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Should the neutral bars in a residential 200 amp panel be…

Should the neutral bars...

Should the neutral bars in a residential 200 amp panel be bonded? A different electrician finished up my panel, adding two more dual function breakers, and he removed a white wire that had gone from the neutral bar on one side, below the breakers and into the neutral bar on the other. He asked what it was for and I didn't know. Then when the city electrical inspector inspected the whole service he did ask where the neutral bond wire was. So I'm thinking this is what was pulled out. AFAIK it was just a 12 ga. wire going from the neutral bar on one side to the neutral bar on the other side of the panel. (These are Siemens 2040 and I have a duplex, each apt. with its own panel). The inspector passed all of the work with the finish inspection but he did mention this; So I'm just wondering if I should put it back in? The funny thing the lower panel doesn't have this or at least I have not seen it. But I know it was in the one panel (in the upstairs apt.) and I think it should be in there. Is this simply something that bonds the two neutral bars together? Is it something that is typically required? It sounds like it is not critical, but I know bonding nowadays is a normal requirement. I do a lot of minor electrical work; this doesn't look hard at all, just run a white 12 ga wire from one neutral bar to the one on the opposite side. It appears it is not critical, but seems to be the better thing to do.

Contractor's Assistant: How old is the system in question? And have you consulted an electrician yet?

Its brand new, and no I haven't asked. I've asked a lot of electrical questions on here.

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

I could.

Contractor's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

There are some regular experts in electrical I have asked before. Can you look up who I have communicated with?

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Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/8/2018
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,480
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC General Class License
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Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

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1) On a main panel (not a sub-panel), the neutral bus bar must be grounded to the metal panel enclosure using either the green main bonding screw or a main bonding jumper strap that attaches to the neutral bus bar.

2) Since 2 neutral bus bars in the panel, they need to be bonded/strapped together.

3) Neutral and ground are only bonded together at the main service disconnect and never meet again at a downstream sub-panel.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.................Kevin:)

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
the wire that was added in there was bonding the neutral bars together?

1) There should have been a factory wire supplied with the panel that connects the 2 neutral bus bars together.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
There was no factory wire, but it sounds like the white 12 ga wire that was going from one buss bar to the other was the bond wire then? This seems like something I could just put back in. There is a breaker at the meter I can shut off to do it safely. This is just a bond wire then?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Actually I could just shut off the main breaker.

1) If you can kill power to the entire building at a different disconnect breaker or switch, then the panels must be configured as sub-panels. On a sub-panel, the neutral bus bar must remain isolated and not bonded to the panel metal enclosure. Thus the green main bonding screw or a main bonding jumper strap is not installed on the sub-panel neutral bus bars.

2) A sub-panel also requires a separate equipment ground bar to only land ground wires and not white neutral wires.

3) Your panels are configured as sub-panels since there is a main disconnect breaker at the service. This is the only place where neutral and ground are bonded together........ie......at the main service disco.

Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,480
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC General Class License
Verified
Kevin and 87 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
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Hello again Ron,

Was good talking to you on the phone this evening.

1) A quick and simple test to confirm if to kill power to the exterior breaker and check for continuity at the sub-panel neutral buss bar to the panel metal enclosure. There should not be continuity on this test.

2) Just the opposite for the equipment ground bar. There should be continuity from the equipment ground bar directly to the panel metal enclosure.

3) If you confirm both of these, the sub-panels are wired and configured correctly.

Take care and have a great evening...........Thanks............Kevin:)

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