Single ground wire to neutral bus

Hi All,

I came upon a situation that I haven’t seen before. I’m a fairly new inspector. The shut off switch is on the outside meter. In the panel the neutral and ground buses are separated except for one ground wire inserted into the neutral bus. This looked strange to me. Is it incorrect?


Yes, it is incorrect, the (the grounded and grounding) wires should be separated on a remote distribution panel.

You said you service disconnect is at the meter.

Yes, the disconnect is at the meter. There is just one lone ground wire inserted into the neutral bus. Otherwise they are separate. I just uploaded the pictures. Thanks for your help.


I agree with Larry, that single bare conductor should not be there. Did you trace out where it went? It appears to be larger than a #10 solid conductor that would be in a cable. I would also be concerned with the bare equipment grounding conductors to the left of the neutral bus contacting the neutral bus.

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Main service panel?

Thank you for the assistance.

Likely work done after the initial installation, some of the newer wiring is sloppier than the original wiring. Yes its incorrect.

Thank you!

250.24 Grounding Service-Supplied Alternating-Current Systems.
If’ the main service panel happens to be the same place that the grounded (neutral) conductor is bonded to the grounding electrode, then there is no problem mixing grounds and neutrals on the same bus bar (as long as there is an appropriate number of conductors terminated under each lug).
If the two bus bars are not connected; as would be the case anywhere other than the main disconnect ( exceptions exist ), then you cannot mix them.

I try to gauge the EGC strand AWG and look for equipment bonding along the EGC’s path to the point of earth bond. Inspection 2 days ago. #8 followed to earth bond and material.
EGC #6 EGC further downstream #8 strand copper for equipment.

What are you saying? you asked if it was a service panel and I showed you the answer given in the very first post by the OP.

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Sorry Simon. I got the posts mixed up. Pardon me.

There is an exception. From what I understand, you need to bond the neutral and ground ‘at the exterior’ disconnect and then run 4 wire feed to the interior panel which this panel appears to have.
Take a close look at the 4 feeder cables and the 2 neutral bus bars and ground terminal.

You are correct. Since this panel does not contain the service disconnect it is not a service therefore it requires a 4-wire feeder and the separation of the neutrals and EGC’s.

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Afternoon, Robert.
Thank you for your post.

I looked closely at the remote distribution panel. Very neat circuit instillation. Professional as I see it.

The (4) feeds had me opine on the copper conductor and bus termination, as well as the ground AWG. It is not 2/12 leading me to believe equipment circuit bond.
The 4 feeds lead me to believe the exception is the rule in this case.
The caveat or limitation, visually observing the equipment bonding upstream and are the EGC’s the proper AWG.

Best regards.
Robert Young