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Thread: To bond or not to bond neutral

  1. #1

    Default To bond or not to bond neutral

    Here we go. I am not a professional. I am building a house with my husband.
    I wired a meter/disconnect combo panel to the main panel inside the house so an inspector could come give the go ahead to the power co. to install their meter and hook us up. The inspector has said everything is good and give us a sticker.

    My question involves the main(inside) panel neutral and ground busses. In my reading and talking with people I wired the inside panel as a sub-panel. I bonded (screwed) the grounding bar to the panel but left the neutral bar unbonded. However, when the inspector showed up he put the green grounding screw thru the neutral bar and into the panel. Should I pull the green screw and return it to a floating neutral or leave it as bonded.

    If it matters, 4/0 SER is run between panels, they are not back-to back which is why we had to go with the disconnect.

  2. #2
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Washer Woman
    Here we go. I am not a professional. I am building a house with my husband.
    I wired a meter/disconnect combo panel to the main panel inside the house so an inspector could come give the go ahead to the power co. to install their meter and hook us up. The inspector has said everything is good and give us a sticker.

    My question involves the main(inside) panel neutral and ground busses. In my reading and talking with people I wired the inside panel as a sub-panel. I bonded (screwed) the grounding bar to the panel but left the neutral bar unbonded. However, when the inspector showed up he put the green grounding screw thru the neutral bar and into the panel. Should I pull the green screw and return it to a floating neutral or leave it as bonded.

    If it matters, 4/0 SER is run between panels, they are not back-to back which is why we had to go with the disconnect.

    You always bond your first disconnect, never rebond the neutral, so in your case the panel should have the grounds and neutrals seperated and NO bonding screw... the bonding screw should be in the meter/disconnect location...

  3. #3
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Washer Woman
    Here we go. I am not a professional. I am building a house with my husband.
    I wired a meter/disconnect combo panel to the main panel inside the house so an inspector could come give the go ahead to the power co. to install their meter and hook us up. The inspector has said everything is good and give us a sticker.

    My question involves the main(inside) panel neutral and ground busses. In my reading and talking with people I wired the inside panel as a sub-panel. I bonded (screwed) the grounding bar to the panel but left the neutral bar unbonded. However, when the inspector showed up he put the green grounding screw thru the neutral bar and into the panel. Should I pull the green screw and return it to a floating neutral or leave it as bonded.

    If it matters, 4/0 SER is run between panels, they are not back-to back which is why we had to go with the disconnect.
    Remove the screw. I will be back later to tell you why

  4. #4
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Remove the screw and report the inspector!

    HOW DARE HE put that screw in? That is so unethical it's not funny. Aside from being totally WRONG!

    If you want code references we'll give 'em to you.

  5. #5

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    I agree with reporting him. That is just stupid if an inspector doesn't know this simple detail of bonding. You may want to look inside your first disconnect to see if it is bonded, unless it is sealed.

  6. #6

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    ok fella's, why did he bond neutral to box, and why is it wrong?

  7. #7
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Washer Woman
    ok fella's, why did he bond neutral to box, and why is it wrong?
    I am doing the supper thing and between the flips and stirs I do a little typing on your answer.

    250.24(A)(5) Load-Side Grounding Connections. A grounding connection shall not be made to any grounded conductor on the load side of the service disconnecting means except as otherwise permitted in this article.

    250.142 Use of Grounded Circuit Conductor for Grounding Equipment.
    (A) Supply-Side Equipment. A grounded circuit conductor shall be permitted to ground non–current-carrying metal parts of equipment, raceways, and other enclosures at any of the following locations:
    (1) On the supply side or within the enclosure of the ac service-disconnecting means
    (2) On the supply side or within the enclosure of the main disconnecting means for separate buildings as provided in 250.32(B)
    (3) On the supply side or within the enclosure of the main disconnecting means or overcurrent devices of a separately derived system where permitted by 250.30(A)(1)
    (B) Load-Side Equipment. Except as permitted in 250.30(A)(1) and 250.32(B), a grounded circuit conductor shall not be used for grounding non–current-carrying metal parts of equipment on the load side of the service disconnecting means or on the load side of a separately derived system disconnecting means or the overcurrent devices for a separately derived system not having a main disconnecting means.

    310.4The paralleled conductors in each phase, polarity, neutral, or grounded circuit conductor shall comply with all of the following:
    (1) Be the same length
    (2) Have the same conductor material
    (3) Be the same size in circular mil area
    (4) Have the same insulation type
    (5) Be terminated in the same manner


    250.24(A)(5) clearly states that there can be on contact with the grounded (neutral) and the grounding of any metal or conductor on the load side of the main. This is reiterated again in 250.142.

    To bond the grounded (neutral) and the equipment grounding conductor together in the remote panel would again violate 310.4 for parallel conductors as the two conductor at this point would be paralleled.

    Feel free to print out this for clarification when the inspector questions the removal of the screw.

  8. #8
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Mike, you ever think of getting the NEC in electronic form, so you can just cut & paste, instead? I can't believe you just typed all that while trying to cook dinner!
    Master Plumber Mark:

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  9. #9
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie
    Mike, you ever think of getting the NEC in electronic form, so you can just cut & paste, instead?
    I do have it and do paste.

    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie
    I can't believe you just typed all that while trying to cook dinner!
    I didn't. I just said that to make everybody think that I was a sweet guy for cooking supper for the wife.

    Should you every sit while type you will better understand why I was able to cook and type at the same time.

    Shucks, I just started typing this after I washed the dishes and put them away, done a load of laundry including the ironing.

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