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
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
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.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
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.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
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.
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
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.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
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.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
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
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
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.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
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
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
The house was built in 1989.
At that time there was no NEC requirement for only one neutral per terminal however, if there is any information in the panel enclosure or on the cover it would apply.

Roger
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
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
Well a HI doesn't really need to back anything up, his job is to write a report of things that may need attention, and owner or purchaser needs to go to an expert to get further information about how to handle what was reported. HI has no authority in forcing any changes to installations, but once they bring something up, some owners owners and or potential purchasers tend to think they must act on any deficiencies reported, when in reality it is just a tool to point out things that need attention and can be used as a way of making agreement on a purchase price, even if none of the suggested deficiencies never get any kind of remedy.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Well a HI doesn't really need to back anything up, his job is to write a report of things that may need attention, and owner or purchaser needs to go to an expert to get further information about how to handle what was reported. HI has no authority in forcing any changes to installations, but once they bring something up, some owners owners and or potential purchasers tend to think they must act on any deficiencies reported, when in reality it is just a tool to point out things that need attention and can be used as a way of making agreement on a purchase price, even if none of the suggested deficiencies never get any kind of remedy.
Okay Capt Obvious, but what about the homework?

Roger
 
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