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Old 09-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #1
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Electrical Box questions


Hello I am in the process of finishing my basement. I have installed new circuits in panels before with no issues to speak off. My plan was to add 3 new circuits, 1 for lights, 1 for plugs and 1 for bar area.

Upon opening my box I have noticed something that concerns me.

I have no more available slots in the grounding bars to add a circuit yet there is 6 empty slots open in the panel. It looks like there is room to add another bar though on both sides. Is this possible?

Thanks.


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Old 09-20-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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1. All Neutral and Ground wires are screwed to same bars on both sides of the box. Does this matter?
2. I have no more available slots in the grounding bars... It looks like there is room to add another bar though
1) no problem
2) add another bar

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Old 09-20-2012, 01:19 PM   #3
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Hello I am in the process of finishing my basement. I have installed new circuits in panels before with no issues to speak off. My plan was to add 3 new circuits, 1 for lights, 1 for plugs and 1 for bar area.

Upon opening my box I have noticed something that concerns me.

I have no more available slots in the grounding bars to add a circuit yet there is 6 empty slots open in the panel. It looks like there is room to add another bar though on both sides. Is this possible?

Thanks.
Equipment grounding conductors can be doubled or tripled under one screw per manufacturers installation instructions. Neutral conductors can only be one wire per terminal. You may have to do some re-arranging. Be sure to turn off the panel before working on it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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Equipment grounding conductors can be doubled or tripled under one screw per manufacturers installation instructions. Neutral conductors can only be one wire per terminal. You may have to do some re-arranging. Be sure to turn off the panel before working on it.
Ok well that should solve my issue. I really only need 2 slots so only 2 ground wires would be doubled. I had considered adding a bar but wasn't really sure what that involved.

It'd be nice if I had 125A or 200A service instead of only 100A, but since there are plenty of spaces this should be no issue correct?

Also when adding circuit for wetbar area would include some small lighting, a few receptacles and fridge. Does this need to be a 20A circuit?
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:36 AM   #5
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As mentioned if you do move around neutral close the MAIN. If your going to add another bar: if it will only be used for grounds the attaching it to the panel enclosure with threaded screws that engage at least 2 threads will be fine. However if you wish to terminate neutrals there as well, you must run a jumper of sufficient size between the two ground/neutral bars.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:56 AM   #6
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As mentioned if you do move around neutral close the MAIN.
I'm sure you meant the OP needs to "open" the main.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:50 AM   #7
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Ok well that should solve my issue. I really only need 2 slots so only 2 ground wires would be doubled. I had considered adding a bar but wasn't really sure what that involved.

It'd be nice if I had 125A or 200A service instead of only 100A, but since there are plenty of spaces this should be no issue correct? Yes

Also when adding circuit for wetbar area would include some small lighting, a few receptacles and fridge. Does this need to be a 20A circuit? No, unless it is in the kitchen or dining room. If the receptacle is within 6" of the sink, it has to be GFCI protected. Otherwise AFCI protect the circuit.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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I read the panel cover last night and it says I can do 2 or 3 ground wires together so thats reassuring.

Last thing..Do I really need to spend all the extra $$$ on AFCI breakers?

Thanks for all the info!!
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:26 AM   #9
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I read the panel cover last night and it says I can do 2 or 3 ground wires together so thats reassuring.

Last thing..Do I really need to spend all the extra $$$ on AFCI breakers?

Thanks for all the info!!
That depends on who you ask and where you live. This type of breaker is supposed to suppress any arcing that may happen and reduce the fire hazard associated with it. Some communities were trying to make it code in Indiana and I don't know whether or not they ever did. Frankly, what good is it to have only one? If the rest of your breakers are not AFCI then don't waste your money on just one.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:33 AM   #10
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Frankly, what good is it to have only one? If the rest of your breakers are not AFCI then don't waste your money on just one.
It doesn't matter if it is only one or not. The NEC is not retroactive to require the existing circuits to be upgraded, but would require new circuits to meet the current requirements.

I thought you said you were better than any over-priced tradesperson. This certainly doesn't show it.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:41 AM   #11
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It doesn't matter if it is only one or not. The NEC is not retroactive to require the existing circuits to be upgraded, but would require new circuits to meet the current requirements.

I thought you said you were better than any over-priced tradesperson. This certainly doesn't show it.
Do you know for a fact that they are code in this person's community? I don't. They are not here thank goodness.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:47 AM   #12
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No I don't, but you giving out advice that may conflict with code requirements is less than responsible by telling someone that it can be ignored.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:13 AM   #13
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No I don't, but you giving out advice that may conflict with code requirements is less than responsible by telling someone that it can be ignored.
I suppose advising someone to spend a fortune on a breaker that may not even be required is not irresponsible.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:23 AM   #14
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I suppose advising someone to spend a fortune on a breaker that may not even be required is not irresponsible.
How do you find out your local code requirements?
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:25 AM   #15
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County or city will usually have jurisdiction. You can call the building department and ask them.

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