adding circuit to main panel

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  #1  
Old 04-10-06, 10:27 AM
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adding circuit to main panel

I am planning to add few circuits to my main panel for wiring the basement. Now when I look at the panel, I see the neutral and the grounding wires going together to the same BUS, am I supposed to do the same when adding new breakers, I mean hooking both the neutral and the groundind of the new circuits together to that common bus.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-10-06, 10:41 AM
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The answer to your question is yes.

Before you start, please read a good book or two on home wiring. You have much more to learn than the question you have just asked. I recommend Wiring Simplified, available in the electrical department of your local home improvement store.
 
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Old 04-10-06, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by avfarag
I see the neutral and the grounding wires going together to the same BUS, am I supposed to do the same when adding new breakers, I mean hooking both the neutral and the groundind of the new circuits together to that common bus.
Although it is fine to do it this way in the service panel, you do not have to do it this way.

You can add separate ground bars.
If you have many circuits, you'll run out of spaces on the neutral bar for the wires to land and need the extra spaces anyway.

What I do is to add two ground bars, one on each side; then I land only neutrals on a neutral bar and grounds only on a ground bar.
(Btw, you must do it this way for a subpanel.)
 
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Old 04-12-06, 11:24 AM
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so if it is ok for the neutrals and the grounds to share the same bar,why I should I have them landed on separate bars, can you please explain to me the reason behind that, aren't they connected together anyway.
 
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Old 04-12-06, 11:41 AM
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I think you read something wrong. here did you read that you should do it this way?
 
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Old 04-12-06, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by avfarag
why ... have them landed on separate bars...?
Because in every panel I've seen, there are not as many holes in the neutral bar for neutral and EGCs both as the panel will hold circuits.

So it is simply a matter of having enough parking space.


> aren't they connected together anyway?
But where?

Isn't your house really connected to a 14kV distribution line anyway?

So when I referred to a subpanel, the neutral and ground are not connected in the subpanel and may not be connected or landed on the same bar.
Furthermore, in an outlet box or a junction box they may not be connected or permitted to contact each other in a conductive way.
 
  #7  
Old 04-12-06, 04:14 PM
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I understand that the neutral and the ground are not supposed to be connected in a subpanel neither in any box or receptacle, but my question is simply about the main service panel. let me put it this way, I have a new house , two years old, I have two service panels in my basement each is 200 amps, in both of them the white and the copper conductors of the circuits share the same bars on both sides of the panels. Is this a normal setting, and why this is allowed in the main distribution panel and not anywhere else, i only like to know for my own knowledge. Now if I want to add a circuit , can I land the neutral and the ground conductors of the circuit on the same bar the same way I have them already. I hope my question makes more sense now.
 
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Old 04-12-06, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by avfarag
I have two service panels;... in both of them the white and the copper conductors of the circuits share the same bars on both sides of the panels. Is this a normal setting?
Yes.

> Why this is allowed in the main distribution panel and not anywhere else?

Because they are the same potential only in a service panel.
Thereafter, EGCs have a potential less than or equal to neutrals.

> if I want to add a circuit , can I land the neutral and the ground
> conductors of the circuit on the same bar the same way I have them already.

Yes. Count your empty spaces to make sure you have enough.
 
  #9  
Old 04-13-06, 06:17 AM
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>Because they are the same potential only in a service panel.
Thereafter, EGCs have a potential less than or equal to neutrals.

ABSOLUTELY WRONG. The equipment grounding conductor (the bare copper wire in the NM-B [romex])is there only to carry fault current and provide a low impedence path to trip circuit breakers. If the neutral and ground are tied together anywhere but the main panel the neutral current is divided between several paths, which is not desireable (or legal).

At the main panel the ground and neutral busses are tied together so it doesn't matter which buss you land the neutral or ground on. As to the number of places to put wires, most busses are rated to allow 2 or sometimes 3 ground wires per hole (a label or the manufacturer's on line info will provide this info) so there won't be a hole for each wire - neutrals are limited to one per hole.

Many pros keep the grounds and neutrals on separate busses out of habit so they don't slip up on a sub panel, but in the main panel it isn't really necessary.
 
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Old 04-13-06, 08:33 AM
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> ABSOLUTELY WRONG.
Of course my statement itself is absolutely correct.
All you are saying is that it is the wrong explanation for the question that was asked.

But you didn't explain why - which was the question.


> If the neutral and ground are tied together anywhere but the main panel
> the neutral current is divided between several paths, which is not desirable (or legal).

That doesn't explain why you don't just run three wires between panels and land neutrals and grounds on the same bus in every panel.


>At the main panel the ground and neutral busses are tied together so it
> doesn't matter which buss you land the neutral or ground on.

That fails to answer the question of why they aren't tied together in every panel.

Just saying that it is not legal doesn't explain why it is not legal.
 
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Old 04-13-06, 09:28 AM
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The statement about dividing the neutral current answers the "WHY". Parallel conductors aren't permitted by code in this type of installation

Your statement about the "potential" has no bearing on the "why" and may or may not be accurate (er, ah, absoultely correct) based on a given installation, but either way is NOT the code reason for keeping the 2 separate.
 
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