Is this correct

Inspected a home today and it looks like the grounds and neutral are tied together. Is this correct? This was a Cutler Hammer panel circa 1978 I think

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Ronald, as this appears to be the panel containg the main disconnect having the Neutrals and grounds on the same bus is OK, however I would question the multiple tapping of the Neutrals, they really should be seperately terminated on the bus.



It is fine as long as the house main breaker is in the panel. The neutral is required to be bonded to the enclosure at the main disconnect location. If the Main was outside by the meter then the the grounds and neutrals should be isolated from each other in the interior panel.

The effort made braiding the wires to fit under one screw compared to using the empty screws … tips me off to look closer at the electrical work. Common sense seems uncommon here.


welcome aboard Gary…come back often…jim

agreed, but was this not a common practice Gerry???

I think it was common in some areas of the country, but not in my area. I don’t see double tapped neutrals or combined neutral-grounds all that often.

Double lugged neutrals are a common practice here and I write every one of them up.

Thank you gentlemen for your expertise

Hi Jim, so was pushing 5 year olds up chimneys :mrgreen::shock:

but we think we know better these days :wink:

Seriously though, The code on double tapping neutrals came in in the early 1980’s if memory serves, and the picture that was posted appears to feature quad & quin taps :frowning:



It never has been permitted technically by UL67 and under NEC 110.3(B).

It was clarified in NEC 408.21

Even Mike Holt was confused by this issue.

Video link

Holt’s comment:

Switchboards and Panelboards
408.21 Grounded Conductor Terminations
Intent: This new section should ensure that grounded (neutral) conductors terminate within the panelboard to an individual terminal. This has been a UL requirement (UL Std. 67 – Panelboard Standard) for some time, and the addition to the NEC is intended to bring this information to the installers. Technically, this is covered by 110.3(B), which requires all equipment to be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions and markings, but nobody knew it existed. UL Std. 67 (Panelboard Standard) permits up to three 10 AWG equipment grounding conductors to terminate on a single terminal, if the terminal is marked for this purpose. Figure 408-3

The intent of this requirement is to ensure that the grounded (neutral) conductor of a multiwire branch circuit is not momentarily disconnected, which could result in the destruction of electrical equipment and fires from overvoltage.

Here’s another link that I include when I find double taps, All Burned Up

In 2005, this reference was moved to 408.41, for whatever reason. In case people are trying to search for it.


That is correct.Thank you. The Holt video was discussing the 2002 NEC.


It is very important that the Home inspector understand that UL Standard 67 was a manufacturing standard and is/was not part of the listing and labeling of any panel board.

A copy of UL Standard 67 cost $1200 today and wasn’t much cheaper back in the 80s. For something to be part of the listing and labeling of a piece of equipment it must be furnished with the equipment when it is sold. It can not be something that is sold separately.

There are still panels that have sit on shelves for years that on the label will allow more than one grounded neutral under one screw. The code section was adopted in order to make all installation of both old and new panels.

You disagree with what Mike Holt said in his video?

I see it all the time and know it is common practice by some.

That doesn’t mean it was ever correct.

I used to work for an NRTL and am very familiar with UL and CAN standards.

Mike Holt thought it was fine at one time but basically admitted he was wrong.

Chris, something else had to have caused that damage besides double tapping.

How true - something that “simple” should send up a red flag, making the HI look a little deeper.

I was not in any way trying to hint that this was an acceptable practice, just that it looked like a common older installation,

I didn’t watch the Holt video as I did not see any reason to for me to understand that UL Standard is NOT part of any listing and labeling that came with the panel.

There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to the section introduced to the codes in 2002 and UL Standard 67. Jim Pauley of Square “D” mentioned this standard in his proposal and it took off like gain busters.

Should anyone have any questions about UL Standard 67 and the role it plays in the installation of a panel all they have to do is send an email to UL and find out the answer for their self.

Any instructions that come with a piece of equipment will not cost anything more than the equipment.

I do agree that for years the manufacturers of panel was not labeling the panels as outlined in UL Standard 67 but again this standard is not part of the installation instructions.