Need to move my [ground] wire on my outside breaker box

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  #1  
Old 06-20-13, 01:24 PM
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Need to move my [ground] wire on my outside breaker box

Hello,

I'm from Boulder, Colorado.

I have a breaker box (see image) where there are two wires leaving the box. Ground and Neutral it seems.

I'm installing a deck and need to move the neutral wire that is attached to the outside of the house and then goes inside the house to a copper pipe. The ground wire is out of the way and does not need to be moved.

They seem to be attached to the same point inside the box.

Question is:

Do I need to completely turn off power to reroute the neutral wire or since the ground wire is still attached is there a possibility the breaker box doesn't need to be switched off?

Just a matter of convenience.

Thanks

Andrew
 
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Last edited by ray2047; 06-21-13 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Clarify which wire needed moving.
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  #2  
Old 06-20-13, 02:59 PM
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Yes, they are attached to the same place inside the box but I never saw a neutral going to a copper pipe. I also see hot wires in that same pic. I've worked without shutting the juice but it's not always recommended.
 
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Old 06-20-13, 03:02 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

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I have a breaker box (see image) where there are two wires leaving the box. Ground and Neutral it seems.

I'm installing a deck and need to move the neutral wire that is attached to the outside of the house and then goes inside the house to a copper pipe.
If you mean the two bare copper wires stapled to the siding below the box, those are both ground wires. Specifically, they are grounding electrode conductors. The neutral conductors are all inside the box.

Do I need to completely turn off power to reroute the neutral wire or since the ground wire is still attached is there a possibility the breaker box doesn't need to be switched off?
Yes, turn the power off to this box before working with the wiring inside it. Besides shocking you, letting one of the connected grounding conductors contact power could start a very impressive fire.

I would also suggest that you buy and read a copy of Wiring Simplified If you're going to be doing your own electrical work.

This thought just occurred to me: Which end of the conductor were you planning to remove and reattach? You could safely work with the end that's away from the box without turning the power off, especially if you left the staple in place.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 06-21-13 at 07:51 PM.
  #4  
Old 06-20-13, 06:28 PM
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Is that the meter enclosure I see that is feeding the breaker/disconnect?
 
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Old 06-20-13, 06:32 PM
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Sure looks like the socket to the right of the picture.
 
  #6  
Old 06-20-13, 09:09 PM
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Is that the meter enclosure I see that is feeding the breaker/disconnect?
If not, it's the best imitation of one I've seen in a long time.
 
  #7  
Old 06-21-13, 06:28 PM
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My thought was that the power company will have to pull the meter to turn the power off as was questioned by the OP. I think the OP needs a licensed contractor to do this small job since the meter is involved.
 
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Old 06-21-13, 07:57 PM
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I agree, if the OP needs to work inside the disconnect box. I also think, still, that he should be able to get the GEC conductor that he needs to move out of the way long enough to hang his ledger board (I'm guessing) by taking it loose from the other end. If so, I wouldn't worry about killing the power.
 
  #9  
Old 06-22-13, 07:08 AM
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There are still a couple things that bother me about this. The ground wires that the OP wants to relocate are obviously not big enough to be going to a ground rod, where are they going? I believe they look like #10 bare solid copper. I see an aluminum ground wire that appears to be going into the house, I assume to a cold water service. Or is that SER cable? There is also one smaller bare copper wire (#10?) that comes from the meter socket, what's that all about? It just looks to me like grounding of the neutral conductor is not correct, but it's hard to tell from just one picture. Also wondering why no bonding bushings where disconnect connects to the socket.
 
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Old 06-22-13, 11:59 AM
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The ground wires that the OP wants to relocate are obviously not big enough to be going to a ground rod, where are they going? I believe they look like #10 bare solid copper.
As you say, it's always difficult to judge from a picture, but those two wires look bigger than #10 to me. I'm not going to say they're #6, but I think they might be. As for where they're going, they're going to ground. The OP isn't quite clear about what a neutral is, but when he says
Originally Posted by walterswalter
I have a breaker box (see image) where there are two wires leaving the box. Ground and Neutral it seems.

I'm installing a deck and need to move the neutral wire that is attached to the outside of the house and then goes inside the house to a copper pipe. The ground wire is out of the way and does not need to be moved.
I'm hearing that the other one goes to a ground rod and that they're both intended to part of the GEC.

I see an aluminum ground wire that appears to be going into the house, I assume to a cold water service. Or is that SER cable?
I think it's SER cable. There's s white insulated conductor with a narrow black stripe running with it, for one thing.

There is also one smaller bare copper wire (#10?) that comes from the meter socket, what's that all about? It just looks to me like grounding of the neutral conductor is not correct, but it's hard to tell from just one picture. Also wondering why no bonding bushings where disconnect connects to the socket.
If you pull a bonding conductor through a cast raceway do you still need a bonding bushing? IDK, to be honest, and it may be up to the AHJ and the inspector.
 
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Old 06-22-13, 02:26 PM
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If you pull a bonding conductor through a cast raceway do you still need a bonding bushing? IDK, to be honest, and it may be up to the AHJ and the inspector.
In my area you would, but I have seen it both ways in other areas. You are right though, it is up to the AHJ and the inspector.

I'm not going to say they're #6, but I think they might be
I suppose they could be, but in comparing the copper ground wires to the aluminum ground wire it appears there is more than one size difference. Do you suppose that could be #8 copper grounds? #8s would be a bit irregular, but again, it's up to the AHJ and inspector.
 
  #12  
Old 06-22-13, 03:08 PM
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I wouldn't bet against #8s.
 
  #13  
Old 06-24-13, 01:30 PM
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Yes, it goes to a meter enclosure
 
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Old 06-24-13, 01:34 PM
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There are still a couple things that bother me about this. The ground wires that the OP wants to relocate are obviously not big enough to be going to a ground rod, where are they going? I believe they look like #10 bare solid copper. I see an aluminum ground wire that appears to be going into the house, I assume to a cold water service. Or is that SER cable? There is also one smaller bare copper wire (#10?) that comes from the meter socket, what's that all about? It just looks to me like grounding of the neutral conductor is not correct, but it's hard to tell from just one picture. Also wondering why no bonding bushings where disconnect connects to the socket.
One of those two (#10 or #6) wires are goes to a grounding rod outside and the other goes inside the house to the cold water pipe.

They are solid copper wires.

As suggested earlier, I'll shut the power off and if I cannot figure a good way of getting the ledger board around the one that goes inside my house, I'll hire a contractor for the work.

Thanks for all the advice!
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 06-24-13 at 04:58 PM. Reason: Format quote
  #15  
Old 06-24-13, 05:09 PM
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One of those two (#10 or #6) wires are goes to a grounding rod outside and the other goes inside the house to the cold water pipe.

They are solid copper wires.
Yes, that's how we know that both of them are part of your grounding electrode. Each of them goes to a different source of ground.

Yes, it goes to a meter enclosure ... As suggested earlier, I'll shut the power off and...
How are you planning to do that? Since the circuit breaker in this box is the main overcurrent protection device for your service, and it's fed directly from the meter, the only way to kill the power to this box is to pull the meter.

Most power companies and permitting agencies take a very dim view of having a meter pulled by anyone other than a master electrician. They tend to charge a hefty fee for inspecting and re-sealing the meter, and add a fine on top of that.

Why don't you just disconnect the other end of the wire long enough to install the ledger?
 
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