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Old 11-05-2010, 11:10 PM   #1
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electric panel wiring techniques

I have a question about how wires are tied into the panel. If a neutral and a ground are tied onto the same bus, wouldn't that make them the same and make them not work as both a ground and as a neutral? I have always seen it done this way. While I know a decent amount about electricity, I don't understand how this works.
Thanks for the advice and clarification.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:22 AM   #2
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In a main panel, neutral and ground busses are connected together, along with the earth ground electrode. Nowhere else in any system should that happen. In a sub panel, the ground buss is connected to the panel, but not to the neutral buss. The neutral buss is also isolated from the panel.


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Old 11-06-2010, 06:33 AM   #3
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Yes, ultimately the neutral and grounds are tied to a common point. THAT is where it ends. It's what happens to them, and what their intended purpose is, once they leave the main panel that is key here.

The neutral is intended to carry circuit current back to the source.
The ground is intended to carry fault current back to the source.
These are two VERY different things.

A very odd example would be that we have wine and we have grape juice. They both come from grapes, but they are both not the same thing.
Saying that grounds and neutrals are, or do, the same thing is like saying wine and grape juice are the same thing.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:02 AM   #4
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Nice clean looking panel.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
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Brokenhammer, see Stubbie's post (#4) at Sub panel grounding
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