Neutral bus bar

I like Mike.:smiley:
check this out

The owner should ask for his $70 back! Maybe the electrician was really Joe the Plumber?

Personally, I’m very uncomfortable using words like “violation” in my inspection reports or, for that matter, in casual conversation when doing home inspections. As a licensed electrician, however, I can tell you that this practice has been prohibited by the NEC for a long time. Any first-year apprentice should know that it is a problem and why.

As a fire investigator specializing in electrical fires, I can tell you that Loss-of-neutral is a major cause of electrical fires. Anyone who doesn’t think this is a problem is dead wrong! Loss-of-neutral fires do not start at the panels. The fires start at the loads. Consequently, the real cause is often not recognized by C&O investigators. That’s why C&O investigators call in an electrical investigator for assistance. As an example, a C&O investigator will determine that a fire was started at a kitchen toaster. He may not, however, be able to determine whether it was from the Poptart in the toaster (Poptarts are also a major cause of house fires) or it was an electrical fire. I can look at toaster and know immediately whether it was electrical or not and what the nature of the electrical malfunction was.

408.21 was new in the 2002 NEC, it is 408.41 in the '05, '08, & '11 editions. Art. 408 was Art. 384 in the 1996 NEC.

Here is the text from the 2011 NEC

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

Exception: Grounded conductors of circuits with parallel
conductors shall be permitted to terminate in a single terminal
if the terminal is identified for connection of more
than one conductor.

The exception does not apply in this case, but included it anyway.

That document reiterates the fact that this requirement was in existence prior to it being added to the NEC code language in 2002. I’m guessing that it was installation practice was common place because no one was really enforcing it prior to them adding the words directly in the NEC.

I had a client, call me an want her $120 for an electrician who came out and said nothing was wrong with her panel and wanted her money for the useless call out of the electrician.

Now she is a seller and has used me about 5 times on properties she has bought. So, I went back to the house and looked at the panel and sure as hell, it was tandem breakers in the wrong places and the panel was too full for expansion. So, I told her that I was positive I was right and she then called the electrician back again and ONCE again, told he I was wrong. Needless to say she was fuming mad.

I then returned to the house, took a picture of the legend, called the manufacture and got the name and phone number of the technical representative and typed up a mini report and sent it to the client and the electrician.

$2200 she has a new panel installed. Not real happy about it when its on a house she was selling. But now, she knows that I do not call stuff out for the heck of it and guess what she tells people now? This guy knows more than _____ the electrical contractor.

Stick to your guns, find the appropriate documentation to back up your findings and then present them in a professional manner. It’s actually great marketing.

Thanks. I like that the explanation of the potential issue is included.

I did my apprenticeship under the 1971 and 1975 editions of the NEC. We were not trained to do things to code minimums (for that matter, my instructors put considerable effort into shifting the emphasis away from codes in favor of understanding how electrical systems work). It was already well known in the early 1970s that loss-of-neutral was a problem in the electrical construction industry. In the areas where I worked (mostly Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri), the practice was discouraged, if not outright prohibited.

It did many loss-of-neutral service calls in my electrician days but never really thought all that much about the magnitude of the problem. I have developed some strong opinions on some things in the electrical industry since I started doing electrical fire investigations 11 years ago. It wasn’t until then that I realized how many fires are caused by a loss-of-neutral. I know I sound like I am on a continuous rant about loss-of-neutral but when you go into a home and see that a family has lost everything over a loose screw, it has an effect.

FYI - As a consultant to a leading manufacturer of panelboards, enclosures and what have you. I spoke with one of their leading engineers many times on this issue. They (as I have always agreed) stated that UL 67 standards and their specifications have always stated that EGC’s (Equipment Grounding Conductors) can have multiple conductors (of the same size) under a single terminal on the buss in accordance with the listing posted in the panelboard enclosure. They never intended for grounded (neutral conductors for most all of your typical home inspector situations) conductors to be doubled up since they never specifically gave permission for that…only the EGC’s as identified.

So low and behold the confusion began because how many electricians have a UL White Book Handy ( I do…they sent me 20 of them for my inspectors to have…ask they will send you one also…has some GREAT INFO in them ) so finally in the 2002 National Electrical Code it emerged and people thought it came out of left field but in reality it was there all along under little ole’ 110.3(B) and the UL White Book.

Ok…brief stay…I am OFF to other things…Nite Nite folks!