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    Neutral wires in panel

    Hello - what options are you giving customers when they are selling their house and the inspector says that their are multiple neutral wires under each screw? if you add another ground bar I remember reading that you can only use it for ground wires - is that true? Or do you just do a sub panel or replace the whole box? Thanks

    #2
    Duke, it depends on how you mount and connect the bar.

    Only grounds can land on a bar whose only connection to the neutral is through the metal of the enclosure. You can connect it to the neutral through a conductor, but it should be insulated from the enclosure unless it's the service-disconnect enclosure.
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

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      #3
      Pig tail a group of grounds to free up screws for neutrals.

      Sent from my RCT6213W22 using Tapatalk

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        #4
        Larry - what size conductor would you use?

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          #5
          Originally posted by rjniles View Post
          Pig tail a group of grounds to free up screws for neutrals.

          Sent from my RCT6213W22 using Tapatalk
          Or land two or even three grounds in a terminal if they are rated for it. Many are rated for 2 - #14 or 2 - #12, some even rated for 3 conductors. You just can't land more than one grounded (neutral) conductor in a terminal per NEC 408.41.
          I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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            #6
            Originally posted by John Wayne View Post
            Larry - what size conductor would you use?
            For jumper to an additional terminal bar?
            Absolute minimum probably should be no smaller than the EGC that would correspond to largest overcurrent device it may need to be able to carry fault current for - so probably using the main breaker and T250.122, but also needs to be large enough to handle maximum load current it may be subjected to. Figure it similar to how you might figure neutral to a sub panel in accordance with the neutral loads you have landed on that second bar.
            I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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              #7
              Isn't that OK with most ground/neutral bars, so long as the wires are the same size & material?

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                #8
                Originally posted by drcampbell View Post
                Isn't that OK with most ground/neutral bars, so long as the wires are the same size & material?
                Only for EGCs, see 408.41 already quoted above.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by kwired View Post
                  For jumper to an additional terminal bar?
                  Absolute minimum probably should be no smaller than the EGC that would correspond to largest overcurrent device it may need to be able to carry fault current for - so probably using the main breaker and T250.122, but also needs to be large enough to handle maximum load current it may be subjected to. Figure it similar to how you might figure neutral to a sub panel in accordance with the neutral loads you have landed on that second bar.
                  In other words, for EGCs, the pigtail doesn't need to be larger than the largest EGC you're pigtailing.

                  ....

                  One time I was dealing with a poor quality neutral bar and the last couple set screws stripped out. I had a three position polaris on truck so I pigtailed it with an 8awg to make the terminals I needed. AFAIK that didn't violate code as long as the pigtail carried the calculated load for the two circuits connected.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by John Wayne View Post
                    Larry - what size conductor would you use?
                    Some may argue that it should be as large as the feeder neutral, but it really depends on the maximum unbalanced neutral current, partially controlled by how well you happen to do in selecting which neutrals to relocate. I'd say a #6 would probably do, a #2 would be surer.

                    Another solution, if you have both neutrals and EGCs on the existing bus, is to mount a bar or two directly to the enclosure and relocate only EGCs, which can use the enclosure as their pathway, leaving the neutral bus for just neutrals.
                    Master Electrician
                    Electrical Contractor
                    Richmond, VA

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                      #11
                      Thanks everyone

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by John Wayne View Post
                        Hello - what options are you giving customers when they are selling their house and the inspector says that their are multiple neutral wires under each screw? if you add another ground bar I remember reading that you can only use it for ground wires - is that true? Or do you just do a sub panel or replace the whole box? Thanks
                        What code cycle was in effect when the house was built?

                        Roger
                        Moderator

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by roger View Post
                          What code cycle was in effect when the house was built?

                          Roger
                          IIRC most if not all panels had instructions that typical branch neutral terminals were for one "neutral" conductor per lug but were often rated for more than one conductor for grounding conductors. May even been part of listing requirements. But it was discovered more recently (well maybe 10-15 years ago now) that those instructions weren't always being followed and the reason why NEC added language requiring this.
                          I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by kwired View Post
                            IIRC most if not all panels had instructions that typical branch neutral terminals were for one "neutral" conductor per lug but were often rated for more than one conductor for grounding conductors. May even been part of listing requirements. But it was discovered more recently (well maybe 10-15 years ago now) that those instructions weren't always being followed and the reason why NEC added language requiring this.
                            Here's a homework assignment for you, what year did it first show up in the NEC.

                            If the HI was trying to say that it was a listing issue he needs to say that and back it up.

                            Roger
                            Moderator

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                              #15
                              The house was built in 1989.

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