Adding neutral/ground bar to Siemens S2020B1100 panel

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On Apr 27, 11:48 pm, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

om>

my insurance issues.........
Its near impossible to get homeowners insurance on a home with knob and tube.......
now you can deny that all you want but it doesnt change reality
homeowners insurance these days often send out a inspector before writing a new policy......
they look for trash under a porch, lack of railings, bad roofs, fuse boxes, unsafe sidewalks...... all of these and more will have to be corrected before getting insurance....
I agree with these rules, since everyone wants low preminms, and all of those can and do boost losses. it might be possible to get a policy with known hazards, but it might boost premiums significantly.....
incidently a customer of mine had sidewalks that were uneven. the slabs were at different levels:( the customer was a public school. A student got ill and grandpa was called to take the kid home.
grandpa tripped on the uneven sidewalk and broke his hip. within 2 months he died, cause, the fall.
the school had to pay all the medical bills, pain and suffering, etc etc. last i heard the settlement offer to grandpas family was half a million dollars.... paid by the schools liability carrier.
the district replaced all the sidewalks at all the buildings and repaved parking lots etc. the insurance company required a risk inspection and repair of all possible hazards to keep their coverage.
now what really caused the accident? the school board insisted on a budget cut on building maintence to save money....
the board members who voted for that cut were all gone, replaced or voted out.
sadly and for practical $ reasons there are individuals doing that today. save money by no maintence...
thats why insurance now inspects homes. with the stormy weather probably from global warming entire citys are being destroyed. insurance cant prevent that but can save money on preventable losses
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wrote:

Are all in your tiny little head.
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On 4/28/2013 8:29 AM, bob haller wrote:

only occur when they go to your house
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Of course they could. Anyone can sue anyone for just about anything. Whether they have a real case, can they prove it, will they win, how much is it going to cost them in legal fees to find out, that's an entirely different matter.
If you want to sue because the kitchen tile floor is uneven and it was clearly uneven when you bought the place, walked through it, had the opportunity to inspect it, etc, then I don't see how in any rational court of law you'd win. Of course if you were selling the place, you wouldn't have that problem because you'd tell the buyer that the floor doesn't look quite right to you, they'd say "Gee, you're right, we want $4K off for a new one." And you'd both be happy.
If you find out the foundation for a room that was added on DIY is sinking because it was built on marshmallows instead of footers, that it was done by the seller, no building permit, they didn't disclose it, etc, then you probably have a decent case.
>or their insurance company?
Sue their insurance company for a defect on a house they bought? Per the above, sure they could. But on what basis could they ever win? What did their insurance company have to do with some house defect that they later find?

I believe the last time you brought up the issue of buyers coming back to sue a seller for anything and everything that wasn't disclosed, I provided a link to the PA real estate disclosure law. Did you read it? As I recall, it said that buyers have 2 years to bring a suit. It also said that just because some housing component, say a roof or septic system is at, near or beyond it's normal expected life, that doesn't mean it's a material defect that has to be disclosed, provided that component is still functioning OK.
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But what happens if the unbalanced load happens to be larger than the conductor? Theoretically, the unbalanced load could be 100 amps. I agree that is very unlikely, but statistically, it's possible. Let's say you had some house where 8 resistance heaters are used. They could just happen to put them into outlets that are on the same leg..... 12A * 8 = 96A.
Here's another point. An add-on ground bar is designed to be attached via screws to the panel metal. If you use one of those as intended, for a ground bus, then under normal conditions, no current is ever flowing in the panel metal, right? You'd only have current flow throw the panel itself if there was a ground fault of some kind. That's how it works with any metal box, right?
But if you use that add-on ground bar as a neutral bar, then you do have at least part of the unbalanced current flowing through the panel metal all the time. Even with a wire connected between that neutral bar and the other neutral bar, the current will split with some of it going via the wire, some of it going via the panel metal. That doesn't seem right to me. I would think the right way to do it would be for that additional neutral bar to be installed insulated from the panel so that all the current has to flow via the wires and not through the panel metal.
Not saying this is really unsafe if it's done the way you guys are saying. Just that it seems odd to me that the code is OK with using the panel metal case as a current carrying conductor. I can't think of another instance where that is allowed.
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wrote:

well the existing bar is designed to carry current, and since its connected and actually bonded to the cabinet the cabinet would carry some current
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No it would not, because the panel metal is not in the conductive path of the current. With the existing neutral bar, current flows from the neutral on each circuit into the neutral bar and to the service neutral which is directly connected to the existing neutral bar. There is no alternate route in the panel metal for current to go.
Now let's say you add a ground bar on the other side of the panel, connect it back to the existing neutral/ground bar, and use it as a neutral. In that case you have two paths for current from that additional neutral to go to get back to the service neutral. One path is via the wire connecting the two. The other is via the panel metal. That second route didn't exist until you created it.
Again, not saying this is the worst thing in the world, or that it's inherently unsafe, or that an inspector is going to fail it. I just think it's a curious situation and wonder about the code aspect of it because you're now using the panel metal as a current carrying conductor. That just doesn't seem right. If you installed that additional neutral bar as an insulated one, then you would not have current flowing in the panel metal, only the wire connecting it to the original neutral.
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I think that is an interesting question, and I would like to be able to figure out the correct answer to that one. Unfortunately, the Siemens panel that I have only has a neutral bar on one side since it has less than 30 circuits (30 and above have two neutral bars -- one on each side).
I called Siemens technical support on Friday afternoon shortly before 5 PM. I explained that I want to be able to add a second neutral bar to my 20-circuit Siemens panel and asked if there is a way to do that. I also explained the option/idea above of adding a ground bar and connecting that to the neutral bar with an #6 or #8 wire.
The call-taker entered my question into their system and created an email "ticket number", and then said that a technical representative will get back to me on Monday. I'll pass on whatever I hear back from them.
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TomR wrote:

Just to follow up . . , I still don't have a definite answer from Siemens on this question.
Here is what I wrote to Siemens:
"My question is in regard to the cat# S2020B1100 Main Breaker Load Center. It comes with only one neutral bar (on the right side). I would like to add a second neutral bar on the left side of the panel.
Is there a way for me to do that?
It has been suggested to me that I could possibly do this by adding a Siemens ground bar on the left side and then connecting a #6 or #8 jumper wire from the new ground bar to the original neutral bar, thus making them both useable as neutral/ground bars.
Is that correct, or is there a better way to add a neutral bar on the left side?"
And, this is what they wrote back yesterday:
"I am checking to see if there is an offering for this. I will advise."
My guess is that they are going to say that there is no option to add a second neutral bar to their cat# S2020B1100 Main Breaker Load Center. But, that I can add a ground bar to the panel.
I doubt that they would want to get into giving out advice on how to create or wire a second neutral bar since that model panel does not come with a second neutral bar.
Also, I went to Home Depot and I looked at the box etc. for the same model Siemens Main Breaker Load Center, and it specifically says, "Ground bar not included". I think I remember the instructions inside showing how to add a ground bar (I'm not sure). And, Home Depot does sell the ground bar and shows how to install it as a ground bar.
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TomR wrote:

I followed up with the Siemens rep today and he wrote that the "initial indications were that adding neutral bar was not possible", but that he is waiting for verification on that information and will let me know when he hears back from the higher-ups.
I assume that means that the final answer (according to Siemens) will be that adding a second neutral bar to this particular model load panel is not an option.
So, now I am back to the idea that was suggested of just adding a ground bar on the left side of the panel -- and using that just as a ground bar, and not as a neutral bar -- and only attach any neutrals to the existing neutral bar on the right side of the panel.
Now, my question is about adding the new ground bar. I see ground bars for Siemens panels that do not have a "ground lug" on them, and other ground bars that do have a "ground lug". When I add the new ground bar, I want to be able to connect the new ground bar to the existing neutral/ground bar with a #6 (or maybe #4) ground wire between the two. I am thinking that I may use #4 just to be overly cautious.
But, the question is about attaching the #4 or #6 wire to the new ground bar. Am I correct in thinking that there should be a "ground lug" on the new ground bar that will accept the #4 or #6 wire?
If so, maybe something like this (that I would buy locally, not through Amazon) is what I need: (Amazon.com product link shortened) .
Is that correct?
Thanks.
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All that is typically required for the ground bar is to secure it to the panel in the holes made for that purpose using the provided screws. That ground bar, used as a ground bar, is not a current carrying conductor and I don't believe you need any additional wire. Check the instructions.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Thanks. That makes sense.
The Siemens rep wrote back to me this morning and confirmed that they do not offer an option or way of adding a second neutral bar to this model load center.
I think I'll just go with the plan of adding a ground bar and only connecting ground wires to that ground bar. All of the neutrals will go on the original neutral bar that is in the panel.
I appreciate the thought that you and others put into this and all of the feedback and suggestions that you and others provided.
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On 4/26/2013 7:33 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You are correct. A # 6 copper is all that is required to carry the full neutral load of a 100 amp service, so considering that this is a supplemental neutral bar, it's never going to carry close to the full amount.
To be used as a secondary neutral bar as opposed to a ground bar, it must be connected to the original bar by something more substantial that the steel of the cabinet
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I still don't get how a #6 can be used to carry the full neutral load of a 100 amp service. Worse case, the full neutral load is 100 amps. You can't use #6 to connect the hots on a 100 amp sub-panel, can you?
I agree the "chances" that the neutral is ever going to see the full 100 amps is small, because it's only the unbalanced portion. With 120V randomly assigned to one hot or the other, they are going to tend to cancel out and the neutral current will be small. But it is possible to put the full 100 amps on the neutral if you managed to put a bunch of large 120V loads all on the same hot leg. Like plugging in say 8 resistance heaters into 8 circuits that just happen to be all on the same hot leg. I guess maybe the answer is that even if you put 100 amps through a #6 it's not the end of the world, ie it's not going to fail or get hot enough to start a fire, etc.

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On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 05:46:36 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

There aren't the same insulation temperature issues with bare copper, clamped to the box on both ends (heat sink), inside a large enclosure (instead of threading through insulation).
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On 4/29/2013 10:02 AM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

For residential, you can use #4 if the service is 100A. This is based on "diversity".
You are real unlikely to have a bar total load connected to one leg that is a problem with #6, and there is also "diversity". But, as you say, it is possible. A person could be a little careful about what is connected.
I would rather use a ground bar as a ground bar unless there is a good reason to have to land neutrals on it.

The wire is connected to the neutral bar and the ground bar.
There are limits to the wire amp rating based on the connections to the wire. Unless the connections are rated for a higher temperature, in general for 100A circuits or less the wire can only use the amp rating for 60 degree C insulation. (Breakers may, for example, be marked for 75 degree C wire.) (110.14-C)
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I added a bar to a existing cabinet once. The added bar and existing bar both had spots for 12 gauge or smaller wire.
Plus each bar had significantly larger spots for heavy conductors. perhaps a electric stove or something like it
So added 2 copper heavy tie lines between the old and new bar, figuring that would never cause a problem:) plus the bar was bonded to the cabinet
I had to get middle states to reinspect the cabinet for home sale, the inspector complimented me on my good job........
the existing bar had issues many of the screws were like welded on place, they must of been overtightened at one time and the heads would break off when loosened. i had ven tried heating some. the quick project took all day:(
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On 4/30/2013 9:34 AM, bob haller wrote:

Obviously an obsolete panel which should have been replaced with a new 200A service.

Your paralleling of wires is a code violation. (310.10)

We all know sharp home inspectors are. They might even flag putting 2 ground wires under 1 screw because it is not "neat". You won't be able to sell the house until you hire an electrician to fix the problem.
And don't forget to align the switch and receptacle plate screw slots either horizontal or vertical depending on the standard in your area.

The panel was obviously defective. Instead of replacing it with a new 200A service you kludged a fix. When the house burns down the insurance company won't pay off.
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On 5/1/2013 2:43 PM, bud-- wrote:

The joke is, that he probably still has the original FPE panel that he likes to bitch about, probably even has some K&T in it as well.
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So having 2 heavy copper conductors between the 2 bars is against code? What sort of problem could that ever cause? better to have the copper wires carry any current than the metal cabinet?

middle states or middle group is the electrical inspection service, they inspect all service entrances etc.
they are not home inspectors!
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