never double up neutral wires! if you remove a neutral wire from the
neutral buss and the circuit is under a load, that wire will become
energized and you could fry your self.
you should not see white wires connected to the grounding terminals. i
suggest you have an electrician have a look at your panel.
All I know is - I have a Siemens box as I said earlier in all this.
It has space for eight breakers, four on each of two sides. It has a
single ground buss. All work that had been done in it was done by
licensed (but maybe incompetent?) electrician. It was inspected, some
A week or so ago, when I went into it to add a new breaker, I found
that (1) bare-copper ground wires and white neutral wires were both
all connected to that single buss. All of the buss connections were
used up. In fact, two wires (one bare, one white) had been doubled up
with other similar wires - two wires under each buss screw. So - when
I added my breaker, I figured I could add two more wires to the ground
buss similarly. Then I got to thinking - maybe I should add a small
ground buss to eliminate all the doubling up. I would need just a
six-connector second buss, four connectors for the doubled-up wires,
one on the second buss and one on the first buss to facilitate
connecting the second buss to the first, and one more to free up a
connector on the first buss by moving a ground wire from the first
buss to the second thereby freeing up a connector on the first buss to
accommodate connecting the second buss to it.
I hope this explains things clearly.
grounding bar or lugs should have only bare copper wires only. as long
as the connection is good, it doesnt matter how many grounds per lug.
neutral bar should only have white wires, not doubled up.
breakers or fuses should have only black or red wires, not doubled up.
So you're saying that I really need two ground-busses - one for bare
copper ground wires (doubled up okay), and one for neutral white wires
(but not doubled up)? I think I can do that.
Of course none of my black (hot) wires are doubled up. That seems
common sense, at least to me.
My understanding was that you need keep the ground-buss and the
nuetral-buss separate in sub-panels, but that you can mix and
match in the main service panel, because that's the one and
only place where ground and nuetral are supposed to meet.
(which explains why service panels come with only one buss,
but doesn't explain why there's never enough holes in that buss.)
Further, I was under the impression that whether or not you
can end two wires in any one spot was a function of whether
the connector in question is rated for multiple wires.
Granted that most of them aren't. It SHOULDN'T make
any difference whether the wires in question are
nuetrals, grounds. Either the connection
method is reliable for two wires, and specified that way,
or it's not. (I can see not wanting to mix nuetrals
and grounds, on the theory that the pair might come loose
from the buss, but not from each other. That would be bad.)
Likewise, breakers may or may not be rated for two wires
under the screw. I'd expect most not to be, and any that
are should be labled to say so. I'll confess that I can't
think of all that many reasons to WANT to put two wires
under one breaker.
The reason that some terminals in neutral buss bars are OK for two
Equipment Grounding Conductors (EGCs) but not two Grounded Current
Carrying Conductors (neutrals) is that since neutrals carry current
under normal operating conditions the two neutral conductors might well
be expanding and contracting at different times and to different
degrees. That would cause the connection to loosen over time. EGCs on
the other hand only carry current under fault conditions for a very
brief time so sharing a terminal that is listed for two conductors is
permissible for EGCs but not for neutrals.
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
I have been away and am just now reading the various posts on my
Thanks for your info. I don't know if my panel is a sub-panel of a
main-panel. You see, I live in a manufactured home that has a big
service panel inside the home that services everything within the
home. Then there is a second panel outside the home (on the side,
under the electric meter) that services mainly everything in a
separately built large garage. That box has a 200A main that, when
tripped, cuts off current to the other box in the house. That could
make this outside box a main service box, but if I didn't happen to
have a garage, then I guess the inside box would be the main.
Further, I had an electrician wire a porch addition I had done, and he
connected to the outside box. Further, I had another electrician
install a surge protector to protect my house, and he connected to the
same outside box.
All I wanted to do was add two 15A breakers to the outside box to
handle two new outlets I added - (1) for my porch window A/C and (2)
for my computers/printers. When I added the two breakers to the
outside box, it was then that I discovered the lack of sufficient buss
connections for the ground and neutral wires. I also discovered at
that time that the electricians I mentioned above had doubled up on
the bus connections for their work, and so, I assumed that I could
too. Now I see that is not entirely true, and since not true, I
thought I should add another buss to enable single wire connections on
all the busses. I have bought a buss, and #6 wire to connect it to
the present buss, and am waiting for news group comments before I
The outside box with the meter is the main service equipment. There
must be four wires in conduit feeding the inside box....2 hots, 1
neutral, and one equipment ground. The neutral and the equipment
ground must be separated in the inside panel. If you look under the
house where the inside box is located, you should also notice that
there is a solid bare copper wire that is attached to a lug that is
connected to the metal frame. That wire must also be connected to the
equipment grounding bar. Also your range and dryer, if electric, must
In the outside box, if you mounted the new equipment grounding busbar
to the metal cabinet via the factory mounting holes with the provided
machine screws, that should be sufficient. No harm in jumping over to
the existing busbar though.
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.