Attach #4 Copper To Neutral/ Ground Lug - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 01-28-2011, 02:28 PM   #1
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Attach #4 Copper to Neutral/ Ground Lug

I am putting a subpanel in the garage that is 100 amps. I have the conduit ran and the wire pulled and need some advice on how to proceed.

I have an old Bulldog Pushmatic 200 amp load center that works well. You can see from the picture that the neutral/ ground bar is about full and even if it were not it will not take a #4 copper conductor in the bar. Another problem is that this box is 60 years old and parts are scarce.

The only place that conductors that large would fit is where the outside bare ground tied to the ground bar and water pipe ground are tied to the main neutral cable and there is not enough room in the lug to put it in there. Even if there was room I do not know if that is permissable.

Someone suggested that I use a split bolt connector and just bond the neutral from the subpanel to the bare ground that is tied to the outside ground bar and tie the ground from the subpanel to the bare ground that ties to the copper water pipe. That just doesn't seem safe. However, I do not see what it would matter since they are all bonded at that point. I just have a worry about current somehow flowing through the copper water pipes and someone getting electrocuted.

I would appreciate any suggestions. This is just temporary until spring since we just bought this old place and I just need to get some tools running in the garage. In the spring I am having the utility company pull a 400 amp feed and put a transformer on the back hill.

Until then I just need something that I know is safe to get the juice flowing.

Thanks, Steve
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:09 PM   #2
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Last edited by brric; 01-28-2011 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:10 PM   #3
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You could install another bus bar (terminal strip) for ground wires in the panel.
(Scrape the paint off the spot where you can install it) and follow the instructions that come with the bus bar sold separately.

The plumbing must be bonded to the panel ground anyway. So, assuming the grounding electrode system is complete there won't be electricity going through your water pipes in a dangerous manner.
The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:04 AM   #4
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you will need to get some lugs or double lugs and bolt them in the box if you don't currently have spaces for your #4. Say for example remove the lugs that the mains are landed on and replace with doubles. See an electrical supply house.
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Please follow the code - its there for your safety no matter how inconvenient.
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