Some more grounding questions.

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Old 09-01-05, 09:01 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: USA
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Some more grounding questions.

I just want to make sure I'm connecting my ground wire correctly to the panel. I'm installing a Homeline HOMVP9 which will be used as the main service panel. There is a neutral bus bar along each of the two hot legs, and to the left of these is a seperate grounding bar with a ground wire lug.

I believe this grounding bar would be used only if the panel is to be used as a sub panel and the ground and neutral should be seperated, correct? In that case, do I install a ground wire lug to one of the neutral bus bars? There is also a lug right next to the SE neutral lug, but I believe this is for a situation where the ground wire comes from the utility, correct?

Please let me know if I'm correct in thinking I need to install a lug to one of the neutral bars for the ground wire. I'm having my service disconnected in the morning, so I won't be able to read this tomorrow (Friday).

Also, if anyone could let me know if it's OK to pass the ground wire between my two ground rods within 6 inches or so of the gas line. It won't be in direct contact, or bonded with it, but I just want to make sure it's safe.

Thank you!
 
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Old 09-02-05, 04:22 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
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In the panel that serves as your _main_ service disconnect, and no where else, the ground and neutral _must_ be bonded together.

Generally this means landing the service entrance neutral conductor and all of the grounding electrode conductors on to the same bus bar. However this is because most panels are cheap things with a single bus bar.

You have a nicer panel with separate bars. In theory you should be able to use _any_ of these bars to connect your grounding electrode conductor, however if you do this you will need to make sure that the 'main bonding jumper' between the neutral bar and the equipment ground bar is properly sized. Since in many panels this jumper is a screw, it might be hard to figure this out. IMHO you are much better off simply landing the GEC on the same bar as the service neutral.

If you can route the wire safely, I'd just use the lug that you describe as already being there, right on the correct bar.

Also be sure to confirm that the neutral bars are bonded to the case. Just use a continuity tester _before_ you connect any wires up to the neutral bars.

As far as the ground wire _near_ the gas pipe, there is no _electrical code_ reason not to do this. Remember that the gas pipe is supposed to be _bonded_ to the ground system inside the house to protect from shock should the pipe get energized. However it is against electrical code to use the gas pipe as a grounding _electrode_, and the gas company may have some restrictions about distance between the pipe and the GEC.

-Jon
 
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