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Do you need to replace a panel that has a bar connecting the ground and neutral bus bar?

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2010-02-21 16:23:52
2010-02-21 16:23:52

No, in any distribution panel there are individual bars for each termination. The ground buss is in direct contact with the metal enclosure. The neutral is isolated from the metal enclosure. The only place where the two come into contact with each other is where a bonding screw protrudes through the neutral bar and into the metal enclosure.

No, most panels have the option of bonding the neutral as well as the ground bar and the panel enclosure (bonding screw) The bonding screw should never be the only connection to the neutral. The NEC requires that the ground bar be connected to the neutral only at the first panel where utility power is supplied. Every other sub panel downstream must have the neutral and ground separated and the ground bar should always have the bonding screw connecting the enclosure to its respective ground bar. So if the panel is a sub panel, ground and neutral must be separated. The main panel does not. There are other grounding rules related to water pipes and other utilities as well as where the ground rods are driven and bonded. Be sure you understand the rules before attempting a wiring change.

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Nothing will happen if the neutral and ground wire is shorted. The electrical code makes it mandatory that the neutral and ground are brought together at a common point within the distribution panel. On a 120/240 volt distribution system the ground wire is terminated at the point where the service neutral terminated in the distribution panel. It is usually a double lug the neutral wire connecting into one hole and the ground wire connecting into the other hole. Through this lug assembly there is a machine screw that is inserted through the lug assembly and it screws into the metallic enclosure of the distribution panel. This action bonds the metal enclosure, neutral wire and ground wire bringing the point to a common potential of zero.

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Neutral is connected to ground at the distribution panel, and no where else. Any current flowing on ground downstream of the panel is considered a ground fault.

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Just checked and it does have a ground connection.

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On a 120/240 volt distribution system the ground wire is terminated at the point where the service neutral terminated in the distribution panel. It is usually a double lug the neutral wire connecting into one hole and the ground wire connecting into the other hole. Through this lug assembly there is a machine screw that is inserted through the lug assembly and it screws into the metallic enclosure of the distribution panel. This action bonds the metal enclosure, neutral wire and ground wire bringing the point to a common potential of zero.

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By National Electric Code only the Main Panel should bond ground and neutral. If subpanels have ground and neutral bonded, it could cause ground loops and shock hazards.

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The neutral and ground are only bonded in a sub-panel of an out building if the code requires a buried ground rod or plate at this location.

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The Neutral is bonded to the ground at the FIRST main breaker, which is usually just as it comes from the meter. In normal residential applications, power comes from the meter, then to a panel. In that panel, the ground and neutral are bonded. If that panel feeds another panel, the second panel has to have its ground and neutral separated. Mobile homes have to have a main breaker outside the house, so the neutral is grounded there, and inside the mobile home, they are separated.

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In North America the ground and neutral only come together on the main neutral bus. On a combination panel this bus is in the main breaker compartment of the panel. Also this is where the panel enclosure is bonded to the neutral and ground wire through a bolt that passes through the neutral bus and screws into the panels enclosure. On sub panels from the main panel this bonding bolt has to be removed.

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in a sub panel no in a main panel they can

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Neutral and ground are only bonded at the main panel, not subpanel.

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You'll have to explain your problem better.If HOT black and Neutral White in your house wiring are both hot then Neutral is NOT bounded to ground in main panel and neutral could be floating. There should be no voltage between Neutral and Ground (Bare wire in panel). By code if there are multiple panels Ground is only bonded to Neutral in th emain entry panel. I have seen cases where this bonding was not done. At your main panel check voltage between neutral and ground. It should be zero.

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Ground and neutral are kept separate for a reason. They are only "bonded" at the main panel. The reason is that you can create what are called ground loops where current can flow. This is because all wires have some resistance and by connecting neutral and ground you open yourself to these ground loops which can cause shocks or can adversely affect electronic equipment.

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Answer for USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hertz supply service.The ground wire is not bonded to the neutral wire in a sub panel because the sub panel is considered to be a branch circuit from the main panel. Only the main panel is grounded at the neutral. Any faults at the sub panel would return direct to the main panel through the ground wire in the cable feeding the sub panel. If the sub panel was located in another building separate from the building where the main panel is located then a bond to the neutral would be made and also to the ground rod that would be needed for this installation. Another consideration is that the grounding system is designed to carry zero current in normal operation. If the neutral and ground wire were bonded at a sub panel, return current from the sub panel to the main panel would be split between the neutral and ground, even if there are no faults. Separating the neutral and ground ensures that there is no path for return current to flow in the protective ground.

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There should be a ground between the sub panel and the main panel, but DO NOT bond neutral to ground at the sub panel, only at the main panel. There should be a screw or metal strap that does the bonding.

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If you are working with a sub panel, there are a few reasons to isolate the neutral. Firstly, currents will then return to the main panel and service ground.

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Grounding bar that came with the panel, its the one that is connected directly to the panel and is not insulated or isolated from the panel, also if this is the main panel in the home make sure that you bond the ground and neutral. (There should be a long bolt that you can put into the neutral bar that will go through it and into the panel itself.)

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The main electric panel is where neutral is bonded to ground. There is usually a screw or strap that connects the two so the same type panel could be used as a subpanel and have the neutral and ground unbonded in subpanel.

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A neutral grounding resistor panel is used to resist fault current to the ground. It is used for alternator protection protection purposes. When a fault occurs in the alternator, the panel helps force the current to the ground.

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Yes, but only at the main panel, not subpanels.

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Neutral is grounded in a distribution panel. At best, it is only a few tens of millivolts away from ground and it certainly would not be DC - it would be AC.

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Take a look at the junction where the ground wire and the neutral enter the panel. There you should see a green grounding screw that protruded through the neutral block and into the metal enclosure of the distribution panel.

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Black is HOT and white is Neutral. Neutral is bonded to ground at main panel.

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Black is hot, white is neutral and bare wire is ground. Neutral and ground are bonded together at the main panel.

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Bonding of the neutral or grounded conductor to the earth ground or grounding conductor means that they are mechanically and electrically connected. That is, they have full continuity between each other. In most residential panels, the neutral bar, (where you screw down all of the neutral (white) wires) and the ground bar where you screw down all of the bare copper ground wires are on opposite sides of the panel. They are typically connected mechanically and electrically or bonded with a "crossover" bar which bolts in connecting the two bars. Bonding the neutral and ground is required by the NEC (National Electrical Code) on all panels which have a main disconnect. For example, if you have a typical 200 amp residential panel and it has a main 200 amp breaker or "main disconnect", then the neutral and grounds are to be bonded. If you have a main disconnect panel and the neutral and ground are not bonded, then you should bond them by running an insulated wire between them to connect them. That wire needs to be no less in size than the size of the incoming supply neutral wire in the panel. If you are at all confused, post again and be very specific about your question and someone may be able to answer you.


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