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  1. #1
    AJ Leo's Avatar
    AJ Leo Guest

    Default How many wire is too many?

    Hello,

    Great site with great info!

    I inspected a home yesterday with a service panel in the basement. I'm used to seeing one or two ground and/or neutral wires attached under a single screw in the bus bar but this panel had several instances of 3 or 4 seperate wires under a single screw (ground and neutral). There were several available openenings available so it seems to me like the electrician may have rushed the job a bit.

    Also, I'm going to have to call out the subpanel for bonded nuetral and ground and I have a question about how the sub panel is wired.

    The main panel feeds the sub panel from a 70 amp breaker. The sub panel has the incoming wires from the 70 amp main panel breaker connected to a 100 amp breaker in the subpanel. Is this ok or no bueno?

    Thanks for any help.

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  2. #2
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: How many wire is too many?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Leo View Post
    Hello,

    Great site with great info!

    I inspected a home yesterday with a service panel in the basement. I'm used to seeing one or two ground and/or neutral wires attached under a single screw in the bus bar but this panel had several instances of 3 or 4 seperate wires under a single screw (ground and neutral). There were several available openenings available so it seems to me like the electrician may have rushed the job a bit.

    Also, I'm going to have to call out the subpanel for bonded nuetral and ground and I have a question about how the sub panel is wired.

    The main panel feeds the sub panel from a 70 amp breaker. The sub panel has the incoming wires from the 70 amp main panel breaker connected to a 100 amp breaker in the subpanel. Is this ok or no bueno?

    Thanks for any help.
    AJ: Two grounds or one common per lug.


  3. #3
    AJ Leo's Avatar
    AJ Leo Guest

    Default Re: How many wire is too many?

    Great - Thanks for the quick reply. It's common in my area to see two per lug but not four and not mixed. I'll call it out on my report.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,898

    Default Re: How many wire is too many?

    If the subpanel is not in a detached structure there is no need for the main breaker. At this point it is redundant and would serve as a convenient means to shut off the subpanel without going back to the main panel.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,243

    Default Re: How many wire is too many?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Leo View Post
    I inspected a home yesterday with a service panel in the basement. I'm used to seeing one or two ground and/or neutral wires attached under a single screw in the bus bar but this panel had several instances of 3 or 4 seperate wires under a single screw (ground and neutral).
    To clarify what Aaron was stating as it is that important:

    "I'm used to seeing one or two ground and/or neutral wires attached under a single screw in the bus bar "

    AJ, it is okay to have 1, 2, and sometimes 3 "grounding" wires in the same terminal (you would have to read the label on the panel to know whether the limitation was 2 or 3), BUT ... if there is a neutral wire in the terminal, there is allowed to be *ONLY* that *ONE* neutral conductor and *NO OTHER CONDUCTORS*, not even another neutral, not even a grounding wire from the same circuit in one terminal.

    Regarding the next item , if you were not in one of those things shown on top at my avatar, and were not looking at one of those things shown at the bottom of my avatar, you were not looking at a "sub" "panel", just a "panel", a "remote panel", or a "distribution panel" - there are no such things as "subpanel" and a common result of thinking of, and referring to, them as such is to not understand the connection of where the neutral and grounding conductors are bonded together.

    Also, I'm going to have to call out the subpanel for bonded neutral and ground and I have a question about how the sub panel is wired.
    That is no longer allowed, and was only allowed in the past when it was at a separate structure, with no grounding conductor between the main structure and the separate structure, and no other metallic paths between the two structures, such as metal water piping, phone lines, TV cable or antenna lines, only when the separate structure was completely isolated from the main structure. Even then, that practice is no longer allowed on newer structures as it was just not a real good thing to do.

    The main panel feeds the sub panel from a 70 amp breaker. The sub panel has the incoming wires from the 70 amp main panel breaker connected to a 100 amp breaker in the subpanel. Is this ok or no bueno?
    Actually, while not required, it is beneficial to have another main in the remote panel. This allows removing all power to that remote panel without having to go anywhere, and, without having to be concerned that someone at the other location may flip it back on not knowing that you had it off intentionally - could make for a real shocking experience. Not required but a very good feature to have.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    AJ Leo's Avatar
    AJ Leo Guest

    Default Re: How many wire is too many?

    Thanks for the info. I know what you're saying about the misuse of terms. My favorite is hot water heater. I explain to people that if the water was already hot there would be no reason to heat it.

    I know it's a good idea to use the proper terminology.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: How many wire is too many?

    AJ, I use the common terminology when I get bored. It's kinda like snapping the mascots jock strap. If you don't do it once in a while, he doesn't think you like him .


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