ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
Recent Posts
Casino Wiring methods
by HotLine1. 12/09/17 10:44 AM
Ground wire Size to water Line.
by HotLine1. 12/05/17 12:11 PM
Flexible conduit to an outside Spa
by gfretwell. 12/05/17 12:28 AM
2017 NEC Changes
by luckyshadow. 12/04/17 06:08 PM
Dimmable LED 2x4 lay in fixtures
by Vulsion. 11/30/17 06:37 PM
New in the Gallery:
Gallery Test
Popular Topics(Views)
242,991 Are you busy
179,385 Re: Forum
170,352 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 14 guests, and 9 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
#130470 - 06/15/06 09:25 PM Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
ShockMe77  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
Rahway, New Jersey
Was wondering how to calculate how much amperage will be on a grounded conducter. I understand in theory it's purpose on a mutli-wire branch circuit, but how is it different in 3-phase? I was working on a 225 amp main lug only panel today and the phases were somewhat balanced and it made me think.

Black leg had 42 amps.
Red leg had 53 amps.
and Blue leg had 41 amps.

But the nuetral had 25 amps. Does this seem right to you?

Tools for Electricians:

#130471 - 06/16/06 08:39 AM Re: Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
JBD  Offline
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 599
quick answer:



In=SQRT(6254-6121)=SQRT(133)= 11.5A

So, 25A seems too high.

#130472 - 06/16/06 03:15 PM Re: Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
Dnkldorf  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
What kind of loads do you have, and what type of equipment are you using to measure the nuet?

Harmonic currents????

#130473 - 06/16/06 09:23 PM Re: Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
ShockMe77  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
Rahway, New Jersey
The loads are mostly emergency 2x4 lay-in lights that are always on.

I used my Fluke Model 332 amprobe/ voltage/ resistance tester.

#130474 - 06/17/06 01:42 AM Re: Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,708
Anaheim, CA. USA
Well, from a "Basic" standpoint, it would be easy to say that the 25 Amps found on the Common Grounded Conductor (AKA "Neutral", or "Noodle" for a more Technical description [Linked Image]...), would be the highest L-N Load value of all the 3 Lines,...


Thought #1:

The Emergency Ballasts may introduce a more Linear / True Power looking Load characteristic (they look a lot more like a Pure Resistance Load, than the Standard Ballasts do) - and therefore attribute a significant part of the L-N Load Amperes across the 3 Phase Circuitry, with a resulting 40% to 55% remaining as an unbalanced Noodle Load,


Thought #2:

In addition to the Fluorescent Lighting Fixtures, there may be a large percentage of Incandescent &/or Quartz-Halogen type Lighting driven from the same Panelboard,


Thought #3:

In addition to the Fluorescent Lighting Fixtures, there may be some Resistance Heaters driven from the same Panelboard,


Thought #4:

The highest L-N (unbalanced) Load being 25 Amperes, found on any single Line (A, B, or C), two Lines (A-B, B-C, or A-C), or from all three Lines (A, B & C), with the remaining Load Amperes being L-L &/or L-L-L.

This kind of looks feasible, since the Loads across ØA and ØC are nearly equal (41 and 42 Amps), and the Load on ØB is quite different (53 Amps).
There could be L-L Loads across A-B, and B-C, along with each Line having L-N Loads, which would result in figures such as the ones you found,


Thought #5:

The Overall Power Factor(s) of the Loads on all three Lines is very close to Unity, therefore the L-N vs. L-L-L balance of Current may be "Partially" figured as a Vector Sum (as described by JBD's formulas).

If the Loads were _ALL_ Unity Power Factor (1.0 PF,100% True Power, or Pure Resistance), then the Formulas posted by JBD would apply, however, the results show an Imbalanced Load of 11.50 Amperes, so there must be something else driven from this Panelboard, which has yet to be discovered.

Your readings sound OK to me, only that they appear to be "hinting towards a mixture of Power Factors" found on the connected Loads, or the possibility of L-L / L-L-L connected Loads, or both scenarios.

Could you post a reply with some additional information - such as:

* Are there any 2 or 3 Pole Circuits from this Panelboard,

* Are there any True Power Loads on any Circuits from this Panelboard (Incandescent / Quartz Lamps, or Pure Resistance Heating Elements),

* What do the Loads on each 1 Pole Circuit readout as, when the previously mentioned Load levels are found on the Panelboard's Feeders,

* Do the Load levels on the Feeders stay fairly steady over time, or do they fluctuate,

* What are the results on the Feeder's Common Grounded Conductor ("Noodle" / "Neutral"), when a Single Pole Circuit is turned off (if this is possible to do, without getting somebody pissed off!!!),

* Any other data you feel like posting.

Please note that, while I am asking for a bunch of stuff - and mentioning a lot of possible reasons for the Load readings, there are _LIKELY_ no problems with the System you are dealing with.*
I am just setting the scene for some "Academic Fun-Time", plus to promote an interactive testing situation.

(*I include this disclaimer to point out that from what you posted, these would be readings found under one of many conditions - however, due to Murphy's Law, there may be something installed by "Sparks-A-Flyin' Electric, Inc." which could be viewed as "Having A Very Intense Sucks Value" - so I need to indemnify myself...)


edited for one of many grammatical miss-steaks found "post-posting"...
If additional blunders exist, please "mentally edit" as needed...


[This message has been edited by Scott35 (edited 06-17-2006).]

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#130475 - 06/17/06 07:00 PM Re: Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
briselec  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 141
Brisbane, Australia
I would have expected a bit less with those phase loadings but I'd only be concerned if the neutral was carrying more than half the value of the heaviest loaded phase.

#130476 - 06/18/06 06:12 AM Re: Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
ShockMe77  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
Rahway, New Jersey
Scott35, thought #4 seems to be the most likely scenario. I am pretty sure there was at least one 3-phase load (L-L-L-) operating from the panel. I'm not exactly sure what that load is though because of course nothing is identified except for the fancy red tape beside each of the SP circuit breakers. Also my Fluke tester is a 322, not a 332 [Linked Image]

#130477 - 06/19/06 09:17 AM Re: Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
Radar  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 349
Los Angeles, CA
Any chance you can turn off the 3-phase load(s) and do another set of current readings?

There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.

#130478 - 06/22/06 09:13 PM Re: Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
ShockMe77  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
Rahway, New Jersey
Not likely. Unless I am called back there to do some other work. I suppose I could when the business is closed.

#130479 - 06/23/06 10:19 AM Re: Grounded conducter on a 120/ 208 service  
winnie  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 649
boston, ma
Thinking about this particular problem leads me back to the discussions of neutrals and 310.15(B)(4).

The neutral here is generally not considered a current carrying conductor.

But consider: if you had a 40A, 120V purely resistive load connected from phase A to neutral, and a 40A, 208V purely resistive load connected between phases A and B, you would end up with 40A on each conductor, including the neutral, with absolutely nothing wrong and purely resistive loads.


Member Spotlight
Posts: 421
Joined: September 2005
Show All Member Profiles 

2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Shout Box
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.016s Queries: 14 (0.002s) Memory: 0.8139 MB (Peak: 0.9932 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-12-11 07:46:19 UTC