Strange panel/wiring

(Gary Bottomley) #1

Ran across this FPE panel (not the main issue) with 2 linked together breakers, 2&3 plus 4&5 down from top in photo 029 that fed the box enclosure across the room, photo 041 with a close up detail of the Square D device photo 024.
Not sure what to call this device, what the purpose of it is etc.
Any input guys?

130708 024.JPG

130708 024.JPG

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(Robert Meier) #2

Looks like a 4 pole relay or motor control device. What is connected to it?

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(Chad Norlen, CPI) #3

[quote="Robert_Meier, post:2, topic:79783"]

Looks like a 4 pole relay or motor control device. What is connected to it?
[/QUOTE]

AKA a contactor - electrically controlled switching device. Could be used to control almost any load: lighting, motors, AC condensers, water heaters, etc.

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(Gary Bottomley) #4

[quote="cnorlen, post:3, topic:79783"]

AKA a contactor - electrically controlled switching device. Could be used to control almost any load: lighting, motors, AC condensers, water heaters, etc.
[/QUOTE]

I did not try to follow the wiring and there was no directory in the panel.
no special loads in the house which has been converted to a chiropractic office. Now AC, only one window unit, gas not electric water heaters, no motors, nothing special.
I intend to refer them to a qualified electrician for review and comments on this as well as some other concerns on the FPE panel, corrosion, double taps etc.
Still welcome any other comments on this device.

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(Michael Larson, WI Lic. # 1672-106) #5

[quote="gbottomley, post:4, topic:79783"]

I did not try to follow the wiring and there was no directory in the panel.
no special loads in the house which has been converted to a chiropractic office. Now AC, only one window unit, gas not electric water heaters, no motors, nothing special.
I intend to refer them to a qualified electrician for review and comments on this as well as some other concerns on the FPE panel, corrosion, double taps etc.
Still welcome any other comments on this device.
[/QUOTE]

It could be as simple as controlling all the lighting from a single switch that could not carry the entire load on only one circuit.

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(Robert Meier) #6

Did you check the voltage across the black and white conductors? Might be 2-240 volt heaters controlled with one thermostat.

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(Gary Bottomley) #7

Thanks everyone for your input.
I should have tried to do a little more searching to try to figure out what was going on but I had already spent more time than I should have but am always interested in trying to figure out new things.
I will refer the buyer to an electrician for further input on what the device was put in for but there sure wasn't anything that looks unusual, standard light switches, no motors or fancy controls and last user was an insurance company.
Thanks again

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(William Blackmon) #8

The only issue that I see is that the enclosure the contactor is mounted in does not appear to be bonded to ground. Since you state this was formerly a commercial office, I would suspect that the contactor is controlled via a photocell and the load might be parking lot or exterior lighting. That is a very common installation for commercial occupancies.

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