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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Sent this pdf picture... How do I better explain?

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Tell the electrician to try reading what the manufacturer wrote.
    (bold and underlining are mine)
    "When used as service equipment, any unused neutral holes may be used for equipment grounding. For equipment grounding applications, wire holes are suitable for (1) #14-4 or up to (3) #14-10 wires. Multiple wires in the same hole must be the same size and material."

    I.e., FOR EQUIPMENT GROUNDING APPLICATIONS ...

    The way I would respond is something like this: The unused neutral HOLES may be used for EQUIPMENT GROUNDING, and when used for EQUIPMENT GROUNDING the HOLES may have multiple EQUIPMENT GROUNDING conductors in them, provided the multiple EQUIPMENT GROUNDING conductors meet the stated requirements of up to 3 #14-10 wires, all wires in one hole being the same size and same material.

    Then continue with something like this: That DOES NOT say that with a NEUTRAL conductor there may be more than one wire in one hole - only that THE HOLE may have more than one EQUIPMENT GROUNDING conductor.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    The circled part only applies to grounding conductors, not neutrals. The electrician is wrong.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Tell the electrician to try reading what the manufacturer wrote.
    (bold and underlining are mine)
    "When used as service equipment, any unused neutral holes may be used for equipment grounding. For equipment grounding applications, wire holes are suitable for (1) #14-4 or up to (3) #14-10 wires. Multiple wires in the same hole must be the same size and material."

    I.e., FOR EQUIPMENT GROUNDING APPLICATIONS ...

    The way I would respond is something like this: The unused neutral HOLES may be used for EQUIPMENT GROUNDING, and when used for EQUIPMENT GROUNDING the HOLES may have multiple EQUIPMENT GROUNDING conductors in them, provided the multiple EQUIPMENT GROUNDING conductors meet the stated requirements of up to 3 #14-10 wires, all wires in one hole being the same size and same material.

    Then continue with something like this: That DOES NOT say that with a NEUTRAL conductor there may be more than one wire in one hole - only that THE HOLE may have more than one EQUIPMENT GROUNDING conductor.
    Jerry,

    I think that may still be too 'technical'... I'm gonna go with..

    "Whites have to have their own hole - bare coppers can be doubled only is they're the same size"

    :-)...

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gault View Post
    Jerry,

    I think that may still be too 'technical'... I'm gonna go with..

    "Whites have to have their own hole - bare coppers can be doubled only is they're the same size"

    :-)...
    Mike, it is not too technical. I would not use only "white" and "bare" copper wires, include the correct terminology even if it sounds too technical. As professionals we need to use the proper terminology and try to avoid dumming down our descriptions of the issues. I would use what Jerry posted or something very similar.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Hey Mike just my thoughts but I am always kind of paranoid posting or sending photos electronically with an address or other identifying names.

    Galen L. Beasley
    Inspections Supervisor
    Housing Authority of Kansas City MO

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Electrician needs some remedial reading classes.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gault View Post
    Jerry,

    I think that may still be too 'technical'... I'm gonna go with..

    "Whites have to have their own hole - bare coppers can be doubled only is they're the same size"

    :-)...
    Mike,

    But now I dunno what I can do with that there green coated copper wire thingy? Only one per hole or do I have to strip all that green stuff off so it is bare?


    Scott,

    Mike was making a 'funny'. The smiley face just did not show up except as :-)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Whites do not need their own hole depending on the panel manufacturer. Some panels are clearly marked on the literature on the panel that you can in fact have more than one neutral in a hole as long as they are the same size. Grounds can have a few of the same size. I have posted panel literature in the past stating so. I do not have them on this computer. The electrician is right, depending on the panel!

    Depends on panel as to whether it was alright. As the saying goes. If it is listed with the panel manufacturer and it is listed for double neutral under one lug then it Is alright.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Whites do not need their own hole depending on the panel manufacturer. Some panels are clearly marked on the literature on the panel that you can in fact have more than one neutral in a hole as long as they are the same size. Grounds can have a few of the same size. I have posted panel literature in the past stating so. I do not have them on this computer. The electrician is right, depending on the panel!

    Depends on panel as to whether it was alright. As the saying goes. If it is listed with the panel manufacturer and it is listed for double neutral under one lug then it Is alright.
    If the white is being used as a grounded conductor (as a white should be used), the NEC prohibits more than one grounded conductor in one terminal.

    I will go out on a limb and say 'You will not find a panel which specifically states that more than one neutral is permitted in one terminal.' - I say 'go out on a limb' because I have not seen every label in every panel, but 'you will not find a panel which SPECIFICALLY states that more than one neutral is permitted in one terminal'.

    I used to be the one who would correct the others who said that only one neutral was allowed in one terminal because it was up to the manufacturer, their listing and labeling, and ... back before the NEC specifically PROHIBITED more than one neutral in one terminal the manufacturer 'could' test and list a panel which allowed more than one neutral in one terminal - BUT ...

    ... even back then I never found a panel that SPECIFICALLY allowed for it - the NEC just did not 'prohibit' it, so 'it could be permitted' - it just 'was not allowed permitted' by any manufacturer I ever heard of. I guess there could have been a manufacturer 'back then, a long, long, long time ago' which permitted it - I've just never heard of one which did.

    However, the NEC now specifically prohibits more than one neutral in one terminal.

    Parallel neutrals terminate in separate terminals - just as in the service I inspected yesterday with three parallel sets of 500 kcmil conductors. Each conductor (ungrounded or grounded conductor) each terminated in their own terminal.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    If the white is being used as a grounded conductor (as a white should be used), the NEC prohibits more than one grounded conductor in one terminal.

    I will go out on a limb and say 'You will not find a panel which specifically states that more than one neutral is permitted in one terminal.' - I say 'go out on a limb' because I have not seen every label in every panel, but 'you will not find a panel which SPECIFICALLY states that more than one neutral is permitted in one terminal'.

    I used to be the one who would correct the others who said that only one neutral was allowed in one terminal because it was up to the manufacturer, their listing and labeling, and ... back before the NEC specifically PROHIBITED more than one neutral in one terminal the manufacturer 'could' test and list a panel which allowed more than one neutral in one terminal - BUT ...

    ... even back then I never found a panel that SPECIFICALLY allowed for it - the NEC just did not 'prohibit' it, so 'it could be permitted' - it just 'was not allowed permitted' by any manufacturer I ever heard of. I guess there could have been a manufacturer 'back then, a long, long, long time ago' which permitted it - I've just never heard of one which did.

    However, the NEC now specifically prohibits more than one neutral in one terminal.

    Parallel neutrals terminate in separate terminals - just as in the service I inspected yesterday with three parallel sets of 500 kcmil conductors. Each conductor (ungrounded or grounded conductor) each terminated in their own terminal.
    Sorry. That is not true. I am not contradicting you but the panel manufacturers are. Yes I posted a Cutler when this specific topic came up in the past. I actually did the inspection the day of the topic and actually took a picture of the panels literature that was directly attached to the panel and posted in on here. Now. That was a very long time ago but have see t again over time on panels as I chec all panels for literature attached if I find the same situation.

    Manufacturers override as they are the one building, testing and manufacturing the panels. Not that that means a lot until you find it on a panel from the past. Then you simply take a picture and put it in the report. You can say that "the NEC says" but the panel manufacturer said it was OK.

    Forget all that anyway. If in fact you run into as panel from last year, five years ago and the panel states it is alright. Well, its alright.

    Anyway, doing a couple reports so when I am done I will see if I can still find it. A couple of regulars on here even commented in the past about it. Me posting the picture of it being allowed that is. I am sure they will remember as well.

    A little edit here

    I just did a quick search on google and I do not know if any of these findings are specific but this is what turned up o a quick search and I do not know if they are posting pictures or literature

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Cutl...l=np&source=hp


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Sorry Ted, but this has been prohibited for as long as I know. It started of being listed on the labels inside the panel. Violating this would have been against 110.3(B) and the UL listing. Since it was a rather obscure instruction the NEC added this around 2001 as a direct cite that it was prohibited.



    - - - Updated - - -

    Last edited by Jim Port; 01-29-2014 at 10:01 AM.
    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Sorry Ted, but this has been prohibited for as long as I know. It started of being listed on the labels inside the panel. Violating this would have been against 110.3(B) and the UL listing. Since it was a rather obscure instruction the NEC added this around 2001 as a direct cite that it was prohibited.

    Actually I am not contradicting you or Jerry. I am just telling you for a fact, and it was not obscure in the slightest is the Cutler panels I have viewed. Full stickers with lengthily information about the fact that they could add more than one neutral under one lug. I am talking about upper 2000s. Not 2001.

    I will find past info for you folks.



    - - - Updated - - -
    Actually I am not contradicting you or Jerry. I am just telling you for a fact, and it was not obscure in the slightest in the Cutler panels I have viewed. Full stickers with lengthily information about the fact that you could add more than one neutral under one lug. I am talking about upper 2000s. Not 2001.

    I will find past info for you folks.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    I will be interested to see this. With that said and with no legal training, I don't see how it could be allowed if it is clearly prohibited by the NEC which is typically the standard used during the inspection process.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I will be interested to see this. With that said and with no legal training, I don't see how it could be allowed if it is clearly prohibited by the NEC which is typically the standard used during the inspection process.
    The listing, labeling and the code apply and are used by the inspector (at least should be used by the inspector) with the most restrictive taking precedence.

    If the label says you can but the code says you can't - you can't (attached least not supposed to, we see stuff every day showing that it 'can' be done - just not 'allowed').

    Added with edit: The inspector also uses the approved documents, those documents are often even more restrictive (but would not address things such as that being discussed).

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 01-29-2014 at 11:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    That "electrician" never had a doubled neutral arc on him when moving the wires a bit. I have and it served as a perfect example of why they shouldn't be doubled. I guess he's never seen overheated insulation or arc blackened wires on a doubled connection either. I "assume" he got his licensed by working with an older electrician who learned from another old electrician and none of them ever had a class on basic electrical circuit theory.

    I had an (older) electrician tell me it didn't make any difference because there was no voltage on the neutral/ground bar. I guess he never learned about current or ever heard of a fellow named Kirchhoff.

    I call it a fire hazard and recommend a qualified electrician rearrange the wires on the bus.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Fire hazard? You lost me, can you clarify that its a fire hazard? Don't see it as a fire hazard if the label says you can and the code say you can't. If the manufacture states its okay they must know differently that its not a fire hazard?


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Whites do not need their own hole depending on the panel manufacturer. Some panels are clearly marked on the literature on the panel that you can in fact have more than one neutral in a hole as long as they are the same size. Grounds can have a few of the same size. I have posted panel literature in the past stating so. I do not have them on this computer. The electrician is right, depending on the panel!

    Depends on panel as to whether it was alright. As the saying goes. If it is listed with the panel manufacturer and it is listed for double neutral under one lug then it Is alright.
    OK besides the already stated code section 110 ( UL listing), there is NEC code section 408.41 in the 2011 NEC

    408.41 Grounded Conductor Terminations.
    Each grounded
    conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual
    terminal that is not also used for another conductor.


    So I will say that even if the manufacture says it is ok to install more than one grounded ( neutral) conductor per terminal, the NEC overrides it and says it is not OK.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Don't see it as a fire hazard if the label says you can and the code say you can't.
    The labels don't say you can.

    If Ted finds a photo of an old one which says you can ... like everything else in the code - does not mean it was 'safe' being allowed, in fact, if newer editions said it is not allowed then that is a good indication of a hazard which was discovered since the older version code allowed it and the newer code version does not allow it.

    The "fire hazard" part should be obvious, though as electrical sparking causes fires. Hopefully, though, the enclosure does one of its intended jobs and keeps the fire within the enclosure ... hopefully ... but that would be for a properly installed enclosure, not one installed so far back from the surface that the fire could escape between the enclosure and the cover, or that the hole was cut so big around the enclosure that the escapes through the gap and into the wall framing, or where open knockouts were not closed up with knockout closures, or ...
    (I just started the list of 'or' items with those, there are more items which could be done wrong, or not done at all, and which could make the list).

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The labels don't say you can.

    If Ted finds a photo of an old one which says you can ... like everything else in the code - does not mean it was 'safe' being allowed, in fact, if newer editions said it is not allowed then that is a good indication of a hazard which was discovered since the older version code allowed it and the newer code version does not allow it.

    The "fire hazard" part should be obvious, though as electrical sparking causes fires. Hopefully, though, the enclosure does one of its intended jobs and keeps the fire within the enclosure ... hopefully ... but that would be for a properly installed enclosure, not one installed so far back from the surface that the fire could escape between the enclosure and the cover, or that the hole was cut so big around the enclosure that the escapes through the gap and into the wall framing, or where open knockouts were not closed up with knockout closures, or ...
    (I just started the list of 'or' items with those, there are more items which could be done wrong, or not done at all, and which could make the list).
    Still looking. I guess I am going to have to go through all the electric posts I posted in. Anywho. Yes the sticker was quite lengthy and in detail about how many neutrals and the size of those neutrals. Up to a certain size there is three and above that but not beyond 10 I belive was only 2. I have seen it on many occasions since then even on new builds but I have not noticed it in the past couple years. I sent an email to Cutler so they could send me a copy of that sticker in case I do not find my picture.

    And, again, not to contradict you but are you not the king of the saying "manufacturers specs trump code" or is it "manufactures specs are spades over all" Or several other sayings you have.

    I am not with or against as I do know what it says in the code but I have even told folks in the past about the sticker and what code was and to follow up with the installer, master electrician, or just go ahead and change it. The builders in the past have followed up with the electricians and of course they all pointed out the panel specs. A couple electricians have followed up with my concerns in the report and they come back with the panels info as well. I do believe one electrician did make the code connections. I think I have seen a square D panel in the past state the same now that I am thinking of it. Not just the double hots mut the panel info on neutrals as well.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Thanks Jerry for the clarification.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    ... you not the king of the saying "manufacturers specs trump code" or is it "manufactures specs are spades over all" Or several other sayings you have.

    Not to burst your bubble or anything Ted, but *I* am not the king of anything.

    I don't write the codes, I don't write the UL Standards requirements for testing, listing or labeling, heck, I don't even write words that have not been written before ... (unless it is a made-up word describing something as many of do at times, then I guess I do get to claim those 'words' as mine).

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Mike,

    But now I dunno what I can do with that there green coated copper wire thingy? Only one per hole or do I have to strip all that green stuff off so it is bare?


    Scott,

    Mike was making a 'funny'. The smiley face just did not show up except as :-)
    It was early, I had only a few cups of coffee down..... :-)

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    That photo says the same thing: " ... may be used for equipment grounding." The rest of that label says how the holes may be used for equipment grounding.

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...html#post57433

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    I have run across ONE (1) panel that specifically listed 2 neutrals per lug of same gauge were permitted - It's been a couple of years ago but I believe it may have been a GE panel. Maybe not. I was flabbergasted! Most make the statement as above about using unused neutral lugs for up to 2 GROUNDs.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    I have run across ONE (1) panel that specifically listed 2 neutrals per lug of same gauge were permitted - It's been a couple of years ago but I believe it may have been a GE panel. Maybe not.
    Stuart,

    How old was the panel?

    Did you take a photo of the label? I've been looking for a label which specifically allowed that but the closest I've come were some old panels which did not address the issue as not permitted nor did the labels address it being permitted, and, thus, 'could have been done that way' at that time ... if the standard also did not address it as being 'not permitted'.

    The standard changed to specifically state that it was 'not permitted', then the labels changed to state that it was 'not permitted', then the code changed to state that it was 'not permitted'. The way the labels stated it was 'not permitted' to have two neutrals in a single terminal was to state exactly what was permitted, and being as two neutrals in a single terminal was not stated - two neutrals in a single terminal was therefore 'not permitted', it was a not installed in accordance with its label ... not being installed in accordance with its label is a violation of 110.3(B) Listing and Labeling.

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    I think it was about 2 years ago in a 1980-1990 house. I don't know if I have a picture. It would be one among thousands. The trouble with the labels is that it is often difficult to read them much less photograph them. They're usually hidden behind wires. Some panels have nothing on the inside. I was all ready to write up that panel until I found and read that label. "What?" was my thought. It was a first and only time encounter. If I happen to run into a picture or another panel, I'll certainly be glad to send you the picture file.

    Have you ever seen a Residential Electrician have a calibrated torque driver in his or her tool pouch? The manufacturers but a ton of torque requirements on those labels but the electrician just tightens the lug with a screwdriver. I had a wire "fall" out of a breaker today. Lucky there was no current in the circuit.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Have you ever seen a Residential Electrician have a calibrated torque driver in his or her tool pouch? The manufacturers but a ton of torque requirements on those labels but the electrician just tightens the lug with a screwdriver. I had a wire "fall" out of a breaker today. Lucky there was no current in the circuit.
    Yes, I have ... but not very many. Heck, not very many electricians who do commercial work carry the torque drivers in their pouch either.

    When I ask if they torqued the terminals most will put their screwdriver in the slot and twist it saying 'Yep, it is torqued pretty tight.' That is not what I was asking.

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Still looking. I guess I am going to have to go through all the electric posts I posted in. Anywho. Yes the sticker was quite lengthy and in detail about how many neutrals and the size of those neutrals. Up to a certain size there is three and above that but not beyond 10 I belive was only 2. I have seen it on many occasions since then even on new builds but I have not noticed it in the past couple years. I sent an email to Cutler so they could send me a copy of that sticker in case I do not find my picture.

    And, again, not to contradict you but are you not the king of the saying "manufacturers specs trump code" or is it "manufactures specs are spades over all" Or several other sayings you have.

    I am not with or against as I do know what it says in the code but I have even told folks in the past about the sticker and what code was and to follow up with the installer, master electrician, or just go ahead and change it. The builders in the past have followed up with the electricians and of course they all pointed out the panel specs. A couple electricians have followed up with my concerns in the report and they come back with the panels info as well. I do believe one electrician did make the code connections. I think I have seen a square D panel in the past state the same now that I am thinking of it. Not just the double hots mut the panel info on neutrals as well.
    Ted, plain and simple. You are wrong.

    NO ONE is saying mfg rules trump code. And I can tell your with almost 100% certainty you did NOT read anywhere on a panel label that two neutrals was allowed.

    Either way, I doubt you'll accept this, so keep searching.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    There is one old 1960's label on maybe Square D panels, that says "Twist wires together before inserting".
    In Canada, the label will be on the back of the panel near a grounding bus. So we assume it is referring to grounding conductors. At least I interpret it that way and so did most electricians in those days.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Ted, plain and simple. You are wrong.

    NO ONE is saying mfg rules trump code. And I can tell your with almost 100% certainty you did NOT read anywhere on a panel label that two neutrals was allowed.

    Either way, I doubt you'll accept this, so keep searching.
    You know. This is why I tried to stay off of here because of comments like this. Just because I cannot produce the actual picture does not mean I did not see it and take a picture of it and post it and have a couple of inspectors take notice of it and comment on it. And it was not just once that I saw it. Maybe the first I saw it was 2009, who cares. I know it was in the middle upper 2000s.

    Not sure what you smoke or drink or what drugs you may take but I am certainly clear minded and remember quite well. I saw it Petey and obviously you did not so we will happily end it there so I can keep my nice streak going.

    So Petey. Plain and simple you have no clue what you are talking about so I will end it there.

    And OK. manufacturers installation means nothing. I got ya. Maybe for the most part but that is certainly not true at all. Manufacture say install this like this or else...... Yup that never happens where there is a contradiction.

    I am out of here. See ya Petey.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    You know. This is why I tried to stay off of here because of comments like this. Just because I cannot produce the actual picture does not mean I did not see it and take a picture of it and post it and have a couple of inspectors take notice of it and comment on it. And it was not just once that I saw it. Maybe the first I saw it was 2009, who cares. I know it was in the middle upper 2000s.

    Not sure what you smoke or drink or what drugs you may take but I am certainly clear minded and remember quite well. I saw it Petey and obviously you did not so we will happily end it there so I can keep my nice streak going.

    So Petey. Plain and simple you have no clue what you are talking about so I will end it there.

    And OK. manufacturers installation means nothing. I got ya. Maybe for the most part but that is certainly not true at all. Manufacture say install this like this or else...... Yup that never happens where there is a contradiction.

    I am out of here. See ya Petey.
    Damn dude. Maybe you need to go have a smoke, 'cause you need to chill the hell out.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    When I started in the early 80's the labels in the panel told you only grounding conductors could be doubled. I doubt the rules were relaxed almost 30 years later just to become more restrictive again.

    Sorry Ted, lets just say I am extremely doubtful of your claim.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    When I started in the early 80's the labels in the panel told you only grounding conductors could be doubled. I doubt the rules were relaxed almost 30 years later just to become more restrictive again.
    Jim,

    To clarify your meaning: the labels only addressed the grounds, and the way it addressed the grounds was that they were allowed to be 2 per terminals.

    Being as the labels did not address the neutrals, either as a yes or a no, that left the question open. That is why the code eventually specifically included the 'only one neutral per terminal' language.

    I have seen many panels older than the 1980s which did not even address the grounds as being allowed to have 2 per terminal, so those were not allowed to have 2 grounds per terminal. Newer panels began addressing the grounds as being allowed to have 2 grounds per terminal but did not address the neutrals. Then even newer panels addressed the neutrals as well as the grounds and the grounds were allowed to have 2 or 3 per terminal (depends on the label) but only one neutral per terminal.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    I should clarify that. The labels called for one neutral per hole. It did say unused holes could be used for grounding conductors and that within a certain range and combination of sizes that doubling or tripling was allowed.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    I think some of the electricians consider the neutrals as grounds because they can't measure voltage there. Well, no one said they were smart or trained well ...

    The problem was the assumptions made by NEC and the manufacturers. The code inspectors can only go by what is in the code book whether they know it's wrong or not. Since the NEC included explicit statements regarding neutral connections (2008?), I've not found any of the doubled neutrals or grounds with neutrals.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Okay, I have been following this thread out of a case of mild curiosity. I'm stuck in bed for the next 8 weeks because of knee surgery and I would not be surprised if this dialogue is still going on at the end of that time frame.

    This is fascinating. The "Code" says "NO". Does it get any clearer than that? Also, although not referenced through out this thread, the label on the panelboard says, "When used as service equipment only." Please, do not lose sight of this over the course of this discourse. Heaven forbid anyone from reading into this thread that Neutrals and Equipment Grounding conductors can be intermixed within all enclosures.

    Just because a label says something is true, does not mean it is so. That's why the "ERATTA" sheet was invented!

    Oh - well back to my pain killers!

    Don


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Farrell View Post
    Okay, I have been following this thread out of a case of mild curiosity. I'm stuck in bed for the next 8 weeks because of knee surgery and I would not be surprised if this dialogue is still going on at the end of that time frame.

    ... snipped...

    Oh - well back to my pain killers!

    Don
    True - Some threads do have a way of going on and on. Then it dies one day. 2 years later someone picks up on it again.

    Good luck with the knee. I tore a hamstring last August when I slipped on my own wet deck trying to herd the cat in for the night. I've had broken bones, burns of all degrees, lacerations, blown up (still may have some shrapnel floating around inside), sprains, abrasions ... but that was the most painful thing I ever had. I was out 4 weeks and then hobbled around another 2 weeks for Radon tests and a pre-drywall inspection. Well... I did have time to get a lot done on replacement deck design.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Farrell View Post
    Also, although not referenced through out this thread, the label on the panelboard says, "When used as service equipment only." Please, do not lose sight of this over the course of this discourse. Heaven forbid anyone from reading into this thread that Neutrals and Equipment Grounding conductors can be intermixed within all enclosures.
    Don,

    Wishing you good reading while in bed healing ...

    Wishful thinking says that all electricians, code inspectors, home inspectors, and anyone working in or inspecting electrical panels knows by now that the neutral is only bonded to ground "at the service equipment" and not downstream from the load side of the service equipment ...

    Reality thinking understand that the above is, unfortunately, not true - yet (and may never be true) ...

    Oh well, it is what it is and that is why these things keep coming up. We can live with that (better than dying from that ).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  41. #41
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Don,

    Wishing you good reading while in bed healing ...

    Wishful thinking says that all electricians, code inspectors, home inspectors, and anyone working in or inspecting electrical panels knows by now that the neutral is only bonded to ground "at the service equipment" and not downstream from the load side of the service equipment ...

    Reality thinking understand that the above is, unfortunately, not true - yet (and may never be true) ...

    Oh well, it is what it is and that is why these things keep coming up. We can live with that (better than dying from that ).

    Jerry - "AMEN!" Living is a much better option as long as I have the choice between the two!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Don,

    Wishing you good reading while in bed healing ...

    Wishful thinking says that all electricians, code inspectors, home inspectors, and anyone working in or inspecting electrical panels knows by now that the neutral is only bonded to ground "at the service equipment" and not downstream from the load side of the service equipment ...

    Reality thinking understand that the above is, unfortunately, not true - yet (and may never be true) ...

    Oh well, it is what it is and that is why these things keep coming up. We can live with that (better than dying from that ).

    Jerry - "AMEN!" Living is a much better option as long as I have the choice between the two!


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    Lightbulb Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Electricians say a lot of things. In my experience, they do not say much in writing; my usual response is that "if the electrician wants to put that in writing, it's good. That way, if there is a fire or any other problem, the electrician can handle the blow-back." Saves me a lot of hurting between the ears, and it is just not possible to fix stupid.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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  43. #43
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Sorry Ted, but this has been prohibited for as long as I know. It started of being listed on the labels inside the panel. Violating this would have been against 110.3(B) and the UL listing. Since it was a rather obscure instruction the NEC added this around 2001 as a direct cite that it was prohibited.



    - - - Updated - - -
    No wonder this is getting hashed a lot. I recall seeing panels that allowed two wires in a termination bar opening, not discriminating neutral from ground bar. Further; I cannot see any justification in allowing two ground wires per opening, but not two neutral wires - - - baffling. Where the panel is the "main" panel complete with bonding jumper and has only one termination bar, ( no ground bar ), it is legal to put twp ground wires in one opening, but illegal to put two neutral wires in the very next hole. Don't get that at all.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    The neutrals are current carrying conductors and will expand and contract during normal operations. The grounding conductors are stable as they only carry current in the event of a fault.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    Electricians say a lot of things. In my experience, they do not say much in writing; my usual response is that "if the electrician wants to put that in writing, it's good. That way, if there is a fire or any other problem, the electrician can handle the blow-back." Saves me a lot of hurting between the ears, and it is just not possible to fix stupid.
    True - I have a paragraph in the report that says that from time-to-time there will be a contractor, tradesman, or repair person who will have a different opinion from mine concerning repairs or conditions as stated in the report. Just ask them to put it in writing and sign it. I reported my evaluation and signed the report.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Stuart,

    How old was the panel?

    Did you take a photo of the label? I've been looking for a label which specifically allowed that but the closest I've come were some old panels which did not address the issue as not permitted nor did the labels address it being permitted, and, thus, 'could have been done that way' at that time ... if the standard also did not address it as being 'not permitted'.... Snipped...
    I finally ran across another panel with the label. The house was built in 1998 and it was a GE panel.
    I attached the picture.
    P089.JPG

    I still don't think it's right but who knows who wrote the label text? Engineer, technical writer, intern, secretary?

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Note that the label stated "unused" neutral terminals may be used for equipment grounding conductors when used as service equipment. No permission was given to mix them.


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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    Note that the label stated "unused" neutral terminals may be used for equipment grounding conductors when used as service equipment. No permission was given to mix them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Note that the label stated "unused" neutral terminals may be used for equipment grounding conductors when used as service equipment. No permission was given to mix them.
    I think the Stuart was attaching the photo to show that there are (or were) some panels that allowed more than one Neutral wire to be terminated under a screw at the Neutral bar.

    Alton Darty
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    If that was the purpose it was a misinterpretation of what the label states. Also note that the grounding conductors do not need to be the same size.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  50. #50
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alton Darty View Post
    I think the Stuart was attaching the photo to show that there are (or were) some panels that allowed more than one Neutral wire to be terminated under a screw at the Neutral bar.
    Alan, correct. Thank you.

    For others, see the chart above the "unused neutrals" line. This was in the period when the NEC did not specifically bar or allow double neutrals or a combination of a neutral and a ground under one lug. The electrician was supposed to follow the manufacturer's installation instructions. The lesson learned is don't depend on manufacturers to provide good instructions. Jerry asked if I had a picture from earlier comments and I ran across another GE panel. The chart clearly implies that 2 #14, #12, or #10 copper wires were allowed under the "maximum". It says nothing about single neutrals.

    Is it a good installation? Since the NEC or local codes here didn't cover the issue and the manufacturer at least implies that it is okay, could I call it a deficiency? Not in my book but I could issue an advisory that the practice has subsequently been banned and why along with that the client should consider having the wiring in the panel corrected to meet current safety requirements.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    I must say that the wording on that label sure indicates that the table listing multiple conductors is applicable to neutrals and grounds, but ... I am not sure that is what it intended, so ...

    ... so I am sending the photo to GE technical assistance and asking for clarification as to what it intends.

    Stuart, do you have any other photos showing other parts of the label? It is a 1998 panel (possibly a 1997 panel, but not much difference in a year or two between code cycles (1996 NEC would be the applicable code cycle, 1999 was the next NEC edition).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I must say that the wording on that label sure indicates that the table listing multiple conductors is applicable to neutrals and grounds, but ... I am not sure that is what it intended, so ...

    ... so I am sending the photo to GE technical assistance and asking for clarification as to what it intends.

    Stuart, do you have any other photos showing other parts of the label? It is a 1998 panel (possibly a 1997 panel, but not much difference in a year or two between code cycles (1996 NEC would be the applicable code cycle, 1999 was the next NEC edition).
    The house was a spec built in 1998. The permits were probably applied for in 1997.

    I attached a picture of the front cover label. The only other label in the box that I could see some of was the standard torque tables. Everything buried behind wires and on the enclosure. The wiring wasn't bad. The only thing was ground and neutral under one lug. All 120V circuits. I normally write this up to have the wires rearranged so there is only one neutral in a lug.P088.JPG

    P083.JPG

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    I believe the restrictions were in the wording to the right of the chart, not the chart itself. I will see if I can see the label in another panel.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Electrician said the Double Lugged Neutrals are Okay per panel directions?

    Stuart,

    The photos of that label and the neutral with the grounds and neutrals interconnected are a perfect example of what their wording is implying - may make for some head scratching up there in trying to explain what they actually meant as the photos are of a real life installation based on the label they had in the panel.

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