DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > neutrals and grounds on same bar




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Old 10-31-2010, 02:11 PM  
kentannenbaum
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Default neutrals and grounds on same bar

I moved into an older home that seems wired fine, ample power and no problems. However, I noticed the grounding bar in the panel has both the ground and neutral wires attached to it. I read somewhere that they should go to separate bars...is it a problem?

Thanks.



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Old 10-31-2010, 03:19 PM  
inspectorD
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Default Ok

If this is where your main breaker is, it means (usually) this is your main panel.
You should be fine.
ALL sub-panels need separate bars, which go back to the main panel.
Get an electrician to look at your panel if you think you may have issues, always worth the $$ to be safe.



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Old 10-31-2010, 06:27 PM  
kentannenbaum
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It's the main service panel...thanks for the advice.

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Old 11-03-2010, 04:23 PM  
Redbirdseven
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You are fine. The sub panel if you were to have one is where they are separated.

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Old 11-06-2010, 11:46 PM  
BBrown
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It is true that according to code, if it is your entrance, or main panel, you can put neutral and ground wires on the same bus. In an entrance panel both bus bars are grounded to the box.

Personally, I prefer to put them on separate buss bars (usually there is one on each side of the box,)

Also, while not specified in the codes, I will never put both the white and ground wires under the same screw. In the event (admittedly rare) that screw would loosen, both ground and neutral would be lost.

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Old 11-07-2010, 05:49 AM  
budro
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good advice by all. one time i was called to an electrical problem at a house. when i got there the lights on one circuit were glowing bright, then dimming. glowing bright, then dimming. up and down, again and again. when i found the interior panel i could see an orange glow illuminating the inside of the panel by the glow it was emitting through the cracks. turns out to be that someone had wired this panel and placed the neutral and ground wires under the same terminal. it apparently was not tightened good on installation or came loose. bottom line, it could have burned the house down. good advice bbrown. never terminate the ground and neutral of the same circuit under one terminal. budro

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Old 11-07-2010, 05:53 AM  
speedy petey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBrown View Post
Personally, I prefer to put them on separate buss bars (usually there is one on each side of the box,)
May I ask why you would go through such trouble for absolutely NO benefit, electrically or esthetically???



Quote:
Originally Posted by BBrown View Post
Also, while not specified in the codes, I will never put both the white and ground wires under the same screw. In the event (admittedly rare) that screw would loosen, both ground and neutral would be lost.
It sure is specified in the code.

408.41 Grounded Conductor Terminations.
Each grounded conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual terminal that is not also used for another conductor.


I assume you know that the proper term for a neutral is "grounded conductor".
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:17 PM  
dkbgs
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Default Trouble

I don't mean to derail this thread but I just opened my main panel to add a circuit and I realized that 8 neutrals in a row on one side are burnt with the insulation browned and the wire blackened. All the screws are tight. I wired this house myself about 12 years ago and passed all my inspections. What is going on here? These are all 20A circuits with 12 Awg copper and most of the runs are short, less than 30 feet that supply my shop. Main breaker is 200A, Square-D panel.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-24-2010, 01:01 AM  
dkbgs
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So I wiggled the worst of the burnt wires and it was loose. I figured out the the screw was completely frozen. I then loosened and retightened all the other screws in the panel and most of them were stuck in their threads but not screwed down particularly tight once they cracked loose from the busbar or on the breakers themselves. I just wonder if this is a humidity issue or a thermal expansion problem. I don't see any corrosion on the parts but figure if it happened to me it it must happen to other folks too.
Meanwhile I trimmed back all the burnt wires and put them under fresh screws on a different part of the bus bar.
I'm tempted to grease everything with conductive grease to keep it from happening again. Is that wise?

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Old 11-24-2010, 07:52 AM  
JoeD
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Neutrals and grounds are allowed in the same bus bar, However only one neutral wire is permitted under a screw. No other neutrals or grounds are permitted to be under the screw.



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