Main panel wiring

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  #1  
Old 07-31-06, 06:35 AM
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Main panel wiring

I am adding two circuits for a basement remodel. I have done a fair amount of wiring but have never opened up a panel and installed new breakers. So I did research and reading on the subject and was pretty comfortable with the procedure.

So, I remove the cover from the panel and was a little suprised at what I saw. I was expecting to see all the ground wires connected to a ground bar and all the neutral wires connected to a separate neutral bar. Not so. Each neutral and ground from a cable was connected to one screw on either bar. The grounds and neutrals were not separated at all. They were just connected to the bar closest to where the cable entered the box.

This is a Square-D panel, eight years old. There are two bars (they appear to be "double level" bars-my term, probably not the correct one). The bar on the right has a green screw at the top. I know the panel passed state inspection as-is (we had no local codes at the time).

So is this common practice, and is it safe?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-31-06, 06:42 AM
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In a typical residential installation, the ground and neutral wires are connected together at one and only one location. This is typically the main panel. Assuming this is your main panel (there are no panels before this one and there is no main disconnect at your meter) then what you see is normal and nothing to worry about.
 
  #3  
Old 07-31-06, 06:48 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have only a main panel and there is no disconnect at the meter. I guess I just expected to see all the grounds connected the bar with the green screw.

I went ahead and wired them like the other circuits, everything checks out.
 
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