Ground Bar Home Installation

Ground bars or ground bus bars are metal or copper bars located inside a sub-panel or main panel. The ground bars are constructed with numerous holes with screws attached to them and holes that intersect each screw hole in order to feed a wire through. Ultimately, the ground bar attaches to the main ground wire, which then attaches to the main grounding rod located outside the structure. The ground bar is the location within the main panel that wires from breakers and other devices are attached. Installing a new ground bar into the main panel requires a fundamental understanding of electrical function and safety as well as some common tools.

Ground Bar Installation: Step 1

The first step when you are installing your ground bar is to turn the power off to your circuit breaker box. In order to perform this task, you might have to shut off the main power supply outside or call a qualified electrician to shut it down from the street. Either way, it would be a prudent act for safety purposes to contact a local electrician, especially if you have questions on how to turn the main power off to your breaker box.

Ground Bar Installation: Step 2

Once the power is shut off, open the breaker box. Locate a suitable spot to install your ground bar. Ideally, you want an area located on the back wall of the breaker box, a spot without a lot of wires that is covering the direct area.

Ground Bar Installation: Step 3

When you find the appropriate location, hold the ground bar in place inside the breaker box where you plan to install it and mark its location with a pencil. It is very important that you mark the holes where the screws will also go. Usually, the ground bar has empty holes for mounting screws; there will be two or more holes depending on the size of the ground bar that you purchased.

Ground Bar Installation: Step 4

At this point you will drive a self-tapping screw into the casing of the breaker box utilizing a drill – just enough to puncture the metal. Once you make it through the metal, back the screw right back out. A good tip would be to do this for each mounting screw mark because it will facilitate installing the ground bar.

Ground Bar Installation: Step 5

Slide on self-tapping screw through a mounting screw hole in the ground bar and line up the screw with the appropriate hole that you had previously drilled in the back of the breaker box. Drive the screw until it is fully seated with the drill. Then, drive the rest of the screws through the mounting holes. So you don?t waste time, make sure the screws line up with the holes before driving them in.

Ground Bar Installation: Step 6

Loosen a ground screw on either end of the ground bar. Slide your main ground wire, the one that is attached to your grounding rod, through the hole on the side of the ground bar at the screw you loosened. If necessary, strip the end with wire stripper. When finished, tighten the screw back into place firmly.

Ground Bar Installation: Step 7

Attach any remaining ground wires from breakers or other devices as necessary. Finally, when you are completely done with the use of the breaker panel, turn the power back on (again, you may need the assistance of a qualified electrician depending on how you initially shut the power off).