Adding ground/neutral bar

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Old 08-24-12, 04:19 PM
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Adding ground/neutral bar

In the picture below, am I correct in assuming I can add an additional ground/neutral bar on the right side of this panel above/adjacent to the existing bar? It looks as though there is a screw hole and a bracket where I could mount another bar, such as you see on the left side of the panel. Is this correct?

Thank you for the advice!

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Old 08-24-12, 05:45 PM
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Normally there would be a bar already there. I don't see any issues as long as the bar fits properly.
 
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Old 08-24-12, 06:44 PM
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I don't know your reasoning for wanting to add another neutral bar, but you could possibly just add an auxiliary ground bar, move the ground conductors to that new ground bar and have plenty of space in the existing neutral bars. I see you have many ground and neutral wires under the same screw in the existing neutral bus. Technically, there should be one neutral wire per screw and no more than 2 ground wires per screw unless the label inside the Square D QO series loadcenter tells you differently. The label should also give you the correct catalog number and mounting position for a ground bar that will fit the factory pre-drilled holes in the box.
 
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Old 08-24-12, 06:47 PM
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Good additional info CJ, Thanks.
 
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Old 08-24-12, 07:09 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. I want to add a bar to clean up what's already there, and I'll be adding a couple circuits and thus, adding a couple more neutral and ground wires. I didn't see any info on the panel label that told me which bars I need, but I'll maybe have to look a little closer. I attached the two pictures I have of the labels, maybe you guys can see what I can't.
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Now for the stupid question - if I were to add a bar and relocate neutral's/grounds, I assume I should shut off the main breaker before doing any of that work?

Thanks everyone.
 
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Old 08-24-12, 07:23 PM
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Here is his panel sticker rotated and enlarged:


http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/k...elSticker1.jpg
 
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Old 08-24-12, 07:30 PM
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Yes, you should shut down the main, because touching a neutral that has been disconnected while its circuit is still on and loaded will zap you.. But keep in mind, the terminals on the line side of the main where the red and black are connected will still be hot.

Basically you need to remove ALL of the grounds from those bars and relocate them to the new ground bar (it's a standard SquareD ground bar, available at any big box). You are allowed to land two grounds per screw, OR one neutral per screw. You are not allowed to land a ground and neutral under one screw as was done in your panel. There are actually three spots where you can install a ground bar in a SquareD box.. On the far left or right approx midpoint or bottom center under the breakers.
 
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Old 09-17-12, 07:06 PM
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Update:

I had an electrician install a new grounding bar today, he spliced the existing grounds and ran them to the new bar. Cramps up space but it's done right. I also had him separate all the neutrals to individual screws. Pics below

For future circuits, I would like to add a neutral bar where the one is missing on the right side. I do feel installing one is something I can handle myself.

Interesting note, fully licensed electrician, came from a well known state wide company. He left initially with 3 neutrals under one large lug, however one was not even secure, just hanging loose hardly in contact with the bar. Needless to say, I called them back to fix it and relocate the extra neutrals to an individual spot. This was under the center screw in the first picture. He spliced and extended them to the other side of the box with two open screws. Crazy. Had I not been reading here and doing my own research/reading, I probably would not have found such a hazard. Thank you to everyone here for the knowledge.

Two questions:
Can anyone assist me in finding the correct neutral bar to fit the open space?

Being as it's all going to the same place, can a neutral be connected to the newly installed ground bar? My gut says no, but that's why I'm asking.

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Old 09-17-12, 08:47 PM
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Can anyone assist me in finding the correct neutral bar to fit the open space?
Ask the local supply house that distributes Square D equipment. Have the model # of your panel ready in case they ask for it.

Being as it's all going to the same place, can a neutral be connected to the newly installed ground bar?
Nope.
 
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Old 09-18-12, 02:45 AM
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The add in ground bar at the bottom is for grounds only. If you were to add a neutral you would have current flowing on the metal case.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 07:34 PM
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Update: Spoke with an electrician at Square D - no additonal neutral bars allowed on this panel, for whatever reason.

I'll be able to use existing spaces for what I want, if there are any additional needs, I'll either add a subpanel or upgrade service.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 07:41 PM
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Basically what it boils down to is the panel leaves the factory with enough spots to land one neutral for every circuit the panel is listed to have. So if you have a 20/24 circuit panel, there will be 20 full size breaker slots (four of which can have tandems), and 24 screws on the neutral bus. Since you actually have a couple double pole breakers, your neutral bar should not be fully utilized even when the panel is full to capacity.
 
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