Ground/Neutral Bus Bar


D

Dan Baker

Hello all,
I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction. I want to
add a circuit to my home but my breaker box does not have enough holes in
the Ground/Neutral bus bar to accomodate the circuit. I have room for 5 more
breakers but due to a design in the box, a number of holes in the bar are
not able to be used. I bought a ground bar extention, and it says I can put
2 #12's per hole, but when I asked people about using 2 wires per hole in my
existing box (new square D) that uses the same size bar/holes, you would
think I commited heresy!
Something just does not seem to add up!?
I realize that one wire per hole would be the ideal, but they all connect
via the bar itself, but is this a safety issue? Any code number to back this
up?

TIA

Dan
 
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PrecisionMachinisT

Dan Baker said:
Hello all,
I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction. I want to
add a circuit to my home but my breaker box does not have enough holes in
the Ground/Neutral bus bar to accomodate the circuit. I have room for 5 more
breakers but due to a design in the box, a number of holes in the bar are
not able to be used. I bought a ground bar extention, and it says I can put
2 #12's per hole, but when I asked people about using 2 wires per hole in my
existing box (new square D) that uses the same size bar/holes, you would
think I commited heresy!
Something just does not seem to add up!?
I realize that one wire per hole would be the ideal, but they all connect
via the bar itself, but is this a safety issue? Any code number to back this
up?
Suggest ( unless someone comes in that is more familiar with code than I, or
can point to a reasonable explanation of why not ), to go ahead and double
up some of the neutral wires on the buss........

Note that you shouldnt mix wires of different gage within the same lug
terminal, nor should you mix stranded wire with solid.

However, I would definately advise against any doubling up of the bare
ground wires.
 
Z

zxcvbob

Dan said:
Hello all,
I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction. I want to
add a circuit to my home but my breaker box does not have enough holes in
the Ground/Neutral bus bar to accomodate the circuit. I have room for 5 more
breakers but due to a design in the box, a number of holes in the bar are
not able to be used. I bought a ground bar extention, and it says I can put
2 #12's per hole, but when I asked people about using 2 wires per hole in my
existing box (new square D) that uses the same size bar/holes, you would
think I commited heresy!
Something just does not seem to add up!?
I realize that one wire per hole would be the ideal, but they all connect
via the bar itself, but is this a safety issue? Any code number to back this
up?

TIA

Dan

If the bar is listed for 2 wires per hole, then go ahead and use it that
way -- but I would not put both a white wire and a bare/green wire in
the same hole (especially for the same circuit.)

If the existing bar doesn't say you can connect 2 wires per hole, assume
that it can only take one wire, even if it looks exactly the same as the
new extension.

If you run out of grounds, you might also put a split-bolt connector on
the *big* bare ground wire that comes into the box. Connect several of
your small circuit ground wires to it -- freeing up holes in the ground bar.

Bob
 
P

PrecisionMachinisT

Toller said:
Well, the way I see it, this is because if a neutral connection fails, the
connected load simply fails to operate properly and will likely trip a
breaker due to voltage drop at the bad terminal, with any risk of fire from
heating at the bad connection will be contained within the breaker box.....

Now in the event of a failed ground connection, this becomes a safety
issue--as it creates an electric shock hazard if a short to ground develops
on the connected load.

Of course preferred method would be to install a complete new distribution
panel, or at least a second one next to the old, subfed from a large breaker
installed in the existing one......
 
T

Toller

If the bar is listed for 2 wires per hole, then go ahead and use it that
way -- but I would not put both a white wire and a bare/green wire in
the same hole (especially for the same circuit.)
I suppose you wouldn't want to put both from one circuit, but why not from
different circuits?
 
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Z

zxcvbob

Toller said:
I suppose you wouldn't want to put both from one circuit, but why not from
different circuits?
If the screw holding them both somehow comes loose, the ground wire
could be energized by the neutral wire -- they will still be touching
and presumably both lose connection to the panel at the same time.

It's kind of a contrived problem, but 2 wires in one hole is unnatural
anyway.

Also, I don't think a neutral wire should be connected to an add-on
ground bar because you don't really want the steel mounting screws to be
carrying current all the time. The neutral bar is connected directly to
the big white supply wires, the ground bar is not.

Bob

Best regards,
Bob
 
I

I-zheet M'drurz

Dan said:
... I bought a ground bar extention, and it says I can put 2
#12's per hole, but when I asked people about using 2 wires per
hole in my existing box (new square D) that uses the same size
bar/holes, you would think I commited heresy!
These people exist only to scare the crap out of unsuspecting
homeowners like yourself. They always have this wild story
ready about your screws suddenly flying loose all by themselves,
and the wires just JUMPING out of the holes, all by themselves,
and well, I'm sure you see the picture. Two questions for you:

1) Do you know how to -properly- run wires inside of a box???

Hint: the answer has to do with routing the wire so that it
can't really go anywhere else *but* in the hole. This is done
by your sizing and bending.

2) Do you know how to tighten down a set screw and then test that
your wires are not going to pull out? No real hints on this
one, sorry <g>

If you can answer "yes" to both of those questions, then I suggest
you trust your instincts and ignore the doomsayers. When their
earthquake comes (the only thing that will rip your properly
installed wires from their holes) then I dare suggest you are
going to have some other problems to deal with, like maybe the
entire power grid being destroyed.

At the very least, use the new extension holes for two wires each,
just as it is labeled. Every new circuit I've wired for the last
30 years I've put the ground and neutral for that circuit in the
same hole, and at last count (OK, so this isn't earthquake
country) they are all working just fine. But then again, I know
how to tighten down a set screw and to size and bend two wires
so they fall into the hole just about all by themselves.
 
I

I-zheet M'drurz

Please ignore any such advice. There are very good reasons
for the way the code is written. Failure to follow it not
only increases you chances for disaster
(getting out of bed in the morning "increases you chances for
disaster")
but it also may mean your insurance will be denied if you do
have a problem. Of course if you don't wake up you won't notice.
Don't risk it.
There ya go. "Doomsayer 101". Folks like this believe that
wires just up and loosen their set screws so they can jump out
of the holes and burn your house down. It's disgustingly
condescending, don't you think?, to be talked to like a child?
Reminds you of the tease for your local newscasts during
ratings sweeps weeks: "Next at 11, TEN THINGS around
YOUR HOUSE that could KILL YOU!"

Fear sells. Don't buy it.
 
D

DaveG

Dan Baker said:
Hello all,
I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction. I want to
add a circuit to my home but my breaker box does not have enough holes in
the Ground/Neutral bus bar to accomodate the circuit. I have room for 5 more
breakers but due to a design in the box, a number of holes in the bar are
not able to be used. I bought a ground bar extention, and it says I can put
2 #12's per hole, but when I asked people about using 2 wires per hole in my
existing box (new square D) that uses the same size bar/holes, you would
think I commited heresy!
Something just does not seem to add up!?
I realize that one wire per hole would be the ideal, but they all connect
via the bar itself, but is this a safety issue? Any code number to back this
up?

TIA

Dan

If I recall, you can double up on the grounds, having two per hole, but
only one neutral per hole is allowed per the NEC. Check out
www.homewiringandmore.com if you want more details.
Dave
 
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PrecisionMachinisT

DaveG said:
in
only one neutral per hole is allowed per the NEC. Check out
www.homewiringandmore.com if you want more details.
Dave
http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:...+grounding+per+terminal+conductors+code&hl=en

[

NEC 110-14(a) of the states in part that: "Terminals for more than one
conductor and terminals used to connectaluminum shall be so identified." NEC
110-3(b) requires that: "Listed or labeled equipment shall be
installed,used, or both, in accordance with any instructions included in the
listing or labeling." The listing and labeling ofterminals includes the
conductor size, the number of conductors, and any combinations of conductors
that areallowed to terminate in a single lug. This information may be marked
directly on the terminal or may be included inmanufacturer's information
located on the equipment, such as a panelboard label.The instructions in a
panelboard may allow multiple wire terminations on a neutral bar terminal.
However, mostpanelboard manufacturers only allow multiple equipment
grounding conductors in a single terminal. Groundedcircuit (neutral)
conductors are usually limited to one wire per terminal. Most grounded
branch circuit (neutral)conductors carry the full circuit current while the
circuit is in use. The regular heating and cooling effects ofvariations in
branch circuit current flow cause expansion and contraction of the
conductors and can cause doubled-upneutral terminations to loosen in the
lug. Equipment grounding conductors do not carry any current during
normalbranch circuit operation. The installer must read the manufacturer's
installation instructions included with apanelboard to determine if the
terminals are approved for multiple neutral conductors and/or multiple
equipmentgrounding conductors.

]
 
I

I-zheet M'drurz

PrecisionMachinisT said:
http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:QqPQFX60BdcJ:www.lni.wa.gov/Tr
adesLicensing/Electrical/files/currents/elc99-1.pdf+grounding+per
+terminal+conductors+code&hl=en
NEC 110-14(a) of the states in part that: "Terminals for more
than one conductor and terminals used to connectaluminum shall
be so identified." NEC 110-3(b) requires that: "Listed or
labeled equipment shall be installed,used, or both, in
accordance with any instructions included in the listing or
labeling." The listing and labeling ofterminals includes the
conductor size, the number of conductors, and any combinations
of conductors that areallowed to terminate in a single lug. This
information may be marked directly on the terminal or may be
included inmanufacturer's information located on the equipment,
such as a panelboard label.The instructions in a panelboard may
allow multiple wire terminations on a neutral bar terminal.
However, mostpanelboard manufacturers only allow multiple
equipment grounding conductors in a single terminal.
Groundedcircuit (neutral) conductors are usually limited to one
wire per terminal. Most grounded branch circuit
(neutral)conductors carry the full circuit current while the
circuit is in use. The regular heating and cooling effects
ofvariations in branch circuit current flow cause expansion and
contraction of the conductors and can cause doubled-upneutral
terminations to loosen in the lug. Equipment grounding
conductors do not carry any current during normalbranch circuit
operation. The installer must read the manufacturer's
installation instructions included with apanelboard to determine
if the terminals are approved for multiple neutral conductors
and/or multiple equipmentgrounding conductors.
Exactly. 2 Neutrals in one hole = no good.
But 1 Neutral and 1 Ground in one hole does not violate the code.

That's the way *America* wires, it's not just me. Any other
reasoning is just the DOOMsayers peddling their false fears.
 
V

volts500

Probably what he purchased was an "equipment grounding bar". Two equipment
grounding conductors (bare or green wires) would be permitted to be
terminated under one screw in that case. The neutral (white) wires need to
be terminated with only _one_ wire per screw. Also, if he takes a closer
look at the existing neutral bar he should be able to find a way to use the
holes that he says are inaccessible.

These people exist only to scare the crap out of unsuspecting
homeowners like yourself.

No, "I-Shit-fer-brains", the majority of us in this NG try to get the
correct info to folks so they can make safe electrical installations.
Whether or not those folks heed that advice is _their_ business, but at
least they have the correct info. GET IT?

They always have this wild story
ready about your screws suddenly flying loose all by themselves,
and the wires just JUMPING out of the holes, all by themselves,
and well, I'm sure you see the picture.

Now you're just showing your usual ignorance. The wires don't have to "jump
out of the holes" to cause a problem. A loose connection is enough to cause
problems. I believe others have covered the reasons why a neutral wire
needs to be terminated by itself, besides, discussing _anything_ electrical
with you is a waste of time.

Two questions for you:

1) Do you know how to -properly- run wires inside of a box???

Hint: the answer has to do with routing the wire so that it
can't really go anywhere else *but* in the hole. This is done
by your sizing and bending.

Geez, what a moron.

2) Do you know how to tighten down a set screw and then test that
your wires are not going to pull out? No real hints on this
one, sorry <g>

Well, that pretty much rules out any discussion of torque limiting
screwdrivers or wrenches.

If you can answer "yes" to both of those questions, then I suggest
you trust your instincts and ignore the doomsayers.

That's why this is your theme song Tomi Boy: http://firesafety.buffnet.net/
and, unfortunately, anyone taking your electrical advice will most likely
hear it too.

When their
earthquake comes (the only thing that will rip your properly
installed wires from their holes) then I dare suggest you are
going to have some other problems to deal with, like maybe the
entire power grid being destroyed.
Now THAT's the "Mr. Practical", Tom Pendergast who we know sooooooooooo
well, practically stupid, that is.
At the very least, use the new extension holes for two wires each,
just as it is labeled. Every new circuit I've wired for the last
30 years I've put the ground and neutral for that circuit in the
same hole, and at last count (OK, so this isn't earthquake
country) they are all working just fine.

That's funny, just SIX MONTHS AGO you tried to claim that you had 20 years
in the trade (snicker). Why are you trying to come off like you're an Old
Salt? We all know that you are a self-appointed internet armchair
lesstrician who took a Sally Struthers "get your degree" electronics course
20 years ago, found your electrician's license in a box of CrackerJack, and
somehow arrived at the conclusion that you are actually a bonafide
electrician. I'd give you a week doing real electrical work before you
either seriously injured/killed yourself/others doing some stupid shit or
got pummeled by other electricians after you repeatedly endangered their
lives.

But then again, I know
how to tighten down a set screw and to size and bend two wires
so they fall into the hole just about all by themselves.
Using your weenie electronics tools? BRAHAHAHAHAHAHA. YOU'RE A HACK TOMI
BOY. SSDD with you Tom "Firebug" Pendergast.
 
I

I-zheet M'drurz

volts500 said:
No, "I-Shit-fer-brains", the majority of us (snip)
Now you're just showing your usual ignorance. The wires (snip)
Now THAT's the "Mr. Practical", Tom Pendergast who we know
sooooooooooo well, practically stupid, that is. (snip)
That's funny, just SIX MONTHS AGO you tried to claim that you
had 20 years in the trade (snicker).
I don't think so, dickdrip. I'm not "in the trade", never said
that I was. Nice try, Junior.
... We all know that you are a
self-appointed internet armchair lesstrician who took a Sally
Struthers "get your degree" electronics course 20 years ago,
found your electrician's license in a box of CrackerJack, and (snip)
Using your weenie electronics tools? BRAHAHAHAHAHAHA. YOU'RE A
HACK TOMI BOY. SSDD with you Tom "Firebug" Pendergast.

Meet half-volt, my pet. I *own* him.

Pay him no mind, he is not the brightest bulb in the string.
 
T

Tekkie

I-zheet M'drurz posted for all of us....
Exactly. 2 Neutrals in one hole = no good.
But 1 Neutral and 1 Ground in one hole does not violate the code.
But that article says that it does. 2 GROUNDS are permitted.
That's the way *America* wires, it's not just me. Any other
reasoning is just the DOOMsayers peddling their false fears.
Well, you don't help with misinformation...
 
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PrecisionMachinisT

Tekkie said:
I-zheet M'drurz posted for all of us....


But that article says that it does. 2 GROUNDS are permitted.
Well, you don't help with misinformation...
Bingo!!!

Different expansion rate on paired neutral conductors due to unequal current
loading.

Grounds carry no current under normal conditions.........
 
I

I-zheet M'drurz

No, it doesn't SAY that, it SAYS that 2 neutrals are NOT
permitted. You want to nitpick over code wording, prepare to
be hoisted on your own petard.
Bingo!!!

Different expansion rate on paired neutral conductors due to
unequal current loading.
Grounds carry no current under normal conditions.........
So if you have 1 ground and 1 neutral in a hole, there is only
one wire subject to "expansion", the ground wire in inert, it is
"part of the furniture", for all intents and purposes it is
doing absolutely *NOTHING* as far as effecting the physical
makeup of the connection. A ground and neutral in the same
hole *W O R K S*.

HTH.
 
O

Oscar_Lives

I-zheet M'drurz said:
No, it doesn't SAY that, it SAYS that 2 neutrals are NOT
permitted. You want to nitpick over code wording, prepare to
be hoisted on your own petard.



So if you have 1 ground and 1 neutral in a hole, there is only
one wire subject to "expansion", the ground wire in inert, it is
"part of the furniture", for all intents and purposes it is
doing absolutely *NOTHING* as far as effecting the physical
makeup of the connection. A ground and neutral in the same
hole *W O R K S*.

HTH.

Sticking two of them in one hole works, but the hole better be pretty big,
or at least lick it first so it slides in easier.
 
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PrecisionMachinisT

I-zheet M'drurz said:
No, it doesn't SAY that, it SAYS that 2 neutrals are NOT
permitted. You want to nitpick over code wording, prepare to
be hoisted on your own petard.



So if you have 1 ground and 1 neutral in a hole, there is only
one wire subject to "expansion", the ground wire in inert, it is
"part of the furniture", for all intents and purposes it is
doing absolutely *NOTHING* as far as effecting the physical
makeup of the connection. A ground and neutral in the same
hole *W O R K S*.
And you are a moron......

**** you and the lame goat you rode in on.

I asked for info to dispute my original opinion....and lacking other input,
came up with info contrary to my original viewpoint, on my own.....

And the idiot that you seem to be, continues in arguing towards my original
position.....

Go figure.....

Dumbshit is all *I* come up with.....sorry, folks...IMO. its best to simply
ignore *this* particular dude.....
 

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