Mixed Grounds & Neutrals in Electrical Sub Panels

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Many home inspectors have some energy and weatherization knowledge, I have been through the Resnet HERS Rater training and several other smaller training courses. I do have all the blower door and duct blaster equipment to help identify air leakage associated with the building envelope. This series of short videos is intended for home owners and buyers and will address very basic short coming, flaws and defects. Anyone looking for detailed information should visit my website, email me or feel free to call.

I also have a great interest in infrared imaging associated with building science and problem solving. I have an additional business Infrared of Mississippi, LLC that provides many different services in the central Mississippi area, please visit http://irmississippi.com/ for more info.

Central Mississippi Home Inspections, LLC has over 18 years experience and has inspected thousands of houses from new construction to 100+ year old historic homes. We are “Problem Solvers Not Deal Breakers” We are located in Jackson, MS which is located in the central part of the state. We do cover all of the Jackson metro including Madison, Ridgeland, Clinton, Brandon, Flowood, Pearl, Richland, Florence, Canton, Edwards and Raymond.

Don Carnathan
Central Mississippi Home Inspections, LLC
P.O. Box 16491
Jackson, MS 39236
www.WeInspectMS.com
(601)977-0720 fax 957-3853

17 thoughts on “Mixed Grounds & Neutrals in Electrical Sub Panels”

  1. I believe what you’re saying is incorrect; that looks like a main panel.
    There is a 3 wire cable coming into the box and all the 220 volt circuit
    breakers would indicate a main, therefore the wire configuration looks to
    be correct. It does appear that the service cable is undersized.

  2. You gotta love it when someone that sees a short video thinks they know
    more than the person that shot the video. This panel was added as a sub
    panel on the exterior of a house, there is a disconnect between this panel
    and the meter. This 1 minute video was not intended to and does not address
    anything accept the mixed ground and neutral issue. The video was not
    intended for electrical engineers to critique, it is informational for
    people that do not know much about what we as inspectors do.

  3. you cannot gather what your saying from the short video. you should never
    join bus bars ans never marry your neutrals and grounds. i hope your not
    wiring anyones home. just because it has 3 cable wire simply means it has
    220 service. HENCE LAUNDRY!

  4. First of all ding-dong, I can gather enough from the video to know it is a
    main panel, not a sub; the conduit from the service meter is visible in the
    right side. 2nd, It’s not actually a 3 wire cable, it’s a 2 wire with a
    ground and you shouldn’t copy my mistakes, its 240 volts, not 220. 3rd –
    HENCE the serivce to house is 240 volts, not just the dedicated laundry
    receptacle. Now go take what I just taugh you and go bad mouth someone else
    you ding-dong.

  5. If this was a sub panel box it would have a bare equipment ground from main
    panel, you can’t separate the grounds and neutrals as you say without a
    equipment ground wire. What you are looking at is an obvious main panel box.

  6. and because you can see conduit means its a main panel? how would you get
    service to a sub panel? Lay it along the floor? plus, its not big enough
    for a main panel.

  7. The only problem with your math is that the “HOT” that you mention is 120
    volts. And yes it is a “COMMON” (why do you need to capitalize, shows that
    you don’t have a clue) is a common ground/neutral wire.

  8. Hello, I have been looking at videos on Youtube about incorrectly wired
    electrical panels. I have an old home that the previous owner did some
    electrical work them self. I don’t seem to have any problems with anything
    but I do notice that in the only/main panel that on the two bus bars there
    is mixing of neutral and ground wire. I have watched several videos and
    there does not seem to be a consensus as to what is correct and incorrect.
    Some inspectors in their videos say it is ok and some say to it is not. The
    panel I have is 100amp and probably put in when the home was built in the
    early 40’s. There are still some 2 wire shielded cables and three wire
    updated cabling. So, is it ok to have the common and grounds on the same
    bus and if so is there somewhere I can find this in writing? I don’t want
    to pay for an electrician to come out just to say it isn’t a problem. Thank
    you.

  9. When this was installed, it was legal to mix the grounds and the neutrals.
    However, with time and new information, we realized the importance of
    having the neutrals and grounds separate.

    It’s true, it is an easy fix in the panel. It may need to have a better
    ground rod system installed, also not too difficult.
    It looks like there are some wires that do not have the proper connectors
    to the box(0:31 bottom left corner). That should be corrected.

  10. You forgot to mention if this was a main panel or sub panel. If it was a
    main panel then the neutral bar and ground bar are bonded. If its a sub
    panel then you’re correct in separating the neutral and ground bus bars.

  11. I appreciate the video, but you didn’t say why the ground and neutral
    shouldn’t share the same bus. That appeared to be the your main point of
    the video. I am still searching on why you shouldn’t do this when it is
    required to connect neutral to ground. 

  12. very concise, and i like that you mentioned the fix to the issue. it’s
    important to say how easy it is to fix this problem…and to the haters on
    here, get over it, guys.

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