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Old 04-06-2019, 08:06 PM   #1
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Neutrals/Grounds in Main Panel


I am looking to install an Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA surge suppressor to my main panel (GE brand) but there is only one terminal left on the ground/neutral bar. I see almost all of the grounds are already doubled up. I understand doubling up the neutrals is a no no. The ground wire for the surge suppressor is stranded, so I take it that it should have its own terminal. Can I triple up the 14ga grounds to free up a terminal? Or can I put the stranded ground wire on the same terminal which only has one solid ground in it?



Edit: Just looked at the label on the inside of the panel and it seems to indicate that only two grounds per terminal.





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Old 04-06-2019, 09:04 PM   #2
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I would not put the stranded wire with a solid wire. You could add an additional grounding bar attached to the panel box (be sure the bonding screw goes from the neutral bar into the box).
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:26 PM   #3
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Re: Neutrals/Grounds in Main Panel


You could combine a few grounds in a wire nut with a single bare (equal or larger
in size to largest combined gnd) going to gnd/neutral bar.
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:30 PM   #4
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Re: Neutrals/Grounds in Main Panel


Take 4 or 5 grounds of the same size off the ground bar. Wire but them together with a pigtail of the same size, connect the pigtail back back to the ground bar.

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Old 04-07-2019, 01:32 AM   #5
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Re: Neutrals/Grounds in Main Panel


@Wiredindallas - Room is a bit tight in the panel to try to add another grounding bar.

I hadn't thought of doing a wire nut and pig tail as others have suggested. Seems a bit of a hack, but doing some online research, it doesn't look to be against code.


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Old 04-07-2019, 11:23 AM   #6
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It doesn't look like you have any space for a surge protector breaker. They are 2 pole thick breakers requiring a connection on both phases (240 volts). You already have all thin breakers and only 1 phase bar available.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:52 AM   #7
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Sorry, I see you are not installing a breaker type surge protector, but you still need 2 phases for the breakers it is connected to even if hey are Hines breakers. You can move 1 existing breaker down from the other phase to get room for a 2 pole thin breaker. Is this Romex wiring or conduit? Be sure to keep any 2 hots that may be sharring the same neutral on opposite phases. If the circuit is on 2 wire Romex, no problem.
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:57 PM   #8
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Sorry. .........even if they are thin breakers..........
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:33 PM   #9
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Re: Neutrals/Grounds in Main Panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiredindallas View Post
Sorry, I see you are not installing a breaker type surge protector, but you still need 2 phases for the breakers it is connected to even if hey are Hines breakers. You can move 1 existing breaker down from the other phase to get room for a 2 pole thin breaker. Is this Romex wiring or conduit? Be sure to keep any 2 hots that may be sharring the same neutral on opposite phases. If the circuit is on 2 wire Romex, no problem.
There is room for more breakers in the panel. The challenge is that the ground/neutral bar is pretty full.

The surge suppressor requires a 50A double pole breaker to connect to. It looks like if I put this new breaker below that 20A double pole breaker on the bottom right that it will cover both phases. Or I could move that 15A single breaker on the left bottom down two slots and fit the new breaker there.

There is no romex. This is a direct wire from the surge suppressor to the panel. Below is a photo of the surge suppressor that I am installing. It will mount to the bottom of the panel via one of the knockouts available there.




Last edited by gpraceman; 04-07-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:10 PM   #10
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Re: Neutrals/Grounds in Main Panel


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Originally Posted by gpraceman View Post
There is room for more breakers in the panel. The challenge is that the ground/neutral bar is pretty full.

The surge suppressor requires a 50A double pole breaker to connect to. It looks like if I put this new breaker below that 20A double pole breaker on the bottom right that it will cover both phases. Or I could move that 15A single breaker on the left bottom down two slots and fit the new breaker there.

There is no romex. This is a direct wire from the surge suppressor to the panel. Below is a photo of the surge suppressor that I am installing. It will mount to the bottom of the panel via one of the knockouts available there.

A 2-pole slim breaker will fit there. A full size double pole will fit on the bottom left.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:43 PM   #11
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Re: Neutrals/Grounds in Main Panel


I did manage to get the surge suppressor wired in. I pulled some 14ga grounds off of the ground/neutral bar and added a pigtail to them to free up one terminal. One terminal was so tight, I couldn't even loosen it without the head starting to strip.


The bottom photo seems to only show one LED being on. Visually, both are on. Through the camera on my phone, the two LEDs alternate being on and off. Strange.





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Old 04-08-2019, 12:56 AM   #12
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Re: Neutrals/Grounds in Main Panel


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Originally Posted by gpraceman View Post
The bottom photo seems to only show one LED being on. Visually, both are on. Through the camera on my phone, the two LEDs alternate being on and off. Strange.

Not strange - that's alternating current.
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