Minor grounding issues in the panel worth mentioning

  • More than one wire terminated under one screw at the neutral/grounding bus bar. Screws should have no more than one wire terminating beneath them. This condition should be corrected by a qualified electrical contractor.
    *]Neutral and ground wires terminate at the same bus bar. Neutral and ground wires should terminate separately. I recommend correction…
    I use one or both these narratives in probably 80% of the homes I look at. If that’s all that’s wrong with the panel are these serious enough infractions to warrant paying an electrician to come out an correct them?

What comes to mind… unless overridden by local codes (and I’m not in code enforcement):

  1. The NEC allows for both grounded conductors, and equipment grounding conductors on the same bar, under certain conditions. (Like in Main Service Equipment panel, etc).

  2. Also, depending on the manufacturer of the panel, two wires under one terminal is allowed if the manufactures lists it as so. The tip off is a torque plate/label on the inside of the panel listing wire combinations of EGC’s.

Just making statements of fact, not observations of what you should and shouldn’t do. Just that some of your observations you listed, wouldn’t be ‘broken’ under the NEC.


P.S. A pet-peeve of mine, is EC who don’t spend the $4 extra installing a separate ground bar, when doing Service installations. :wink:

Neutral and ground wires terminate at the same bus bar. Neutral and ground wires should terminate separately. I recommend correction

This is not a minor issure, if this is a distrubution panel and not the service panel (which I am assuming it is by your descripton). Bonding should only occur at the first point of disconnect - back at the service panel.

If that’s all that’s wrong with the panel are these serious enough infractions to warrant paying an electrician to come out an correct them?

If a licensed electrician did not do his job right the first time, he needs to come out and correct it. It is obvious he did not know the code. Why whould you expect a layman or handy man to know the code.


if this is a distrubution panel and not the service panel (which I am assuming it is by your descripton quote]

No my question was concerning the main panel. I know they must be separate at the dist. panel because the neutrals must float.

I don’t know who wired all those panels. Could have been a EC, could have been the owner/builder, I don’t care. He’s long gone. He’s not coming back. My question is about recommendations.

My question is about main panel wiring.
1 wire per screw, grounds and neutrals on separate bus bars.
Are these not requirements?
Are one or both of these worth recommending correction (including in the summary) if they are the only defects?

Kenton, Here is a diagram that has floated around the message boards.


I think I know what you are asking here....I hear it alot from HI's when I am out doing these Seminars and here is a brief take on it.

1.) The doubling up of Neutrals on a Grounded Terminal Buss has been a violation going back to the Standard 67 of the UL and been required by many panel manufacturers. A.) The panel would not be installed with the standards of the UL and B.) and this is hypothetical ( cant spell that word ) in that what if they did this with different size conductors??? The connection would not be solid and quite possibly if a load was placed on the conductor with bad connection it could ARC…and heat up…could it not?

2.) The worry is you will have an Electrician Bad Mouth You over this seemingly poor referal issue. As a Electrician who asks $ 125.00 a hour for service calls…I have NO problem at all fixing those things and most certainly would not bad mouth you over it…

Many Electricians just did not know better because they don’t sit around reading the UL Standards…but they do keep a NEC handy and that was why the NEC wrote it into the 2002 NEC Edition…it again is not NEW CODE…the NEC has always demanded it since the Manufacturer demanded it…they just made it clear now…thats all…

So…without sounding redundant…the basic example I gave above could be viewed for both questions…NOW…with that said on the scale of 1-10 of electrical defects I rate it a 3 maybe…BUT thats not your job to rate it as an electrician would…it is wrong…potential issues COULD come of it and it is your job to make a note of it…

Key here ( my opinion and I am damn opinionated ) is

1.) If they are doubled up…are the conductor sizes the same?
2.) Does the panel appear in a neat condition?
3.) Are their plenty of OPEN terminals on the BUSS?

Now…for the CODE guys…it is a violation…clear and simple…for the Safety Guys…I explained a brief reason why it is potentially unsafe.

If two grounded ( neutrals ) conductors are in the same terminal, and someone removes one of the neutrals, the other neutral may unintentinally be removed as well. If this happens on a multiwire circuit, it could result in excessive line-to-netural voltage on one of the circuits…

Yet another potential safety reason for this…beyond the Manufactuer !

Hope this helps

Thanks guys.:slight_smile:

The electricians that I have dealt with…or have dealt w/ my report…or notorious for calling myself and all HIs fools for calling this out…but now Mr. Abernathy…you have given me the exact wording that I will use in my reports to justify myself…THANK YOU!!!

well…I am glad to say SOMEONE felt I am helpful to NACHI…glad I could assist you…

PS…if ANYONE ever talks down to you because of your profession…tell them to KISS YOUR…A$$…they are not worth it…Electricians without open minds are PRICKS…anyone without an open mind is a PRICK…

Depending on what you want me to have an open mind about…I could possibly be a prick. :wink:

Yeah Tony…then possibly you may be…not for me to say…ask your other half IF you have one…:)…lol

Paul, you said “grounded terminal buss bar” So it ok to double up neutrals on a sub panel per say, or does this apply to all?

My understanding:
2 neutrals under one terminal OK as long as it’s two 12 ga. or two 14 ga.
Different sizes bad because they creat poor connection.

I guess the same holds true for ground wires.


What am I missing that doesn’t square up with Paul’s statement #1 in post 7 ???

All my posts square up fella…:)…the problem is like the NEC in how someone translates it.

Not allowed to double up on any Grounded Wires Terminal Buss ( difference in Grounded and Grounding…guess since I dont do NACHI seminars anymore the mystery of the Grounding and Bonding lives on…lol ) …the BUSS in a main panel and sub-panel are still the “GROUNDED” Terminal Buss…just the fact it is “FLOATING” in the sub panel does not remove the fact it is the “grounded” conductor…terminogy fellas…its all in the Terminology…:slight_smile:

it is never a good idea to have a Neutral " Grounded" conductor doubled up at all…against UL Standard 67…in any case…refer to my previous POSTS on why it is a problem…I get tired of typing crap over and over again…Take Care…

I’m not sure about square but your certainly a straight shooter.

I was gently inplying that Kenton misread your post with regard to two neutrals under the same screw.:wink:

lol…thanks brother…yeah I shoot from the HIP…:slight_smile:

it is what us country, non-educated electricians do best…:slight_smile: