Opened this panel which serves a well pump on my property and was surprised to find the grounds bolted to the neutral bus bar, and the neutrals wired together to the grounding lug. I am pretty sure that this is wrong. The bonding screw has been removed from the bus bar, so they at least they are not tied together. The box and riser are metal, but the underground connection to the house is PVC. There are 4 wires coming from the garage sub panel. My plan is to buy a short bus bar and swap the N and G wires so the N is on the bus and the panel is grounded.

Am I worried about nothing? This seems not OK to me. Is there anything else I should cleanup while I’m in there? I will check that the pump outlet is wired correctly, maybe swap that red wire for white so it makes sense to the next guy. enter image description here

  • Looks old enough that bonding and ground rods where standard code legal method when installed. Evidence of ground rods? Nov 4, 2023 at 19:28
  • No ground rods. Box is stamped 2005. The panel is not in a separate building. It serves s single 20a 120v outlet that powers a pressure boost pump.
    – David D.
    Nov 4, 2023 at 19:52
  • There are instances where an inspector will pass neutrals connected to the ground. If you get a permit to redo the wiring you could have him take a look. It's not expensive. Nov 4, 2023 at 20:24
  • Can you post picture of how the pump is wired? I imagine this is US/Can location. Red not allowed as ground or neutral, green not allowed as neutral. Red and blue/black should be hot. It seems who wired this up was quite colour blind.
    – crip
    Nov 4, 2023 at 20:42
  • 1
    Colours mean stuff, but the connections mean more. Before moving colours at one place, make sure those colours are connected right at the other end.
    – crip
    Nov 4, 2023 at 21:10

2 Answers 2


Since I don’t have a ‘50’ rep and thus cannot comment on my own post (!) I’ll answer my own question: so the pump outlet was wired backward (?) red was wired to hot on the outlet and connected to neutral (which was tied to box). Blue was wired to cold on the outlet and connected to hot (breaker) ; ground on outlet was wired to neutral bus (which is wired to the incoming ground)

So I flipped this all around. Put the red to the breaker, blue in the bus. Connect incoming N to the bus, and grounded the grounds to a bus bar and the box. Done.

The panel label, for those interested is “on/off” for the 2 pole, and “pump” for the single. The 2 pole is connected to nada. It’s in the slot where you can wire it as a main trip, but it’s not wired that way.

  • What did you use for a busbar? Nov 6, 2023 at 1:43
  • Hi David, you are allowed to answer your own question. Nov 6, 2023 at 4:15

I’m thinking that the outlet for the pump is probably “grounded” to its metal box and the frame of the sub panel by the conduit that connects them which means that ground and neutral are in fact wired together which I think is the principle problem — unless some black magic has been employed.

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