Service Entrance wire question.

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Old 10-29-06, 08:36 AM
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Service Entrance wire question.

Hi, my mobile home has what I refer to as a 60amp main & range panel. (photo enclosed, I hope). We disconnected and removed our electric range and had no need for the range cable to be in the kitchen or at the box. So I removed it at both ends. When I removed the cover from the panel I saw the 4 SE wires coming in. The red, black, and green all attached as shown, however the white was just taped. Is the normal, safe, and alright to keep this way before putting the cover back on?
 

Last edited by Bernard_01; 10-29-06 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 10-29-06, 09:11 AM
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NO. This is very unsafe and uncool.
The neutral MUST be connected at the main disconnect and in the panel. The neutrals and grounds must be kept isolated in the panel. The ground bar is bonded to the panel box.

And to add, the cable must be in a connector where it enters the panel.
 
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Old 10-29-06, 10:49 AM
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Is that a 25 or 30 amp fuse, second from the left. I cant see the color good.

If it is, you need to replace it with the correct size.
 
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Old 10-29-06, 11:25 AM
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hi guys...it is a 20A in the 2nd from left position. the other clear colored one is 15A. Since I have AWG#4 SE wires and anticipate an upgrade to a 100A breaker panel can I leave this neutral as is (it has been working for 25 years this way) however, we just purchased it. It presently does not reach the neutral bar. Any thoughts or can I wait and sleep safely for about a month until the panel box upgrade is done?
THANKS. -Bob (Or should I immediately call an electrican)
 
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Old 10-29-06, 11:56 AM
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I could see the blue color on the 15 amp fuse. I could not tell the color of the other.

It looks to me like the neutral would reach where it is supposed to go, but the ground would need extended to the ground bar, which does not appear to have a spot big enough to handle it.

As a professional electrician, I cannot say that you can leave this go, but........ well... if it is only going to be for a short time..... ummmm

Feel that green wire and see if it is getting hot, look and see if there are signs of heat where it is connected at the lug.

I would, however, turn off power from outside, and install a bushing where those wires enter the panel. IMHO this is a more serious threat. The edge of the box could cut into the cables.
 
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Old 10-29-06, 12:11 PM
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HI jwhite,

the green wire has no heat at all to the touch. All of the 100A breaker panels that I have seen are much taller than this box. Will an electrician have to pull new SE wires or will they instal a properly sized J-Box and splice new wires onto the old SE wires from there? Also the circuits presently enter at the bottom of the box. Maybe the photo did not show, but this box is located at the bottom of a closet wall, just above the floor.

-Bob
 
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Old 10-30-06, 10:49 AM
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Bernard_01
Since it is a mobile home the connections in that panel are improperly made up. If anything were to go wrong with that green conductors connections the entire frame, metal doors, metal siding, and so forth would be energized to 120 volts. Replacing that panel would be a good move! Failing that bring the supply cable into a bottom knock out of the panel cabinet, using a properly sized cable connector, and run the green to the leftmost terminal of the Equipment Grounding Conductor buss bar. Terminate the white conductor to the top right terminal were the green wire is now. You will have to use a continuity checker to make sure that the two buss bars are not cross connected. If that bottom buss bar is actually isolated from the neutral buss bar then none of your existing circuits are in fact grounded. That bottom buss bar should be bonded to the panel cabinet. The left hand buss bar were all of the current carrying grounded conductors are terminated should be isolated from the panel cabinet and from the EGC buss bar.
 
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Old 10-30-06, 11:35 AM
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I'd want to see the other side of the wire before jumping to conclusions. Maybe the neural is wired to the green in the meter and white unused. Itís obvious that whoever did it didnít care about codes.
 
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Old 10-30-06, 01:49 PM
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I should have mentioned that out at the meter on the pole is where the 60A main breaker sits in a box directly below the meter. I'm not sure if that makes any difference to this panel wireing as shown with the neutral left taped. All my circuits test as properly wired when the tester is inserted into the receptacles. Regardless I am upgrading this box to a breaker panel. Wouldn't the new panel be technically a sup panel since the main breaker sits outside the mobile home in it's own box?
 
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Old 10-30-06, 02:39 PM
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> I'm not sure if that makes any difference to this panel wireing
> as shown with the neutral left taped.

The main breaker on the pole means that this panel should have been wired as a subpanel, not a main like it is now (albeit incorrectly).

> All my circuits test as properly wired when the tester is
> inserted into the receptacles.

This particular configuration tricks the tester into reading the receptacles are grounded when in fact, they are not.

> Regardless I am upgrading this box to a breaker panel.

Good choice.

> Wouldn't the new panel be technically a sup panel since
> the main breaker sits outside the mobile home in it's own
> box?

Yes, and this one should have been also.
 
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Old 10-30-06, 02:47 PM
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TY Ben,

Can i safely assume that since #4AWG wires are coming inside that the main disconnect outside can be upgraded from 60A to 100A breaker?

-Bob
 
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Old 10-30-06, 03:39 PM
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> Can i safely assume that since #4AWG wires are coming
> inside that the main disconnect outside can be upgraded
> from 60A to 100A breaker?

You need to satisfy several conditions to upgrade to a 100A breaker.

1) The power company needs to approve/verify their drop can handle 100A.
2) The main panel, meter socket and meter must have 100A and 75 degree termination rating.
3) The #4 copper cable must be of service entrance type (SER, USE), not NM or UF.
4) The subpanel must have at least 100A rating and 75 degree termination rating.
5) This would count as a service upgrade and would require bringing the grounding/bonding up to code in both panels. (which should be done anyway as discussed above)
 
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Old 10-30-06, 03:51 PM
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Thanks again Ben,

I will start with 3 estimates beginning tomorrow. Many of the neighbors in this adult park have already upgraded. My immediate neighbor has also. They are all elderly and have paid too much I believe. I am the youngster in the park at 55.

"IF" the PC has the adequate drops and "IF" the meter and main disconnect satisfy all stated conditions and "IF" the SE wires are proper.....then what should I expect for ballpark estimates to upgrade this panel to 100A ?

Thanks.
 
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