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Electrical Panel Grounding Methods


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Can I connect the ground wire to the same slot on the neutral bar and the white neutral wire since the grounding rod wire is already attached?

Electrical Panel Grounding Methods
Background: Pablo, a Homeowner from Mathis, Texas

Question: House has old 2 wire cable with no ground. Electric panel only has one bar. White neutrals are connected here as well as the wire going to the grounding rod – both in main service panel and sub-panel. Question – if I replace the old wire with new cable with ground wire can I connect the ground wire to the same slot on the neutral bar and the white neutral wire since the grounding rod wire is already attached? Or do I need to add a ground bar?

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Pablo. At the Main Panel the Grounds and Neutrals all terminate together on the same terminal bar. In sub-panels all grounds must be separated from the neutrals which requires a separate ground bar to be installed directly to the panel frame or enclosure. Most panels are pre-taped for a ground bar to be installed if there isn’t one already. Neutral bars in sub-panels must not be bonded to the frame of the sub-panel enclosure. 240 volt Sub-Panels require a 4-wire cable feed to provide this separation between the neutral and the ground.

The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:

Electrical Panel Circuit Listing

Sub Panel Electrical Wiring

Electrical Codes for Services
Wiring Electrical Codes

Electrical Wire for the Home

For more information about Grounding
Electrical Grounding

This link is helpful as a Homeowner
Do-It-Yourself Electrical

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2 Responses to “Electrical Panel Grounding Methods”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Yes Joe,
    If a ground wire is not bonded back to the main panel, and there is an electrical service that is more than one branch circuit, (such as one 20 amp 120 volt circuit at a detached building), then a ground rod must be driven.
    NEC 250.32(A)
    Dave

  2. joe says:

    Is there ever a time when a residential sub-panel would require it’s own ground rod? Such as in a detached builing from the main panel at the house?