Is this OK?

I found a neutral and a ground connected to the same terminal in a main panel. I know that neutrals are supposed to each have their own terminal, but is it OK to throw a ground wire in there too? Sorry the image is a little fuzzy.

MacBride 038a.jpg

See this thread:

Thanks. I read the thread. I am confused though. I thought having neutrals and grounds on the same bus was permissible in main distribution panels, but that they had to be separate in sub panels. Am I incorrect?

You are correct. Neatrals(grounded conductor) and EGC(bare ground wires) can be on the same bus or teminal strip in Service Equipment but must be seperated in distribution equipment.
But each neutral must be under an individual screw.


For clairification purposes the main distribution panel should be called the service equipment (this is where the main breaker is) and all other panels are called distribution panels.

I like this guy :mrgreen:

It makes everything easier to understand when the correct terms are used.

I was recently explaining to a client that their garage distribution panel (sub-panel for others) had numerous double tapped Neutral wires. I explained the issues with that and that this condition should be further inspected by a licensed electrician and repaired as necessary. During the course of my explanation I pointed to the label in the panel where it stated the correct wiring of the GE PowerMark Gold model TLM12BC panel. Much to my surprise and embarrassment the label stated the Grounding and Grounded busses could accept (2) 14-10 solid Copper wires. I looked at it over and over again in disbelief but that was what I read. I retracted my double-tapped Neutral defect temporarily while I investigated this further to see what I was missing. I still haven’t figured it out. I had taken a photo of the label but, wouldn’t you know, it came out too blurry to use.


I think that only applys to the grounds and not the Neutrals.

NEC 2005

408.21 Grounded Conductor Terminations. Each grounded conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual terminal that is not also used for another conductor.

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.

Hey, no one has to convince me of the need or the requirement, I’ve always reported this condition as an issue. :slight_smile: I just can’t explain the label I saw on that particular panel. I may even go back and have another look at it.

Panel manufactured before the code change maybe?

I believe the standard 67 has been around long before the NEC chose to add it in the latest edition steve. Most manufacturers I believe have been listing this condition since well back years ago…not sure…sounds like a job for the old timers…but been in it since I can remember in regards to the manufacturer stating the grounded conductors must terminate on it’s own screw …with no other.

Would be interesting to actually know when the manufacturers starting putting this in their material…I dont have any books that go back that far.

BUT you know I may be wrong…in regards to the date of the standard 67…check this out…

UL 67 Document Information:
UL Standard for Safety for Panelboards
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Publication Date:
Dec 8, 1993

Manufacturers might have prohibited it prior…as 110.3(B) would require the compliance to its installationas the manufacturer intended…so the requirement could predate even the Std. 67 requirement.

Very interesting…sorry I dont DATE back that far…

You mean this label?

Well, that’s a Cutler-Hammer label and is similar but doesn’t show the confusing terminology that I saw. BTW, the home was built in 1999.

That label was from one built in 2003.

OK, I went by the local GE distributor today and had him pull a brand new GE Powermark-Gold Load Center from stock. This is the label on the inside wall of the panel. Don’t get me wrong please, I’m not saying that more than one Neutral wire under a screw is correct, what I am saying is that this label is misleading in my opinion. What am I mis-reading?



Michale B.

I have to agree with you that it “appears” to give permission to have 2 Neutrals under the screw. Someone needs to talk to a GE rep.(Applications Engineer) and track this down. I think Paul A. or Joe T. would be a good choice as they are Electricians and trainers. How about it guys?

The label still does not negate the NEC rule, where the NEC is adopted. I suppose if your AHJ has not adopted the 2002 yet it is still legal on that panel.