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Old 03-06-2008, 02:32 PM   #1
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Pigtails inside a Panel


Newbie question from Connecticut:

I have two instances in my GE panel where multiple wires have been pigtailed so one lead can be connected.

-On one side, two grounds are pigtailed, so one lead can be connected to a single neutral ground bus screw.

-On other side, two blacks are pigtailed , so one lead can be connected to a breaker.

I believe this occurred when the old panel was replaced/updated to modern breakers. I have no more open screw connections on either neutral bus. Is this a problem or against code? I would assume this is a better alternative than to have two wires being secured under one bus screw.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thx

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Old 03-06-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusaroo View Post
Newbie question from Connecticut:

I have two instances in my GE panel where multiple wires have been pigtailed so one lead can be connected.

-On one side, two grounds are pigtailed, so one lead can be connected to a single neutral ground bus screw.

-On other side, two blacks are pigtailed , so one lead can be connected to a breaker.

I believe this occurred when the old panel was replaced/updated to modern breakers. I have no more open screw connections on either neutral bus. Is this a problem or against code? I would assume this is a better alternative than to have two wires being secured under one bus screw.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thx
As long as everything goes where it is supposed to go, then you are OK. You mention the "neutral ground bus". Do you mean the neutrals and grounds are on the same bar? If so, is this a main breaker panel, and is it the first disconnecting means for your service?

InPhase277

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Old 03-06-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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As long as your breakers aren't tripping and you don't have two wires under one binding screw, you should be okay.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:35 PM   #4
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As long as your breakers aren't tripping and you don't have two wires under one binding screw, you should be okay.
I hope you're joking.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
Do you mean the neutrals and grounds are on the same bar?
yes, they are

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If so, is this a main breaker panel, and is it the first disconnecting means for your service?
Yes it is the main (and only) panel in my home

Sorry if I am getting some of the terms wrong. I am not an electrician, just and avid DIYer...
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:57 PM   #6
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I spent some time and did some serious searches on this board, found a few things.

1) Its OK to connect multiple (up to three) grounds under one binding screw. Check with panel manufacturer's instructions.
2) Only one white/neutral wire per binding screw.
3) Its ok to pigtail wires together within the box as long as there is enough room...

Your thoughts?
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
I hope you're joking.

Whats the difference of putting two circuits under a wirenut with a pigtail and running them to a breaker than daisy chaining two rooms together in an outlet box?
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusaroo View Post
I spent some time and did some serious searches on this board, found a few things.

1) Its OK to connect multiple (up to three) grounds under one binding screw. Check with panel manufacturer's instructions.
2) Only one white/neutral wire per binding screw.
3) Its ok to pigtail wires together within the box as long as there is enough room...

Your thoughts?
You should be good to go. Sounds like you had too many circuits but not enough spaces to handle all of them. Pigtailing the grounds is fine. Or landing them under one screw. Pigtailing the hots is OK too, just as long as the two combined circuits don't overload the breaker. But under no circumstances should a neutral be pigtailed.

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Old 03-06-2008, 06:06 PM   #9
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Thx InPhase!!!

This forum is terrific.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:56 PM   #10
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I'm with Calvin on this one. I would never have thought pigtails in the panel would pass muster. If the retaining screw of the breaker has a termination (squeeze point) on either side of the binding screw, or at least accommodate 2 14g wires, wouldn't that seem safer??
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:06 PM   #11
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Does anyone know off hand if the GE powermark gold tm20dc panel 100amp have squeeze points? I didn't inspect it that closely, I think it just has a screw that tightens against the wire itself...
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:06 PM   #12
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Some breakers like Square D are listed for use with 2 conductors.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcalvin View Post
Whats the difference of putting two circuits under a wirenut with a pigtail and running them to a breaker than daisy chaining two rooms together in an outlet box?
I just though your determination of a good install was if the breakers weren't tripping was just a little off. And also, that many breakers and bus bars are rated for more than one wire(excluding the grounded conductor).

Last edited by jerryh3; 03-06-2008 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by canadaclub View Post
I'm with Calvin on this one. I would never have thought pigtails in the panel would pass muster. If the retaining screw of the breaker has a termination (squeeze point) on either side of the binding screw, or at least accommodate 2 14g wires, wouldn't that seem safer??
Splices in a panels are addressed in 312.8. Conductors shall not fill any portion of the wiring space to more than 40% of the cross sectional are of that space. Splices and taps shall not fill the wiring space more than 75% of that space.

So one or two s isn't going to hurt. Especially since I can't think of any breaker right off the top of my head other than the Square D Homeline that accepts more than one conductor under it's binding plate.

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Old 03-06-2008, 08:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gusaroo View Post
Does anyone know off hand if the GE powermark gold tm20dc panel 100amp have squeeze points? I didn't inspect it that closely, I think it just has a screw that tightens against the wire itself...
The breaker is required to be marked in some fashion for how many wires it can take. I don't think I have ever seen a GE breaker that was rated for anything but one wire. I know that Square D Homeline breakers are, but I'm almost positive GEs aren't. You are fine with the splice, as long as it is made well.

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