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I am doing some research in electrical wiring and mains switch boards and was wondering what a bus bar is and what it does?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

I think Wikipedia can explain what a bus bar is, better than I can. But in general terms. It's a strip of conductive material where other conductors can connect, to safely interconnect all the conductors.

If you look in an empty single split phase electrical panel, you'll see 3 or 4 bus bars. Two ungrounded (hot) bus bars running down the middle, one grounded (neutral) bus bar off to the side or at top/bottom, and one grounding bus bar off to the side or at top/bottom.

Labeled Electrical Panel

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