Which damage came first


  #1  
Old 06-24-24, 02:23 AM
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Which damage came first

Hello, Is any of the discolored parts usable or time for a new panel or just the wiring to the panel and not the entire house? All the wire looks okay and is flexible. Does the discolored insulation mean it's toast and new breakers won't help? Obviously it overheated at some point. One of the quad breakers is fairly new because it has the modern screws. Maybe this is old damage from that breaker going bad? Or is it damage from the meter into the panel?

Thanks in advance!



 

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06-24-24, 10:33 AM
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That is definitely a problem with that neutral connection.
That needs to be addressed ASAP.
If it goes bad.... you stand to lose a lot of electronic equipment with a neutral imbalance.
Rest of the panel looks ok.

With the amount of breakers in that panel.... there should have been a dedicated main breaker unless the actual main breaker is in sight of that panel.
 
  #2  
Old 06-24-24, 04:41 AM
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Not clear what the issue is? Is this panel operational? Where is breaker between this panel and meter? What rating on breaker? Discolored insulation on white wire to neutral bus is a concern. It could be a loose connection.
 
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Old 06-24-24, 10:33 AM
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That is definitely a problem with that neutral connection.
That needs to be addressed ASAP.
If it goes bad.... you stand to lose a lot of electronic equipment with a neutral imbalance.
Rest of the panel looks ok.

With the amount of breakers in that panel.... there should have been a dedicated main breaker unless the actual main breaker is in sight of that panel.
 
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  #4  
Old 06-24-24, 01:26 PM
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there should have been a dedicated main breaker unless the actual main breaker is in sight of that panel.
I thought so too but...
My recent renovation included a new larger panel and meter professionally installed. There is no main breaker in the 40 pole main panel in the basement. The 200 amp main breaker is in the new meter box outside. A sub-panel adjacent to the main panel for critical loads (and possible backup power in future) is fed from a 60 amp breaker in the main panel.

Has there been a code change that allows only a main in the meter box not within view of the panel? Is it limited to residential? My old plug fuse panel had a 100 amp fused main disconnect switch located above the panel.
 
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Old 06-24-24, 02:05 PM
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Subpanels in the same building don't require a main breaker.
 
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  #6  
Old 06-24-24, 06:06 PM
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Has there been a code change that allows only a main in the meter box not within view of the panel?
Kind of. There is a new code requiring that there be a disconnect on the outside of any dwelling. That disconnect will typically be the main breaker. Since there is a main breaker on the outside of the building, a main is not required to be on a panel installed in/on the same structure.
 
  #7  
Old 06-25-24, 02:18 AM
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Agreed, that neutral (discolored) needs to be addressed like really quick. Seems to be possibly heat causing it (loose connection?). A loose neutral is not good!
 
  #8  
Old 06-25-24, 09:17 AM
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The lug where the fat neutral is attached to the bus bar (terminal strip) is suspicious. At the supra panel turn off the feeding breaker for this panel. Then check that neutral large set screw for tightness followed by loosening it a quarter turn and then retightening it. (If the set screw was not loose then you will want to be sure the lug itself is not loose. There may be other problems I cannot think of at this moment.)

While you are at it, check and tighten all of the screws and set screws holding wires in place in this panel box.

The wire being discolored only at the terminal suggests a loose connection there. Had there been a general overload the wire would be discolored over its entire length. Loose connections can overheat badly long before the amperes rating is exceeded.
 
  #9  
Old 06-26-24, 09:42 AM
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Wow. Agree with the other responses. Not only is the main neutral lug loose and causing heat (you can see the plastic wire guide has melted), it looks like a few of the the branch circuit neutrals are heat-damaged as well. (It could be a shadow, but it doesn't look like it).

Along with properly tightening the neutral lug and neutral bars, I'd also pull the breakers and ensure the busses are in good condition.

I'd additionally review the breaker layout to ensure the legs are reasonably balanced. It's not usually an issue or concern for residential panels, but I'm surprised you have that much current through the neutral. Usually the two legs will somewhat balance, reducing the current through the neutral. But maybe if all the window ACs or space heaters are on one leg, you might be seeing an 'excess' of current through the neutral

Lastly, I see a few red wires, make sure they aren't multi-wire branch circuits (two 120v circuits on one neutral) - and if they are, that they are on a double-pole breaker. 240v loads (water heater, range, etc) don't apply.
 
 

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