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    cheaphouses's Avatar
    cheaphouses Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Aug 28, 2009, 06:43 PM
    Ground bar and neutral bar
    I was working on a rehab project, and the guy working on the wiring was installing both the ground wire and the neutral wire together into the ground bar or neutral bar, depending on the side of the circuit.

    I was always under the impression that ground wires to ground bar and neutral wires to neutral bar.

    Is the above technique safe?

    When I asked him about it, he said it makes the wiring in the box neater.
    stanfortyman's Avatar
    stanfortyman Posts: 5,602, Reputation: 279
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    #2

    Aug 28, 2009, 07:01 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by cheaphouses View Post
    I was always under the impression that ground wires to ground bar and neutral wires to neutral bar.
    In the main panels there is no difference between the ground bar and the neutral bar.
    I will say, an add-on ground bar that is screwed to the back of the panel must ONLY be used for grounds.



    Quote Originally Posted by cheaphouses View Post
    Is the above technique safe?
    Code complaint? Definitely not.
    Safe? I think so. Some will disagree.
    The part that is non-complaint is that a neutral wire must be one wire to a termination.
    Grounds (of the same size) can usually be doubled or even trippled up in a single hole.



    Quote Originally Posted by cheaphouses View Post
    When I asked him about it, he said it makes the wiring in the box neater.
    I do agree with this.


    This is a practice I followed for many years. I only stopped doing this about 7-8 years ago by choice. The inspectors in my area had no problem with it.
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #3

    Aug 28, 2009, 07:13 PM

    Hard to say, but let's clarify:

    If there is an isolated neutral, then ground and neutral must be separate. There is a green screw that is usually removed to isolate the neutral. In these cases, usually a ground bar kit needs to be purchased to get the ground bar back. This occurs on sub-panels although not exclusively.

    If there isn't an isolated neutral, then it makes no difference.

    The neutral to ground bond usually occurs at the first disconnect, so for houses with an outside disconnect, the inside panel will have an isolated neutral.

    In many cases the first disconnect is at the main panel and therefore the neutral and ground connections are essentially the same.

    Purists would prefer a separate ground and neutral in both cases bonded at one point for other reasons such as electrical noise and power quality issues.
    TGMcCallie's Avatar
    TGMcCallie Posts: 45, Reputation: 2
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    #4

    Aug 29, 2009, 04:13 PM

    Why did the inspector want my electrician to separate the neutrals and grounds when I had electrical work done. This is in my main breaker box.

    Was that just because he preferred it like that?
    stanfortyman's Avatar
    stanfortyman Posts: 5,602, Reputation: 279
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    #5

    Aug 29, 2009, 04:16 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by TGMcCallie View Post
    Why did the inspector want my electrician to seperate the neutrals and grounds when I had electrical work done. This is in my main breaker box.

    Was that just because he preferred it like that?
    Who knows. Was there a main disconnect outside?
    TGMcCallie's Avatar
    TGMcCallie Posts: 45, Reputation: 2
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    #6

    Aug 29, 2009, 04:56 PM

    I had my meter center moved to another location due to remodeling. The electrician installed a meter center that had a breaker box incorporated in it sort of like they use in mobile homes. He did this so he could run a 100 amp service to my shop and have some extra breakers there at the meter center. As far as a main disconnect outside, the only one I know about is the main breaker in the main breaker box in my garage.
    stanfortyman's Avatar
    stanfortyman Posts: 5,602, Reputation: 279
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    #7

    Aug 29, 2009, 06:03 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by TGMcCallie View Post
    As far as a main disconnect outside, the only one I know about is the main breaker in the main breaker box in my garage.
    But you just got finished describing about the new "meter center" that he installed with breakers outside.
    So is there or isn't there a main breaker outside?
    TGMcCallie's Avatar
    TGMcCallie Posts: 45, Reputation: 2
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    #8

    Aug 29, 2009, 08:28 PM

    There is not a main breaker outside that cuts off the power coming into the house. There is only one Main Breaker and that is in the main panel box inside the garage.
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #9

    Aug 29, 2009, 08:33 PM

    Is the neutral/ground bond in the meter base?
    TGMcCallie's Avatar
    TGMcCallie Posts: 45, Reputation: 2
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    #10

    Aug 30, 2009, 08:44 AM

    Meter base? Are you talking about where the actual meter is or the main breaker box? I don't know how it is in the meter center but in the main meter box they are bonded.
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #11

    Aug 30, 2009, 11:05 AM

    They can make the body nearly anywhere. Usually it's the first disconnect. This is the bet place to put it. You need to figure out where neutral and ground come together for the first time.
    TGMcCallie's Avatar
    TGMcCallie Posts: 45, Reputation: 2
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    #12

    Aug 30, 2009, 02:11 PM
    If the entrance cables are grounded at the transformer why is there a separate grounding rod at the main breaker box or meter center?
    donf's Avatar
    donf Posts: 5,679, Reputation: 582
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    #13

    Aug 30, 2009, 02:33 PM

    TG,

    I just answered the question you posted.

    First, only the Neutral is grounded at the transformer. Neutral is also referred to as the "Grounded Conductor" and it provides the return path from the residence back to the transformer.

    The two hot cables are referred to as "Ungrounded conductors"

    At the main panel (only) Neutral and ground are tied together. Also the ground rod and EGC (Equipment Ground Conductor) are tied to the main panel.

    The grounding system at the main panel does several things, one of which is to tie the service's Neutral to the earth ground at the panel. This prevents a ground loop.

    Also, the residence's ground protects people from electrocution and carries electrical faults and stray charges away to earth ground.
    TGMcCallie's Avatar
    TGMcCallie Posts: 45, Reputation: 2
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    #14

    Aug 30, 2009, 02:40 PM

    I am sorry but I thought I had edited and removed this from this post and posted it in a separate one.

    Thanks
    Tom
    BigC1942's Avatar
    BigC1942 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #15

    Oct 13, 2013, 07:42 AM
    I am adding a 100 amp Square D load center to my workshop. I have attached the 2 hot wires and the neutral wire to the panel and the but I do not see a place to attach the ground wire. Where do I attach the Groud wire?
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    BigC1942 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #16

    Oct 13, 2013, 07:48 AM
    I am adding a 100 amp Square D load center to my workshop. I have attached the 2 hot wires and the neutral wire to the panel and the but I do not see a place to attach the ground wire. Where do I attach the ground wire?
    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 11,929, Reputation: 899
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    #17

    Oct 13, 2013, 07:52 AM
    You add a grounding buss to the panel.
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    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #18

    Oct 13, 2013, 10:26 AM
    Not exactly. Get a sub-panel conversion kit which should be made for your panel.

    It will contain ground bars like above,

    The instruction for the panel should show how to isolate the neutral/ground bus in a main breaker panel. Usually you remove a screw and add the ground bar(s).

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