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Old 04-13-2013, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Funkotron, MA
1,204 posts, read 2,905,320 times
Reputation: 1793

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I installed a new 120v receptacle on its own circuit and ran the wires back to the main panel. I popped in the new circuit breaker, but connecting the neutral and ground wires were a problem. The neutral bus bar was full, I couldn't get another wire in any of the spaces.

The neutral bus bar has neutral and ground wires connected to it.

There was a small ground lug at the back of the panel with a few ground wires attached to that. Am I accomplishing the same thing (that's already happening in my circuit breaker panel) if I attach the new neutral and ground wire to this separate ground lug?

I would like to upgrade the panel eventually, but I just want to be sure this is safe until then.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:24 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,847 posts, read 57,851,863 times
Reputation: 29261
Quote:
Originally Posted by raveabouttoast View Post
I
The neutral bus bar has neutral and ground wires connected to it.
The neutral bus bar was full, I couldn't get another wire in any of the spaces.
Buy and install an **additional** N/G bar. Attach to that.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:48 PM
 
7,282 posts, read 8,382,550 times
Reputation: 11407
Quote:
Originally Posted by raveabouttoast View Post
I installed a new 120v receptacle on its own circuit and ran the wires back to the main panel. I popped in the new circuit breaker, but connecting the neutral and ground wires were a problem. The neutral bus bar was full, I couldn't get another wire in any of the spaces.

The neutral bus bar has neutral and ground wires connected to it.

There was a small ground lug at the back of the panel with a few ground wires attached to that. Am I accomplishing the same thing (that's already happening in my circuit breaker panel) if I attach the new neutral and ground wire to this separate ground lug?

I would like to upgrade the panel eventually, but I just want to be sure this is safe until then.
Hire an electrician before you kill yourself or someone else. Not kidding.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:51 PM
 
4,762 posts, read 10,228,445 times
Reputation: 7797
Apply for an electrical permit, then have the inspector come out and inspect your work.

You may be able to install two ground wires under one screw - or you may not be able to and will need to install an additional neutral or ground bar.

You can also read the label on the panel to see if it says anything about that. And/or call the panel manufacturer and ask. Be sure to have the panel model number handy.

It also depends on if the panel is a "subpanel" or "main panel".

Anyway to be SURE and to be SURE everything is safe, it is best to have your work inspected. It is probably only around $30 or so for a permit, then you get the expert advice of a very experienced electrician.

Maybe you are afraid they will find something "wrong"? Well that would be good if they did! Think about it...

Here is a bit on two wires under one screw...
Mike Holt Mike Holt Code Resources)
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Funkotron, MA
1,204 posts, read 2,905,320 times
Reputation: 1793
Thanks for the info. And don't worry, Mack Knife, I know that electricity is dangerous! I was fully comfortable wiring it up the standard way, but seeing this threw me off.

After doing more research, I think my panel needs to be upgraded sooner rather than later. There's several places on the bus bar with 3 wires under one screw and there's no room at all to add more circuits. I'll have an electrician replace it with a new box and up to code connections .
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,316,975 times
Reputation: 27696
I agree with the idea of upgrading and bringing it up to code, more from the point of view that if there WAS an electrical fire, your insurance wouldn't cover you than anything majorly egregious going on. In theory, bonding the neutral to the case would serve the same purpose - electrons don't care whether the metal they flow through is shaped like Gidget or Marilyn Monroe - but the case would be subject to corrosion and resistance from that, while the buss bar would not (as much).
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Funkotron, MA
1,204 posts, read 2,905,320 times
Reputation: 1793
That's kind of what I was thinking. Since ground and neutral are connected anyways, does it make a big difference where I connect the neutral wire.

It makes sense that the separate ground lug would be a less 'robust" connection than the neutral bus bar.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:57 PM
 
7,282 posts, read 8,382,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I agree with the idea of upgrading and bringing it up to code, more from the point of view that if there WAS an electrical fire, your insurance wouldn't cover you than anything majorly egregious going on. In theory, bonding the neutral to the case would serve the same purpose - electrons don't care whether the metal they flow through is shaped like Gidget or Marilyn Monroe - but the case would be subject to corrosion and resistance from that, while the buss bar would not (as much).
Most home owners insurance do cover not to code issues and the big names even offer add-ons to bring the home up to code in case of fire or other major calamity. That is why you have insurance, to cover things that happen. If insurance didn't cover not to code things, a majority of people with a house now wouldn't have any insurance coverage. A mistake in wiring is not negligence, it is a mistake, insurance covers it.

The reason is pretty simple. If you cut down a tree limb and it smashes your car, they are going to pay. It wouldn't matter that you were supposed to move the car or tie off the limb before cutting it. Performing an upgrade or repair and failing to follow code doesn't void insurance coverage, they have to pay. If someone got electrocuted because you wired something incorrectly, the liability portion of your homeowners policy has to pay.

The difference comes into play when talking about negligence. If you wire the circuit with the intention of electrocuting someone, that is a different story, they won't cover and you have lots of other things to worry about.

If your home owners policy wouldn't cover a mistake in a repair you performed, you have bad insurance, probably time for an upgrade.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,316,975 times
Reputation: 27696
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Most home owners insurance do cover not to code issues and the big names even offer add-ons to bring the home up to code in case of fire or other major calamity. That is why you have insurance, to cover things that happen. If insurance didn't cover not to code things, a majority of people with a house now wouldn't have any insurance coverage. A mistake in wiring is not negligence, it is a mistake, insurance covers it.

The reason is pretty simple. If you cut down a tree limb and it smashes your car, they are going to pay. It wouldn't matter that you were supposed to move the car or tie off the limb before cutting it. Performing an upgrade or repair and failing to follow code doesn't void insurance coverage, they have to pay. If someone got electrocuted because you wired something incorrectly, the liability portion of your homeowners policy has to pay.

The difference comes into play when talking about negligence. If you wire the circuit with the intention of electrocuting someone, that is a different story, they won't cover and you have lots of other things to worry about.

If your home owners policy wouldn't cover a mistake in a repair you performed, you have bad insurance, probably time for an upgrade.
You really don't understand insurance, as it exists today, do you? The concept is to take in as much in premiums as possible, and pay out as little in claims as possible. Thirty years ago, what you suggest would have been real. Not now. Caveat emptor. Since the OP will be getting the job done correctly, it is a moot point for now. Just be forewarned.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:00 PM
 
10,702 posts, read 20,126,250 times
Reputation: 9859
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
You really don't understand insurance, as it exists today, do you? The concept is to take in as much in premiums as possible, and pay out as little in claims as possible. Thirty years ago, what you suggest would have been real. Not now. Caveat emptor. Since the OP will be getting the job done correctly, it is a moot point for now. Just be forewarned.
You are incorrect.

Homeowner B could have purchased a home from Homeowner A with pre-existing not to code issues.

There is no way a legit insurance company will deny the claim.
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