Panel Wiring Issue, neutral wire


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Old 04-05-10, 04:47 PM
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Panel Wiring Issue, neutral wire

I just bought a home built in 1968 and have some issues to resolve.

In my main electrical panel (there are no sub panels) there is a neutral wire (white) under the same wire nut as some ground wires (bare/green). The 20A breaker/circuit associated with this neutral wire loses power for a second or two when the microwave is operating. The breaker does not trip, power is just interrupted just long enough to stop the microwave operation. For now I have relocated the microwave to an outlet on another breaker and it works fine.

I'm wondering if this wiring problem would be solved by moving the neutral wire from the wire nut to the neutral bar. Is the use of wire nuts in electrical panels okay? I haven't touched it yet but my father-in-law told me that the wire nut is not very tight, maybe it just needs a properly sized and tightened wire nut.

I have no experience with wiring, just a bit of circuitry booksmarts so I am nervous about changing anything in the panel without getting some advise first.

Thank you very much for any input.
 
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Old 04-05-10, 04:51 PM
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I would suggest moving the neutral to the neutral bar. If there is room you may want to add a ground bar to the panel.
 
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Old 04-05-10, 05:02 PM
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All Neutral and Grounding Conductors in the Service panel should be connected to seperate terminals on the Neutral terminal bar. If there is a spare terminal available on the Neutral bar , then use it nowfor the Neutral Conductor that is now under a W-N connection, because it is conducting current.

The Grounding Conductors only conduct current should there be a "fault" in the wiring , so you can correct the Grounding termination later , but correct the Neutral connection now.

Good Luck!!!
 
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Old 04-05-10, 07:59 PM
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'm wondering if this wiring problem would be solved by moving the neutral wire from the wire nut to the neutral bar.
I vote yes!

It sounds like you are referring to a bonded panel which is totally normal for neutrals and grounds to be on the same bar. Now as far as under the same terminal you would want 1 wire per hole on the neutral bar. It sounds like a bad joint in the panel which is that wire nut. Undo the wire nut and put it on the neutral bar and this should fix the problem. The bare copper and white wire.

Good luck. Beer 4U2
 
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Old 04-06-10, 06:49 AM
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I had a service call the other day, guess what? white and ground wire under same terminal. There is a reason the code doesnt allow it, very common problem.
 
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Old 04-06-10, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mlyttge View Post
I just bought a home built in 1968 and have some issues to resolve.

In my main electrical panel (there are no sub panels) there is a neutral wire (white) under the same wire nut as some ground wires (bare/green). The 20A breaker/circuit associated with this neutral wire loses power for a second or two when the microwave is operating. The breaker does not trip, power is just interrupted just long enough to stop the microwave operation. For now I have relocated the microwave to an outlet on another breaker and it works fine.

I'm wondering if this wiring problem would be solved by moving the neutral wire from the wire nut to the neutral bar. Is the use of wire nuts in electrical panels okay? I haven't touched it yet but my father-in-law told me that the wire nut is not very tight, maybe it just needs a properly sized and tightened wire nut.

I have no experience with wiring, just a bit of circuitry booksmarts so I am nervous about changing anything in the panel without getting some advise first.

Thank you very much for any input.
I would try to put your neutral wire on the bar and not use the wire nut. If you can't just make sure your nut is tight and the wire going from the nut to the neutral connection is tight. One thing I might want to check is your microware receptacle. Turn off the power and pull it on from the box. There could be loose wires in the box ( on a wirenut or your receptacle ). Also your receptacle could be bad causing a bad connection. I would try these easy things first and go from there. Let us know.

Jim

 
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Old 04-10-10, 08:47 PM
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A neutral and a ground wire nutted together in the main panel with a pigtail going to the neutral/ground bus works electrically although it is not permitted.

If the wire nut is loose, all bets are off; the circuit may or may not work correctly.

Two branch circuit neutrals wire nutted together in the panel with one pigtail going to the neutral bus works electrically provided that the pigtail can handle total current that can be drawn via the respective breakers, for example a 10 gauge pigtail for two 15 amp circuits.

One neutral may be wire nutted to a pigtail if it is too short to reach the neutral bar.

Each neutral must have its own setscrew on the bus. Two ground wires can typically share a setscrew.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 04-12-10 at 04:36 AM. Reason: clarified about grounding wires
 

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