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  1. #11
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    Aug 2007
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    Denver, CO
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    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    Actually I only see one piece of romex in the panel. The white cable coming in the top with the bare ground.

    It is a sub panel and that explains the separate neutral and ground bars.

    The neutral looks like it is being fed with the two larger white wires landing on the right

    The two pole breaker may well have the same size wire just different insulation types. Look carefully and you will see that the smaller dia cable is spliced to a thicker cable. Looks to me like TW insulation as opposed to THHN. Not a big deal to me. Just means the panel was replaced at some point and the wires were too short.

    The National Electrical Code does not disallow splices and or wirenut’s in a panel. The biggest question I would have is why the two wires on each of the main lugs? That is odd. As far as I know The NEC has never allowed conductors smaller than #1 to be paralleled. The other odd thing is the color combinations, black/red, black/red.

    My guess is that is either a parallel feed or there is a large load being taped off of the main lugs. Regardless, what you have there is a code violation.

    I would be very leery of adding an AC condenser load to this panel.

    Not sure what you mean regarding the bushings. The NEC does not require them in this application. Any "clamps" would be ouside of the panel and not visable.

    Looks to me like the wire in the main lugs is #10 wire with old cloth insulation. #10 is currently good for 30amps.
    Last edited by kentvw; 08-31-2008 at 02:23 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    731

    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    thought that was gray burial type romex coming in other spots both sides the white romex but i'm no electrician.

    i said we not allowed splices or double lug wiring except on the ground bar here never said the national code was against the splices.

    you still need a main to shut off even tho a sub panel since you have so many circuit breakers and the other is outside your condo in a locked room that you dont have access to at least thats the rule here no letting in old when convert to condo got to upgrade. was this apartment before or was it commercial or industrial not residential before i wonder.

    when i look at the two wires for the 240 circuit one looks like its silverish wonder if its aluminum and the other is copper or copper coated or just blows up looks funny.

    what does the national code say about remarking white wires as black in a subpanel splice?
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 08-31-2008 at 02:41 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    666

    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    Okay,

    I’ll throw a few more guesses at this.

    Looks to me like the only two original circuits are back left in the panel. The other cables look like MC or AC cable because you can see red anti short bushings and the connectors look like they have cable stops on the throats and the ground is insulated.

    I have another major question for Andrew and it’s a big deal that needs an answer.

    Andrew, you really need to investigate how your panel is grounded back to the main service.

    I would put money down that there is no ground wire run back to the main service and also that the conductors feeding the panel are not run in conduit but are just cloth wrapped cables.

    This means that you have an ungrounded service and all those ground conductors are in fact not grounded at all.

    Those “grounds” need to be bonded back to the neutral at the main service to be of any use in providing any protection…………….

    Believe me, I am not an alarmist type of poster who thinks the sky is falling. But you have a potentially very dangerous looking situation.

    Do you realize that if my hunch is correct those green wires could become energized with either phase feeding the panel and nothing would happen? Except the potential for you to get shocked?

    Blue, NEC does not require a main in the sub panel. The main breaker needs to be accessible but not readily accessible.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    Quote Originally Posted by kentvw View Post
    Actually I only see one piece of romex in the panel. The white cable coming in the top with the bare ground.

    It is a sub panel and that explains the separate neutral and ground bars.

    The neutral looks like it is being fed with the two larger white wires landing on the right

    The two pole breaker may well have the same size wire just different insulation types. Look carefully and you will see that the smaller dia cable is spliced to a thicker cable. Looks to me like TW insulation as opposed to THHN. Not a big deal to me. Just means the panel was replaced at some point and the wires were too short.

    The National Electrical Code does not disallow splices and or wirenut’s in a panel. The biggest question I would have is why the two wires on each of the main lugs? That is odd. As far as I know The NEC has never allowed conductors smaller than #1 to be paralleled. The other odd thing is the color combinations, black/red, black/red.

    My guess is that is either a parallel feed or there is a large load being taped off of the main lugs. Regardless, what you have there is a code violation.

    I would be very leery of adding an AC condenser load to this panel.

    Not sure what you mean regarding the bushings. The NEC does not require them in this application. Any "clamps" would be ouside of the panel and not visable.

    Looks to me like the wire in the main lugs is #10 wire with old cloth insulation. #10 is currently good for 30amps.
    I was wondering when others would comment on the parallel hot feeds. Never saw that before!!!
    And wire nuts in a load center are allowed as you have stated.
    I too see the "Red Hats" so the clamps my be on the outside, depending on the type of clamp. Hard to tell though. {Arlington Industries makes a great push in Armored Cable clamp**.
    What I would really like to see is some type of indication the SE-R cable is being used. But that seems like a reach....
    Last edited by Ernie_Fergler; 08-31-2008 at 05:13 PM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
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    4,045

    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    Quote Originally Posted by kentvw View Post

    Andrew, you really need to investigate how your panel is grounded back to the main service.
    Yep .... wondering the same thing.

    I still say ..... do a permit search to find out what if any permits have been issued and inspected .... it's doubtful there has been an electrical inspection done and signed off ..... curious if there may also be some plumbing issues.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    Quote Originally Posted by kentvw View Post
    Blue, NEC does not require a main in the sub panel. The main breaker needs to be accessible but not readily accessible.
    yes accessible not readily accessible, accessible means not guarded by a locked door. he said he couldn't get to the main because it was behind a locked door. ready access can be behind a locked door that he has a key to or a 24/7 management on site can control, that was exactly my point. this is a main power feeder. big thing is where he is and what code applies, we not up to the newest yet and they make special rules to like no splices in the panelboard if a main residential power feeder. we still got rule on light and appliance panel boards.
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 09-01-2008 at 12:33 PM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    Blue, this is why I do not post here much......... We have much bigger fish to fry here

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    i would think avoiding frying anything would be the goal.

    andrew i wouldn't think it wise to DIY your inspection or gfci testing. you should get an electrician scheduled and assure that you will have access to the main panel room. to many unknowns to risk using one of those DIY circuit testers might not be safe for you to do it.

    the smart thing to do is to get a electrician in there to examine things. dont know where you are or what your codes are or what the power is like there in your building.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    666

    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    Brilliant! Best post yet.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

    Thank you all. I will try to get an electrician scheduled after the holiday. By the way, I live in NJ.

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