that the conduit coming out of the service equipment junction box is PVC. So I guess my idea of using the conduit as the equipment grounding conductor probably wouldn't work all that well. I could see all the EMT coming out of the panel boards and figured that meant everything was metal.

I still think your best bet is to rip out a lot of this stuff and start over. If you have this kind of mess in your panel boards and your service equipment there's probably a lot of other stuff that needs to be fixed right.
 
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ctaylo360860

Senior Member
Location
colorado
Occupation
ME
That is a mess for sure. I think this is one of those situations where you need to get the inspector involved before you commit to anything. What jurisdiction is this in?
It’s a complete mess,I have no electrical prints. I was supposed to get framing prints Tuesday, and have yet to see them… yeah I filed a permit, and am waiting to hear back via email from him… I’m not sure the jurisdiction, but it’s eastern Colorado. I call it the wild wild east… The inspector only come out once a week I believe usually Tuesday or a thurdsdy… he’s a great guy and usually very easy to get along with, so I think that is my best bet.
 

ctaylo360860

Senior Member
Location
colorado
Occupation
ME
It's difficult to know where to start. If, by building Code, it is one structure, you can't have two feeders to one structure.
The runs appear to be PVC so if the interior panels are subpanels ypu would need have an EGC and separate the EGs and neutrals if the two feeders were approved.
I agree, I’m quite frazzled and have no prints or scope of work of the framers… I don’t believe out here that there are any building codes. So maybe that will play in my favor. There are actually three at this point the shiny emt out of the term box goes all the way through the building and hits a main lug panel for air compressors on the outside of building… it’s #4 copper fused st 200amps… I’m going to try and get it back into three phase panel on a 90amp breaker… I thought about eliminating the breakers at the double throw, and making it s splice box. That then make my 3phase service disconnect in the 240 high leg. Run a gec to water main or two ground rods and bond the rest of the ges. Then I would basically remove the other two services from the term box and refeed them from the 3phase panel with 5 wires…. That’s the only way I see eliminating the two services on one structure…
 

ctaylo360860

Senior Member
Location
colorado
Occupation
ME
Can you move the service equipment off the pole to the building so there's no longer two feeders to the building?

I took another look at the pictures and realized that the conduit coming out of the service equipment junction box is PVC. So I guess my idea of using the conduit as the equipment grounding conductor probably wouldn't work all that well. I could see all the EMT coming out of the panel boards and figured that meant everything was metal.

I still think your best bet is to rip out a lot of this stuff and start over. If you have this kind of mess in your panel boards and your service equipment there's probably a lot of other stuff that needs to be fixed right.
That’s kind of what I was thinking, but I was hoping someone had some better ideas, because I’m one guy and my scope of work is really the addition. I work for the company building the addition so I don’t make any more or less on the job, just want a safe and compliant headache free install… yeah there are a ton… that’s actually three feeds to the building right now… yeah it leaves the doh or throw in pvc and then into both panels with pvc… thanks for the advice this one has really had my brain working… I’m hoping the ahj will allow for the two services using 230.2(b)
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector (Retired)
I would agree with Texie in that step one would be to get your electrical inspector involved. He might be lenient since part of it is existing. On the other hand, if he wants it 100% NEC he can be the bad guy, not you. Most of us are used to wearing that hat.
 

ctaylo360860

Senior Member
Location
colorado
Occupation
ME
Talked to inspector today. he’s willing to look at the existing conditions when I do a rough wall inspection… I’d I understood correctly he said if it the system was done up to code when it was installed I may be able to get away with the 4 wires feeding to the term box as long as everything is bonded at these points or was when they were installed they were up to code… I started making a one line of what is existing to figure out a way to clean this up. I’ll post them shortly…
 

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
A big issue that I see that was never to code is that disconnect on the pole converted to 2 breakers. Also the j-box on the building is not legit. That's just to start.
 

ctaylo360860

Senior Member
Location
colorado
Occupation
ME
A big issue that I see that was never to code is that disconnect on the pole converted to 2 breakers. Also the j-box on the building is not legit. That's just to start.
Would it be possible to use 230.46 find a listed tap or splice to put the service conductors together in the old disconnect? Then I was planning on using the term box the same way, but instead of going into both inside panels. I would set a service disconect outside, and then feed the two inside panels from there. Not questioning you, but why is the term box in the outside not legit?
 

ctaylo360860

Senior Member
Location
colorado
Occupation
ME
Would it be possible to use 230.46 find a listed tap or splice to put the service conductors together in the old disconnect? Then I was planning on using the term box the same way, but instead of going into both inside panels. I would set a service disconect outside, and then feed the two inside panels from there. Not questioning you, but why is the term box in the outside not legit?
This is what I had in my head, but instead of the term box’s I may have to just find and enclosure to make splice or tsp in…
 

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petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
A big issue that I see that was never to code is that disconnect on the pole converted to 2 breakers. Also the j-box on the building is not legit. That's just to start.
I don't think there's any rule in the code about putting a couple of breakers in a box. Or putting some terminals in a box.
 
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