QO GFI breaker pigtail to neutral bar or ground bar?

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Old 07-14-12, 07:37 AM
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QO GFI breaker pigtail to neutral bar or ground bar?

A couple of years ago I had an electrician put in a new Square D QO panel. I also had him put in a couple of GFI breakers. Until recently, I hadn't opened the panel. Or really noticed this particular thing I'm about to describe.

Because of another issue, I was tracing some circuits, and trying to establish some grounds.

I noticed on the GFI breakers that the electrician ran the "pigtail" connection to the ground bar rather than the neutral bar. Does that seem like an acceptable installation method?
 
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Old 07-14-12, 07:44 AM
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I noticed on the GFI breakers that the electrician ran the "pigtail" connection to the ground bar rather than the neutral bar. Does that seem like an acceptable installation method?
Possibly yes.

Is this your service entrance panel, and does it have a main breaker in it? Are the grounds and neutrals otherwise separated? Is the neutral bar isolated from the panel box?
 
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Old 07-14-12, 08:00 AM
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It is not the main service panel, it does not have a main breaker. It is fed from the another Square D panel that is on the outside of the house that is fed from the meter/mast.

Yes, grounds and neutrals are otherwise separated.

I think the neutral bar is isolated from the panel box. The neutral bars are raised and have a plastic semi-housing. On the top right bar there seems to be 1 screw missing that presumably would have tightened all the way into the panel box, establishing continuity.
 
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Old 07-14-12, 08:10 AM
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It is not the main service panel, it does not have a main breaker. It is fed from the another Square D panel that is on the outside of the house that is fed from the meter/mast.

Yes, grounds and neutrals are otherwise separated.

I think the neutral bar is isolated from the panel box. The neutral bars are raised and have a plastic semi-housing. On the top right bar there seems to be 1 screw missing that presumably would have tightened all the way into the panel box, establishing continuity.
That's a very clear description of a subpanel, with bonded grounds and isolated neutrals. Thank you.

In that panel, all neutrals, including the neutral pigtails from your GFCI breakers, should be terminated to the isolated neutral bar, as you suspected. You can add a short length of a white-insulated conductor of the same gauge to any of the pigtails, if it is too short to reach, using a twisted splice and a wire nut to connect the extension.

Note: In most panels, there is a limit of one neutral wire under each terminal screw. Look on the panel information label for this information for your panel.
 
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Old 07-14-12, 09:08 AM
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Changed them - easy enough to do.

Thank you for your advice.
 
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Old 07-15-12, 11:51 AM
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You're welcome, and thank you for the feedback.
 
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