dcsimg
Self Help Forums

Go Back   Self Help Forums > Repair > Electrical - Existing Home
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Today's Posts

Electrical - Existing Home Electrical Repair / Remodeling Ideas / Problem Solving Solutions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   IP: 151.200.140.162
Old February 26th, 2006, 05:43 PM
jsmall's Avatar
jsmall jsmall is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Back in Maine at last! Chelsea to be exact.
Posts: 105
Default adding a neutral/ground bar to panel

I am out of space on the netural/ground bars in my panel. I have attached a photo. There appears to be a space to attach a second bar on the left side of the panel. Is it as simple as shutting off the main breaker and screwing in an additional bar? They sell them at Lowes for about 5 bucks and I'd like to do this myself if possible.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	panel2.jpg
Views:	111
Size:	73.2 KB
ID:	1154  
Reply With Quote
  #2   IP: 24.16.225.236
Old February 26th, 2006, 08:59 PM
suemarkp suemarkp is offline
Super Moderator

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Kent, WA
Posts: 8,264
Default

I believe Square D allows up to 3 groundING conductors under one screw -- these are the green or bare wires. The white ones must be one wire one screw.

The limitation on the tripled up grounds is they must be the same material (aluminum or copper), same size (14, 12, 10), same stranding (solid, stranded), and no larger than #10.

I can't see you panel well enough, bit I think you can triple some up. Worst case, you could move some grounds to an accessory grounding bar bolted to the panel. You can trust the panel steel to connect it to the others, or waste one slot in each bus for a #6 or #4 wire to interconnect them.
__________________
Mark
Kent, WA
Reply With Quote
  #3   IP: 204.210.138.168
Old February 27th, 2006, 04:10 AM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Speedy Petey Speedy Petey is offline
Senior Member with Distinction
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NY State
Posts: 906
Default

Gotta love Square D QO. Considered by many to be some of the best breakers out there...with the stupidest ground/neutral bar setup!

Do what Mark said. Sq D does allow for easy adding of bars by providing the correct hole for new bars. Be sure to use ONLY Square D bars.
If you only have to add a couple of grounds/neutrals I'd simply double or triple up on some existing grounds.
Reply With Quote
  #4   IP: 128.183.105.136
Old February 27th, 2006, 08:18 AM
jsmall's Avatar
jsmall jsmall is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Back in Maine at last! Chelsea to be exact.
Posts: 105
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by suemarkp
I believe Square D allows up to 3 groundING conductors under one screw -- these are the green or bare wires. The white ones must be one wire one screw.
On the Square D web site it says max of 2 #14 or #12 per screw. I don't think this is going to be enough unless I terminate some neutrals on opposite side of the panel from where they come in. This sounds like it would be difficult and it would look pretty messy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suemarkp
Worst case, you could move some grounds to an accessory grounding bar bolted to the panel. You can trust the panel steel to connect it to the others, or waste one slot in each bus for a #6 or #4 wire to interconnect them.
OK just so I am clear - the grounding bar is identical to the ones already in the panel (1 left and 2 right), and it screws into the existing holes. Could it be used for neutrals too, or only for grounds? If I did interconnect how exactly would I do that? Pigtail from existing ground bar to new ground bar?

Sorry these are probably dumb questions, but I really want to get this right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
Gotta love Square D QO. Considered by many to be some of the best breakers out there...with the stupidest ground/neutral bar setup!
How is it done in other panels? I thought it was weird that the neutrals and grounds need to be bent back up around to the top, it would be more convenient to have them right next to the breaker area.

Thanks for the replies.
Reply With Quote
  #5   IP: 136.1.1.101
Old February 27th, 2006, 09:33 AM
Roger's Avatar
Roger Roger is offline
Senior Member 'Self Help Master with Distinction'
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,645
Default

Quote:
OK just so I am clear - the grounding bar is identical to the ones already in the panel (1 left and 2 right), and it screws into the existing holes. Could it be used for neutrals too, or only for grounds? If I did interconnect how exactly would I do that? Pigtail from existing ground bar to new ground bar?
Yes you can use it for neutrals also. In the main panel both the neutral and grounds are bonded. That metal strap that the bars screw into runs between the grounding/neutral busses and bonds them and bonds them to the incoming service neutral.

Quote:
Sorry these are probably dumb questions, but I really want to get this right.
Not really, these are very important things to know and its worth getting them right.

Quote:
How is it done in other panels?
Every manufacturer has its own design. Some are similar some arent.

Word of safety....The metal lugs that the two big black service entrance wires connect to on the main breaker are always hot....even with the main breaker turned off. Do not contact them with your tools or hands. Stand on a non conductive surface when you are working in the panel.
Reply With Quote
  #6   IP: 128.183.105.136
Old February 27th, 2006, 09:49 AM
jsmall's Avatar
jsmall jsmall is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Back in Maine at last! Chelsea to be exact.
Posts: 105
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger
Yes you can use it for neutrals also. In the main panel both the neutral and grounds are bonded. That metal strap that the bars screw into runs between the grounding/neutral busses and bonds them and bonds them to the incoming service neutral.
OK, so if I mount a new ground bar with the included screws, does that mean that I have made a connection to the metal strap and the new bar is now bonded to the others? Or do I have to use a pigtail to physically connect it to one of the existing ground bars?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger
Word of safety....The metal lugs that the two big black service entrance wires connect to on the main breaker are always hot....even with the main breaker turned off. Do not contact them with your tools or hands. Stand on a non conductive surface when you are working in the panel.
This I did already know. It's still a little freaky to me to work in the panel just inches away from those lugs. I just go really SLOW and concentrate on what I am doing. The worst part for me is bringing new branch circuits into the panel and feeding the wire from the top past those lugs. It takes me FOREVER because I'm being so careful around those lugs. I've already added a bunch of new circuits (I believe 7 or so) to take care of a serious overloading problem I had when I purchased the house. I've got about half of the house left to go and the old wiring will be completely replaced and up to code. I might just live long enough to finish
Reply With Quote
  #7   IP: 136.1.1.101
Old February 27th, 2006, 10:02 AM
Roger's Avatar
Roger Roger is offline
Senior Member 'Self Help Master with Distinction'
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,645
Default

Quote:
OK, so if I mount a new ground bar with the included screws, does that mean that I have made a connection to the metal strap and the new bar is now bonded to the others?
Yes

Quote:
Or do I have to use a pigtail to physically connect it to one of the existing ground bars?
NO
Reply With Quote
  #8   IP: 128.183.105.136
Old February 27th, 2006, 10:11 AM
jsmall's Avatar
jsmall jsmall is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Back in Maine at last! Chelsea to be exact.
Posts: 105
Default

Thanks Roger! And thanks to the others who replied too. I'll get the new ground bar in this weekend, hopefully.
Reply With Quote
Reply






Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2002 - QuinStreet, Inc.
http://www.selfhelpforums.com