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Need to float neutral, I think my panel bars are already insulated. Confimation?

Need to float neutral, I think my panel bars are already insulated. Confimation?

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  #1  
Old 12-10-14, 02:09 PM
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Need to float neutral, I think my panel bars are already insulated. Confimation?

Quick back story - this is in a 100A Siemens subpanel ("load centre") in a detached building. Power to be run using 2-2-2-4 Al MHF.

I'm needing to 'float' my neutral to keep it separate from ground in my subpanel until they come together at the main panel. I spent ages looking online for insulated ground bars which have the little plastic feet but then I actually *looked* at my panel and saw that the bars clip onto a plastic mount anyhow. Pics below:







Ignore the neutrals/ground wires going into the current ground bar. I did that before I knew not to, and haven't gotten around to disconnecting them yet (panel is not live, clearly..)

So, as long as the green screw is not torqued to meet the back of the panel, is that ground bar insulated? Pic 2 shows a vacant location for 2nd ground bar, so could I install a regular ground bar in that vacant spot and *not* drive the screw to the back of the panel and I could use that as my insulated neutral, and then on the existing bar make the connection with the screw and have that as my ground?

Apologies if I'm not explaining myself well

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-10-14, 02:25 PM
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You're on the right track. Take the green screw out and throw it away. Buy an add-on ground bar kit which screws directly to the tapped holes in the box. The elevated bar will be the neutral bar, and the add-on bar is for grounds.

http://www.amazon.com/Siemens-EC2GB1.../dp/B007ZZGSQI
 
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Old 12-10-14, 02:29 PM
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If this is a subpanel, you must separate grounding wires and neutrals. Your neutral buss is insulated as it should be. Your grounding wires need to be attached to an axillary buss bar connected to the box itself (not insulated) You must also run a separate grounding electrode to a grounding rod. Remove the green screw completely to keep someone from erroneously driving it home.
 
  #4  
Old 12-10-14, 03:10 PM
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Wonderful news!

I'll discard the green screw and use that as my neutral, and as you suggest I'll get a separate ground bar and attach that directly to the metal.

And yes, I've just set up my grounding electrode. I have #6 copper running to two 8ft 5/8 galv steel ground rods. 1st one is 2ft from the structure, the second is an additional 7ft from the 1st. I've used the 'acorn' ground rod clamps. When I've got my 2nd ground bar attached I'll run that #6cu right into one of the slots.

Thanks for the replies!
 
  #5  
Old 12-10-14, 07:33 PM
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Ignore the neutrals/ground wires going into the current ground bar.
For future information, that is the neutral bus. The neutral bus and ground bar are two entirely different things.

I spent ages looking online for insulated ground bars which have the little plastic feet but then I actually *looked* at my panel and saw that the bars clip onto a plastic mount anyhow.
Also for future information, you didn't find an insulated ground bar because there is no such thing. Ground bars mount directly to the steel panel box.
 
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