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Old 10-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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Panel ground bar/neutral question


Hey,
Quick backstory, house built '51 with 2 cable wire. 150 amp service with main breaker at the meter outside. House was flooded from Hurricane Sandy so it was a good excuse to rewire the entire house which I did myself. My panel inside only has the shared neutral/ground bar so for right now I have everything on that. Problem is it's not correct and I will run out of terminals before I complete the job. Essentially my "main" panel is actually a sub panel given that the main breaker is outside at the meter correct?

Basically I want to seperate the grounds and neutrals by adding a dedicated ground bar.
What is the proper method of install for this to be correct?
There are 2 hots, a neutral, and what appears to be a ground coming in on the main service cable. The ground is bonded to the left side of the panel via a lug. The neutral is on the right side of the panel bonded to the neutral bar. It's an older Murray 20 slot with an available 40 circuits with cheaters(panel allows it).

So can I just literally install the ground bar to the panel by itself or is it more involved than that? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:31 PM   #2
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Id add an approved ground bar. Neutral must be floating and isolated up on plastic supports. Any pics just to confirm?
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. No pics. Tomorrow I am gonna be in the panel doing some work and more poking around. I'll take some pics then. I'm done for today, did some work in my boiler room and wrestled around the kitchen with the dishwasher (Fridgidaire, not my wife!). I'm shot.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotkarl View Post
Thanks for the reply. No pics. Tomorrow I am gonna be in the panel doing some work and more poking around. I'll take some pics then. I'm done for today, did some work in my boiler room and wrestled around the kitchen with the dishwasher (Fridgidaire, not my wife!). I'm shot.
Welcome

If the ground bar is complaint (ie meant for the right panel) it can just be mounted where the instructions say. The panel metal itself hold and bonds the ground bar. As long as the bar that terminates the incoming ground is also bonded to the mental (it should be as per code) it will work.

Neutrals must be one per hole on the neutral bar, while grounds may be doubled up provided they are the same size and the panel instructions say its ok.

Make sure the neutral bar is not bonded to the metal panel enclosure.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:09 PM   #5
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Thanks again. When I open the panel I'll check if the neutral is isolated.
If not I have the parts to isolate it.
The incoming ground is bonded to the panel via a lug.
So basically if the ground bar is compatible with the panel all I have to do is simply mount it to the panel and game over?
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by hotkarl View Post
Thanks again. When I open the panel I'll check if the neutral is isolated.
If not I have the parts to isolate it.
The incoming ground is bonded to the panel via a lug.
So basically if the ground bar is compatible with the panel all I have to do is simply mount it to the panel and game over?
Yup. Just make sure the ground bar is the same make as your panel.

This is a newer panel?
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotkarl View Post
Essentially my "main" panel is actually a sub panel given that the main breaker is outside at the meter correct?


Basically I want to seperate the grounds and neutrals by adding a dedicated ground bar.

So can I just literally install the ground bar to the panel by itself or is it more involved than that? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Correct. Your panel is a subpanel. That is why the neutrals and grounds are supposed to be separated, in order to not have a parallel neutral current path back to your main disconnect which is the official "service" panel.

For your grounds, Section 250.8(a) allows you to use a terminal bar installed with machine screws that engage not less than 2 threads in the enclosure. If the metal isnt thick enough or you can't tap in threads then you can place it where you can secure it with nuts on the back.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jake. View Post
Correct. Your panel is a subpanel. That is why the neutrals and grounds are supposed to be separated, in order to not have a parallel neutral current path back to your main disconnect which is the official "service" panel.

For your grounds, Section 250.8(a) allows you to use a terminal bar installed with machine screws that engage not less than 2 threads in the enclosure. If the metal isnt thick enough or you can't tap in threads then you can place it where you can secure it with nuts on the back.
Copy. Thanks!
Float neutral bar.
Secure ground bar, uh, securely.
Got it.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jump-start View Post
Yup. Just make sure the ground bar is the same make as your panel.

This is a newer panel?
It's old but not ancient. Best guess would be 1980's?
Definitely not original.
Ground bar is universal replacement. *Supposed* to fit my panel.
Worst case I guess I would have to tap new holes in the panel if this one doesn't line up exactly. A friend of mine used a ground bar on his panel from a totally different brand and that's what he did, he just drilled new holes and screwed it on.
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