I am wondering what would be the correct location to connect the unconnected green ground wire in main panel next to meter. The detached garage has it's own ground rod. It is being fed by the double pole 50 amp breaker in main panel next to meter. I attached photos. The bare aluminum cable in main connects to ground bus bar in breaker box located inside house. The ground rod under meter connects to inside meter box only. The hanging #6 green wire and 3 other black #6 wires run 60ft underground in conduit to detached garage sub panel. Two black #6 are on each pole of double 50 amp breaker and other black #6 is on neutral bar of main box next to meter.

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    One of the best styled subpanel questions I've seen in an age. Did the research, shows work, asks one question. Dec 24, 2018 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


Fit a ground bar to the main panel, land it there

While, since you're working in a main panel here, you could commingle neutrals and grounds by landing your new ground wire on one of the neutral bars, it's cleaner to avoid that altogether and install a separate ground bar into the main panel instead for the ground wires. Since you have a Square-D main panel, the correct part for your situation is a PK12GTA or PK15GTA -- you should be able to find it at a local electrical supply house or order it online for about $10. Simply mount it to the main panel's cabinet in the holes provided, with the meter pulled for the duration (there should be a set top left or top right -- if not, the install instructions give guidance on drilling a set of mounting holes), then attach the ground wire to the newly fitted ground bar. Once that's done, have the electric company turn the power back on, and enjoy your new subpanel!

(The previous installer committed a bit of a no-no by using a black wire for a neutral and phase-taping it instead of using a white wire, but that can be rectified down the road if it ever becomes an issue. I would suggest phase taping it white at this point, at a minimum, to avoid needless confusion due to the previous installer's non-standard phase-taping scheme.)

  • Thanks for your help. The tape was my fault. I used it to help me identify wires after pulling through conduit. They didn't have #6 white in stock. So I can fix by wrapping neutral wire with white electrical tape, correct?
    – MKlein
    Dec 24, 2018 at 6:27
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    Yeah, in conduit you're not allowed to phase-mark wires to change their purpose among hot/neutral/ground, unless they are #4 or larger. You can,t even mark a white wire hot in a switch loop. A good reason to go #4Al in an application like this. Dec 24, 2018 at 8:17
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    @ThreePhaseEel, So neutral and ground should not be bonded in the inside panel, right? Dec 24, 2018 at 17:37
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    @JimStewart -- correct Dec 24, 2018 at 17:49
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    @MKlein -- that metal conduit will bond the meter pan and main panel together, yes, provided the proper bonding-type locknuts were used. BTW: we show our thanks here by upvoting and/or accepting answers that help us out :) Dec 25, 2018 at 2:19

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