I take the cover off the main panel in our recently-purchased, 1980
vintage , do-it-yourself log house -- the panel that the home inspector
said was "serviceable", and it's messy. 200 amp service. Only one
double-tapped breaker. The only other panel whose guts I've seen was
much neater in that the neutral wires and ground wires were segregated
to different bars. In this panel, a given wire's neutral and ground
are usually screwed into the same clamp on the neutral bar. The panel
itself does not appear to be grounded. Is all of this unusual? Can
ground and neutral be run together on the main service wire back out to
the meter, where presumably the neutral is split off to earth ground?
What would you say is the best book for increasing a layman's
expertise on home wiring--something not overly simplified?
I took an evening course at the local vocational ed school. I learned a lot
more than I would have from any book.
A messy circuit box is difficult to work with, but otherwise doesn't much
matter. Mine was a mess when I got it, and then I put in a transfer switch;
you can imagine what it looks like now. But it works and isn't unsafe.
Some day I will redo everything so it is neat and nice.
The ground and the neutral is the same, at the circuit box (though not at a
subpanel). It is nice if they are segregated so as to be clearer, but it
doesn't affect anything functionally.
Presumably your ground bus is screwed into your box; so it is grounded. No?
Unless your breaker does say it can accept two wires you should pigtail them
and put one wire to the breaker. But that probably doesn't matter much
either. I had 3 circuits going to one breaker and nothing happened for the
30 year prior to my owning it; which was darn lucky, since they were
20a/240v going to a 50a breaker. I sure fixed that quickly!
If your "main" disconnect is not in that panel, NEC would require the
grounds and neutrals to be segregated. You can double up on ground wires,
but neutral wires must be under individual screws. If the panel itself is
grounded, it would be via either a small strap screwed to the panel and
attached to the neutral buss or by a screw tapped straight through the buss
Ref the "ground", yes it is OK to attach the grounding electrode in
the meter base but I would look for the wire going there to be sure
you have one. It will probably be a 1/2" EMT going down to the ground
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.