The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!


2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Recent Posts
Live Chat Feature
by Trumpy
01/20/17 06:20 PM
Safety at heights?
by gfretwell
01/19/17 07:16 PM
failed home inspection.
by gfretwell
01/19/17 07:03 PM
Webmaster > Admin
by Admin
01/19/17 05:49 PM
Old Bath Fan
by gfretwell
01/19/17 01:38 AM
New in the Gallery:
Desk-mounted "power-board"
Top Posters (30 Days)
Admin 33
HotLine1 20
Ruben Rocha 17
Trumpy 15
gfretwell 15
Who's Online
2 registered (Admin, Trumpy), 34 Guests and 9 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#88512 - 06/14/04 08:02 AM Blown Fuse = Service Replacement; Old Code Question
rlrct Offline

Registered: 07/03/03
Posts: 25
Loc: South Windsor, CT
Homeowner's sitting in their weekend cottage and turns on the ceiling fan this past weekend. Fan suddenly stops working - blown fuse. Trace it to low voltage on 1 incoming leg (25 v). LOPOCO comes, pulls the meter. Sure 'nuff, one of the clips in the meter base wasn't tight enough and the connection heated. You can see the discoloration on the underground service lateral where the aluminum conductor heated up. Need to replace the meter base. It turns out the entire service through and including the panelboard will need to be replaced. Why?

The GES, which consists of (1) 1/2" ground rod and a single armored grounding wire (looks like #10), is bonded to the meter base. From the meter, SE cable runs to a 100 amp disconnect. From there, old SE cable runs to the original, screw-in fuse panelboard. There is an unfilled hole in the fuse panel for the original service disconnect where the panel was "converted" from 3-wire service equipment to a 3-wire subpanel. There is an armored grounding cable that runs to the copper water pipe where it's attached within 5' of the water service entrance with a standard, tagged and labelled, clamp. Unfortunately, that conductor to the water pipe is only satisfying 250.104, because about a foot to the right of the clamp, the copper transitions to PVC where it's PVC to and through the foundation.

So, we have:
  • a 100-amp service, with
  • a panelboard with no isolated ground which should be 4-wire,
  • fed by SE cable with no grounded conductor,
  • where the uninsulated grounding conductor is current carrying and connects to
  • a GES which is undersized for the service.

BTW, loads include electric range with double oven, hot water heater and dryer.

Was it ever code-compliant to run just a 3-wire feed from the SD to a panelboard, where the bonding was at/before the SD? Sort of doesn't matter, because the whole mess is being corrected now, but I am curious about the code from the early 1970's when this was done.


[This message has been edited by rlrct (edited 06-14-2004).]

[This message has been edited by rlrct (edited 06-14-2004).]

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#88513 - 06/14/04 10:33 AM Re: Blown Fuse = Service Replacement; Old Code Question
tdhorne Offline

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 344
Loc: Maryland, USA
If the service disconnectting means is not located in or on the building were that panel is mounted it would still be lawful today to run a three wire cable as the feeder as long as there are no parallel conductve paths betwen the two locations.
Tom H
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use" Thomas Alva Edison

#88514 - 06/14/04 10:41 AM Re: Blown Fuse = Service Replacement; Old Code Question
rlrct Offline

Registered: 07/03/03
Posts: 25
Loc: South Windsor, CT
This is a single family residence. The service disconnect is on a basement wall (within 5' of the meter). The panelboard is about 12' away on another basement wall.

#88515 - 06/14/04 03:19 PM Re: Blown Fuse = Service Replacement; Old Code Question
earlydean Offline

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 749
Loc: Griswold, CT, USA
In my experience it never has been allowed by code.

#88516 - 06/15/04 12:04 PM Re: Blown Fuse = Service Replacement; Old Code Question
andyp95 Offline

Registered: 03/05/04
Posts: 47
Loc: Vermont
IMO the service disconnect should be considered the main,and the 12' away panelboard should be considered a subpanel and be fed with a 4 cond. cable i.e. SER with a bonded ground bar and a seperate isolated nuetral bar.


ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals