Bus Bars (electrical)

In the main service panel there are 2 bus bars ( neutral and ground ). I don't have any screw holes left to add an additional branch circuit to a detached subpanel located 60' away from the main. Can I: 1. Add an additional bus bar to the main panel and if so, how do I connect it to the old bus bar(s)? or 2. Replace the entire full bus bar with a new longer one, or 3. Neither of the above 2 can be done at all???? If this is so, what can I do to solve this problem?
In the subpanel, the bus bar that is away from the breaker panel itself that I added to the subpanel box, does that bus bar become the ground bar or the neutral bar? I think it's the ground bar because it IS separate from the rest ( not bonded ). Is this the right thinking on that?
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You should hire a qualified electrician.
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Yes. Connect it mechanically to the panel chassis, then add a bonding jumper (#6 or #8 copper) to one of the existing bars. Move a ground wire from the existing bar to the new bar to make room for the jumper.

You can, but it's an awful lot of work for no benefit.

See above.

No. That's the neutral bar, because it's separate from the rest and not bonded.
Ground and neutral are required to be bonded together in the main panel. They are *prohibited* from being bonded together anywhere else. Hence, in your subpanel, the bar that is bonded to the panel is the ground bar, and the one that is not bonded is the neutral bar.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

I think you're misinterpreting him, because he's not clear in what he means. If he's talking about a bar that he added, it's a ground bar. The neutral bar is always integral to the panel

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That's not true.
Some panels have add-on neutral bars to be used when the panel is installed as a sub-panel (no ground-neutral bond). The add-on bars come with insulating (plastic) standoffs and usually a flexible plastic shield under and around one side of the bus. I think Siemens is one brand which does this, but I don't remember for certain which.
sdb
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wrote:

I have never seen that. Every single phase main lug only panel I've ever seen, comes with the neutral buss installed and a ground detail loose or in a bag. Please give me the make and model number of one that comes with a neutral not installed

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You were talking about add-on bars. And so was my response. Read it again until you understand.
sdb
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wrote:

I do understand, your response was incorrect. You need to read what the OP wrote: "In the subpanel, the bus bar that is away from the breaker panel itself that I added to the subpanel box, does that bus bar become the ground bar or the neutral bar? I think it's the ground bar because it IS separate from the rest ( not bonded ). Is this the right thinking on that?"
He's questioning the bus bar that did NOT come installed in the sub panel, The one that HE installed. Neutral bars come installed in MLO panels. They provide a bonding jumper, which you install if using the panel as a main service panel. Some panels include a GROUND detail for use when the panel is being used as a sub. Often this ground detail is loose or in a bag and gets installed by the electrician. The confusion is what the OP means by (not bonded), as the neutral bar is the one that wouldn't be bonded. You can purchase additional neutral bars and ground bars for any panel, but that's not what the OP was referring to
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Thanks Doug. I appreciate your advice.
wrote:

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On Thu, 14 Feb 2008 00:59:46 GMT, Doug Miller wrote:

Error! Ground and neutral are required to be UNbonded. I just new service put in and the inspector required that the ground and neutral bars be isolated with the ground bar bonced to the box. The electrician had to cut the bonding bar.
Mike D.
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wrote:

The only way that would be correct, is if the main disconnect wasn't in the service panel. Do you have a main disconnect in a meter panel?
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snipped-for-privacy@notasarian-host.net wrote:

False.
"A premises wiring system supplied by a grounded AC service shall have a grounding electrode conductor connected to the grounded service conductor, at each service, in accordance with 250.24(A)(1) through (A)(5).
(1) The connection shall be made at any accessible point from the load end of the service drop or service lateral to and including the terminal bus to which the grounded service conductor is connected at the service disconnecting means."
[2005 National Electrical Code, Article 250.24(A)(1)]

Either you have described the situation incorrectly, or the inspector is incompetent. The facts are as I stated them: the Code *requires* ground and neutral to be bonded together at the service entrance, and *prohibits* them being bonded together anywhere else. If you disagree, I invite you to do as I did, and cite the relevant portion of the NEC which supports your claim.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

And if you think about it, that is for good reason - a disconnected neutral outside the house would be even more dangerous if the ground and neutral were not bonded together.
nate
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Al, humor me and describe this bus bar that you are installing as a "neutral bar". I am concerned that you may be doing something wrong and dangerous

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