Service neutral carry power?

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  #1  
Old 11-19-20, 09:49 AM
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Service neutral carry power?

When the utility service connected the new panel wires, they left the old ones dangling.
the old neutral (not connected to anything) is close to the new silver ground in the picture.
Is there any power in the ground wire back to the electricity company?
the white neutrals from the new panel are connected to the silver ground at the entry point.
I thought neutral could carry current imbalances back to the electricity company?

old lines hanging down from roof.
New lines in the grey pipe.
Power lines https://imgur.com/a/2Mfv6Qj
 
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  #2  
Old 11-19-20, 03:56 PM
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Yes, neutral carries imbalance but with proper bonding here should not be an issue.

The utility is not normally responsible for that old wiring but really should have at least cut it back a bit.
You are responsible for cleaning that up.
 
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Old 11-19-20, 04:53 PM
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Just worried that when I cut the old wire, it may move the dangling bit and touch the ground/neutral.
Presumably if I turn off the main breaker in the house, then there can't be any imbalance?
 
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Old 11-19-20, 04:56 PM
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You should be able to call them back saying there is a safety issue.
 
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Old 11-19-20, 05:02 PM
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I agree.... they should not have left that old wiring hanging directly on the new service.
 
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Old 11-19-20, 05:55 PM
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What is the other end of the dangling neutral connected to? If no part of the dangling neutral touches anything else then no current will flow if just the dangling end should touch something.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 11-19-20 at 06:13 PM.
  #7  
Old 11-20-20, 05:13 AM
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It's not connected to anything. The rest of the wire was cut on the roof after they connected the new ones. I just haven't cleaned it up yet.
Obviously if I cut the dangly wire and it moves and touches the service neutral/ground then it's connected to my cutters
 

Last edited by qwertyjjj; 11-20-20 at 05:43 AM.
  #8  
Old 11-20-20, 11:28 AM
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There's no issue with cutting that neutral wire off. It's at the same potential as every piece of metal in your house.

But, doing anything around service entry wires is always a risk for an inexperienced person. Everything is insulated and reasonably safe, but it's not usually a DIY project.

I'd imagine the POCO would be happy to come out and cut it off for you if you have any hesitation.
 
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Old 11-20-20, 12:10 PM
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But if the neutral carries imbalance doesn't it have current? Or is it because there's no voltage
 
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Old 11-21-20, 04:32 PM
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The new neutral carries the imbalance (difference) current between the two hot legs.

The old neutral does not carry current because at this time it is not connected to anything.

If one end of the old neutral should touch something that is live then a voltage could be measured between the other end and ground.
 
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Old 11-21-20, 05:22 PM
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I'm not sure what the issue is. I can see your old cable.
There are two insulated wires and a bare neutral and all three are not connected to anything.
 
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Old 11-22-20, 05:20 PM
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If i cut the old neutral, I'm worried about it moving and touching the new neutral/ground and any current in that
 
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Old 11-22-20, 06:45 PM
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This thread is confusing, but I think I understand OP's question.

I'm not sure what the issue is. I can see your old cable.
There are two insulated wires and a bare neutral and all three are not connected to anything.
I think OP is saying the old neutral is still attached to the anchor, which is why he's asking about cutting it off. If it wasn't connected there, he wouldn't have to cut anything - he could just grab it and haul it off since he's already said the other end is already disconnected.

If I'm understanding him correctly (and I may not be!), his concern is that when he cuts the old neutral off the anchor, the old neutral (or his hand or his cutters) may touch the new neutral and may result in OP getting BBQ'ed.

Assuming that's the gist of the concern, I'd say get on the ladder, wear some gloves and cut the old neutral off. The new neutral provides a very low impedance path back to the transformer. Passing through your tool's grips, through your gloves, through you shoes, through the ladder and through the earth is a very high impedance path. So no, you're not going to get electrocuted. Of course if you manage to cut the new neutral or the hots, all bets are off. As for shutting off the main breaker, if that makes you feel better, go ahead, but I've learned firsthand that shutting off power into a structure doesn't guarantee that there is no current on the neutral line.

OP, if I totally misunderstood the concern, you may want to explain it more clearly because I think most everyone who has responded doesn't see why you are so worried about removing the old cables.
 
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Old 11-22-20, 06:56 PM
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If the far end is disconnected there is no path for anything to flow.
 
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Old 11-23-20, 02:06 AM
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Yes the old cable is caught up in the ceramic anchor on the wall, meaning it's not easy to pull out.
I could maybe jangle it free but same problem, the uninsulated ground wire may touch the new neutral
 
  #16  
Old 11-23-20, 09:23 AM
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For the new service neutral the voltage difference across its two ends (one end in the panel, the other end at the meter) is only a few volts during a near worst case current carrying event (large load on one hot leg, almost no load on the other leg). And the service neutral is grounded via ground rods, etc. So there is no electrocution hazard if someone touches a bare spot along the new sevicce neutral and also touches something else that is grounded.

Which means if you wrestle with the remnants of the old serivce conductors and they touch the service neutral you are safe.
 
  #17  
Old 11-23-20, 07:15 PM
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the uninsulated ground wire may touch the new neutral
This will not be a issue. It is uninsulated because it is safe to do so. There will be no current flowing.
 
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