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Old 01-26-2009, 04:40 PM   #1
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Wire nut inside subpanel


I need to add a circuit for my microwave and last I checked either the neutral or ground were all taken up, I don't know where to buy more lugs to expand the bus (old.. Bryant panel).

From what I read it is OK to wire nut the neutral on 2 circuits then one of them go to the neutral bus?

Does the same apply to ground as well if I am out of ground lugs?

I have given some thoughts and I am going to change my Garage Lights (20Amp) breaker to a tandem 20/20, the mircowave neutral share with the garage light neutral. Since the garage light load is relatively small.. less than 300 watts so far. I doubt I would add much more lights.

Please let me know if there is anything wrong with this.

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Old 01-26-2009, 05:52 PM   #2
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Wire nut inside subpanel


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Originally Posted by DIYGST View Post
I need to add a circuit for my microwave and last I checked either the neutral or ground were all taken up, I don't know where to buy more lugs to expand the bus (old.. Bryant panel).

From what I read it is OK to wire nut the neutral on 2 circuits then one of them go to the neutral bus?

Does the same apply to ground as well if I am out of ground lugs?

I have given some thoughts and I am going to change my Garage Lights (20Amp) breaker to a tandem 20/20, the mircowave neutral share with the garage light neutral. Since the garage light load is relatively small.. less than 300 watts so far. I doubt I would add much more lights.

Please let me know if there is anything wrong with this.
Do NOT do this. You would be sharing a neutral between two circuits on the same phase. Your safest bet is to install an extra neutral bar. Foregoing that, you could double up two neutrals from circuits on opposite phases on one pigtail. That would open up a free hole.

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Old 01-26-2009, 06:09 PM   #3
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Wire nut inside subpanel


Does the next one down have a opposite phase? I will check with a meter, but I just can't remember how the panel boxes are layed out.
Assuming all the breakers are tandem, does the panel go..
Phase
1
1
2
2
1
1
2
2


that's the only way I could see the quad breakers work in poles 1,4 and 2,3

I can try to get a extra bar but I think one of the other brands may work, but I am trying to avoid non-bryant parts with my bryant panel.. since this brand is gone, I have to trace down Cutler Hammer which bought bryant.

Last edited by DIYGST; 01-26-2009 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:17 PM   #4
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Wire nut inside subpanel


Its quite acceptable to put a pair of neutral wires under the same set-screw! Some panels have screw terminals with a 'tit' on each side to prevent the wires from moving out from under the head! Two neutrals can be used under this type of terminal also!
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:25 PM   #5
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Its quite acceptable to put a pair of neutral wires under the same set-screw! Some panels have screw terminals with a 'tit' on each side to prevent the wires from moving out from under the head! Two neutrals can be used under this type of terminal also!
Not in 99% of the panels out there. It must be rated for it, and most are not.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:32 PM   #6
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Not in 99% of the panels out there. It must be rated for it, and most are not.
Please expand on this! I've seen hundreds of doubled neutrals and have done many myself! In fact I doubt that I have ever seen a panel that didn't have a doubled neutral.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:38 PM   #7
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Wire nut inside subpanel


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Please expand on this! I've seen hundreds of doubled neutrals and have done many myself! In fact I doubt that I have ever seen a panel that didn't have a doubled neutral.
Doubled grounds are (usually) allowed but neutrals are not.

2008 - 408.41 Each grounded conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual terminal that is not also used for another conductor.

In NEC:
Grounded Conductor is Neutral
Equipment Grounding Conductors is Ground

Don't get confused by the terminology.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:40 PM   #8
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Wire nut inside subpanel


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Please expand on this! I've seen hundreds of doubled neutrals and have done many myself! In fact I doubt that I have ever seen a panel that didn't have a doubled neutral.

Its a code violation, plain and simple.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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Wire nut inside subpanel


OK, now I am confused, I can still go with the wire nut plan on the neutral, just can't "double lug" it right.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:36 PM   #10
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Wire nut inside subpanel


As it has been pointed out, doubling up the neutral is a code violation. I would also not suggest wire nutting two neutrals.

Since you have an old Bryant Panel, why not call customer service (800) 323-2792 and ask the manufacturer were you can buy an expansion neutral bus for that specific panel
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:39 PM   #11
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Wire nut inside subpanel


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Please expand on this! I've seen hundreds of doubled neutrals and have done many myself! In fact I doubt that I have ever seen a panel that didn't have a doubled neutral.
We're talking about the neutral, right? The white one?
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:40 PM   #12
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Double up the (same sized) grounds if you must.

Do NOT double up the neutrals.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:34 PM   #13
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Wire nut inside subpanel


Definately not a good thing to put two neutrals under the same lug on the bar, and under a nut for the same reason.

Have you looked online or called an electrical supply house in your area to see if they can order a longer neutral bar for your panel?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:21 PM   #14
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Definately not a good thing to put two neutrals under the same lug on the bar, and under a nut for the same reason.

Have you looked online or called an electrical supply house in your area to see if they can order a longer neutral bar for your panel?
I've have seen panels designed to accept two wires. Breakers also! I fail to see why its a problem?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:27 PM   #15
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Wire nut inside subpanel


My square D QO panel also allows 2 wires per terminal.

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