Ever wonder if the conductor is sized properly?

This was a 40 amp breaker to an evap cooler. Often I see conductors with no awg size on the insulation and no way to view the conductor.




Yes, I have often wondered, but knowing that I can’t comment on what I can’t see…

Personally, my policy is to never put my hands inside the panel box. Little chance for error.

I would also question the “split plastic bushing” seen in the lower right where the supply is entering the panel.

"300.4**(F) Insulated Fittings. **Where raceways containing ungrounded conductors 4 AWG or larger enter a cabinet, box enclosure, or raceway, the conductors shall be protected by a substantial fitting providing a smoothly rounded insulating
surface, unless the conductors are separated from the fitting or raceway by substantial insulating material that is securely fastened in place.

Exception: Where threaded hubs or bosses that are an integral part of a cabinet, box enclosure, or raceway provide a smoothly rounded or flared entry for conductors.
[FONT=Book Antiqua]Conduit bushings constructed wholly of insulating material shall not be used to secure a fitting or raceway. The insulating fitting or insulating material shall have a temperature rating not less than the insulation temperature rating of the installed conductors."

Who would you pose the question to Joe?

Do you really think one of those service wires is going to jump up in that crack and get damaged? LOL

Seriously, thanks for the code reference but please don’t make posts that might cause some rookie inspector to make a ridiculous writeup.

The part has not failed in a way that matters to anyone.

Not a question to anyone! It is a fact and it identifies the lack of a proper installation by someone who is misinformed and without any knowledge of the reasons for the bushing in the first place!

Look and see after the fault; and when the investigtion takes place this is another nail in the list of bad wiring in most buildings.

A qualified person would call this to the attention of the client and will save himself or herself from having to make any explanations in the future.

The installation is defective and must be cited.

You can be sure that the judge and jury will ignore any other seasoned comments for those who ignore these problems!

Agreed. I would spend my concern on the conductors sized to that breaker. Since their is a dramatic size difference in those conductors you would not really need to know the nameplate rating of the equipment to know something smells fishy here.

Call it out to be evaluated, if you are able to see a nameplate then thats just a bonus as it should tell you the size minimums and OCPD maximums.

Now I am not an expert on Evaporator Equipment…to be quite honest I have never seen one…lol…but based on UL it should have a label giving the information needed and if it does not then leave it to the electrician to determine motor size and OCPD compliance…you have done your job in finding it…Nice Job !

One thing I would look for is are the two different size conductors pulled in a conduit to the equipment and other things but beyond what you really need to do. Quite possibly they used a conduit and while the nameplate says maximum OCPD is 40 and minimum ampacity is lets say 26A…so they put a 10 AWG on one and had some spare 8 AWG laying around…and used it…who knows as I can’t see it…but it is was 8AWG and solid…and in a conduit we could atleast bang them for 310.3 standed conductor in raceways…

Alas…all good things but if you walk away scratching your head, always remove your liability to the electrical contractor…maybe it is compliant and the electrician laughs and so on…who cares…if it concerns you…it needs to concern your client until someone else says otherwise and removes your liability.

[FONT=Arial]No AWG size… That is why I ALWAYS carry a [FONT=Arial]PLASTICWire Gauge” that will tell you the size![/FONT]

You can insert the wire into the appropriate slot until you get a “snug fit” and then you will eliminate ANY and ALL guess work!

Those who advocate carrying around a “bundle of cut wires” and trying to VISUALLY MATCH the wire in their hands to the wires in the panel box usually wind up in court when something happens and they say;

….:|.) Well your Honor…. Lookie here…. I just grabbed that ol bundle of wires and took a wild a** guess as to which one it was!
Why heck… I have been doing that for years and years!
Now I know that that this New Fangled “Wire Gauge” came out over 30-years ago but…… My Daddy used to carry around a handful of wires and… he told me that there is no use of trying EVERY New Fangled thing that comes out!
Why they cost about $17.50 and there is no reason to be throwing my money away for no reason! :|.)

{I testify as an Expert Witness in the judicial systems of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. I just paraphrased what I have heard from at least 7-country bumpkins / handymen / home inspectors who got sued when valuable equipment “got fried” and or a panel box went up in flames! They ALL lost in court! }

My suggestion?
By a PLASTIC “Wire Gauge” and eliminate ALL of the guesswork!

Good Luck! :stuck_out_tongue:


If you look at the photo little more closer look like they used unshrunked tube to fit over white conductor to remark it as hot conductor.

And that methold is Legit in some area.

Yeah the heatshrink tubing is good way to use the indentify the conductors.

It is a standard pratice we done that for very long time in France ]


So you are basically telling NACHI members to stick their hands inside a live panel to use your “Plastic” wire gage. How about learning what the size of the wires look like and train your eye versus telling members to remove a conductor from a termination and put it in a gage as you say…to determine wire size.

I guess you lost your copy of the SOP…I would say learn the sizes and if you can’t tell…dont guess at all and list as such…that you are not able to determine. insulation will change the results of the gages in many cases.

white-neutral-re-identified.JPGI agree with Marc. In the picture, I see a white neutral that was re-identified.
This wire was loose or did you disconnect and pull it out?