Could not find a bonding strap or screw. My ? however is, if the SEG is in contact with the panel, isn’t that the same as a strap? The SEG is taking any stray electricity that may be hot on the panel back to ground, correct.


Hi Gary,

no that would not be acceptable, there must be a proper mechanical connection.



In a lot of those older panels the bond was not so obvious. Green screws and external straps/bars were not always used.
The bond could be that straight blade screw right above the phillips head.

Very True, speedy.

Look for a diagram on the inside of the panel, on square-d’s I find them on the right. It might not be easy to read, but don’t stick any body parts in to read it. Usually there is some verbiage, “bonding where required” and an arrow to a hole on the neutral bar. Often it’s a fat, flat head like mentioned before.


Gary, what’s the SEG?

Ahh…I don’t have the desire to go into this in detail but do a look up google " stray voltage " and you will see what is going onto the " Grounded " conductor is not considered stray voltage.

The “Neutral” or " Grounded" conductor you are speaking of serves as a return path for electricity, fault current to aid in the faciliation of the OCPD from the panel to the transformer and so on…any HOT as you say that gets onto the panel is going back via proper bonding methods…to the source via this SEG which I believe you wanted to say Service Entrance Grounded conductor.

But alas…you get the jist of it.

So, will the Service Entrance Grounded conductor take the stray electricity if the SEGC is in contact with the panel? I know the proper installation is to have a bonding strap or screw.

No, only because there is no such thing as stray electricity. I’m sure you have some sort of good question in there some place, but it’s really hard to decode what it is you’re trying to ask. Are you talking about fault current? Lightning strikes? Paranormal EMI? Something else?

If a wire in the panel is nicked and is in contact with the panel, making the panel now hot.

Okay, you’re talking about fault current. Just because the bare service neutral happens to be pressed against the panel is no guarantee that enough current from a nicked conductor in the can (that is also touching the can) will flow to open the overcurrent protective device. A 15 of 20 amp branch breaker… maybe. A 40 or 50 amp breaker… I doubt it very much.

I’m a little puzzled why you seem to be bending over backwards in search of a reason to justify a non-compliant installation. As has been pointed out, you need a solid mechanical connection. ‘Loose wires cause fires’.

I am not bending over backwards, for one think I am not as flexable as I once was. I was just curious, that if the SEGC was in contact with the panel, would that be enough to carry away stray current if a wire was nicked. By the way the panel was in very good condition, no nicked wires.

The qualified answer is “maybe”, but there is no assurance, and it is a hazard. Matter of fact, stop using the term ‘stray current’. If you use that term around a qualified person or customer who has his head screwed on straight, they’ll think you’re a clown.

You think I could be a clown? Never thought of it. Thanks for the good tip. I’ll be sure to remember, fault current.

The wire just touching the inside of the panel is not good enough just due to the painted surface.

Not all panels are painted, but unacceptable just the same.

Example of a resi panel can that is not painted:

I went to the pound to adopt some, but no luck, they are always the first to get a home. :wink:

As for wires touching the back, that might ‘function’ but not permanent bond, which could endanger people. Bonds should be safe and secure.


Nice panel, is that your work Mark?

No, my work is crap. :wink:

The uninsulated conductor you are speaking from the SE cable, making “incidental” contact with the panel could actually become a hazard if there is current on the enclosure. The “incidental” contact could have high contact resistance, causing arcing, which may lead to other obvious issues within that panel enclosure.

He marc (or anyone else that knows),

I am always impressed at how perfectly some electricians are able to run the wires in their panels. Here is an example of one I saw the other day. How in the heck do they make the wires look so good?