Neutral and ground wires in panel

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  #1  
Old 10-31-06, 10:21 AM
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Neutral and ground wires in panel

I have a home inspector telling me my panel is not code because there are some ground and neural wires on the same terminal screws and each screw connector can only have one wire on it, do these need to be on seperate screws/connectors, or do they just need to be on differents screws if they are the same circuit? ie a neural and ground can be on the same connector as long as they are not he same circuit? Yes this is a panel that does not have seperate bars for neutral and ground it is all one bar. Thanks!!
Jones
 
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  #2  
Old 10-31-06, 10:39 AM
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Neutral wires must be one per screw - no exceptions. Ground wires of the same gauge may be doubled or tripled per screw if the manufacturer of the panel allows it in the panel instructions which are usually printed on the panel door label. You can also purchase an add-on ground bar kit for most any panel for around $10.

However, if the box met code and passed inspections at the time of installation (and/or upgrade) you have no problems. Code applies at the time of installation or upgrade, not retroactively. In other words, you are not required to fix something that is illegal now if it was legal at the time of installation.
 
  #3  
Old 10-31-06, 11:06 AM
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Remember that a home inspector is NOT an electrician and more importantly is not representing the government. He or she cannot make you do anything.

If you are selling this house and the home inspector was hired by the prospective buyers, then the buyers may negotiate with you for something to be changed. You can then decide if you will or will not make the change.
 
  #4  
Old 10-31-06, 12:16 PM
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What is the reason for only 1 neutral per screw besides the NEC says so ?
 
  #5  
Old 10-31-06, 12:18 PM
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Under normal operation neutral wires carry current.
 
  #6  
Old 10-31-06, 12:48 PM
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Is this a main panel or a subpanel?
 
  #7  
Old 10-31-06, 02:13 PM
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> What is the reason for only 1 neutral per screw besides
> the NEC says so?

Hot wires and neutral wires go through thousands of heat-cool (expand-contract) cycles as they carry different amounts of current. With more than one wire per terminal, the wires will eventually work loose and arc. Ground wires do not normally carry current so they are not subject to the heat-cool cycles.
 
  #8  
Old 11-01-06, 09:55 AM
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How new is that code? I just had my service upgraded from a 60amp to a 200amp service about a year ago and my panel buss bar shares the neutral and ground. The township inspector came in and passed it, too.
 
  #9  
Old 11-01-06, 10:02 AM
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If it is a main panel and not a subpanel, the buss bar may have both neutral and grounds on it. But as stated previously, there can be no more than one neutral wire per screw, and no more grounding wires per screw than as specificed by the panel manufacturer. There has recently been a discussion of this issue on a home inspectors' message board, and some inspectors apparently flag having neutrals and grounds on the same buss bar in a main service panel. I just have to shake my head.
 
  #10  
Old 11-01-06, 10:21 AM
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> panel buss bar shares the neutral and ground

In a Main panel, the ground and neutral bars are supposed to be shared or at least interconnected. The specific issue in this thread is individual neutral and ground wires sharing screw terminals on those bars.
 
  #11  
Old 11-01-06, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks
> panel buss bar shares the neutral and ground

In a Main panel, the ground and neutral bars are supposed to be shared or at least interconnected. The specific issue in this thread is individual neutral and ground wires sharing screw terminals on those bars.
I understand that. I guess what I ment to say is that when the electrician installed the panel and reconnected the wires, a neutral and ground share the same lug on the buss bar and has passed the permit inspection. From what I read, Jones, has some what the same setup.

Maybe the inspector mentioned it because it wasn't uniform throughout?
 
  #12  
Old 11-01-06, 04:00 PM
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It looks to me like everyone understood the question. You may not have understood the answer.

The neutral wires must be each under its own screw.

If there were a ground wire under that same screw, then the neutral would not be under its own screw.

The grounds can be two under one screw if the mfg label says you can, and most do, up to two wires under each screw up to size 10 wire.
 
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