clearly a 110.3 violation but is it a good idea?

This is a retrofit and the U/L listed terminal strip is extending the short neutrals. It is better than 12 wirenuts IMHO but it is a labelling violation since SqD does not say this is OK in their panel. The real question is if absence of a mention on the label is really prohibition.

Well look at that. I don’t know what to think.
I am not even sure if it is a violation. I would think it is only a violation if it says you cannot install such a device. Somthing like *“Use only listed Square D parts in this panel”.

*Good picture, post and question Greg.

It is wrong

The current rating of the strip is the question. – This strip has no rating - if the person cleaning up this panel had used a strip from his local electrical supplier or even home depot I would have been happier

Me thinks I have seen this strip at Radio Shack


You know this for certain???

I have seen these strips very often in control panels and boards. The MUST have a certain rating.
Hell, they are the exact same strips, only smaller, that hot tubs and spas use for thier line-in terminations. These are typically 60A circuits and 48A loads.
What say you about that?

Google and 30 seconds =

The installer spent more time on the terminal strip than it would have taken to twist on several caps onto these short neutrals.

Actually this was probably as fast as doing the wirenuts and it is a lot cleaner install to sort out later.

The only real trick is to find the right screwdriver for those strips. I ended up grinding my own so that it was a good fit.

Cutler Hammer makes a panel that purposely has a splicing bar like that at the top.

I don’t seen any issues with that install. That bar very likely has a UR (rated component) listing, and Square D does not prohibit this install. Heck, it’s very normal and expected to have similar power distribution blocks in larger junction boxes and gutters in modern installs. I think it’s a neat job.

Good eye Petey, these are series 1000 40a strips.

BTW the guys over at IAEI and ECN said this was legal too.

Ok all you sparkies I have learned something today

I am not a code expert and gut feeling was wrong

I do have a question though – Does the below apply??

NEC 110.14 or 300.15 “Splices shall be made with an approved splice cap or “wire Nut””

This says to me that a “bar” would have to be used because it would not be a splice

I know that my notes are not up to date and that I was wrong on the current rating thing but are my notes wrong on the NEC or am I reading it wrong

Glad that I don’t have to be a code person



Your notes, while certainly well intentioned and probably helpful to you, don’t really accurately reflect the actual code text. The barrier strip pictured would be permissible by both sections.

*110.14 Electrical Connections. Because of different characteristics
of dissimilar metals, devices such as pressure
terminal or pressure splicing connectors and soldering lugs
shall be identified for the material of the conductor and
shall be properly installed and used. Conductors of dissimilar
metals shall not be intermixed in a terminal or splicing
connector where physical contact occurs between dissimilar
conductors (such as copper and aluminum, copper and
copper-clad aluminum, or aluminum and copper-clad aluminum),
unless the device is identified for the purpose and
conditions of use. Materials such as solder, fluxes, inhibitors,
and compounds, where employed, shall be suitable for
the use and shall be of a type that will not adversely affect
the conductors, installation, or equipment.

FPN: Many terminations and equipment are marked with a
tightening torque.*

300.15 is more about the requirement for a box and similar associated fittings.

If I saw an installation like this one, my only concern would be that the strip was rated for both the voltage of the conductors and the amperage that will be flowing through them. I am famalier with this particular barrier strip, and can say it’s a sweet install. I may actually start doing this myself now.

Just noticed that there appears to be circuit conductors exiting the top of the enclosure in ENT that don’t appear to have a grounding conductor associated with them.


I do not have a copy of 110.14 but a google search has the exact quote that I have in my notes that I took at a telecom training seminar for Quest Communications about 6 years ago

Looks like I should get a real NEC book if I am going to get into things like this

Or better yet use the NACH BB – better than any code book any day because it covers all trades

Am I still wrong??


Wrong about what? I did copy and paste the actual text of 110.14 above for your convenience if it’s interesting to you. It’s more aimed toward copper to aluminium connections. There are a variety of approved methods to connect copper to copper, and many of them are not wire nuts, per se.

Marc The ENT terminated in a plastic box that totally enclosed the device. There was nothing to bond.

Richard, this is what you are talking about
110.14(B) Splices. Conductors shall be spliced or joined with ***splicing devices identified for the use ***or by brazing, welding, or soldering with a fusible metal or alloy. Soldered splices shall first be spliced or joined so as to be mechanically and electrically secure without solder and then be soldered. All splices and joints and the free ends of conductors shall be covered with an insulation equivalent to that of the conductors or with an insulating device identified for the purpose.

This strip is an insulating device identified for the purpose.

Good to go, then. I just noticed it, is all. Could be right or could be wrong. In your case, it’s a-o-k. Groovy.

Greg -Marc

Thanks for the knowledge

I would also say on a + side “good eng. practices were used”


There is one slam dunk violation there and one questionable thing but nobody has come up with them yet here. “Iwire” (Bob Badger) picked up one over on ECN but it wasn’t the slam dunk violation (although somewhat pedantic).

Got a link to a better pic? Wasn’t really looking at it for other violations, but I do notice that jam packed ENT on the left and the missing second mounting screw on the PK_GTA ground bar. Looks like a bunch of various sized NM cables through one big connector near the left too.

The ENT is within the “fill” rule but you are on it. (solid #8 EGC 310.3 violation). This has been in there for 15 years and it was not worth pulling it out to fix it.

The ground bars only have one mounting hole in the tubs but they have 2 raised nubs to stabilize it. I do have them jumpered to the bar with the GEC but I always like to do that.

This was where I ended up at 9PM thursday night after installing the new panel. My wife said wrap it up and get the AC running again. I am going back and clean up a few things next week.
BTW The other one is the 2 big Romexes coming through the big connector in the upper left. I don’t have “the box” (per the white book) but I bet it didn’t say “1 or 2 cables”. That was like that when I got here too. I need a 3/4" KO punch for that one and I didn’t have one handy.
I also have a low voltage/audio/video cludge next to this panel that needs some attention.
I really should have taken a “before” picture but it might have made the NACHI hall of fame. :wink:
This was a real clusterf*k when I bought the house and I patched and put bandaids on it for years. It was “hold your nose” legal/safe but really ugly. I finally decided it needed fixing for real.
I guess you guys here gave me a guilty conscience.
We are doing a remodel down at the other end of the house and I did want some breathing room in my panel. The one I replaced was the 100a shortie SqD that had several piggy back breakers in it that it was not rated for (don’t ask). Now I have plenty of slots and a little easier place to work.