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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got an inspection report on my house and one of the two "more costly to repair" items was a "double tappes neutral wires" line item. I looked in the panel(I have moderate DIY electrical knowledge) and saw this(pic attached). Is this a fix as easy as:
1. Cutting power to the main breaker and,
2. Replacing that bar with a longer bar giving each neutral their own slot?

This seems pretty straightforward unless I'm missing something


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So the grounds are the bare wires and the neutrals are the white sheathed ones? Are the wires safe to move when I shut off the main power(the one inside this box that does the whole house)?

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A "Handy Husband"
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So the grounds are the bare wires and the neutrals are the white sheathed ones? Are the wires safe to move when I shut off the main power(the one inside this box that does the whole house)?

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Yes it is safe to rearrange the bare grounds and neutrals. Remember that the wires feeding the main breaker from the meter are still live.
 

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wNCmountainCabin
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yes, but the issue may be more of whether the grounds will then 'reach' the new ground bar...sometimes that's more of an issue with existing panels since they were cut to only reach the bar they are currently attached to...

when you shut off the MAIN breaker, yes, the panel is then without power - but you'll notice the large incoming MAIN wires attached to the upper lugs - they are STILL powered, so be careful still not to touch them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This all makes sense, thank you. Do I need to connect a wire between the two bars or does the bar being screwed into the case provide adequate grounding?

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wNCmountainCabin
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or, be willing to pay an electrician to stop by and add one for you...maybe $100, maybe $300, or somewhere in between... it's a short quick job for them, but your area may dictate what pricing is 'normal', even for small jobs.

it's interesting that the inspector 'expects' these neutrals to each be in their 'own' slot, although nothing was mentioned about the grounds also being within the same bar, even though all grounds and neutrals are on the same 'bar' regardless of whether they are all in their own slots, are they all share a slot with another - it almost doesn't make common sense, but that's what some inspectors 'expect', regardless.
There must be some reason for it, though it alludes me.
 

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wNCmountainCabin
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This all makes sense, thank you. Do I need to connect a wire between the two bars or does the bar being screwed into the case provide adequate grounding?
I suspect that, as others have mentioned, the panel itself is 'ground' enough*..but yes, you 'can' also run a ground wire between the two, just in case the inspector 'expects' that : )

*since the MAIN Panel requires a ground wire to an outside ground ROD, into the earth, the panel itself is 'grounded', which is what protects us humans from a 'shock' from the metal panel, itself, should a leakage be happening at that moment.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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So the grounds are the bare wires and the neutrals are the white sheathed ones? Are the wires safe to move when I shut off the main power(the one inside this box that does the whole house)?

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Yes it is safe to rearrange the bare grounds and neutrals. Remember that the wires feeding the main breaker from the meter are still live.
 

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wNCmountainCabin
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my understanding is that:

- MAIN panels can have grounds and neutrals within the SAME bar*

- SUB-panels must have grounds and neutrals SEPARATED on their own bars

*most main panels will have a separate ground and neutral bar, though, although they are both technically tied together somewhere on the panel:
"The only place the neutral and ground can be together is at the service panel (your MAIN disconnect)." This MAIN service entrance panel also has a Ground wire to an outside Ground ROD, within the ground.

on a sub-panel, though, the Neutrals are on their own 'floating' bar, while the grounds are separated to their own 'grounded' bar(grounded on the panel, itself)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This MAIN service entrance panel also has a Ground wire to an outside Ground ROD, within the ground.
It's interesting you say this, as my main panel outside does NOT have a ground wire to a ground rod. This was actually the other item on my list of things to address.

Is resolving this as simple as hammering a 3 foot steel rod into the ground and installing a wire between this rod and the main box? (Pic of box attached)


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or, be willing to pay an electrician to stop by and add one for you...maybe $100, maybe $300, or somewhere in between... it's a short quick job for them, but your area may dictate what pricing is 'normal', even for small jobs.

it's interesting that the inspector 'expects' these neutrals to each be in their 'own' slot, although nothing was mentioned about the grounds also being within the same bar, even though all grounds and neutrals are on the same 'bar' regardless of whether they are all in their own slots, are they all share a slot with another - it almost doesn't make common sense, but that's what some inspectors 'expect', regardless.
There must be some reason for it, though it alludes me.

It is called a code requirement!
 

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wNCmountainCabin
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that is NOT your MAIN PANEL, that is only your METER - your Main Panel is most likely the large panel IN YOUR HOME - with 100 or 200amp main breakers. This is the panel that will have a 'ground rod' it is attached to, somewhere on your property.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
that is NOT your MAIN PANEL, that is only your METER - your Main Panel is most likely the large panel IN YOUR HOME - with 100 or 200amp main breakers. This is the panel that will have a 'ground rod' it is attached to, somewhere on your property.
Okay I understand what you are saying. The inspection report said the following. I didnt see a physical rod so I assumed it was not present.


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If your grounds are too short for your new ground bar, you can wirenut or wago them with a pigtail.

Also, you are not limited to placeing a new ground bar in a specific hole....you can TAP a new set of holes to mount in a more convenient location, but you do have to tap it, not a self drilling sheet metal screw....if my memory serves me it's a 8/32 tap (I keep it in my electrical box, but can't quite remember its size.)

Not exactly sure of code, but I know my BO's want to see a new ground bar mounted where the paint has been scrapped away for a good bond and / or a jumper to the neutral (obviously only in the main panel.)

I am not sure of this...but I think some neutral bars are compliant with a double tap...might check panel spec's or maybe one of our pro's will comment.
 

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wNCmountainCabin
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that is NOT your MAIN PANEL, that is only your METER - your Main Panel is most likely the large panel IN YOUR HOME - with 100 or 200amp main breakers. This is the panel that will have a 'ground rod' it is attached to, somewhere on your property.

and you'll see that your phone and cable providers have tapped into this 'ground', on the METER Panel itself, which eventually leads to the Main Panel, which is what is actually 'grounded' to earth.
 

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wNCmountainCabin
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remember, also, that many homes and electrical setups are 'grandfathered' in, and 'new' codes may not be applicable to them, though it might be 'nice' to upgrade them, if you are so inclined. The reasoning for inspections, I assume, is to not only make sure safety and codes are taken into consideration for brand new wiring, but that changes to the home's current 'old' electrical might need then a 'new' wiring scheme in light of current design and code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Interesting because there is nothing physically inserted into the earth at this location. But there is wires that appear to be connected and jumped into a clamp attached to the meter.


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