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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Neutral bar addition

    This is a first. A small piece of neutral bar has been added and an additional lug installed on the ground. It's difficult to see but if you look in the second pic you can see about a three inch piece hanging from the original neutral bar.

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  2. #2
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    Another picture.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
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    423

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    The added lugs are a poor practice at best, the panel is a ITE/Siemens or Siemens, and the 1 lug looks like a CS1 accessory which is noted in the catalog as for ground bar use only & that neutral bar has a different C to C spacing for the set screws then their ground bar kits, which then requires cutting off 1 of the tangs for it to fit. The other lug works but I don't care for it as a proper one is a factory accessory.

    The add-on GB is hokey, but if fastened down is prob. OK depending on the size of the jumper ,whole panel is a rats nest.....


  4. #4
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    Looked like a bit of a hack job.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Looked like a bit of a hack job.
    That is being kind.


  6. #6
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    Looks to me like the panel is overloaded with mini breakers and they ran out of neutral spaces. Do some quick addition on the amps and I'll bet you come out way over!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    The added lugs are a poor practice at best, the panel is a ITE/Siemens or Siemens, and the 1 lug looks like a CS1 accessory which is noted in the catalog as for ground bar use only & that neutral bar has a different C to C spacing for the set screws then their ground bar kits, which then requires cutting off 1 of the tangs for it to fit. The other lug works but I don't care for it as a proper one is a factory accessory.

    The add-on GB is hokey, but if fastened down is prob. OK depending on the size of the jumper ,whole panel is a rats nest.....
    I would have a problem with the way the ground bar was installed and would have them install a proper one properly.

    The neutral bar is as Rollie said NFG ...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
    Looks to me like the panel is overloaded with mini breakers ...
    That is likely a problem as those are probably not allowed for that panel and at least not allowed in all of those locations.

    Do some quick addition on the amps and I'll bet you come out way over!
    It does not matter how many amps the breakers add up to.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
    Do some quick addition on the amps and I'll bet you come out way over!
    Adding up the breaker handle ratings does not account for any load diversity of items that are not used at the same time like heat and air conditioning. Nor does a typical breaker typically carry a majority of the possible load. A typical circuit for a bedroom might only be 2-3 amps on a 15 amp breaker.

    The only true way is to perform a demand load calculation.


  9. #9
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    It looks like the easiest thing to do would be to convert the ground bar to a neutral bar and mount a new ground bar to the can. There should be some mounting holes for a ground bar behind that jumble of wires.


  10. #10
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    At the very least the panel is probably over the maximum allowed circuits.


  11. #11
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    I called for further evaluation and listed that a one of the possible reasons. There were 4 panels and they were all a mess. I am sad to admit I kinda gave up, and just called it.


  12. #12
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    Jun 2008
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    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    What size was the house? Any additions?

    I ask because I can imagine that sometimes panels can get unnecessarily crowded. People get over zealous about running to many circuits all the way from the panel when combining some down stream can make the panel less crowded.

    Have any of you ever seen that happen? An unnecessarily over crowded panel?


  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    36

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    RE: overcrowding. The use of half-size breakers to increase the capacity of a panel is best done sparingly: this panel is asking for trouble. I have found that piggy-back breakers fail more often than the full size stab-ons and arc more frequently. The mechanicals inside and on the busbar are smaller and more fragile.


  14. #14
    Guy W Opie's Avatar
    Guy W Opie Guest

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    It seems that this panel has 36 circuits which is below 40 that is allowed.
    The neutral bar addition is NFG. The easiest way to get more termination points is double up the ground wire under 1 terminal. This will free up spots for neutral wires. Since only one neutral can be put under the terminal.


  15. #15
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    Mar 2009
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    601

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Locurcio View Post
    RE: overcrowding. The use of half-size breakers to increase the capacity of a panel is best done sparingly: this panel is asking for trouble. I have found that piggy-back breakers fail more often than the full size stab-ons and arc more frequently. The mechanicals inside and on the busbar are smaller and more fragile.
    You have GOT to be kidding. I've installed thousands of breakers and and have had just as many issues with full width breakers as the tandem types. This is hardly surprising because the same mechanism is used in both. GE for one makes this VERY clear in the literature. What makes you think otherwise?

    The panels that use the tandem and half-wide breakers are designed to be used in places where an older panel was located, among others. Space can be an issue, as can be a homeowner who doesn't want a locker sized panel installed. These breakers are subjected to the same testing as full width breakers. And, many panels are designed to be completely filled with the tandem and/or half wide breakers, not just a couple.

    What IS a problem is that often a brand of breaker not listed for the panel is used when a tandem is added. And, the tandem (or just as often, a full width breaker) is added after the buss has been open to the elements for a while and may be contaminated with various chemicals or gritty dirt. This can be a serious problem in any panel that has an aluminum buss, and there are plenty around. Older panels appear to have a less consistant contact width on the buss between brands than current manufacture types and may also play a role in contact failures where a non-panel brand breaker is used.

    Another thing to consider in the "wider is better" type thinking is that the "Cadillac" series breakers, like the Cutler Hammer CH and Square D QO types, are only " wide. And some of these come in a tandem type also.


  16. #16
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Neutral bar addition

    House was 8000ft. How 5panels and a heated deck and heat tape on the roof, all powered by electrical. There was some serious patch work going on.


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