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TOPIC: Bundled Neutral Wires

Bundled Neutral Wires 13 years 10 months ago #23412

I have 2 questions- First I see a lot of language like “ Neutral wires are bundled… This is unsafe due to the need to turn off multiple circuit breakers to work on any of the circuits using these wires.” What is the difference in two wires being under the same set screw or side by side not 3/16 apart under separate set screws?
Second on my panel some of the larger neutral wires are going to the ground bar because the neutral is a U shaped piece bolted to the neutral bar that will not accept anything larger that a #12 wire. Is this OK?

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Re: Bundled Neutral Wires 13 years 10 months ago #23533

If I understand what your saying, it shouldn't matter if the neutrals are bundled or not as far as electrical work is concerned.  It would matter only if the circuit was wired backwards (neutral was being used as the hot).

As for neutrals being under the same lug, I see dual neutrals under the same lug all the time here.  I call them out as I was taught, but have had EVERY electrician tell me that is allowed.

As for neutrals and grounds mixed on the buss bars, that is okay if its not a sub panel, its just considered sloppy workmanship. 

I hope I understood what you were saying and didn't tell you something wrong!  LOL

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Re: Bundled Neutral Wires 13 years 10 months ago #23604

Neutral and ground were allowed to be doubled up here until 03 I believe. Newer stuff I see seperate, but on the older I see a lot of one neural and one ground under the same screw.

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Re: Bundled Neutral Wires 13 years 10 months ago #23776

I had a talk with the local electrical building inspector here, it was allowed until July 2008, it is no longer allowed on neutral wires. I still see ground wires double tapped.

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Re: Bundled Neutral Wires 13 years 10 months ago #24501

This is a response I received from an inspector over on the Inachi board.

His report narrative on Improper Neutral Terminations.

Observed multiple neutral wire connections in a single lug. This is a major fire hazard. If you have 2 or more wires in a lug and you disconnect one of the two hot wires at the breaker you could damage all the circuits and anything plugged into these circuits. Some electricians (who haven't done their homework) will tell you that it is OK to have more than one neutral (white) wire under a screw on the bus bar. They are wrong. It has long (at least as far back as 1967) been required by manufacturer's instructions and Underwriters Laboratories Standard 67 for panel boards.

The pics are the one I posted and the one he posted on what can happen.

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Re: Bundled Neutral Wires 13 years 8 months ago #27205

  • Bert de Haan
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I don't understand.  I can understand that more than one wire under one screw is not a good idea but I don't understand the reasoning here.  Even if the neutrals aren't under one lug, they are all connected to the same bar so why would removing a hot wire from a breaker make a difference?  Am I just being dense?  (No need to answer that question  ;)) An explanation would be appreciated.  Thanks.
(Maybe it would help if I could have a good look at the bottom picture but it doesn't show much bigger than a thumbnail.)

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