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Old 11-25-2013, 10:59 PM   #1
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


I just bought a panel to use as a sub for my server room, and I noticed something odd about the neutral bar configuration:



Is there any particular reason it is laid out in 3 separate bars the way it is? (same way on other side) How is that tiny metal holder enough to carry the current of all those neutrals, for the 3rd bar, or even the second for that matter? In theory that little bar could carry 125a (rating of panel) if it's all feeding hots on the same leg. Is it just assuming such situation would never occur when both hots are equally used and that neutrals are not all on the same bar?

Is there any particular way/order I need to be using these up? I'm guessing I want to use the one directly connected first (one closest to breakers) and those ones that stick out are only for expansion?

This is my first time installing a panel, I've read plenty on it and it seems pretty straight forward, just want to make sure I'm not missing anything important. Interestingly there's no instructions that come with it other than the safety stuff such as turning power off before installing it.

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Old 11-26-2013, 05:32 AM   #2
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


One of those three bars is actually an earth bar !
So there should not be any current flowing thru those smallest bars.
So if your using it as a sub panel,
Those small bars would be removed !
What does the manual say ?

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Old 11-26-2013, 05:42 AM   #3
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


There is a separate earth bar more at the bottom, but that would make sense, if it's to be used as an entry load centre you'd use those as the ground bar.

This is the whole panel:



(click to view higher res image)

So guess I should just remove those extra bars and use the ones that have a thicker lead.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:44 AM   #4
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


I wouldn't remove anything. Just use what you need. How tall is the ceiling above that panel?
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:52 AM   #5
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I just bought a panel to use as a sub for my server room, and I noticed something odd about the neutral bar configuration:



Is there any particular reason it is laid out in 3 separate bars the way it is? (same way on other side) How is that tiny metal holder enough to carry the current of all those neutrals, for the 3rd bar, or even the second for that matter? In theory that little bar could carry 125a (rating of panel) if it's all feeding hots on the same leg. Is it just assuming such situation would never occur when both hots are equally used and that neutrals are not all on the same bar?

Is there any particular way/order I need to be using these up? I'm guessing I want to use the one directly connected first (one closest to breakers) and those ones that stick out are only for expansion?

This is my first time installing a panel, I've read plenty on it and it seems pretty straight forward, just want to make sure I'm not missing anything important. Interestingly there's no instructions that come with it other than the safety stuff such as turning power off before installing it.
Don't over think it, and be happy they gave such a generous amount of neutral lugs….
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:54 AM   #6
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


They are that way because QO panels have the MOST STUPID neutral bar arrangement of any panel.
That is why I will only use them if asked or to match existing panels. I don't care how "good" people think they are. They SUCK to work in.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:54 AM   #7
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


The bars screwed to the case are for grounds only.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:56 AM   #8
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
They are that way because QO panels have the MOST STUPID neutral bar arrangement of any panel.
That is why I will only use them if asked or to match existing panels. I don't care how "good" people think they are. They SUCK to work in.
We use QO panels, you just get used to working with them. Like everything else in the trade.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:02 AM   #9
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


Looks like a Canadian version.

(checking OP's location)

I suppose this IS a Canadian version!

They put in additional neutral bars when these panels are marketed in Canada, since they don't have restrictions on the number of tandem breakers you can use up there....
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:34 PM   #10
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


Ohh right, tandems I forgot about those. That would require more neutrals.

As for ceiling height, I have about 4". No plans to add drywall or drop ceiling in that room.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:53 PM   #11
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


The question was how far from the floor to the ceiling, not clearance from the ceiling.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:56 PM   #12
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


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The question was how far from the floor to the ceiling, not clearance from the ceiling.
Not sure what that means? Like how high the ceiling is from the floor? 7' 3"

From panel to ceiling: 4"
From panel to floor: 5'
From floor to highest breaker: 6'

Come to think of it, it did not occur to me to check the requirements on this, anyone know what it is for Canada? I just placed it where it made the most sense to me, it's maybe a little higher than my existing panel. If I'm going to move it now's the time since I did not start adding anything to it yet.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:18 PM   #13
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


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Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
We use QO panels, you just get used to working with them. Like everything else in the trade.
Personally, if something takes getting used to, and there are equal alternatives, I'll take the alternative.

I also don't think QO breakers are any better than anything else out there. IMO the Visi-Trip indicator is a homeowner gimmick.
About the only thing I like about them is that they are 25% smaller than 1" breakers which is a bonus as far as storage goes.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:21 PM   #14
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
They are that way because QO panels have the MOST STUPID neutral bar arrangement of any panel.
That is why I will only use them if asked or to match existing panels. I don't care how "good" people think they are. They SUCK to work in.
Tell me about it. I have one for my main, and hate it. Why they did that with the Neutral lug, makes no sense, due to you lose half that bus bar.

Then you have the fact, that you have to fish under any existing Neutrals and grounds, if it is a main panel.

I really want to rip mine out, and put in a Home line 125 amp 24 Space in its place, due to I have maxed out my QO panel at this point.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:26 PM   #15
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Question about neutral bar on QO panel


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Tell me about it. I have one for my main, and hate it. Why they did that with the Neutral lug, makes no sense, due to you lose half that bus bar.
What infuriates me is when some idiot uses all the upper holes because it is easier. You then have to fight to get to the lower ones later on.

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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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