neutral & ground bus bars in the main panel

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Old 07-23-14, 04:10 PM
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neutral & ground bus bars in the main panel

hi all, thanks in advance for your help.

here's the context for my two questions: i've recently added a circuit to a 1-year-old eaton main panel at my rental property. it was my first time opening up that panel since it was replaced last year. i found ground wires connected to the neutral bus bar, and neutral wires connected to the ground bus bar (and vice versa). there is plenty of space yet available to add more breakers, but open slots on the bus bars are running very low.

1. is it ok that neutral wires are connected to the ground bus, and ground wires are connected to the neutral bus? Or should all ground wires be connected only to the ground bus, and all neutral wires connected only to the neutral bus?

2. given that i'm running out of space on those bus bars, is it ok to double up on slots? in other words, is it ok to run two ground or neutral wires to the same slot on a bus bar?

thanks again!
 
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Old 07-23-14, 05:40 PM
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If the panel contains the first breaker, no breaker ahead of it, yes. Just good practice I'd try to keep the neutrals to the neutral bar. You can put two grounds (but not two neutrals) per hole or add another ground bar.
 
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Old 07-23-14, 07:54 PM
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Is this an Eaton/Cutler-Hammer BR series panel? If it has a tan colored box and tan colored breaker handles it would be a CH series panel. The BR series has a gray box and black breaker handles. Regardless, I recently was inspecting a 100 amp BR series main breaker panel and looked at the label inside the door and to my surprise, the BR series ground/neutral bars are rated for 3 ground wires per hole if all wires are the same size.
 
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Old 07-25-14, 11:12 AM
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Ray, Joe - thanks for your replies.

Here's the ground bar. Notice the mix of grounds and neutrals:
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Here's the neutral bar; again, a mix of grounds and neutrals.
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Here's the top of the panel. Not sure what type of Eaton it is, honestly, though the box is gray, not tan.
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Old 07-25-14, 02:08 PM
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You look like your panel is your service panel. It is acceptable to mix the ground and neutrals in the neutral bar in a service panel.
 
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Old 07-25-14, 02:33 PM
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It is acceptable to mix the ground and neutrals in the neutral bar in a service panel.
thanks, pcboss. how about mixing grounds and neutrals in the ground bar? just want to make sure...
 
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Old 07-25-14, 04:40 PM
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If it is strictly a ground bar only grounds can connect to it. Your panel does not have a ground bus.
 
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Old 07-26-14, 05:56 AM
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how about mixing grounds and neutrals in the ground bar? just want to make sure...
You have two neutral bars, see the insulated connection between them? It looks fine to me. By the way, that's a BR series panel.
 
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Old 07-26-14, 08:00 AM
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Circled in red is the connection between the two bars that Joe was talking about. It goes behind the part where the breakers attach.

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