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Electrical Code - USA Commercial or Residential 1999 / 2002 / 2005 versions - for UNITED STATES

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  #1   IP: 216.240.27.23
Old August 15th, 2006, 11:51 AM
fradish fradish is offline
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Question Number of wires under one screw in a grounding bus

Inside of a breaker panel, how many ground wires can I secure under
a single screw in the ground bus? I'm running out of available
screws in the bus and wondered if I can put more than one ground
wire under a single screw (some are obviously for large gauge wire
and PHYSICALLY I could fit several #12 ground wires under a single
screw).

If more than one wire is permissible, what is the proper way to do this?
Twist the wires together then secure the under a single screw? Or would
I need to create a pigtail with a wire of a larger gauge and then put that
single wire under the screw (i.e. maybe join 2 #12 grounds to 1 #8 and
then secure the #8 under the screw?)

If none of this is permissible, can I somehow install an additional or
longer grounding bus?
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  #2   IP: 130.127.63.136
Old August 15th, 2006, 12:48 PM
househelper househelper is offline
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Most panel manufacturers allow for multiple gound wires under the same screw. It should be stated somewhere inside the panel door. Typically, 2-3 of the same gauge is OK. I do not like to twist them together because if you ever have to remove one of them, it becomes a PITA.
Note: you should not place more than one neutral wire under a single screw. The above is just for ground wires.
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  #3   IP: 68.83.39.106
Old August 15th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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mdshunk mdshunk is offline
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You can always bolt in an additional ground bar. Often, by the time you realize that you could use another ground bar, the panel is too crowded with conductors to make this a reasonable thing to do.
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  #4   IP: 24.41.52.42
Old August 18th, 2006, 07:05 PM
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Ohm1 Ohm1 is offline
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Quote:
I do not like to twist
Great to hear this! I see this practice often. It makes way for a good look, but it shows no consideration for the next person!
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  #5   IP: 68.83.39.106
Old August 18th, 2006, 07:09 PM
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Yeah, after you've got the basic electrical skills worked out, most of the battle is making your work easy and simple for the next guy to work on. Little thing, such as writing on blank junction box covers as to what circuit is inside and not twisting ground bundles together in the panel go a long way towards not screwing the next guy. Also, use the panel knockouts in the back row first, and use the ground/neutral screws in the back row first. Preserve the easy to get at front row for the next guy.
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  #6   IP: 24.41.52.42
Old August 18th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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U can have a good looking panel without twisting! It's a stupid practice regardless.
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  #7   IP: 72.72.215.176
Old August 18th, 2006, 09:07 PM
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Piper Piper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdshunk View Post
Yeah, after you've got the basic electrical skills worked out, most of the battle is making your work easy and simple for the next guy to work on. Little thing, such as writing on blank junction box covers as to what circuit is inside and not twisting ground bundles together in the panel go a long way towards not screwing the next guy. Also, use the panel knockouts in the back row first, and use the ground/neutral screws in the back row first. Preserve the easy to get at front row for the next guy.
You made my day. I'm the guy that comes in after and all the good spots are used up and the wires look like spaghetti crammed into the panel. The water heater behind the furnace and the furnace they built the house around, the sewer cleanout under the hedges, the main water valve inside a wall in a room full of junk. Thanks for being so unselfish and thinking ahead.
God Bless you,
Piper
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