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What can you tell me about these little bolts


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In this main panel all the grounds and neutrals are extended and the two ends connected with these little bolts. Some bolts connect both grounds and neutrals in the same little hole. It seems to me this may violate the requirement that neutrals not be doubled up on the bus bar – but I’m not sure as I have never seen this before. The house was biult in 1994 in a township with no muni inspectors.

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They are split-bolt connectors and they are good for that purpose. I believe they are rated for multiple wire connections like that, so the doubling of neutrals should be OK.

A couple of concerns are

1) I don't think the bare grounding wires should be doubled up with the neutrals, and there is no need for that. The neutrals should be insulated all the way to the terminal bus, and having bare wires in there is just inviting stray voltage. But we need a code expert to chime in on that.

2)There is a chance of the bolts becoming energized by contact with a live wire or bus. So they should be taped, but that is my opinion only.

3) The neutrals should not be bundled with those zap straps. Heat buildup in the bundles is the reason.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Also, you cannot have wire sheathing that far inside of the box.

Where can I find that in the NEC?
I think 1/4" max inside the box.
I believe 1/4" is the minimum, not max.

The 1/4" minimum is correct. You will not find a maximum, although 6" of free conductor is required.

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