Would you fix this defect?

Sub-panel in a condo. Notice the single neutral wire on the LH bus, after taking a closer look I found that it was in contact with ground wires.

Snip Snip… DONE!!

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pretty tempting since the cure is so easy…I guess it would depend on the client…i don’t want to become the handyman


Since the neutral is a current carrying conductor, I would recommend the defect be corrected.


That is a neutral bar. The EGC bar is at the bottom left so there shouldn’t be a problem.

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Although the neutral wire is on the neutral bar, the neutral wire protrudes out the back of the bar and is touching the EGC’s. That was his question.

Rob, it is not an issue even though it is a remote distribution panel where the grounded and grounding conductors should be separated?

Wanting to learn something here, I am. :smile:

It looks like the neutral bus bars may be bonded to the panel by the metal tie bar concealed behind the plastic.

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So it is not a remote distribution panel?..looks like one.

I don’t get it. :man_shrugging:

No main and a 4 wire feed and a separate grounding bar looks like a distribution panel.

Yes, the neutral and EGC buses are separate (the neutral is not bonded to the enclosure) then there is an issue with the neutral conductor in contact with the bare EGC. I didn’t see that in my first post response.


Jim, why wouldn’t one correct the grounded conductor touching the grounding conductors, then?..trying to learn, here.

If I did it I sure as hell wouldn’t be telling my client I did it. Same with adjusting cabinets and door hardware, only do it when no one is looking! K


Larry, I think it was just sloppy work. The design of the setup doesn’t really help either.

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Thanks Rob and Jim. I thought it was not right and you confirmed it.

That wire, no matter your opinion, will not make or break a real estate transaction. You do not know, with absolute certainty, where the other end of that wire is terminated or anything else about it, unless you took the time to trace it. Leave it be and write it up. I’ve only been inspecting since 2016 but that is my two cents. We have insurance protection based on our job scope and exposure. If someone saw you working in that panel and two years later the place burns down…guess what?

It would be on my list to get around to it when I had occasion to be in the panel if it was in my house. If you’re asking if I would fix it during an inspection of a property belonging to someone who is not even my client - Hell No - I would document it.

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As there are several other issues inside the panel that require repair, I would include that one in my report for the electrician to fix.

Mr. Jonas,
Are you the friend, the electrician, or the inspector? Do yourself a favor and call balls and strikes. Inspections are not the opportunity for you to prove how smart you are.

While you’re at it have them fix all of the NM cables coming into the panel in what looks like a big SE cable connector.