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Old 11-27-2013, 01:57 PM   #1
Strecker25
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Default Main load center question

this isn't exactly brewing related, but was brought to light by my recent addition of a 30A gfci breaker in my main breaker box.

The load center is a Square D QO20M which is probably at least 25 years old. It is a single neutral/ground bar setup at which the previous owner/DIY specialist took the liberty of adding some circuits to. They have doubled up 14ga grounds, which from what I read is OK. The problem I saw is they have also combined grounds and neutral's under the same lug in the bar. I know this is not to code, and I'm also pretty sure its not safe.

My question is, what is the best course of action? The label in the box says grounding kit PK9GTA can be added if necessary.

While that may be an option, I was wondering if cutting the main and simply removing all the neutrals and grounds and then attaching them properly (2 grounds per lug / 1 neutral) would work? There appear to be enough spots to attach all the runs for each circuit.

Again, sorry its not really brewing related, but I think its important before moving forward with my setup.

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Old 11-27-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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If it was mine, I'd move as many as three or four grounds under each screw.

Might be too late(wires too short), but we will 'braid' four at a time and get them under one screw.

One neutral per screw.

Try to make a couple open spots for the future.

Also, try to use the larger holes last.

'da Kid

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Old 11-27-2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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So no reason to add the ground bar? That seems like it would be significantly more work, since all the knockouts are on the top near the current neutral bar, and like you said the wires are probably cut too short to make it to the bottom for the new bar.

I think I'll just take a day and combine/move them. In the meantime, any immediate risk of how it is set up? All the lugs are tight and none of the wires seem like they could easily come loose.

Thanks for the reply.

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Old 11-27-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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Panels have been wired the way you described for decades.

Problems started showing up when we would wire two branch circuits with a common neutral. Very common in the kitchen where multiple circuits are required.

'da Kid

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Old 11-27-2013, 08:35 PM   #5
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Gotcha, thanks for the clarification. Ill pick a day and clean it up.

cheers

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Old 11-30-2013, 12:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strecker25 View Post
this isn't exactly brewing related, but was brought to light by my recent addition of a 30A gfci breaker in my main breaker box.

The load center is a Square D QO20M which is probably at least 25 years old. It is a single neutral/ground bar setup at which the previous owner/DIY specialist took the liberty of adding some circuits to. They have doubled up 14ga grounds, which from what I read is OK. The problem I saw is they have also combined grounds and neutral's under the same lug in the bar. I know this is not to code, and I'm also pretty sure its not safe.

My question is, what is the best course of action? The label in the box says grounding kit PK9GTA can be added if necessary.

While that may be an option, I was wondering if cutting the main and simply removing all the neutrals and grounds and then attaching them properly (2 grounds per lug / 1 neutral) would work? There appear to be enough spots to attach all the runs for each circuit.

Again, sorry its not really brewing related, but I think its important before moving forward with my setup.
If it's the main power panel into the house it does not matter. The ground and neutral are bonded together anyways. In other words they are the exact same circuit. And most houses only have a main panel.
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