I had to put a disconnect after my meter, and run 4 cables to my main box. I had to remove the bonding screw in the main box, and separate the white and ground wires onto their own bars.

The 2 hot wires connect on the disconnect breaker, the neutrals connect on the side of the disconnect breaker.

What do I connect the stranded ground wire to, from the main box into the disconnect box? To the neutral? To the box? To a ground rod? I know where it goes in the main, but not in the disconnect.

  • Are there 3 or 4 wires coming from the meter to the disconnect? It sounds like the disconnect is going to be where the neutral is bonded, but it's not entirely clear by your question
    – Tester101
    Jul 6, 2015 at 19:13
  • 3 wires 2 hot 1bare
    – user39181
    Jul 6, 2015 at 19:18
  • Can you post a picture? Jul 6, 2015 at 19:27

3 Answers 3


If you only have three wires coming from the meter, and four going to the "main" panel. Then you're going to bond the neutral in the disconnect enclosure, so the direct answer to your question is all 3.

If there's a grounding bus bar in the enclosure, you'll terminate the grounding electrode conductor (the other end of which is attached to the grounding electrode) at the grounding bar. Otherwise, you'll just pull it into the box.

Next you'll bond the box itself, by connecting a conductor from the box to the grounding bar (or grounding electrode conductor, if there's no bus bar). This may be done already, depending on how the bus bar attaches to the box. If the bus bar is bonded via the attachment method, you're done with this step.

You're also going to bond the service neutral in this box. This will be done via a bonding jumper between the neutral bus bar and the grounding bus bar, or by connecting a conductor between the neutral bus bar and the grounding electrode conductor.

You'll connect the grounding conductor going to the "main" panel, to the grounding bus bar or the grounding electrode conductor.

When you're done the service neutral will be bonded, so it should be isolated from the grounding conductor everywhere else in the building.

You'll end up with something that looks like this.

Service Equipment
Click for larger view

  • Thanks exactly the Info I needed. I just need to jump the neutral and ground bars in the disconnect box..
    – user39181
    Jul 6, 2015 at 20:01

Speedy Petey is correct. I am a union electrician BTW. There are two boning points, The in the meter pan the neutral lug is bonded to the grounding lug. The ONLY other place you bond is the first location after the meter, in this case the service disconnect. I think you are confused because in many residences there is not a separate disconnect and breaker panel, in that instance the main disconnect is in the breaker panel and that is where you land the bonding screw because it is the first location after the meter.


Generally the meter box, the disconnect and the main panel all need to be bonded (connected via a ground wire) to the earth ground (one or two buried ground rods or sometimes a buried metal water pipe) through a common ground wire. The actual wire to the earth ground can leave whichever box is most convenient.

In your case you probably want to connect the ground wire to the metal case of the disconnect. There is generally a marked place on the case for a aftermarket terminal. Verify that a ground wire exists connecting all of the devices mentioned above and that they connect to the earth ground. This is an area where many jurisdictions differ in their interpretations of the Code, so please consult with your local inspector or AHJ.

Also note that there may be new requirements that you will be required to meet including bonding water pipes, hot tubs, gas lines or low voltage equipment like telephones, TV antennas to the earth ground.

  • the ground bare cable from the main box connects to the disconnect box which in turn connects to a ground rod or 2 rods. the neutral just connects to neutral never attaching to the ground bare cable.
    – user39181
    Jul 6, 2015 at 19:40
  • Since the 4 cable wire is size 0 what size does the ground wire need to be for the disconnectbox to ground wire connection.
    – user39181
    Jul 6, 2015 at 19:50
  • This answer is incorrect. The meter pan, disconnect and/or panel DO NOT get "connected via a ground wire". The neutral is bonded in the meter pan and also the main panel/disconnect. From a main disconnect to a panel there must be a separate equipment grounding conductor. Jul 6, 2015 at 20:27
  • I am not an expert, can you cite your source Speedy Petey? My understanding is that neutral and ground should be connected only at a single point at the main disconnect. There is an exception (No. 2 to 250.142(B)) that allows the meter box to be grounded via the neutral as long as the disconnect is "immediately adjacent". Some meter sockets have the neutral terminal connected to the case, some do not and many utilities specify which you can use. Again, this seems to be an area where there are considerable regional variations, so your local AHJ wins.
    – mfarver
    Jul 6, 2015 at 23:55

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