ground/neutral bus bars

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  #1  
Old 01-24-06, 10:02 AM
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ground/neutral bus bars

Since the ground and neutral bus bars(or lugs, not sure just WHAT to call them) in the main panel are bonded, there's really no need for separate bars, right, other than to give you plenty of lugs to screw wires into, or helping you more easily trace wires back to their origin, or keeping one area in the panel from getting too cluttered with wires perhaps, etc.
So, even though they are separate, geographically speaking, you can attach your ground wires, neutral wires, and your ground conductor(to Earth), in either of these individual bars, right?
If the answer to this question is, "Duh!?!", then please excuse my ignorance. But be forewarned, there's much more where that came from!!
 
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Old 01-24-06, 11:02 AM
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You are correct. One caution though, only one neutral wire per screw allowed. Multiple ground wires are allow under one screw.
 
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Old 01-24-06, 04:15 PM
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When using multiple grounds underneath a single screw, I think they should be of the same gauge so that they will be equally secure. #12AWG with #12, #14 with #14.
 
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Old 01-24-06, 09:49 PM
Makin'MeCrazy
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Please forgive me if the answers are obvious, but why can't you attach more than one neutral to a screw? What do people do if they run out of neutral screws on the bus and want to run more wires/add another circuit?
 
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Old 01-24-06, 10:39 PM
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Also make sure that in fact the main breaker is in that panel and also that the bars are mechanically screwed (bonded) to the metal of the box itself. If the main breaker is not in that panel and is upstream from it then the neutral/ground is separate


For your question "Makin'MeCrazy" Most new panels give you more than enough screws for the neutral wires to add circuits. The reason why you can't is basically the manufacturer did'nt design it for that purpose and therefore would void the UL listing. = lawsuit if something happened as a result
 
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Old 01-24-06, 11:06 PM
Makin'MeCrazy
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rich3236,

Thank you for your reply. I was asking because I just moved to a new house and while I was mapping the electrical system I noticed there is a set of grounds under one screw and a set of neutrals under another screw. There aren't any open screws to separate the doubled neutral in so what do I do?

House was built by the previous owner (LGC) so I never considered it might be illegal/unsafe.


Makin'MeCrazy (that's the dog not the DIY projects)
 
  #7  
Old 01-25-06, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Makin'MeCrazy
Please forgive me if the answers are obvious, but why can't you attach more than one neutral to a screw?
NEC 408.41 Grounded Conductor Terminations. Each grounded conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual terminal that is also not used for another conductor.

"Grounded Conductor" means "neutral wire" in NEC lingo.

What do people do if they run out of neutral screws on the bus and want to run more wires/add another circuit?
Modern panelboards provide ample screw terminals. You can also buy ground bar add-on kits to free up space for neutral wires. Also, most panels are rated for multiple ground wires under each screw in pairs (or even triples) of the same gauge.
 
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Old 01-25-06, 05:57 PM
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The add on ground bars are for the grounding (bare) conductors only. The neutrals should all attach to the neutral buss.
 
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