circut breaker box neutral vs ground

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  #1  
Old 04-17-13, 09:31 PM
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circut breaker box neutral vs ground

I usually see in a circuit breaker box two distinct bars...one for the white (neutral wires) to attach and the other is a bare copper bar where the (ground wires ) attach. In this particular box I'm observing both the ground wires and neutral wires on the one bar? My question is...Are these two bars normally connected? In a regular box I think they are separate and independent? This particular box has a 100 amp breaker as the main which these days is below the norm.
Thanks for your help.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 04-17-13 at 09:39 PM. Reason: To remove contact info.
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Old 04-17-13, 09:45 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Are these two bars normally connected? In a regular box I think they are separate and independent? This particular box has a 100 amp breaker as the main which these days is below the norm.
In a main distribution panel that includes the main overcurrent protection device, the neutrals and the grounds are bonded together, and the branch circuit neutrals and grounds can and should share one or more bus bars which are all bonded to the panel enclosure. That's a "regular" panel.

In a subpanel, which is fed with power that is protected ahead of the panel, the grounds must be bonded bus and the neutrals must be isolated.

100 amps is a normal service for a residence that doesn't contain heave electrical loads such as a furnace or heat pump, a cookstove, central air, water heater or clothes dryer - or, at most, only some of those. HVAC is often the kicker.
 
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Old 04-17-13, 09:49 PM
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In the box with the first OCPD (overcurrent protection device) the neutral is bonded to the metal case and grounds can go on either bar though in most cases there is not even a separate ground bar unless extra spaces are needed. Both neutral and ground wires go to the neutral bar(s).

Each panel after that is informally called a subpanel. In a subpanel the neutral is isolated from the metal case and a separate ground bar that is bonded to the metal case is used. In a subpanel neutral and grounds never share a bar. What you are describing seems to have been subpanels..
 
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