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· Registered
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
plan to do the following to clean and improve inside of Circuit Breaker Box. Looking for any thoughts on my plans.

- Change all circuit brokers to new ones that are of the same and proper type (Murray MP-T type)

- regarding the wires in the ceiling joist area above the box, beaten and organize them into groups of using multiwire clips (photo of clip attached). is it ok to attach the wires to the ceiling joists, or, am I required to run a strip of plywood screwed into the floor joists and alternatively attach the wires to that?

- Put an additional piece of wood (3/4 inch thick by about 3 or 4 inches wide) above the panel box in order to secure the wires above it will multiwire clips (photo of clip attached)

- combine groups of 2 or 3 ground wires into one ground bus bar hole/screw in order to free up spots so each neutral wire can have a dedicated spot on the neutral bar;

4 - use zip ties to loosely group wires together (is it ok to zip tie hots and neutral and grounds together - or - should all hots be grouped together and then all neutrals be grouped together then all grounds be grouped together?

additional questions regarding the grounds and neutral. looking at the box on the right side, there are two buses almost on top of each other and then on the left side of the box, there is a 3rd bus. from that bus there is a strip of metal (about 1 inch wide) that runs to the other side of the box and attached to tone (or both?) of the ground or neutral bus bars there. Is it acceptable to run all grounds and neutrals to the same bus bar on the left side in regard to the breakers on the left side? then on the right side, run all the neutrals to the bottom bar (which I think is the natural bar) and all grounds to the bar above that? I am guessing that since this is the main box and not a subpanel, the ground and neutral bars on the right are bonded together and that the 1 inch thick piece of metal going from the bar on the left to the bar(s?) on the right bonds the left bar to the right neutral and ground bars. but it is too difficult to see in there to be sure.

Thank you for any suggestions, corrections, or ideas offered.


· wNCmountainCabin
205 Posts must have a lot of 'extra' time on your hands...
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· Registered
1,344 Posts
Read also recent post:

Poster was flagged by an inspector for having more than one neutral wire in holes on the neutral bar. Poster then added a grounding bar and neatly separated neutrals and grounds.

My question: if one has the time and/or opportunity, would one benefit from 'balancing' sides of a breaker box. That is, if 2 A/C window units, used at same times of day, one breaker on 'right/red' side and one on 'left/black' side. In other words, if a 200A box, use ratings to balance 100A on each side of box?

· Master Electrician
194 Posts
Clearly the inside of the panel was an indication of what is going on the outside of it...WOW!

I congratulate you for taking the steps to try to clean this up. There are a variety of ways to clean this up.

I would actually start as far away from the panel as possible and work back toward the panel. It makes absolutely no difference where the cable goes into the panel as far as "order" goes. It also does not matter where in the panel the breakers go. In general most electricians will put the "bigger loads" closer to the main breaker, but there is no rule for that.

I am a big fan of the stackers and use them often. When attaching wires with staples, do not pound them in, the wire should be able to move under the staple.

Even an install with hundreds of wires can be managed if you have some forethought and basic planning skills.

However there is a balance between quality and obsessive behaviour!

Here is an older picture of an install that used stackers for part of it.

Now our panels in Canada are different, but the same process applies regardless…

Land your bonds (grounds) first.

Don’t worry about how the panel is oriented in the pictures or that there are multiple wires under a screw, the rules are different in different locations.

Land your neutrals next.

Your neutrals will look different if you have a AFCI or GFCI breaker as you will see in the picture below.

Hots third. Land them in some sort of organized order as they enter the panel and not where they are located in your house.


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