neutrals and grounds on same bar

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by kentannenbaum, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Oct 31, 2010 #1

    kentannenbaum

    kentannenbaum

    kentannenbaum

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    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.
     
  2. Oct 31, 2010 #2

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    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.
     
  3. Oct 31, 2010 #3

    kentannenbaum

    kentannenbaum

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    It's the main service panel...thanks for the advice.
     
  4. Nov 3, 2010 #4

    Redbirdseven

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    You are fine. The sub panel if you were to have one is where they are separated.
     
  5. Nov 7, 2010 #5

    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.
     
  6. Nov 7, 2010 #6

    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
     
  7. Nov 7, 2010 #7

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    May I ask why you would go through such trouble for absolutely NO benefit, electrically or esthetically???



    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".
     
  8. Nov 24, 2010 #8

    dkbgs

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  9. Nov 24, 2010 #9

    dkbgs

    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?
     
  10. Nov 24, 2010 #10

    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.
     
  11. Nov 24, 2010 #11

    HighDesertHomeOwner

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    Along with the subject:

    I plan to tap into my Air conditioner circuit for power into my small 120 sq feet shed.

    The AC unit uses a 50 amp breaker, whereas a 30 amp will be plenty according to the faceplate of the AC unit.

    The AC is 240 volt with ground. I plan to use such a ground as the neutral of my 120V supply into my shed, (and one of the hot, the black one, of the 240 volt as the hot of my 120 V into the shed).

    Any coment as to safety?

    The neutral and the ground are on the same bar in the only breaker panel in my house.

    Will Ground Fault Interrupt in the shed still work?

    I will be using a 15 amp breaker for the shed. The actual power for the shed will be very low, just for lights and a small electric drill, perhaps.

    This is for myself, if I ever sell or rent this house out I will disconnect the power into my shed.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  12. Nov 25, 2010 #12

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    Yes....

    NO! NO! NO!
    DO NOT do this. A ground and a neutral are two very different things. The fact that they are on the same bar in the main panel means NOTHING!
    You do not have a neutral in this circuit and you CANNOT pull 120v from it. PLEASE DO NOT even attempt it. NOTHING you do will make it safe or correct.
     

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