Burned Neutral Wire

Recently I was inspecting a home built in the early 1990’s with 200 amp service. All of the outlets and lights in the house worked and the GFCI all functioned correctly. I was suprized when inspected the pannel because there were 2 neutral wires that had got so hot the insulation was charred. (see attached picture) I couldn’t find an obvious cause.

Among the possibilities:
1 The circuit overloaded and the breaker failed to pop
2 The was a short between a hot lead and these two wires
3 The wire were severely undersized for the breaker the were attached to.

If any of you can think of any other possibilities pease let me know,

Burned dark.jpg

Burned dark.jpg

Burned dark.jpg

Frequently caused by the screw was not tighten properly .
Simply a loose connection . That shows up from the picture ,looks like loose to me .

MWBC on same phase

You should have been able to confirm if breaker was oversized for wire.
Split kitchen receptacles wired to same phase, loose neutral connection.

MWBC on same phase, loose screw


Loose connection.

Really do not need to determine the cause, report the defect and recommend it be repaired by a Qualified Electrician…

The root cause is not going to be any of the three items that you listed. Damage / heat source is at the terminal. Poor connection. This is urgent but an easy repair for an electrician. They should also check for improper MWBC (same phase) as possible contributing factor. All of the visibly damaged wiring should be removed and possibly the bus replaced due to heat annealing.

Notify homeowner that this is an urgent situation and needs immediate attention (immediate). Those were some extremely high temperatures.

This looked to me like a new inspector is trying to increase his knowledge.

I saw a Question on cause .

I did not notice where the inspector said what he put in his report.
I will not assume how he reported this .

Almost ALWAYS the result of a loose/poor connection…

And… I don’t see where anyone made any assumptions about what he did or did not put in his report.

What Roy and others said. Here’s one I found.

Many times this is caused by sharing a neutral. The excessive heat will also loosen the connection.

If that was the case, wouldn’t the wire scorching be more uniform as opposed to being just the portion near the lug?