Need Help Please

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  #1  
Old 01-31-05, 08:40 PM
AA316
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Need Help Please

I just finished a service upgrade from 150A service to 200A. The inspector required me to add an outside disconnect. Prior to the upgrade the Neutral and ground was bonded at the main inside panel. Now they are bonded at the outside disconnect.

Here is my problem. The wires coming into my breaker box from the stove and dryer (both 220V) are two hots and one bare wire. does this wire connect to the ground or neutral bus with the new configuration?

Thanks for any help!
 
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Old 01-31-05, 09:32 PM
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Neutral.
The old code allowed the ground to bond to the neutral. So they are neutrals, with the appliance ground bonded to it. If that is clear.
 
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Old 01-31-05, 09:45 PM
AA316
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Yep thats clear enough. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-31-05, 09:49 PM
AA316
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So it is ok to have a neutral wire that is bare running through the breaker box right?
 
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Old 02-01-05, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
Neutral.
The old code allowed the ground to bond to the neutral. So they are neutrals, with the appliance ground bonded to it. If that is clear.

Maybe its me. Something does not sound right.
Speedy,
Are you saying connect the bare ground wire to the neutral bus bar in the main panel.
I think the question is about the panel wiring not the appliance end.

Can you reconfirm your answer. panel wiring end or appliance wiring end ?
 
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Old 02-01-05, 07:09 AM
AA316
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Yes I am referring to the panel end wiring. Coming into the box I have three wires which are all sheathed together. 2 hot wires which are insulated and one aluminum braided wire which is bare up to the point that it exits the box.
It is not bare through the attic or walls though.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 07:48 AM
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I don't have my NEC with me now, but you should check the code that permits grandfathering of the 3-wire stove and dryer circuits. You may find that you're going to need to rerun those circuits, as the conditions allowing them are no longer met. If nobody else looks it up before tonight, I'll try to remember to do it.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 02:56 PM
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GWIZ, I am talking about the panel end. I just added the part about the appliance end to give some background.

One thing, I assume we are talking about SE cable feeding the appliances. Since both have this description.
AA316, is the cable two insulated conduuctors with the ground as a braid wrapped around them? If so then all I said stands. This braid is a neutral, not a ground.
If they are just two conductors with a solid bare (typical NM cable), then all bets are off and the cables were wrong from the beginning.

John, I can't see how a service chage would mandate replacing branch circuits, can you? I have had to re-install some pretty old range circuits in my day and never did an inspector require an upgrade due to the panel being replaced.
 
  #9  
Old 02-01-05, 03:00 PM
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John is correct, these two circuits need to be updated to 4-wire.

NEC 250-140 Condition #3
 
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Old 02-01-05, 03:38 PM
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If, and only if, the circuits in question are SE cable as I assumed, I disagree citing the exact same article/condition.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 03:42 PM
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Where the heck did my edit function go?????


Also, an inspector cannot red tag something he is not there to inspect.
The scenario in question for example. He is called in to inspect a service change, he cannot deny a cover due to an outdated branch circuit. The circuit was legal when installed, so good or bad it is legal now.
A mismatched breaker/conductor yes, but the whole circuit no.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 04:19 PM
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"2 hot wires which are insulated and one aluminum braided wire"

Sure sounds like SE cable to me.

Condition #3 requires a 3-wire range or dryer branch circuit fed by SE cable with an uninsulated grounded conductor to originate at the service equipment. The OP moved the service equipment to another location. It is no longer in compliance.

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
....an inspector cannot red tag something he is not there to inspect. He is called in to inspect a service change, he cannot deny a cover due to an outdated branch circuit.
It wasn't outdated until the service equipment was moved.


Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
The circuit was legal when installed, so good or bad it is legal now.
I disagree, you are never allowed to create a code violation no matter what the circumstance.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 04:36 PM
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My understanding is that existing circuits do not need to be brought up to code just because a new panel is installed.

When my panel was installed, none of the existing circuits were brought up to the code. This included the three wire dryer and the three wire range circuit, and numerous ungrounded branch circuits. The electrician who did the work and the other two who quoted the job all agreed that it was not necessary to do so. There was no problem with the inspection.

I would certainly recommend that these circuits be brought up to code if at all reasonably possible, but I do not believe that it is a requirement.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 06:41 PM
AA316
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
AA316, is the cable two insulated conduuctors with the ground as a braid wrapped around them? If so then all I said stands. This braid is a neutral, not a ground.
Yes it is two insulated conductors and an aluminum braided wire around them.

So it is ok to go ahead and hook them to the neutral bus?

Thanks
 
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Old 02-01-05, 07:23 PM
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This isn't just an ordinary panel replacement. This change is making a fundamental change to the dryer and range circuits. Whereas before they terminated at the main panel, this change makes them terminate at the subpanel. They thus no longer qualify under the grandfathering clause of 250.140. In effect, this is changing the conditions of all of the branch circuits in the panel.

The problem is that the grandfathering clause is based on the premise that there are very limited failure points of the neutral. By introducing the subpanel between the dryer and the bonding point, you have introduced an additional failure point. This adds an unacceptable risk. Of course, it also has the problem that the combined neutral/ground is bare, and thus the subpanel makes it nearly impossible to keep it isolated from ground all the way back to the main panel.
 
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