Need Help from the Learned...

I could use your help on this one guys.

In these pictures, notice the conductor that has no insulation casing on it.
Is it OK for this to be "separated" like this. The strands where it enters are not tight together.

And is it OK if it does not have a casing on it (not insulated)?

Your help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

I added another shot so you can see the full picture.





Grounding wires and the grounded conductor of a service entrance can be bare.
It is better to have wires separated than bundled. It is a heat issue.

That box is a mess. Too many wires in one raceway.

What raceway??

I am not too sure, but maybe he is talking about the stranding of the neutral conductor in the SE cable. If you are, this is a very typical and accepted method.

Notice the bonding bushing that seems to be missing on the metallic raceway from the meter pan to the service enclosure.

I have to assume you are talking about the neutral wire. That is normal. there are other issues though.

I believe he is talking about the MASS of wires running into the back of the box through a single opening. is this what you are refering to Greg?

I guess, from the sounds of it, there may be problems I was not aware of…:frowning: What are the other issues Doug??

Paul, is the mass in a single opening bad??

I hope I can learn from you guys on this one. Electrical issues are harder that I thought (I am a newbie).


I can be if the MASS is not coming into the panel through a nipple…if they are coming in from a conduit…then I venture to say that conduit is not sized correctly…again if not a nipple…it may exceed the rating of conductors within that raceway…IF indeed we are talking about a raceway coming into the back of it…


This is the first time I have seen the ESS Message board. It looks great and I plan on joining it, as I want to learn all I can about electrical. Thank you for putting it on your “signature”.

I assume I should “call out” this wiring for an electrician in the pics…?


Here is the thing…chances are the electrician will come out and look at that and say…hmmm…OK…that would be a HUGE pain in the BUTT to redo…so chances are they will DUCK the issue all together.

Honestly…if you want my personally opinion and not as a CODE guy…I would check the wires as they come in…notice if their is any damage to the insulation, and see if their are any signs of heat buildup on the insulation.

What would bother me is WHERE do these wires GO…if they are all coming in as single conductors in a huge mass like that…from a residential dwelling…because joints, splices and other cables leading to other areas of the house have to be going somewhere…

If I were to use my GUT feeling…I would have it evaluated…as I personally would like to look at it…but others will probably disagree.

I wish I could TELL you point blank it has issues behind that MASS…some will say the massing of wires is old code…and probably ok…well I am here to say it is NOT if those are single conductors CRAMMED in a conduit and you have no idea were they go…

Personally…I would want to look at it…BUT others have commented here and none agree…so I would go with the masses…I have been know to be a FRUIT CAKE more or less anyway…

If you prefer to have it looked at…use the reason as someone else said…I believe pierre…no bushing on the SE conductor connector entering from the meter can, multiple taps on the Grounded Conductor and then reference to the mass of wirings going into one opening…and not knowing what or where it leads on the other side…

Sure…people will gripe…but i costs money to hire an electrician…well it cost money to BURY a client…you are looking out for them…go with your GUT


That is what I meant. It was a long day yesterday and the mind was not thinking clearly. Now that I have your ear, I read somewhere that there is a llimit to how many wires can be bunched together, as this does cause a heat problem. Somewhere I read code on it but cannot locate the citation.

If you are talking like bundling NM cables together…many people in the past would simply run them all together and then tie wrap them…but it can no longer be done that way…because the code now addresses bundling issues.

**(2) Adjustment Factors.
**(a) More Than Three Current-Carrying Conductors in
a Raceway or Cable. Where the number of current-carrying
conductors in a raceway or cable exceeds three, or where
single conductors or multiconductor cables are stacked or
bundled longer than 600 mm (24 in.) without maintaining
spacing and are not installed in raceways, the allowable
ampacity of each conductor shall be reduced as shown in
Table 310.15(B)(2)(a). Each current-carrying conductor of
a paralleled set of conductors shall be counted as a currentcarrying

FPN No. 1: See Annex B, Table B.310.11, for adjustment
factors for more than three current-carrying conductors in a
raceway or cable with load diversity.

FPN No. 2: See 366.23(A) for correction factors for conductors
in sheet metal auxiliary gutters and 376.22 for correction
factors for conductors in metal wireways.

*Exception No. 1: Where conductors of different systems,
as provided in 300.3, are installed in a common raceway or
cable, the derating factors shown in Table 310.15(B)(2)(a)
shall apply only to the number of power and lighting conductors
(Articles 210, 215, 220, and 230).

Exception No. 2: For conductors installed in cable trays,
the provisions of 392.11 shall apply.

Exception No. 3: Derating factors shall not apply to conductors
in nipples having a length not exceeding 600 mm
(24 in.).

Exception No. 4: Derating factors shall not apply to underground
conductors entering or leaving an outdoor
trench if those conductors have physical protection in the
form of rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, or
rigid nonmetallic conduit having a length not exceeding
3.05 m (10 ft) and if the number of conductors does not
exceed four.

Exception No. 5: Adjustment factors shall not apply to
Type AC cable or to Type MC cable without an overall
outer jacket under the following conditions:

(1) Each cable has not more than three current-carrying

(2) The conductors are 12 AWG copper.

(3) Not more than 20 current-carrying conductors are
bundled, stacked, or supported on “bridle rings.”
A 60 percent adjustment factor shall be applied where the
current-carrying conductors in these cables that are
stacked or bundled longer than 600 mm (24 in.) without
maintaining spacing exceeds 20.

NO need for me to belabor the points. Paul and others have already said it. You were right to question it. First step is to recognize a potential problem. Not always necessary, in fact seldom necessary to “analyze or troubleshoot” to the level as a professional. Good call.


UL also refers to this as "sectioned" this is to keep the cable assembly round, or in other configurations such as the SE or SER types.

I wanted to **Thank **you guys for taking the time to answer my post! I guess there is “life after the electrical exam” :wink:

Thanks Guys!