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What is this in my breaker box?


Derstig's Avatar
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02-14-18, 09:50 AM   #1 (permalink)  
What is this in my breaker box?

I have this thing on the top right hand corner of my breaker box. See picture below. Basically 2 hot wires and 1 neutral wire connect to it and it's sealed on top with what looks like a gel/silicone type of thing.

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Furd's Avatar
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02-14-18, 10:20 AM   #2 (permalink)  
It would help if we could see this "thing" on top of the enclosure. I can state that the connections to the main bus bars is absolutely wrong. Those connections are only to be used with a single conductor and the "thing" has no overcurrent protection when wired directly.

I suspect that what you have is some kind of surge arrestor BUT it should also have a green equipment grounding conductor. It should be wired to a circuit breaker.

 
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02-14-18, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)  
Here are better pictures.

I have 3 ground connections in my house. 1 is bare copper that connects to the left neutral bus bar and goes to the water main pipe in my basement. The others are thick green insulated copper wires that go to two ground rods outside the house and they connect to the right neutral bus bar.

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02-14-18, 02:49 PM   #4 (permalink)  
Looks like trouble. Apparently a TVSS that is not going to a 2pole breaker, instead to some unfused big lugs. (which are not supposed to share either!).

Needs to be fixed.

Oh, yes. What Furd said!

 
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02-14-18, 02:50 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Used to have that little round doohickie on our box when I was a kid. Dad referred to it as a lightning arrestor.


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
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02-14-18, 03:08 PM   #6 (permalink)  
Posted By: telecom guy Looks like trouble. Apparently a TVSS that is not going to a 2pole breaker, instead to some unfused big lugs. (which are not supposed to share either!).

Needs to be fixed.

Oh, yes. What Furd said!
Do you mind explaining in english?

Several electricians not to mention an inspector opened this box up and never said anything

 
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02-14-18, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)  
They were referring to the two conductors in a lug meant for one and the lack of overcurrent protection for the smaller wires.

 
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02-14-18, 03:27 PM   #8 (permalink)  
Posted By: pcboss They were referring to the two conductors in a lug meant for one and the lack of overcurrent protection for the smaller wires.
Can you or someone point me in the right direction as to how it should be done? I'm guessing this is not a DIY project.

What's a likely failure scenario if I leave this as is? Because clearly nothing happened all these years.

 
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02-14-18, 03:30 PM   #9 (permalink)  
A loose or too tight connection or multiple conductors in that out can lead to improper torque on the connection and cause racing or excess heat and could lead to a fire. Regardless of how long it has existed does not mean it was ever correct.

 
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02-14-18, 03:53 PM   #10 (permalink)  
Posted By: pcboss A loose or too tight connection or multiple conductors in that out can lead to improper torque on the connection and cause racing or excess heat and could lead to a fire. Regardless of how long it has existed does not mean it was ever correct.
Okay thanks. I will call an electrician regarding this.

 
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02-14-18, 04:06 PM   #11 (permalink)  
ah. a great time to have an insulated torque tool.

TVSS= transient voltage surge suppressor.

 
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