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#151584 - 11/14/02 08:10 PM Old Service
Webmaster Offline


Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA

Here are some photos of a service that we replaced recently. Not a minute too soon!!! This 200 amp 240 volt 3 phase delta service had been in the building for approximately sixty years. (If anyone knows exaclty how old this type of equipment is, I would like to know.) What is unbelieveable is how many times someone added a new feeder onto lugs designed for one conductor. Notice the creative "neutral". Comments please!


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#151585 - 11/14/02 10:03 PM Re: Old Service
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Now if you want to see some "old" stuff, there are antiques in Brooklyn that make this service look brand new. BTW, the vintage equipment shown in your photos is common in our larger old cities; Newark, Jersey City, etc., in Northern NJ. Went to look at a building in Brooklyn NY a few months ago, and the equipment is probably from the early days of electricity.
How about any input from the New York guys?

#151586 - 11/14/02 11:02 PM Re: Old Service
Jacuzzi Guy Electric Offline

Registered: 10/25/02
Posts: 33
Loc: Dearborn Heights Michigan Unit...
Just another day... Look at the pipe coming into de disconnect and the one around it. I see that is black, which may suggest that is solid "Gas Line" pipe. This could be a severe case of electrolysis. Wouldn't they put the meter outside the building? Or is that just to save pipe and wire? =o) Look at the wires near the disconnect handle, it's rusty too!! That's a serious electric hazard.

A missing knockout, so to let dirt and moisture get into the cabinet.

Did they even balance the load?

And the split bolt add a new meaning to the term "floating neutral"!!!

#151587 - 11/15/02 03:07 AM Re: Old Service
Trainwire Offline

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 364
Loc: Strasburg,PA,USA
Look at the back board, as old as it is, it replaced something. I wonder what the guys that put this in were saying about what they replaced.
Inadequate, and antequated by our standards yes, but served faithfully and without complaint for a long time.
Bury it, but decently and give it a moment of silence.

#151588 - 11/15/02 08:57 AM Re: Old Service
mamills Offline

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 739
Loc: Wharton, Texas, USA
If I were to make a guess, I would date the SqD 200a main disco and the SqD XO load center somewhere around the early to mid 1950's. The oldest thing here is the little "Main+Range+4" fuse panel beneath the main disco, probably late 1930's/early 40's.

Looks like there are at least four conductors landed under each of the 120v. loads, not counting the aftermarket lugs. I guess it's like stuffing people into an elevator...there's always room for one more . Would be kinda nice if the high leg (I'm assuming on the right) was identified.

Thanks for these pix. Can you supply ones of your new service?

Trainwire; You're absolutely right. It's fun to speculate about what kind of equipment existed here before this "upgrade" came along.

Mike (mamills)

[This message has been edited by mamills (edited 11-15-2002).]

#151589 - 11/15/02 02:38 PM Re: Old Service
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
The four wires into the service head seem to indicate an intentional four-wire [delta] service. The 200A-switch load-terminal cabling is especially handsome. The left two load terminals appear to have four cables each, but quite the opposite on the right terminal—a single cable looks to have "hairpinned" strands for the oversized lug—ostensibly the high/stinger/”orange” leg.

I’ll bet that originally this could have been a dual-meter service—a 1ø 3w meter at a “lighting” rate, and a 3ø 3w meter for a “power” rate. This was common in some areas…typically accompanied by a pole-mounted transformer bank, comprised of a larger “lighting” transformer flanked by two [or one] usually smaller “power” transformer(s).

#151590 - 11/15/02 08:12 PM Re: Old Service
resqcapt19 Offline

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2209
Loc: IL
Jacuzzi Guy,
Old conduit was not galvanized, it was painted by the manufacturer, often black.

#151591 - 11/15/02 08:59 PM Re: Old Service
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Don — Before “standard” galvanized, wasn't basic rigid steel conduit finished with clear/slightly amber enamel?


#151592 - 11/16/02 01:22 AM Re: Old Service
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Nice pics of vintage Square D equipment! Things looked not so bad at the 2nd image, then turned to "suck value" when the 200 amp switch was opened - showing the multiple conductors landing on the load side, then taking off in all directions!

One thought is

Regarding antiquity of this equipment, I can say the XO breakers / bus kits were very popular for post WW2 residential services, running into around the early 1960's (or so), being cast aside by the introduction of the QO breaker / bus kit.
Haven't seen XOs used on commercial locations, but have seen many of the A1A / A2 frame styles. These look like a stretched out and long QO frame body, with an oversized reset handle.

The 200 amp switch looks similar to ones I have seen in locations built around circa 1950s.

The fuse panel looks like it also incorporates type M "Multiframe" breakers. The 4 breaker package on one mounting means thingees... Another circa 1940's residential type device.

Have upgrades or serviced a bunch of XO panels, and a few services with type M stuff.

The service entrance image shows some interesting variations in choices and usage of lugs! Split bolts, compression connectors, those ones with the bolts, and possibly a wirenut?

I was thinking along the same lines as Bjarney - as to the service types per usage.
Most of the older commercial locations I have dealt with used 2 separate service sections.
One for "Lighting" - which is 120 / 240 VAC 1 phase 3 wire,
One for "Power" - which is 240 VAC 3 phase 3 wire.
Both fed from the same 4 wire delta transformer bank (open and closed deltas have been used). The "High-Leg" is brought to the 3 phase section only, and it's normally around 50% smaller than the other two conductors.
The 1 phase service section has the GES connection (to the grounded noodle animal), and the 3 phase section gets bonded to the noodle in the 1 phase gear section.
Each section has a KWH meter.

Scott s.e.t.
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#151593 - 11/16/02 06:28 AM Re: Old Service
ElectricAL Offline

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA

The common pre-galvanized RMC I've seen is black enamel painted. There's a lot of it in the older structures here in the inner city.

Al Hildenbrand


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