ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
sparky 8
Recent Posts
2017 NEC Changes
by gfretwell. 12/18/17 11:03 AM
Nec circuit protection
by Jkhayward. 12/18/17 09:56 AM
Dimmable LED 2x4 lay in fixtures
by HotLine1. 12/17/17 10:04 PM
Holiday Wishes to all!!
by sparky. 12/17/17 03:45 PM
Casino Wiring methods
by HotLine1. 12/09/17 10:44 AM
New in the Gallery:
Gallery Test
Popular Topics(Views)
243,103 Are you busy
179,552 Re: Forum
170,452 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 15 guests, and 8 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Gallery
Next Gallery
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Images In This Group
Broken neutral up at power pole
by wa2ise on 03/18/12 06:13 PM

We have an underground service, and atop the pole where it connects to the POCO, the neutral was flapping in the breeze. The POCO came out to fix it. The POCO guy asked if we had funny power problems, "No, we must have a good ground. Happened to notice it while doing yard work"

#205662 - 03/19/12 02:37 PM Re: Broken neutral up at power pole [Re: wa2ise]  
LarryC  Offline
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
Winchester, NH, US
Are you on a municipal water service? Your neighbor's water service may be acting as the neutral return for you. Were any animals walking in the area acting weird? The step potential could have been bothering them.

Super Rod Cable Installation Tools

Super Rod Cable Rod System
Super Rod Cable Rod System -
Best Product of the Last 50 Years by members of NICEIC

#205663 - 03/19/12 03:49 PM Re: Broken neutral up at power pole [Re: wa2ise]  
wa2ise  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 784
Oradell NJ USA
Yes, we have city water, a long 100 foot or so copper pipe running in the opposite direction (west) to where our pole pig is located (east). I don't know what material the big water pipe is made of (probably metal, whatever they used around 1950) but yes, it's likely our neutral current went back to our west neighbor's water pipe ground, up his service's neutral, then travel about 3 pole separations along the POCO ground wires back to our pole pig. Turns out a neighbor to our east feeds off the same pole (it's hard to see, but there's 5 wires running down the pole, 4 hots and one shared neutral that is split lower down the pole), so her neutral and ours are tied together, and both shared the broken connection. So some neutral current may have gone into her water pipe, and to other neighbors water pipes and then to their service neutrals.

Our ground wire inside the house looks to be #10 or #8, whatever the code called for in 1952. Now that the POCO fixed the broken wire, we now have a #2 neutral, as the house did when new.

#205668 - 03/20/12 12:45 PM Re: Broken neutral up at power pole [Re: wa2ise]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,143
That seems like a strange way to hook up the neutral anyway.
Around here they put the neutral in a cable grip, tied off to the pole and it extends unbroken until it gets crimped to the strand.

Greg Fretwell

#205669 - 03/20/12 02:24 PM Re: Broken neutral up at power pole [Re: wa2ise]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,885
Brick, NJ USA
Yes, the neutral connection sounds 'odd' to me also, especially that there are two neutrals 'down the pole'.

As the OP is 'up north', I don't know what POCO he has, as the areas are not straight-line teritories.

The drop connection looks typical, except the 'single' neutral, with 2x2 hots.

The UG section is customer installed in O/H areas; if it's BUD the it's POCO installed & maintained to the line side of the meter.


#205728 - 03/25/12 03:44 AM Re: Broken neutral up at power pole [Re: wa2ise]  
pdh  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 354
Other effects from the neutral current going by way of the neighbor is magnetic effects due to the widely separated path.

#205732 - 03/25/12 12:13 PM Re: Broken neutral up at power pole [Re: wa2ise]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,143
I imagine the cabinet could get hot around the GEC penetration but I am not sure how hot. When I first moved into this house the SE cable was coming through 3 KOs and I never saw any signs of heating.

Greg Fretwell

Member Spotlight
Atomic City, ID USA
Posts: 803
Joined: October 2004
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: 0.026s Queries: 18 (0.013s) Memory: 0.7906 MB (Peak: 0.9601 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-12-18 20:34:02 UTC