Breaker Box Help

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Old 05-30-09, 02:12 PM
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Breaker Box Help

I am installing a Cutler-Hammer breaker box. There is a neutral bus bar I have connected the neutral service wire to. There is a bus bar on the other side of the panel that appears to be connected to this neutral bus bar. My question is...does it matter which bar I connect the neutral wire to and which one I connect the ground wire to??? Can the neutral and the ground be connected to either of these bus bars?

I am guessing I should connect the neutral wires to the bus bar that the neutral service is connected to and the other bus bar is for grounding (even though they are connected)...but didn't know if it really makes any difference.
 
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Old 05-30-09, 03:38 PM
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Service Panel

Is this your primary service panel or is it a sub-panel?
 
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Old 05-30-09, 03:45 PM
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Are there any cutoffs or breaker boxes ahead of this breaker box. How you connect the neutral in the first breaker panel is different from all others. Assuming first over current protection device the neutral and ground bars are both bonded to the box. Are these two bars on insulators? If so they are both intended as neutral bars. If this is the first OCPD they are both bonded (connected to the box and either can be used as neutral or ground and neutral and grounds can be mixed on both.

If this is a subpanel then the neutral bar(s) are isolated from the box (not connected to the box) but the ground bar is. Most boxes come without a ground bar and you will need to add one. Grounds only go to the ground bar. Neutrals only to the neutral bar in a subpanel.
 
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Old 05-30-09, 05:13 PM
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This is the primary (and only) box directly inside from the meter box. I think you answered my question Ray. They are both mounted to the box. If I read your answer correct I can use either bar for ground wires, neutral or both....correct?
 
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Old 05-30-09, 05:43 PM
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That is correct. I'm a bit puzzled by They are both mounted to the box. Are there insulators under them? If so there is a strap or screw that must be fastened to the box.
 
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Old 05-30-09, 08:25 PM
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That is correct Ray. They both have insulators under them but are connected by a strap that is attached to the box.

Thanks for your help. Weekend warrior trying not to burn down my new shop...or fry any tools.
 
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Old 05-30-09, 09:39 PM
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That is very typical for CH loadcentre set up like that and with main service disconnection { not using this as subpanel } the netural or ground can be on either bar due common bonding connections.

Really for myself I try to keep netural to one side of netural bussbar and grounding conductors on other netural bussbar the reason why that due some case if that load centre will be converted to subpanel all you have to do is yank the bonding strap or screw out and that it.

That way it will become legit subpanel if you have to do that for some reason.

Merci,Marc
 
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