Will a QO or Homeline GFI, AFI, CAFI, or DF circuit breaker be fully operational in a panelboard or load center that does not have a neutral bar? Can the ground bar be used instead?
Does the correct operation of a GFI breaker require a line neutral connected to a neutral bar in the panel?
Does the panel have to have a neutral bar?
Is it ok to tie the pigtail of the breaker to the ground bar if the panel does not have a neutral?
QO, QOB, and Homeline breakers
Miniature Circuit Breakers
No, QO and Homeline GFI, AFI, CAFI, and DF electronic circuit breakers will not be fully functional in a panel without a neutral bar. The breaker must be tied to the panel neutral (not to the panel ground).
Whether GFI, AFI, CAFI, or Dual Function, QO and Homeline electronic circuit breakers require a 120V source for their push to trip/test feature to operate correctly. This means a neutral must be present in the voltage system supplying the panel, the panel must include a neutral bar, and the breaker must be tied to the panel neutral through the white pigtail wire or plug-in neutral connection. This is required EVEN IF there is no neutral present in the load. NOTE: If the panel does not have a neutral bar, do NOT tie the breaker pigtail to the ground bar. Instead, install a panel that includes a neutral bar.
For more information on how the electronics in a GFI breaker work, see FA115047.