Adding new cables & CBs to existing load center

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Old 07-26-18, 02:20 PM
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Adding new cables & CBs to existing load center

Can one safely screw down the neutral and ground wires of a new cable in a breaker box without turning off all the power in the box? When I switched from fuse box to breaker box I did all the wiring inside the box; there was not yet any power to the box back then, of course.

Since then I've also switched out single pole circuit breakers with tandem breakers without turning the main power off. Now I have 3 new cables terminated into the breaker box but not yet connected to the neutral, ground, and new CBs. I'm thinking to first screw down the ground, then the neutral, and last to the CB (off position) of each new cable/CB set.
 
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Old 07-26-18, 03:04 PM
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You sound like a relatively newcomer to electrical wiring. Wiring inside an electrical panel is all based on experience and comfort level. As an electrician for many years I do all the work with the panel live.

Turning off the main breaker is the safest way to do your wiring. Even with the main off..... the incoming power wire connection to the main breaker is still live.
 
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Old 07-26-18, 03:44 PM
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Insulated wires are less dangerous. Be real careful with the bare ground wire. If the bare ground touches anything live in the box, you get zapped hard.
 
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Old 07-26-18, 04:31 PM
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Thanks for the input. No, I am not an electrician. I've only rewired my entire house during my 15 year long remodel & new addition replacing Romex with 12g wire and new 20amp CBs in a new load center and new everything. I'm not intimidated by electricity, I am cautious. If an electrician would do it "live" then so can I.
 
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Old 07-26-18, 07:52 PM
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It worked and I am alive. Thanks for the help.
 
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