This is a 1960s home. There’s a bare copper coming out of the base of the mast/conduit. I’m just curious on what this is for? I see it often. I included some pics of the main panel and sub. There’s no ground rod. No water pipe bond. The sub panel neutral/ grounds are not isolated. Among some other minor issues. I’d appreciate some knowledge! Thanks
In my area solid strand copper was used for older installations and stranded is found on newer so that could give some indication if what you’re seeing is original or added later. It could be as simple as an attachment point for utility grounds (cable, gas, phone, etc.). Builders here usually leave a braided copper line hanging out of the house for this.
Looking at that picture more closely, is that plastic conduit? Definitely not a 1960 install. My hunch is the copper wire is to take the place of what a metal conduit once did but it’s hard to say without being there.
When you say there’s no ground rod or water bond be careful. Just because you can’t find them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It’s much better to say they weren’t found as opposed to they are missing.
It’s metal conduit. Just painted. As far a water bond yes agree, My report narrative says I didn’t locate it… However, I look for it at the panel as well, and didn’t see any copper bonding wire coming into the panel.
If no wire in the panel it’s likely the metal conduit is the path. That was pretty common in the 60s. That being said, this sure looks like a plastic fitting. I’m not doubting you since you were there and I’m looking at a grainy blown up picture but is it possible the conduit is metal but this fitting is plastic?
The collar at the top looks plastic but it’s hard to say.
Yes because you can see the metal mast extending through the roof. Maybe the elbow that penetrates the foundation is plastic. I believe the cover on the lower elbow is plastic. Is that copper to bond the metal mast?
Ah, that’s an interesting thought… the copper is to jump around the plastic fitting to maintain the continuity?
The conduit body at the bottom is metal. All metal parts including the metal mast when upstream of the service disconnect are bonded to the neutral so that external copper conductor should not be used for that purpose. Were you able to located the ends of the conductor?
Also the red tap conductors that feed the subpanel are required to terminate in a single OCPD.
The end of the conductor down stem enters the panel in the Raceway. However, I don’t know where it goes from there. This was an afterthought. I don’t know where it began. Possibly at the mast head connected to the neutral. Unfortunately, I can’t be sure. I’m zooming on pics and going from memory.
In regards to the sub, I saw that is tapped in after main disconnect, which I see periodically. Do you know why those connection points are there?
Hess Home Inspection
Couldn’t someone argue they do terminate at a single ocpd? The 200 amp ocpd?
Hess Home Inspection
No, the 200 amp OCPD is ahead of the #6 tap conductors which only have an ampacity of 65 amps. Also a panelboard requires a single main OCPD or in the case of a feeder (not this installation) the OCPD can be at the origin of the feeder.
If those red conductors originated at a 60 amp circuit breaker then it would be code compliant. Now the tap conductors and the less than 200 amp bus in the sub- panel is not protected from exceeding their ampacity by the 200 amp CB.