I have included a picture of my service panel. My situation is, I need to remove the green wire (ground) that is connected on the neutral/ground bussbar. This gound wire was conected to a previous spa and I need to replace it with a new ground wire that will be going to a new spa. The reason for the replacement is the old ground wire is not long enough to reach the new spa and I need a longer wire to reach the new spa. My question is, should I switch off the main 200 amp circuit breaker to the house to insure that there is no chance of shock when I remove the previous ground and replace it with the new ground wire? and or are there any other suggestions you can suggest so that I can safely perform this operation? Thanks for your help with this one. enter image description here

  • Is the old wire not terminating at a box? There's no need for an equipment grounding wire to stay unspliced... Commented Feb 18 at 22:30
  • If it helps, the ground wire must stop and make contact with any steel box in which splices are being made. If there is a ground lug in the box, it is free to stop and ground the box even if splices are not being made. It does not need to be continuous through such a connection. Commented Feb 18 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


If the existing ground wire is truly a ground wire - not connected to anything it shouldn't be connected to - then it is 100% safe to remove and replace it with the main power on. But really there are two issues I would consider.

  • Individual Circuit

Best practices when doing any work on a particular circuit is to turn that circuit OFF. In this case, that is (if I understand the picture correctly) the 50A breaker. Turn that off and the hot wires (and by extension, the neutral wire) in the conduit with the ground wire will all be dead, making working on the ground wire very safe.

  • General Panel Safety

Taking off the panel cover to take a picture is one thing. Actually doing work in the panel is another. Electricians routinely work inside a panel with the main breaker on because they understand how to do so safely. But there are exposed lugs which are hot, even when all breakers inside this panel are OFF. If you have any concern about doing this safely - e.g., working with a screwdriver and the end of the ground wire, etc. while the lugs are hot - then turn off the power feeding this panel.


It is always a good idea to turn off the power before sticking your fingers in there. There should be a feed breaker for this panel. Turning that off should be enough, or turn off the main breaker.

You also need a torque driver to make sure the screws are torque enough on the new wire. Should have a label on the panel listing torque values.

  • 3
    Appears to be a meter-main judging by what can be seen to the left, so there are all-but-certainly always hot parts in here.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Feb 18 at 18:21

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