4th cable in SE box

Originally Posted By: pdacey
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Found this today:





There is a fourth cable coming into the SE box and is not connected to anything. The three that are in use are all 4/0 aluminum, the loose cable appeared to be only 2/0 or 1/0 (no visible markings). What could this be from?


--
Slainte!

Patrick Dacey
swi@satx.rr.com
TREC # 6636
www.southwestinspections.com

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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This may be a dumb response as I really know nothing about three-phase power, but is that what the 4th service cable is for?



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Originally Posted By: roconnor
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Was there a separate main service disconnect (MD) ahead of that panel?


It looks like that is a main lug only breaker panel (or MLO panel, which doesn't have a main breaker), with 200A feeders from a separate MD ... in which case that 4th wire is the grounding/bonding wire (EGC), which would be connected to the panel ground bar.

After the MD with the neutral-ground connection/bond, all feeders and branch circuits should have a ground/bond wire or casing.


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: pdacey
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Robert,


Yes, the main disconnect was at the meter which was about 50' away.
![](upload://orhGe9x5PXynkF2QTpLs0JaRUVF.jpeg)

I don't understand what you were saying about the 4th wire being connected to the ground bar. That's where the third wire is connected.
I'm pretty slow when it comes to electricity.


--
Slainte!

Patrick Dacey
swi@satx.rr.com
TREC # 6636
www.southwestinspections.com

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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No problem Patrick … icon_wink.gif


There should be two hot wires connected to the main lugs at the top of the panel "guts", one neutral wire connected to the neutral bar, and one ground/bond wire connected to the ground bar. If my math is right, thats four wires ...

You pick up the additional wire (i.e. ground/bond wire) at the service MD with the neutral-ground connection. It also looks like the neutral bar is on the right (larger feeder conductor and white neutral wires connected), and the ground bar is on the left. Not good at all that the feeder ground/bond wire is just hanging there ... there would be no connection to trip a breaker if there was a ground fault or casing short in any of the circuits ... very serious hazard ...


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: pdacey
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Thank you Robert. It’s amazing how it all makes sense after a good night’s sleep. Sorry about the confusion. It was the end of a looong day.


Here’s another view






Slainte!


Patrick Dacey
swi@satx.rr.com
TREC # 6636
www.southwestinspections.com

Originally Posted By: roconnor
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



That looks pretty strange now that I see the whole picture.


Looks like they may have incorrectly put the neutral-ground connection in that MLO distribution panel. Looks like both neutral and ground wires going to the bar on the right. Then possibly the large bare wire from the bar on the right going to a ground rod, and possibly the large insulated wire (with the nest) from the bar on the left going to the water water main inside ... or some variation.

Are the two bars connected together in that panel (maybe that wire at the bottom of the left bar loops around to connect to the bar on the right)? Also where are the large insulated wire from the top left bar and the large bare wire from the bar on the right going to ... are they possibly connected to a ground rod and/or water main? Kinda looks like they put the N-G connection in that panel, then disconnected the ground/bond wire from the MD. Strange.

Tack on some incorrectly identified wires ... like a white wire going to a breaker and black wires going to the neutral/ground bars.

Definitely evaluation and repair by a sparky ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: pdacey
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Robert,


The two bars are connected by a metal bar that is encased in the horizontal black plastic.

The #6 bare copper on the right connects to the grounding rod.

One of the other bare copper wires is boded to the cold water supply.

The large white wire on the left (with the nest) is the feed from the neutral bus in the sub panel in the garage.

The large wire connected to bottom of the bar on the left is the feed from the ground bus in the sub panel.

I did recommend further eval. from a sparky. I just wanted to better understand what was going on in this mess. The problem is this house is out in the county. No city inspectors. Anything goes!

Thank you for all of your help.


--
Slainte!

Patrick Dacey
swi@satx.rr.com
TREC # 6636
www.southwestinspections.com

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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pdacey wrote:
No city inspectors. Anything goes!

I feel your pain ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)

That install is not as bad as having an open ground/bond connection, but still an issue. The N-G connection is suppose to be at the service equipment with the MD. After the MD the neutral "floats" and ya pick up a ground/bond wire.

BTW ... did ya have your bug spray ...


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: pdacey
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Fortunately, they were old nests. I couldn’t figure out how they got into the panel. There were no missing knock outs or any openings that I could see.



Slainte!


Patrick Dacey
swi@satx.rr.com
TREC # 6636
www.southwestinspections.com