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Old 12-13-2012, 06:56 AM   #1
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Subpanel Beginner Questions


First question is the black bar my finger is pointing to needs to be removed for a subpanel correct? This will be where I intend to hook up all the white neutral wires



Second picture is showing that I have disconnected the bar from the neutral bar. My next issue is I tried removing the lug on the ground bar to completely remove the black bar. First I assume this bar needs to completely come out and 2nd the stupid cheap screw holding the lug on completely stripped; can I break the black bar off and leave a clean flush cut?

Next question is despite the ugly wire pattern do I have the wires correct? (I didn’t want to cut too much until I was 100% certain what to do) I assume on a subpanel all the neutral are connected to the neutral and all the grounds are on the ground bar



Sheathing will be cut down and wire routing I’m planning will make 90* turns to their respective locations.

Sorry for the photos not being vertical...I don't understand why photobucket is doing this...my subpanel is installed vertically


Last edited by LarryM; 12-13-2012 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:40 AM   #2
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Subpanel Beginner Questions


That is a joiner so you can use the bars either side for neutral connections. It is not intended to be removed. You need to add an additional bar for your grounds using some of the holes in the lower left of the bottom picture.

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Old 12-13-2012, 12:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
That is a joiner so you can use the bars either side for neutral connections. It is not intended to be removed. You need to add an additional bar for your grounds using some of the holes in the lower left of the bottom picture.
Ok that makes sense. So i'll connect the joiner and use both those bars for neutral only.

I'll purchase a grounding bar (actually already have one, just need the brackets to attach to the panel)
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:51 PM   #4
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Subpanel Beginner Questions


Many add-in ground bars mount directly to the panel enclosure.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:55 PM   #5
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That is a joiner so you can use the bars either side for neutral connections. It is not intended to be removed. You need to add an additional bar for your grounds using some of the holes in the lower left of the bottom picture.

Not totally so. The bonding jumper is intended to be installed if the panel is used with a main breaker as service equipment (a "main" panel), where neutral (grounded) and ground (grounding) conductors are bonded. The neutral and ground wires may be connected to either bus, but typically for appearance and clarity you can use grounds on one and neutral on the other. There should be a bonding screw or tab connecting the buses to the panel case.

When used as equipment (a subpanel), the neutral bond to the panel case can be removed (typically a screw or tab from one bus into the case back). The bonding jumper in question must be removed so no connection exists between the neutral bus and the ground bus, allowing the neutral bus to "float" (not be connected to ground). This alows you to use one bus as neutral, the other as ground. The ground bus should still be bonded to the panel case.

Regarding the stripped screws, remove the screws on either side and use vise grip to remove them. Or get a set of stripped screw extractors and use one to back them out. Or return to panel to the big box and exchange it for one that isn't farked.

Last edited by CraigV; 12-13-2012 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:59 PM   #6
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Both of those bars appear to be mounted on isulating brackets which would make them a neutral bar. The bond strap is not installed. You can see it near the bottom bus to the left in the pic.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Both of those bars appear to be mounted on isulating brackets which would make them a neutral bar. The bond strap is not installed. You can see it near the bottom bus to the left in the pic.
Exactly, and that's why I tried to give as comprehensive picture as possible of how the use of the panel (Service Equipment vs Equipment) will determine how the buses are configured.

If the panel isn't going to be jammed with twins/tandems there are sufficient slots on each bus to accomodate all neutrals on one, and (if bonded) all grounds on the other, without necessitating the purchase of added grounding buses.

If non-CTL breakers (twins/tandems) are used (I see the notched slots at the bottom) and the panel is filled or otherwise winds up with more than twelve neutrals, then added grounding buses must be used.

Last edited by CraigV; 12-13-2012 at 02:25 PM. Reason: spelling!!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:53 PM   #8
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Exactly, and that's why I tried to give as comprehensive picture as possible of how the use of the panel (Service Equipment vs Equipment) will determine how the buses are configured.

If the panel isn't going to be jammed with twins/tandems there are sufficient slots on each bus to accomodate all neutrals on one, and (if bonded) all grounds on the other, without necessitating the purchase of added grounding buses.

If non-CTL breakers (twins/tandems) are used (I see the notched slots at the bottom) and the panel is filled or otherwise winds up with more than twelve neutrals, then added grounding buses must be used.
Hi Craig,

The circuits pictured are the ones I am using so there will be no tandems or anything other than a normal 15A and 20A circuit

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Not totally so. The bonding jumper is intended to be installed if the panel is used with a main breaker as service equipment (a "main" panel), where neutral (grounded) and ground (grounding) conductors are bonded. The neutral and ground wires may be connected to either bus, but typically for appearance and clarity you can use grounds on one and neutral on the other. There should be a bonding screw or tab connecting the buses to the panel case.

When used as equipment (a subpanel), the neutral bond to the panel case can be removed (typically a screw or tab from one bus into the case back). The bonding jumper in question must be removed so no connection exists between the neutral bus and the ground bus, allowing the neutral bus to "float" (not be connected to ground). This alows you to use one bus as neutral, the other as ground. The ground bus should still be bonded to the panel case.
If I understand you correctly; I can remove the black bar from both bars and use one of the bars for neutral whites and the other for bare grounds. For the bare ground I will need to rotate that little hook with the green screw on it into one of the slots on the proposed ground bar as illustrated below?



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Regarding the stripped screws, remove the screws on either side and use vise grip to remove them. Or get a set of stripped screw extractors and use one to back them out. Or return to panel to the big box and exchange it for one that isn't farked.
Thanks I'll do my best to remove the stripped screw...it is crazy how easily it stripped
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:34 PM   #9
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I'm no electrician but I believe you need a main breaker in there because you have more than 6 circuit breakers. Others should be able to elaborate.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:46 PM   #10
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A main breaker is not needed if the subpanel is in the same building as the service panel.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
If non-CTL breakers (twins/tandems) are used (I see the notched slots at the bottom)
Twins or tandems come in CTL and non-CTL versions. The slots are there for the CTL versions.

Non-CTL's are for replacement use in panels built before 1967 (IIRC), and they are not to be used in CTL panels.

Putting non-CTL breakers in that panel would be a code violation.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:17 PM   #12
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Twins or tandems come in CTL and non-CTL versions. The slots are there for the CTL versions.

Non-CTL's are for replacement use in panels built before 1967 (IIRC), and they are not to be used in CTL panels.

Putting non-CTL breakers in that panel would be a code violation.
Some CTL load centers allow a limited number of non-CTL breakers. The OP's is one of them. It's a Cutler-Hammer BR. It is labeled CTL. It has two non-CTL blades visible in the pics (the unused slots) and so will allow installation of at least four non-CTL breakers.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:33 PM   #13
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Non-CTL breaker should not be used in a CTL panel. Many panels that allow tandems only allow them in certain positions on the bus. The other spots are for non tandem breakers.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:17 PM   #14
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The terminal bar on the right hand side of your panel will be your neutral bar. It has the neutral provison .. the other bar does not. The bonding jumper should be installed to the bar on the left hand side of the panel.
Then interchange your whites and bare grounds.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:54 AM   #15
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The terminal bar on the right hand side of your panel will be your neutral bar. It has the neutral provison .. the other bar does not. The bonding jumper should be installed to the bar on the left hand side of the panel.
Then interchange your whites and bare grounds.
Interesting...what is the neutral provision on the terminal bar on the right side?

So you're saying to move the below to the other side of the panel and use that terminal bar for my grounds.

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