Electrician signs off 'ganged neutrals'...now what?

Town home (end unit of 5 units in a building) - 3 wire copper service to a SqD 125 amp box…
I wrote up the ganged neutrals and inoperative GFCI’s in the bathrooms.

Client just sent me a fax of the ‘letter’ the electrician provided him saying what he fixed and didn’t…

Looking for advice on how to continue (if I should)

I told the client earlier that if an electrician ‘signs off’ on it, that’s all I called it out for…
but is it really? is it wrong and does it need to be corrected?
There a tripled Grounds already in the panel. Adequate room exists to triple the existing grounds and that would provide room to separate all the Neutrals…
Should he insist on it? if not why?

Sorry so many questions, I just get tired of dealing with this every other day; and yes this is the one I called you about Jeff P.

Sign off

20Apr07 072.jpg

20Apr07 071.jpg

By today’s national standards, it is incorrect as you well know. It may have been OK by the standards in place when the structure was built in the jurisdiction that it was built in. Will it burn the house down? Not likely. Let it go. You have shifted the responsibility to the electrician who says it’s OK. That’s all you can do.

Thanks Ron…

I need to play with my Grand Daughter more…

She makes me smile…:smiley:



I wish residential ‘ground bars’ came 3 feet long, and made of 1" steel, so I can smack ‘other’ electricians up side their heads. The double neutrals I run into often, and when I mention this to ‘other’ electricians, they say there aren’t enough terminal screws on the neutral bars. I say install a ground bar fool, and I get, “that’s $3 out of my pocket!”

Good call Mike. I suggest the client takes the photos, your report, the electricians letter, and a brief summery about terminals with neutrals(Paul might post one from Holt), go see a lawyer for advice. This can be clearly settled in small claims court, and I would max out the ‘amount’ to ensure punitive damages. Since this electrician needs to be taught a lesson, and his current practices exposes clients to ‘danger’. :smiley:

Tom <not a lawyer, and not a brother to stupid electricians>



I write up double lugged nuetrals on 90% of the homes I inspect.

408.21 specially states “Each grounded conductor [neutral] shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual terminal that is not also used for another conductor****”.

Yep…and if they say…But David…this house was built in the 80’s…not required to meet todays standards of the NEC…you say…

Dear Sir…( thinking to yourself…Dear Pinhead ) the NEC ( a minimum safety stanard ) stated back many years ago under 110.3(B) that it should be installed according to the manufactures specs…via Standard 67 of the UL.

And if they say…But David this house was built in 1940…no standards for UL were set at that time…Your answer would be…BUT did the panel in question say you could double tap the “grounded” conductor specifically…and then explain WHY it can be a bad thing if it comes loose due to someone messing with it ( ie: shared neutral ) or if two different conductors are sharing the same termination point…and the problems associated with that as well…THEN…if they choose to do anything about it…well…atleast you made your voice be heard…:slight_smile:

Shows what can happen.



Can I have permission to use that photo when this question comes up?

Wonderful Example…Most Excellent !

No problem. If you send me your E-mail address I can send you a higher resolution copy. Mine is inspect@peelhomeinspection.com.


Is the ‘offer’ open to us all? I would love the free use of the higher resolution example too.

Thank you,


Sure Tom, and anyone else.

Just out of curiosity was that caused due to one of the neutrals becoming detached thus creating an arc fault.

Nice picture John!


When I did the inspection, the owner was not at home. I work from top to bottom, so the panel is one of the last things I check. All lights and outlets in the house worked properly.
When I opened the panel there was minor sparking and the lights went out in one area of the house. I closed the panel back up and recommended further evaluation by a licensed electrician.
I got a call later that night from the owner regarding lights that were out and making life less pleasant for him and I was responsible.
I convinced him to wait until the next day and get the electrician to show him the inside of the panel.
That night he called me to thank me for saving his life.
I called the electrician the next day. He wasn’t very cooperative but did say that some screws on the neutral bus were loose. He was able to trim back the wires and use them.

The condition shown in that picture can happen to any loose conductor. I doubt that occurred as a result of the one neutral being removed if there were more than one neutral per terminal.

You may want to explain that there is a potential for the equipment of the circuit if installed with a 3-wire circuit and the neutral being inadvertently being removed while energized could cause extensive damage to the equipment and even possibly a fire.