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#78414 - 09/22/01 09:29 PM Undersized Neutral  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
Service Call today:

Typical bad neutral symptoms. While checking connections in the old 60A fuse-box, I noticed that the neutral (grounded conductor) was only a #10 (nickle coated copper)!

A year ago, I could've opened the meter can, remove the meter, replaced the "noodle", replace the meter, call WV Power (after the fact) and have a happy customer... Now it will be a service upgrade to 100A, miniumum, with requisite inspection (read-$$$).

Typical 30A Edison fuses on #14 wire too... Probably will need a circuit or two added...

The old wire is in relatively good shape.

Didn't have my camera, the meter is about 9 feet off the ground!

Told her to have the PoCo check their connections too, and I'd get back to her with an estimate on the service change.

A #10 Neutral on a 60A Service... I've seen it all now...


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#78415 - 09/23/01 06:30 AM Re: Undersized Neutral  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
I hope all the 120V loads were well-balanced! Or did someone figure that the neutrsl would help keep the system warm in winter??!

By the way, what exactly is a noodle?


#78416 - 09/23/01 10:04 AM Re: Undersized Neutral  
glenn35  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 40
Small neutrals are pretty common around here for older services. A lot of the older houses which are K&T have #10 for the service entrance conductors and even some older 100A services have a #6 or even an #8 for a neutral. I guess they didn't put much emphasis on correct sizing of wire back then.

""sparky66wv-A #10 Neutral on a 60A Service... I've seen it all now...""
Well just keep livin' and I'm sure you'll see a lot more! [Linked Image]

Pauluk- a "noodle" is a neutral. Just a common slang word around here. [Linked Image]

glenn


#78417 - 09/23/01 10:05 AM Re: Undersized Neutral  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
Sorry, Pauluk, A "noodle" is Sparky's (Steve's) nickname for the neutral...

Oh, Glenn beat me to it! (by a minute)

They called this morning, now they're TV has died... (I had warned them of appliances dying until this was fixed).

Looks like I'll be squeezing in a service change this week...



[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 09-23-2001).]


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#78418 - 09/23/01 11:47 AM Re: Undersized Neutral  
sparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,303
the reality is often that the owners have no conception of the degree of decay and/or discombobulation that their electrical service is really in.

Virgil, don't you have something @ your site about this ? Do you refer people as to gain an 'educated customer"??


#78419 - 09/23/01 01:22 PM Re: Undersized Neutral  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
This particular customer is reasonably educated in that the missus used to work on F-4's in the airforce... she was talking about #18 wire on 5A breakers... she understood everything that I told her, I believe, even the part about series circuits and the damage they can cause to appliances.

Didn't stop them from losing their TV though...

As far as referring to the Website, my URL is printed on my business cards and invoices. If they are web savvy enough to be curious about it, they will come... otherwise it'd be hard to drag them there!


[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 10-15-2001).]


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#78420 - 09/23/01 08:20 PM Re: Undersized Neutral  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
PoCo shows up there today, found a corroded Compession fitting on the noodle above the drip loop of the drop ("point of connection" according to the PoCo). They've had no more flickering, but still want the upgrade. Educated indeed! And they want it ASAP too even though "the problem has went away"...

I wish all my dealings with customers were this simple!


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#78421 - 09/23/01 11:22 PM Re: Undersized Neutral  
glenn35  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 40
Seems that the liability for the damaged equipment now lies with the PoCo. Right? After all it was their connection that went bad. The PoCo here will usually pick up the tab for damaged goods like that. May be worth a call to the claims dept of the PoCo. The PoCo's will not readily make it known that they do this or else they would have claims out the wazoo. CAn't hurt to try.

glenn


#78422 - 09/24/01 10:16 AM Re: Undersized Neutral  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
Yep... The Customer is already filling out the claims forms.

But thanks for the advice anyway...

(Heck I thought they were "above" any reproach...)


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#78423 - 10/15/01 10:25 PM Re: Undersized Neutral  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
The PoCo is denying that any work was performed, they apparently are going to fight this tooth and nail...

The customer is in possesion of the new compression fitting that was "never installed" (because replacing it would be admitting fault!)

Here's a photo of said fitting:

[Linked Image]


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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