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  1. #1
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    Default I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    The ground and neutral conductors are from a 50 amp GFI breaker for a spa.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    "Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate"

    ... SUPPOSED to be ...

    Not only the neutral, but the stranded ground and the solid ground need to be in separate terminals, and the two different sizes of grounds in separate terminals, i.e., those three conductors need three separate terminals.

    AND ... if that is not service equipment, then the neutral needs to be isolated from ground in that panel anyway.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    aww man... I thought I was gonna get some code references "pasties".
    All I found was NEC 408.41, didnt however, speak to stranded or grounding conductors.
    Thanks Jerry.

    Last edited by Marc M; 01-31-2010 at 09:48 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    "If you can read this, thank a TEACHER
    If you can read this in english, thank a VET!"

    If you can capitalize "English", thank a teacher again!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  5. #5
    Joe Kurpe's Avatar
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    The neutral should be seperate from the ground wire here. You only bond neutral to ground at the main service entrance ONCE and from there every thing is seperate on their respective terminals. Seperate grounds all together , seperate neutrals all together , and seperate hots. One wire under each respective terminal. This should be changed immediatly to prevent personal injury as well as false trips.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    I would agree with Jerry on this one based on what we can see. Only thing we know is that the 50 amp gfci is installed in this panel ... I think that is what Mark is saying. I'm pretty positive this is not a spa disconnect type panel. A picture of the entire panel would be nice and whether or not it is service equipment. Just looking at the curl in the white wire I would say this is the pigtail from the gfci. The green is the egc going to the spa and the bare I would think is a grounding electrode conductor. If this is true all these connections are line side of the gfci and there will be no false trips based on just these wires under the same lug. The violation is as Jerry said 3 wires under a lug that is listed for one termination. I don't believe (though I'm not positive) that the lug we are looking at can take more than one termination even if we're a terminating grounds to it .. whereas the connections for the terminal bar it is attached to can likely take 2 or more ground terminations of the same size. (#14 or #12 cu or #12 AL or #10AL) in most cases ...assuming we are allowed to connect grounds to it. So my point here is paying attention to the sizes and the wire whether copper or aluminum and what the listing is for the particular panel your looking at because not all panel listings are the same. Also notice that the torque changes when terminating two grounds vs one ground under a screw terminal.

    For those reading that may not be familiar with the panel listing for ground combinations below is an typical example of where it appears on the specifications sheet located on the inside panel door or possibly the interior metal enclosure of the panelboard. It's listed at the bottom of the image below the torque specifications. Sorry if my post is off base a tad but it really is all related to the violation Mark posted.

    Since we are at it notice the torque specifications and how they vary depending on screw size for the termination. I realize that correct torque is not information that you would be able to determine from an inspection but it is good information to understand.

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    Last edited by Roger Frazee; 02-01-2010 at 09:30 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    Right on the money Rodger. I made mention of the fact (ck label for different panels regarding # of grounding conductors under a termination) in a different thread. Jerry brought up one that I don't believe I've noticed on this site before,.. a stranded conductor is to be terminated separately regardless.

    Once an AHJ does his/her inspection, the home is left powerless to the diy's idea that they 'can do electrical', or any work to code for that matter. I have performed subsequent inspections where somewhere along the road someone has made improvements/additions that one can only shake ones head at.
    HI's are in a unique position to catch these intermediate infractions for the good of all.
    Bob Smit, County EI


  8. #8
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    Roger that, Roger. You are 100% correct. This is a SEP. I wanted to double check myself before I said something stupid. Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    I would agree with Jerry on this one based on what we can see. Only thing we know is that the 50 amp gfci is installed in this panel ... I think that is what Mark is saying. I'm pretty positive this is not a spa disconnect type panel. A picture of the entire panel would be nice and whether or not it is service equipment. Just looking at the curl in the white wire I would say this is the pigtail from the gfci. The green is the egc going to the spa and the bare I would think is a grounding electrode conductor. If this is true all these connections are line side of the gfci and there will be no false trips based on just these wires under the same lug. The violation is as Jerry said 3 wires under a lug that is listed for one termination. I don't believe (though I'm not positive) that the lug we are looking at can take more than one termination even if we're a terminating grounds to it .. whereas the connections for the terminal bar it is attached to can likely take 2 or more ground terminations of the same size. (#14 or #12 cu or #12 AL or #10AL) in most cases ...assuming we are allowed to connect grounds to it. So my point here is paying attention to the sizes and the wire whether copper or aluminum and what the listing is for the particular panel your looking at because not all panel listings are the same. Also notice that the torque changes when terminating two grounds vs one ground under a screw terminal.

    For those reading that may not be familiar with the panel listing for ground combinations below is an typical example of where it appears on the specifications sheet located on the inside panel door or possibly the interior metal enclosure of the panelboard. It's listed at the bottom of the image below the torque specifications. Sorry if my post is off base a tad but it really is all related to the violation Mark posted.

    Since we are at it notice the torque specifications and how they vary depending on screw size for the termination. I realize that correct torque is not information that you would be able to determine from an inspection but it is good information to understand.


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  9. #9
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    all we can do here is play the "what if " game. Not enough information was provided to give a valid informed answer or comment


  10. #10
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    all we can do here is play the "what if " game. Not enough information was provided to give a valid informed answer or comment
    That's true as far as whether the grounds and neutral can share the same bus as in service equipment but either way you cannot have all those wires in that lug ...the picture tells the story.


  11. #11
    Joe Kurpe's Avatar
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

    I am a licienced Professional Master Electrician with over 35 years experience and never except at service entrance do you bond neutral to ground or visa versa. No Electrical inspector has ever to my knowledge passed any job that was connected like this.If grounds and Nuetrals could be put togther why are there seperate buss or termination points for these? Any body with electrcal knowledge knows if it is connected as such you could energise the ground or create a back feed. Think about it.Why when we install pony panels do we remove the Brass bonding screw from Neutral to Ground then?To seperate the neutrals and grounds.It should not be bonded a second time.Check the NEC I am not sure what section but grounding would be a start.....................


  12. #12
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    Default Re: I thought grounds and neutrals had to be separate

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