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-   -   Are grounds and neutrals supposed to touch in the breaker box? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/grounds-neutrals-supposed-touch-breaker-box-113888/)

tibberous 08-13-2011 12:29 PM

Are grounds and neutrals supposed to touch in the breaker box?
 
I was looking at a diagram and it showed all the grounds on the left and all the neutrals on the right. This makes sense, but in mine, the grounds and neutrals are connected on both rails.

I have power, but I'm worried that it isn't grounded right. Is it okay to connect the neutrals and grounds?

Also, is there anything you can do about there being almost no room on the ground and neutral rails? I'm using every breaker slot, which means I have 40 breakers and 40 holes on the rails, so that's two wires per hole. I might have some 220 stuff that isn't using the neutral, but still, it's like 78 wires in 40 holes.

Think I might have to take everything out and put it back in =/

brric 08-13-2011 12:38 PM

If it's the main panel equipment grounds and neutrals should be on the same busses. Doubling up equipment grounds on one terminal is ok. Current carrying neutrals should be landed on individually on terminals.(one wire only) Why would you need more neutral spaces if there is no more breaker space? Are you currently terminating this panel?

tibberous 08-13-2011 12:57 PM

Sorry, I'm not 100% sure what you are saying. It's the main panel box.

I have a bar on the left and a bar on the right, each bar has 20 holes. This would be fine, if I was using big breakers, but my panel box is all thin breakers, which means getting 40 wires in each 20 hole bar. If I put each neutral in it's own hole, I wouldn't have any holes for grounds.

Master of Cold 08-13-2011 01:08 PM

Go to the local Slowes or Home Despot and get some buss bars.

gregzoll 08-13-2011 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tibberous (Post 706335)
Sorry, I'm not 100% sure what you are saying. It's the main panel box.

I have a bar on the left and a bar on the right, each bar has 20 holes. This would be fine, if I was using big breakers, but my panel box is all thin breakers, which means getting 40 wires in each 20 hole bar. If I put each neutral in it's own hole, I wouldn't have any holes for grounds.

Lets back up here. What is the manufacturer & model number of the breaker panel you are asking about.

Also, you can not have two neutrals per screw hole. You can have two grounds per screw hole though. Sounds like you need a bigger panel. Post a picture straight on to the panel showing a full picture of how it is wired & the breakers, with the access cover removed.

Jim Port 08-13-2011 01:26 PM

I suspect the OP may be using tandems in a panel that may not be designed for them. A pic and the model number could confirm this.

tibberous 08-13-2011 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 706354)
I sispect the OP may be using tandems in a panel that may noty be designed for them. A pic and the model number could confirm this.

That would explain it. Guess I'll have to make due =/

gregzoll 08-13-2011 02:06 PM

I know that with my Square D, just having the four tandems in it, and one breaker space still open, I am pushing the limits on my panel. Of course, that is what happens when you have to re-wire a antique house that originally had only four circuits when it was built, and they had added a 30 amp for dryer, a couple of 20 amps, and a 15, before the lady we bought our home from paid for the new panel in 2003.


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