Adding extra ground/neutral buss bar in electrical panel or add sub-panel?

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On 3/31/2013 7:52 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

calculation, or the demand required it. Often the only thing that's lacking are breaker spaces. If the service size is adequate but you just don't have enough spaces for the amount of circuits you want to install, you use a sub panel.
Haller is totally clueless. In his mind a sub panel is some sub standard way of increasing circuit capacity therefore a larger service should be installed. He typically uses straw men like " home buyer inspectors" to bolster his weird notions. I posted a link to a recent sub panel I installed and am still waiting to hear what his home inspector's objections would be. In this particular case the main panel is already a 40 circuit. They don't come any bigger, regardless of the service size, so what are you supposed to do if more circuits are needed?
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On 3/31/2013 7:15 PM, RBM wrote: ...

Amen..
...

BH would probably say you just shouldn't want for so much... :)
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As far as capacity, the house in this thread, with a 150 service, having gas cooking, gas WH, gas dryer, probably has more capacity than my house does with a 200. I have an electric dryer, electric cooking and 5 ton AC.
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On Monday, March 25, 2013 8:37:38 AM UTC-4, Mikepier wrote:

er doubling up on some ground wires of new circuits I ran. So I purchased a grounding buss bar from Home Depot. My question is that the existing mount ing holes on this buss bar do not line up with the pre-drilled holes in the panel, so I need to make at least one new one. Since the panel is directly behind plywood, is it possible to just use a large self-tapping screw and screw through the bussbar, through the panel, and through the pywood? The o ther mounting hole I would use the threaded screw. Also I assume I need to use at least a #6 wire to link the new buss bar with the existing buss bar. That would take car of the basement for now, but looking down the road if other circuits needed to be added for another reno, is it possible to add a sub-panel to the main panel? I thought about changing out the panel to a 2 00 amp, but I don't think it is necessary, this is a house that uses and ga s stove/dryer/water heater. Plus the fact the outside meter pan would need to be changed. The existing panel is maybe 20-25 years old, I don't know wh y they put in 150A instead of 200A.
You can drill a hole and use a self tapping screw to add your new bus.
The question this raises is if that panel is rated for 30 circuits. Normal ly there will be enough ground/neutral connections in the panel as long as you are within it's rated circuits. You said you have 30 breakers in it, a re they all full height? Or are some of them half height? Did you connect more than one hot wire to each breaker? Only some breaker models are desi gned to acccept more than one hot.
If you exceeded the circuits allowed in the box or connectd multiple hots t o breakers that only allow one hot those will come back to haunt you on ins pection.
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On 3/27/2013 7:46 AM, jamesgang wrote:

with 30 breakers. I ran out of terminals on the ground/neutral bars, even after doubling up on some ground wires of new circuits I ran. So I purchased a grounding buss bar from Home Depot. My question is that the existing mounting holes on this buss bar do not line up with the pre-drilled holes in the panel, so I need to make at least one new one. Since the panel is directly behind plywood, is it possible to just use a large self-tapping screw and screw through the bussbar, through the panel, and through the pywood? The other mounting hole I would use the threaded screw. Also I assume I need to use at least a #6 wire to link the new buss bar with the existing buss bar. That would take car of the basement for now, but looking down the road if other circuits needed to be added for another reno, is it possible to add a sub-panel to the main panel? I thought about changing out the panel to a 200 amp, but I don' t think it is necessary, this is a house that uses and gas stove/dryer/water heater. Plus the fact the outside meter pan would need to be changed. The existing panel is maybe 20-25 years old, I don't know why they put in 150A instead of 200A.

Self tapping screws can not be used as the electrical connection to the box (as gfretwell wrote). A wire would have to be added to the neutral bus.

there will be enough ground/neutral connections in the panel as long as you are within it's rated circuits. I don't think that is necessarily true. You don't need a lot of spaces for ground wires if you wire with EMT and I don't think all panels have enough neutral bar spaces to wire everything in romex. Ground bars to add are readily available.

of them half height? Did you connect more than one hot wire to each breaker? Only some breaker models are designed to acccept more than one hot.

Generally, you can't exceed the allowed number of circuits. You would have to install tandem breakers to do that, and they have a rejection feature that only allows them to be installed in locations indicated on the panel label. It is a UL Class CTL feature - circuit limiting.

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On Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:12:17 AM UTC-4, bud-- wrote:

as a Westinghouse 150A panel with 30 breakers. I ran out of terminals on th e ground/neutral bars, even after doubling up on some ground wires of new c ircuits I ran. So I purchased a grounding buss bar from Home Depot. My ques tion is that the existing mounting holes on this buss bar do not line up wi th the pre-drilled holes in the panel, so I need to make at least one new o ne. Since the panel is directly behind plywood, is it possible to just use a large self-tapping screw and screw through the bussbar, through the panel , and through the pywood? The other mounting hole I would use the threaded screw. Also I assume I need to use at least a #6 wire to link the new buss bar with the existing buss bar. That would take car of the basement for now , but looking down the road if other circuits needed to be added for anothe r reno, is it possible to add a sub-panel to the main panel? I thought abou t changing out the panel to a 200 amp, but I don' t think it is necessary, this is a house that uses and gas stove/dryer/water heater. Plus the fact t he outside meter pan would need to be changed. The existing panel is maybe 20-25 years old, I don't know why they put in 150A instead of 200A. > You c an drill a hole and use a self tapping screw to add your new bus. Self tapp ing screws can not be used as the electrical connection to the box (as gfre twell wrote). A wire would have to be added to the neutral bus. > > The que stion this raises is if that panel is rated for 30 circuits. Normally there will be enough ground/neutral connections in the panel as long as you are within it's rated circuits. I don't think that is necessarily true. You don 't need a lot of spaces for ground wires if you wire with EMT and I don't t hink all panels have enough neutral bar spaces to wire everything in romex. Ground bars to add are readily available. > You said you have 30 breakers in it, are they all full height? Or are some of them half height? Did you c onnect more than one hot wire to each breaker? Only some breaker models are designed to acccept more than one hot. > > If you exceeded the circuits al lowed in the box Generally, you can't exceed the allowed number of circuits . You would have to install tandem breakers to do that, and they have a rej ection feature that only allows them to be installed in locations indicated on the panel label. It is a UL Class CTL feature - circuit limiting. > or connectd multiple hots to breakers that only allow one hot those will come back to haunt you on inspection.
Ok, install with a self tapping screw, remove the self tapping screw and pu t in a regular threaded screw.
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wrote:

You can use a thread forming machine screw if the metal is thick enough. This is what 250.8 says about it
(5)     Machine screw-type fasteners that engage not less than two threads or are secured with a nut (6)     Thread-forming machine screws that engage not less than two threads in the enclosure
This excludes a course thread sheet metal screw.
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On 3/27/2013 9:37 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Most parts of a panel are probably not thick enough for 2 threads.
If you have a 100A feeder, are 4 threads (2 screws) adequate for a ground fault (paint blocks direct contact). It makes me nervous.
Presumably the ground bar that is added is "listed". Not all of them are. Some are UL "recognized" components that are not the same as listed. (Or the bar can be accepted by the inspector.)
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The HEAVY COPPER line between the original bar and the added one takes care of electrical conductivity:)
My biggest problem adding a bar was getting the original ones screws loose. They must of been tightened at the factory and didnt want to budge:(
Some I jared loose:( One ripped the screw slot off trying to get it loose. After that I tried heating some.
The middle group inspector congraulated me on my good job.....
The home inspector flagged the panel because the original inspection stickers signature had faded:( The sticker was fine the signature cold be seen but not read......
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On 3/27/2013 10:53 AM, bob haller wrote:

You added a ground bar?????
The panel was obviously obsolete. The house should have been demolished.

Any house that old is obsolete. Who knows what else has faded. The house should have been demolished.
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wrote:

Home inspectors are clueless for the most part. Until very recently (and still true in some places) these people are self certified. The "test" the trade groups give is trivial and it really seems to be that they just want the money to certify you. I took the HACHI test, got a 94 the first time I saw it and I have never seen a oil fired furnace or any kind of boiler. (several questions on the test) There was an error on the electrical part of the test. If I was willing to send them a few hundred bucks, I would be a certified home inspector. I was on the HACHI BB for a while but I just got tired of explaining things like why it was OK to have 10 ga wire going to a A/C compressor with a 40a breaker, it is OK to put 2 wires on a SqD breaker and that there is no "right" way to orient a NEMA 5-15 receptacle.
These guys get paid to find reasons why the buyer should not pay the seller's price, They sometimes "find" ridiculous things while missing serious issues.
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On 3/27/2013 3:04 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

their only purpose is to concoct a list of issues that enable the buyer to get a lower price on the house. Listening to Haller, you'd think they had some actual authority. Can't tell you how many letters I've had to write to refute their findings over the years.
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On Wednesday, March 27, 2013 12:32:27 PM UTC-4, bud-- wrote:
can not be used as the electrical connection to the >> box (as gfretwell w rote). A wire would have to be added to the neutral bus. > > You can use a thread forming machine screw if the metal is thick > enough. > This is what 250.8 says about it > > (5) Machine screw-type fasteners that engage not l ess than two > threads or are secured with a nut > (6) Thread-forming machi ne screws that engage not less than two > threads in the enclosure > > This excludes a course thread sheet metal screw. Most parts of a panel are prob ably not thick enough for 2 threads. If you have a 100A feeder, are 4 threa ds (2 screws) adequate for a ground fault (paint blocks direct contact). It makes me nervous. Presumably the ground bar that is added is "listed". Not all of them are. Some are UL "recognized" components that are not the same as listed. (Or the bar can be accepted by the inspector.)
10-32 self-tapping machine screw will have two threads in 1/16" sheet metal . The boxes I've seen recently all have machine screws holding the ground bars on. I don't see the difference.
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On 3/27/2013 2:15 PM, jamesgang wrote:

crews can not be used as the electrical connection to the >> box (as gfre twell wrote). A wire would have to be added to the neutral bus. > > You c an use a thread forming machine screw if the metal is thick > enough. > T his is what 250.8 says about it > > (5) Machine screw-type fasteners that engage not less than two > threads or are secured with a nut > (6) Threa d-forming machine screws that engage not less than two > threads in the e nclosure > > This excludes a course thread sheet metal screw. Most parts of a panel are probably not thick enough for 2 threads. If you have a 100 A feeder, are 4 threads (2 screws) adequate for a ground fault (paint blo cks direct contact). It makes me nervous. Presumably the ground bar that is added is "listed". Not all of them are. Some are UL "recognized" compo nents that are not the same as listed. (Or the bar can be accepted by the inspector.)

round bars on. I don't see the difference. They don't just drill and tap the sheet metal. They punch the metal into
a depression, then drill and tap the depression, which gives it more depth and more threads
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