Panel bond

I know this has been discussed many times and I guess i am not paying attention.

I see more times that not that the green screw is not bonded to the panel.
Once in a while I will see a bonding strap.

Should I be calling out the panel not being bonded.
The purpose of the bond is to direct ant stray current that may energize the cover to ground instead of a person correct!! Am I understand that.


Is any one going to the Cleveland electrical seminar. I am planning on attending.

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That “GREEN” screw is the bond between the panel and the buss as it should be on that panel shown. Notice the “grounded” (ie: Neutral ) conductors and grounding conductor are terminated on the same buss bar which would lead us to believe this is a main distribution panel.

Now…just remember…any panel from this point to some other location i the dwelling would have to have (4) wires…(2) non-grounded conductors and (1) Grounded Conductor and (1) Grounding Conductor…and at the remote panel…the (1) Grounded and the (1) Grounding conductor should not be tied together on the same buss bar…the grounded ( neutral ) must be floating and not in contact with the grounding bar or the panel enclosure itself.

Hope that explains it…if you see this taking place by all means call it out and if you are attending my seminar in Cleveland…we will go into it in much more detail…you will understand with even more at that time.

I’ve seen two panels that bonded to the water main with the conductor fastened in one of the common neutral bus lugs instead of to main grounding terminal. One of them lacked the main terminal all together. Is there some logic behind that or is that just a handyman “not getting it”?

Grounding and bonding are not the same Nick.

That ground may be okay if the panel is properly bonded.

In this set up is the water main grounded to the panel or is the panel grounded to the water main?

Neither is grounded TO the other.

The water main may - or may not - be the grounding electrode. You didn’t give us enough information to know for sure. Assuming that it IS the grounding electrode, the panel would be grounded at the water main.

For kicks, lets say the water “main” is plastic, the house is piped with copper or steel, but the pipes are in the attic and walls (therefore, they are not the grounding electrode).

In this case, the panel and the water main are “bonded” to eachother, by way of the conductor you spoke of. Assuming the neutral bus is properly bonded to the enclosure (also assuming this is the service panel), both the “water main” and the panel should be “bonded” to the grounding electrode, which “grounds” the electrical system. Got it? :wink:

Bonding is simply “joining” components to make them one. Think of bonding in terms of “epoxy” used to glue things together - attaching them to one another.

Grounding is simply providing a conductive path to ground/earth.

The metal piping and electrical system components are bonded (attached together) and grounded (provided with a path to ground/earth).

Still amazes me of Mr. Popes knowledge and ability to convey it in layman terms…Could I expand on it…sure…could I define the ACTUAL purpose of the grounded conductor…versus just a path to ground…yep…BUT for the HI…why expand it…no need as Jeff’s examples are great and well explained to make even a rookie understand…( P.s. Not call anyone a rookie…just an example )

I say Mr. Pope has a GREAT understanding of it…guess he wont attend any of my Seminars…lol…nothing to teach that fella…:slight_smile:

Great Job Jeff…

Yeah I gotta hand it to you Jeff. My problem is that I use electrical terms loosely, back to the books for me! I meant bonding like you defined but I left out the term grounding.

Let me attempt to better state my question. The subjects are a main service panel and a copper water main directing to the soil. The water main has a grounding electrode conductor bonded around the water meter with jumper cables. This grounding electrode conductor is bonded to the service panel in one of the common neutral bus bar lugs (the ones designated for branch neutral and ground conductors) and not to one of the larger lugs on the end of the bus which typically bond grounding electrodes (such as the SEC neutral). Will current needing grounding from this neutral bus ground to the water main?

Based on your statement, I would think so. The neutral bus would still need to be bonded to the enclosure as you said this is the service panel.

Paul, I wouldn’t miss it if it were brought out here. I’ll be in the front row.

I plan on attending Paul’s seminar in Cleveland in December. I have not yet registered but plan on doing in the next week.

I need to better understand electricity as JP & PA have spoken about.

Thank you both for all the help you provide to the message board.

Would you advise that I purchase the NEC 2005 book as a reference guide?



I think it’s important to have access to the codes. I have spent thousands of dollars on current code cycles for my particular area, plus the National model codes from which they were extracted. However, these books do very little with regards to educating or teaching.

If you’re looking to “learn” the “why’s and why not’s,” you should first purchase the commentary books and the NEC Handbook. Along with the code sections, these books explain the purpose and interpretation for the particular code.


I will recommend some good books at the seminar…While I think Everyone should own the 2002 and 2005 NEC handbook…in regards to HI’s…WHY…not because of a HI having anything to do with CODE issues…just think they are great references to help you understand and it explains many things very well.

As to Mr. Pope…I am a FAN of yours fella…you do some great posts…I would LOVE to have you in the FRONT ROW…

I will be out your way next week…in Seattle,WA and then in Sacramento,CA…man I hate to fly…;(

jeff…again you have a GREAT grasp…and MUCH to give…keep up the GREAT work…