My Current Load Center is a GE 200 Amp 40 Space box. On the Left and Right
side of the Circuit Breakers is a Neutral Bus Bar which also takes the
Grounds. I am running out of room on the Bus Bar and was wondering if I
could put the Neutral & Ground together in one slot on the bar? This would
give me more space in the Neutral/Grounding Bus Bar.
Yes, I would go to your local Home Depot and get a couple of new grounding
bars and install them in the panel, fastening them directly to the metal box
inside; and then take a wire from the new ground bars to the neutral bars so
that the neutral and ground is at the same potential in that box. Then
remove all the grounds from your neutral bars and put them on the new ground
No. The concern is that is that if it pulls out you will lose both neutral
By all means check to see if your box allows more than one wire. If it
does, put two grounds from different circuits together.
The instructions Printed on the GE Box are all I have. I just dont
understand why the Neutral/Grounding Bar would only allow 42 Wires but the
Box can hold a Max of 40 Circuit Breakers. If they were planning on filling
the Box then the Neutral/Grounding Bar would of had to allow up to 80 Wires.
To Append to my Posting
I have the ability to install an Equipment Grounding Kit in the Box but was
wondering how it is installed. I understand it is mounted to the Load Center
but how is it grounded?
check with the manufacture about the ground/neutral bars. Some manufactures
are UL listed for 2 wires of the correct sizes to be under one screw. The
information should be on the instruction on the cover. Just not in very
plain wording. I know my Homeline SQD panel will accept 2-14's or 12's under
the neutral/ground bus.
If the instructions in the panel allow more than one wire per terminal
then you may combine that many Equipment Grounding Conductors under each
screw. The US National Electric Code forbids terminating two or more
grounded current carrying conductors; which most of us call the neutral;
in the same terminal. This is to avoid the accidental disconnection of
one circuits neutral while troubleshooting another circuit and the
attendant risk of injury and equipment damage.
"408.21 Grounded Conductor Terminations.
Each grounded conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an
individual terminal that is not also used for another conductor."
Copyright 2002 the National Fire Protection Association.
The only suggestion that I would have is to obtain the GE add on buss
bars that are used to terminate the EGCs in feeder supplied panels.
There should be no need to bond the add on buss bars to the neutral buss
because the mounting screws will provide adequate bonding if the same
manufacturer's add on buss bars are installed. Putting one add on buss
bar on each side of the panel will allow you to readily terminate all
conductors on the same side of the panel that the conductors enter the
cabinet. That will contribute to a neater installation and avoid the
mingling of branch circuit conductors with service entry conductors.
Presuming this is your main and/or only circuit breaker panel? That is; it
is the same panel containing or immediately following your main circuit
breaker/fuse for the whole service?
My understanding is that neutrals are grounded only once at the main panel?
Neutrals are not grounded in any sub-distribution panels?
In separate distribution panels, or load centres, there are for example two
additional in my house (one in the kitchen area, one in the storeroom-garage
area), the grounds and the neutrals must be separate? Each panel has its
grounding (and feed) conductor/s back to the main service panel.
Or have I misread something?
My personal feeling would be to keep grounds and neutrals on separate
Thanks everyone for the information. I have decided to purchase the GE
Grounding Kit specified by the box(since it is an older box it is very hard
to find). Since the Live 200Amp Wire comes in from the bottom of the box and
raps up to the 200Amp Breaker on the left and the ground wraps to the
terminal on the right I can not install the Grounding Kit on either side.
There is a spot on the bottom of the box but within the box where there are
holes I could install the grounding bar. I am going to take the new circuit
grounds I am installing and run them to the newly installed Grounding Bar.
Thank you for all your help. I hope to have the new breakers & grounding bar
installed later in the week.
Obviously an accidental disconnection of a neutral leaves a hot with no good
way back to ground, other than through a person unlucky enough to be
touching it, if it is somehow shorted. A 3wire dryer circuit is
particularly dangerous because then the whole frame is hot, and it is often
used when wet.
But wouldn't the normal consequence just be that a circuit no longer works?
Except in odd circumstances, is really isn't all that dangerous, other than
the dryer example. There is no real exposure to equipment damage is there?
Or am I missing something?
Maybe it's because whatever is plugged into that circuit will appear to
be off (and not working), and the unsuspecting handyman may encounter
the energized hot wires when trying to fix the problem. Or something
when wet. But wouldn't the normal consequence just be that a circuit no longer
dryer example. There is no real exposure to equipment damage is there? Or am I
What is meant by double grounding is not clear.
As to using any ground bar that fits I'm sorry but this is bad
information. If a part is not laboratory listed or recognized as
suitable for use in that manufacturers enclosure than that WILL
jepordize your fire insurance coverage.
Many solid state controlled appliances can be damaged by having the hot
and no neutral. The disconnected neutral itself will go high to 120
volts if there is any connected load on the circuit. Additionally the
neutrals of two different circuits will expand and contract at different
times which will tend to loosen the connection.
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