additional grounding bar in GE SP..?


Old 03-18-07, 08:10 PM
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additional grounding bar in GE SP..?

Hi -

Trying to figure out how to add a grounding bar to my GE service panel. I'm installing a number of 15 amp circuits and have run out of spots on my grounding bar.
Here's a pic of the way it looks currently:

I'd prefer to add another grounding bar instead of a whole sub-panel, since I will have cb slots left over, just no additional neutral/ground slots.

A few questions:
- the grounding bar kits I've seen look like they are to be screwed directly into the service panel box (metal to metal) - is this correct? (it seems like the ground would feed into the box - but that may just be a mis-perception about how grounding works)

- based on the picture of the current setup... would an additional grounding bar be appropriately located in the upper right corner (where there appear to be threaded holes for the mounting screws)?

- Also based on the picture, does it seem like there's enough room to add a grounding bar?

Thanks for any advice!

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Old 03-18-07, 09:14 PM
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I would not place an additional ground bus in the upper right corner - mainly because it is so close to the incoming hot leg, and because most of your branch circuits feed from the top, creating congestion.

It looks like you would have room to place one in the lower right, where there already seems to be a hole. You can always drill and tap additional holes to mount an extra ground bus if you need to.

The new ground bus will be bonded through the screw as you said. Some pros like to add a jumper conductor between ground buses to ensure continuity, but many do not. It does not appear to be required.

Best wishes!
Old 03-19-07, 06:23 PM
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On the bottom right

Clean that mess up aswell. Add a connector for those two comming in on the bottom.

The bottom right of your panel has the tapped holes for an additional ground bar. Install it there, move the grounds ONLY to it. This will open spots for your neutrals.

For those interested:

The GREEN screw on the bottom left, That is your "BONDING" screw. this is most important in a "Main" panel.(thought I would point that out) This bonds the neutral buss to the can.
Top left is the GROUND.
Top right is the neutral. .
At the bottom, that bar connects the two.
The top two points . left and right. Those are the feeds (HOT) from the meter. These will always be HOT, even with the main breaker OFF. Stay away from them.
Good picture, thought it may give the unknowing a good visual to understand.
Thanks for the photo, KduBB

If I looked at this job: I would have you loose all those twin breakers and add a sub panel for you. Your electrical panel can be over taxed. Just like the rest of us. Sooner or later it may snap.

If you look close at the diagram for your panel, I'm sure you have way too many twins in it.

Ckt deligation is the trick. But realy no trick at all. just some knowledge could illiminate half the stuff thats been done.
Old 03-20-07, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for the replies, rdn & lectriclee...

just so i'm clear...

When you say "clean up that mess as well" - are you referring to the general shape of the cables running in the box, or just the ones coming in the bottom? (there is a cable clamp holding the three incoming cables at the bottom)

Are the "twin breakers" you refer to = the 'double wide' breakers (instead of slim)?

The existing breakers were all original builder/electrician setup - the only thing I've done so far is to run the circuits I'm adding to the basement into the box and connect the neutral/grounds. I am concerned about the grounds, since I've had to triple up on some (keeping like-size with like-size) due to lack of space on the bars.

Also - can you clarify the Bonding Screw detail..? If the bonding screw is on the left side (ground) - how is it bonding the neutral bus? And... if I add a grounding bar, is it recommended to run a cable from the new grounding bar to the original, so that it grounds out through the waterline like the original does currently?

Sorry if that's a lot of questions - I do appreciate your advice so far

Old 03-20-07, 08:01 PM
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Kdubb: The panel looks fine. I try to be a little more orginized inside. No big deal, sorry to worry you.

The insulation on the bottom conductors should be trimmed back some more.

The slim breakers, the picture looked a little blured to me so I thought they were the "twins" 2-breakers 1 slot. I must be wrong.

The bonding screw: At the service entrance, the feed into the panel. The ground and neutral are bonded together, via the bar at the bottom. The bond screw bonds the metal can into the whole system,creating the equal potential between it all. This makes the panel grounded. If it were not and you had a HOT wire touch the can the ckt would not trip bacause the panel would be isolated. That could be bad.

Thats the short of it. Not much of a technical writer (I should take a class though)

This is why you can add a GE ground bar kit to the threaded holes and move the grounds to it. Keep the neutrals on the factory buss- they are sturdy and designed for the current of the "grounded" (neutral) conductor.

Hope some of this helps.
Old 03-23-07, 06:59 PM
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Thanks again lectrilee - your feedback is appreciated. Thanks for the specific info


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