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Old 11-27-2011, 08:27 PM   #1
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square d panel neutral bar question


Hi.

I have a Square D QON 20-40MG200 panel, and I am writing from Portland OR. Desiring to run a dedicated circuit for chest freezer, I recently replaced a single breaker with a tandem (thanks to those here who helped me understand that it was possible to do that!). As I was about to wire the circuit, I noticed that all of the neutral and ground bus wire slots were occupied.

I have read that, with regard to a main service panel where neutral and ground are bonded, I can double up on ground wires, putting two in one slot for example, and put the neutral I am adding into the unoccupied ground slot.

I have attached a few photos.

My questions:
1. Am I correct that I can indeed put the neutral into a ground slot in this panel?

2. Can I indeed double up, putting two grounds of the same gauge into one ground slot?

3. My panel can apparently hold all tandem breakers, but clearly I don't have room for all the neutrals. From the photos and the panel model, can you tell if I can add on to the neutral bus to gain more room?

4. The electrician doing our kitchen remodel 8 years ago clearly put a 14-gauge neutral in the same slot as the neutral from the range (you can see them in the photo), which, based on my reading, seems odd if not disallowed- the smaller wire is to the low-voltage cabinet lights. This passed inspection...?

You guys are gems. Thanks for taking the time to help.

Vince
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square d panel neutral bar question-neutral-gound-bars.jpg   square d panel neutral bar question-neutral-gound-bars-cropped.jpg  
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:43 PM   #2
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square d panel neutral bar question


as long as the ground wires are same gauge it is fine.move the 14 ga neutral.double up ground and use that screw.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:04 PM   #3
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square d panel neutral bar question


You can put the grounds together under one screw. In fact I have seen instances where electricians have twisted multiple strands together and terminated them under a single screw.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:19 PM   #4
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square d panel neutral bar question


You're right about the doubled-up neutrals being wrong, those should be one per terminal.

For grounds, check the panel label to be certain, it should say how many ground wires of each gauge are allowed in each terminal. It probably allows 2-3 14-gauge grounds per hole.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:53 PM   #5
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square d panel neutral bar question


For the SqD panels I know you can bundle the grounding conductors many as 2 or 3 per hole but netural always single conductor per hole so you can move few grounding conductors and bundle it up then you have couple empty opening for netural conductors.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:12 PM   #6
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square d panel neutral bar question


Thanks for the responses. Pardon the newbie question, but is it obvious from the photos that neutral and ground are bonded here? They certainly look so, and this is my only panel.

Also, what does one do about getting more ground/neutral slots in the main panel; it seems the tandem circuit breaker option is not so good if there are not sufficient holes for the neutrals.....

Thanks again.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:25 PM   #7
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square d panel neutral bar question


If this is your only panel then you can able add a ground buss bar for few Euros { Bucks } you will have to find a two hole which they are predrilled it will be either right or left side of the panel and screw it in and run a extra conductor { use #8 or #6 awg for this purpose in case the screw fail for some reason } then move all the grounding conductor to the new ground buss bar then you will have alot more room for your netual conductor.

However before you do this route you will have to turn the main breaker off on this for safety reason then carefully fold the conductors out of the way you will have to bend them a little either way to get into there or otherwise "peel" it back then add a ground bussbar and move them to new one and push the exsting conductors back in the place much as possible but becarefull don't nick any conductors and leave a gap when you get it done so you can add it more down the time.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:28 PM   #8
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Merci mille fois!
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