Need Help!

I know its wrong but I just dont know how wrong…:smiley: I really didnt know what to think on this one.

Other than the ground wire being too small for a 100 amp service neutral, There was no service neutral.

They had used a solid copper wire for the service neutral. There were also blue plastic wire spices, and this was also something I have never ran across.

What are the issues involved for using a solid ground wire for a service neutral??

For one thing, the neutral is a hazard because someone coming in contact with it could complete the circuit to the ground under the right circumstances. It has to be sheathed.

Wait, are you saying the bare wire is being used as a neutral or the neutral is just missing and you’re assuming the ground is taking the place of the neutral?

Without a proper neutral feeding back to the “pole”, you are certain to get major voltage surging.

No they are using an “exposed ground wire” as the service neutral. It was connected to the service coming in (which was exposed as well).

Need more info.

Where is the disconnect?

Wider shot too

Here you go…

I’m assuming the Service wires and neutral are in conduit.

I think you are OK.

The neutral can be 1 size smaller that the service conductors too

I understand that, thats not the issue.
The issue is they are using a #6 or #8 solid copper ground wire as the service neutral.
There is no other wire being used from the weather head.
Look at the first pic. 2 hots 1 uninsulated neutral

A bare neutral(grounded conductor) is in the exception I posted.

did I miss something?

What size is the solid conductor? Conductors larger than #10 in raceways are required to be stranded. The neutral is sized according to the load calculation and can be smaller than the phase conductors, also ahead of the service disconnecting means they are permitted to be bare.

#8 copper should be OK for the neutral(grounded conductor) on this 100 A service

What’s the reference for the stranded requirement?

This is a first for me but is its OK then OK. Now what about the blue crimp connectors??

Robert says the neutral should be stranded but I don’t know the reference.

Do you know for sure the neutral size?

There’s a calculation for sizing the neutral in the NEC.

If the stranded requirement is valid it needs to be fixed anyway.

If the blue crimps are on solid wire that may be a prolem as it is hard to get good mechanical contact on solid wires.

It all looks amateur to me.

Are the breakers all the same mfg. ?

Really, no one else knows. Blue connectors anyone???

For the most part. Most are bryant, westinghouse type.
I agree, poor bond with the crimps which was my worry.

According to my books, #2 copper should be used for service wire, so 1 smaller should be #4 for neutral.
The wires were copper and looked to be #2 but I couldnt se the mark and wasnt going to move them around to find it. :wink:

The real catch is the panel was probably 20+ years and the POCO had to connct it. there was enough other issues between 2 other smaller panels to require repairs anyway.

There’s nothing I can think of that “prohibits” those crimp-connectors.

The conductors at the service breaker look pretty small. What size were they?

then I would call out the definite other issues and recommend the electrician look at the splices. I would rather admit I don’t know than guess and since you have other issues needing service the additional work is minor.

Butt splices bother me frankly.

BTW-The panel should have a label calling out the acceptable breakers.

Thanks guys. Tons of inspected panels, but never one like this. I will let the electrician make the call. I personally would wnat it upgraded myself, but thats me.

So if bare wire is acceptable in a raceway, would that include a raceway between a disconnect and a distribution panel, seen as how the disconnect would be the only place the neutral should have contact with the ground?(assuming a metal raceway)

NEC 310.3.

All metallic enclosures and metal raceways are already connected to the neutral conductor on the line side of the service disconnect so it doesn’t really matter if the neutral conductor is bare.