Neutral and Gound under same lug?

Is it acceptable to have a neutral and gounding wire under the same lug and a neutral bus bar in a main panel?

No it isn’t Matt…

Thats what I thought…Just wanted to make sure before I called it out!


Do you have a standard narrative that you use to report this defect?

Thank you.

“One or more neutral wires are incorrectly connected under a single screw on the grounding or neutral bus bar at the (pick one: main panel/sub-panel), and should be serviced. (Unless the manufacturer states otherwise, bus bars are only designed for one current carrying conductor per terminating screw.)”

1 Like

Thanks! Joe.

Most SPARKY’S tell me there is nothing wrong with the neutral and ground under same lug.

Heres the wording that I use:

When neutrals and grounds are bonded (connected) together, the return neutral current will split (not necessarily equally) and run on parallel paths through the grounding and neutral system back to the main panel and up the neutral to the transformer. This parallel travel can cause unbalanced conditions in the system because the current remaining in the neutral will not counterbalance the current in the hot wire. In some cases, neutral current travel on the grounding system and other metal systems, such as piping or ductwork, can be a shock hazard.


Where did that come from?

You could put the offending bonding wire on an empty terminal on the same bus and nothing would change except that it would be code compliant.

You may want to reconsider your wording.

](javascript:void(0);)Here is an illustration from the Mike Holt site.


and a video :smiley: as well as others


The biggest problem with two wires under one screw is that the neutral might be loose, potentially causing overheating of the wire and creating a potential fire hazard.

A ground wire could be screwed right next to it. I am not sure where the “imbalance” would exist. I would choose a different narrative as well.


An “ungrounded conductor” is a (hot) and and NOT “a bare copper wire” which is a grounding conductor.

Know that depending on your area you will come up against this quite often. This is a common practice that is done by electricians, AND accepted by inspectors in many areas. My part of NY it is very common.
I used to do this all the time (ground and neutral of the same circuit) and never once gave it a second thought. NEC 408.41 was even thought about. It never came up on a test, class or inspection.
Ten or eleven years ago, with the advent of the internet, I realized this is an issue and stopped the practice. I even questioned an inspector on it and he said it is not in the NY Resi Code so it is fine.
This changed in 2008 as this was added as Section E3606.4 in the 2007 NY Resi Code.

Mark, I believe your statement would be accurate if you were referring to sub panel/remote panel that was wired as a main panel. I believe the original poster is referring to a main panel with a neutral and ground wire under the same lug.

Anyone care to share their narrative on the subject of a neutral and ground wire under the same lug in a main panel?

Would you consider this a defect?

Everything you need is one the first page of this thread .

Is this not taught in the training programs? I know how that sounds but, your title says CPI. How do you get to that level without knowing the basics?


Yes, yikes.

In order for that to be true the EGC and the neutral would need to be connected at both ends not just under a screw on the neutral bar in the panel.

His comment would still be incorrect.

His comment would still be incorrect. It looks as though mnahrgang is out of the inspection business. One of his URLs is no longer active and the other goes to a website that does not appear to have anything to do with home inspections.