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  • Svc. Panel Question

    Is it ever OK to put more than one wire per hole in neutral bar? I am running out of spaces and wondering if could put bare ground wire and white neutral wire from same circuit in one hole. Talking about 15 & 20 amp single breaker circuits only. OR do I have to add a neutral buss bar? Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Svc. Panel Question

    Don't know the answer to your Q as far as being legal or not, but I can tell you that I had a big problem caused by different size neutrals landed under the same screw in the house I'm in now when we first bought it.

    I've told this story before on the forum so you'll get the short version.

    Had intermittent problems with the dedicated outlet for the washer in the laundry room. Sometime it would work and other times not. During the same time period but not always when the problem with the outlet surfaced we had an occasional buzzing sound in the house intercom system.

    When I got it tracked down turned out to be caused by different size neutrals landed under the same lug on the neutral bar, a #12 and a #14. The screw was clamped down on the heavier wire, which left the #14 slightly loose. Seems the wire would make intermittent contact and drove us nuts for a time. Once I found it and moved the one wire to its own spot on the bar the problem went away and the intercom was back to normal.
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    • #3
      Re: Svc. Panel Question

      If you have a name brand breaker panel, I would look into getting a grounding bar for the ground wires and install it. It's held in place by 1 or in most cases 2 screws and mounts directly to the the steel case. If you look most likely you'll see the drilled and tapped holes for mounting it in place. Most larger panels are setup for 2 grounding bars. You really don't want neutral and ground wires mixed even though in most cases (if the panel is your service entrance and not a sub panel) the neutral is bonded (connected) to ground (the case) with a bonding screw.

      This is all simpler than it may seem reading it.

      Picture is of a grounding bar. Some have mounting holes in each end. You need to measure the distance for the mounting screws. If you have a popular brand of breaker panel, you should be able to get the correct grounding bar(s) from a good electrical supply house. Take the brand and exact model info with you so they can look up which part number you need.

      If this is confusing, you might really want to call in an electrician as you must get things right or they won't be safe.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by Woussko; 01-04-2008, 01:02 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Svc. Panel Question

        It's not allowed. You can only have one wire per hole in the bar.

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        • #5
          Re: Svc. Panel Question

          OK - Thanks. It IS my main panel & I will get an add on bar.

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          • #6
            Re: Svc. Panel Question

            You can have multiple ground wires in 1 slot. You can only have 1 neutral wire per slot though. Hence the reason why all new panels have more slots then previous panels. This has been code since '04. As recomended above go to your local electric supply house and purchase another one. No don't do that now that I'm thinking about it, have a experienced electrician do it.

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            • #7
              Re: Svc. Panel Question

              It is not OK. It falls under manufactures instructions. The lugs are made for one wire only, be it; ground, neutral, hot. There are lugs made for more than wire but they are stamped for it, but you probably never see it in a residential panel.

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              • #8
                Re: Svc. Panel Question

                One other note. There was not any changes to the NEC in 04.

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                • #9
                  Re: Svc. Panel Question

                  Ahh the joys of some know it all thinking just that, that they know it all. The code changes daily, they don't publish a new book though each time. I get normally 8 different changes each month. Obviously your not a member of the NFPA, so with saying that you have no idea what your talking about. Damn people buying there "How to Wire" books at Home Depot.

                  Oh well, the exact reason I rarely post in this place. Mainly because noone can back up who they are and what their spouting off about.

                  EDIT- Before you come back in here and say something else stupid and get yourself a free ban for trolling let's /END THREAD.
                  Last edited by swoosh81; 01-05-2008, 09:49 AM.

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