Older Service Panel Question

Originally Posted By: lfranklin
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Has anybody seen where the service cable connects to the lugs in a panel be a small wire (about an inch long ) tapped in with them.


A long time ago there was a reason for doing this but is never seen in the modern panel.


I did know why they did this back then, but age has made me forget. The only thing I can think of now is, if there was an overload the small wire would melt.


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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I don’t fully understand where you are stating the smaller wire was. It was tapped into the main lug with the SEC, but then it went where and connected to what?



Jerry Peck


South Florida

Originally Posted By: lfranklin
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Sorry about that Jerry.


It does not connect to anything. They look like somebody took a #12 about an inch long and tapped with the service cable. One on each cable.


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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In that case, no, never heard of it and it was serve no purpose other than to potentially ground out or short out.



Jerry Peck


South Florida

Originally Posted By: jmyers
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It sounds as though it may have had a disconnect on it at one time and instead of removing the wire when the disconnect was removed they just cut the wire and left it there. It is pretty common to find the disconnect tapped in with the service wire on the lugs, not really much to get crazy about it, just make sure the lug is rated for the double tap! icon_biggrin.gif


Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: lfranklin
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Hmm you guys must be to young for this


I think it was done back in the 50s or 60s, when a 60 amp panel was big. When they got upgraded it wasn’t done.


I was just trying to remember why they done it.


thanks


Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
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Maybe you should ask Jesus then… icon_lol.gif I was only like 2 or maybe 3 in the 50’s and wasn’t quite up to sparky back then although I do remember sticking foil gum wrappers in the outlets in grade school to get out of class for a while icon_lol.gif Perhaps that was my initial training as a young sparky. Oh how them outlets would spark…and watching them lights go out…was the best…took them custodians a while to find the tripped breaker too, as I remember it…and since working in some schools I can understand why!


Never heard of that thing though...How could a piece of wire that went no where act as a fuse? Or how could it melt if it isn't connected on both ends?

Now if it was hooked up at both ends I could see some purpose for it but then it would have to be rated at what the service wires are and I would think that once they melted it should kill power to the main feeders....but again....why even use them things if there is a main disconnect in place? Kind of a overkill one would think.


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This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.

Originally Posted By: Ron Hollingshead
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Hi Guys,


I remember my uncle did this when he wired the first house I built. He called it “shimming the lug”, don’t know why he did it but he has built houses from the ground up all by himself for longer than I’ve been alive. He’s got some strange notions for an old hillbilly but his houses are all still standing!


Ron


Originally Posted By: lfranklin
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Welcome to the board Ron. I am glad to hear someone else heard of this.


I was starting to belive I just dreamed it. icon_redface.gif


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Ron’s statement “shimming the lug” may explain it.


Only it would have been wrong then, just like it would be wrong today.

I'll bet what was done was to stick in a short piece of wire to take up some of the excess space between the conductor and the lug, i.e., "shim it tighter".

That's like double tapping something to make it fit better. Unlike "shimming" the extra space between the buck and the door jamb, that's not a good idea in the electrical panel.


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Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Jerry,


I have to agree with you, no matter what the reason it is not a good thing! ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Now we have a good idea that Dennis is close to the over 50 crowd! icon_biggrin.gif


Dennis are you one of those old fart tarts?

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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If Dennis is about 50, then I guess I’m an old fart, and Dennis is a young whipper snapper? Okay, I’m not THAT much older, but I am over the speed limit.


How did I get to be 'over the hill' without ever being on top?


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Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Jerry,


I was just ribbing Dennis since he so openly volunteered his age/experience. ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Now, about the speed limit thing. The speed limit varies a considerable amount, so you could be anywhere from 15 MPH (school zones) to 65 MPH (Interstate Highway)!

The thing about being over the hill without ever being on top is a simple one. Some of us are just flying to the top so fast we pass it without ever realizing we reached that plateau! ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Joe Myers