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  1. #1
    Ron Bishop's Avatar
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    Default Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    The electrician wrote on the back of the panel..."red", and "black", to signify where the hot and neutral service conductors should go. The installer reversed them, however. What would be the potential ramifications to reversing them?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Those are both hots. I dont think it matters which way the hots are. The neutral connects to a terminal bar elsewhere in the panel.

    That's a sub panel, right?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    If the electrician had wrote Rojo / Negro it might have been done right.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    yes it is a subpanel. Thank you...


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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    JP,

    Think about your blood pressure now!

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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    That's a sub panel, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bishop View Post
    yes it is a subpanel.

    John, Ron,

    If you went into one of those things shown in my avatar, and saw a panel similar to the one shown in my avatar, then, yes, it is a "sub panel" and a "subpanel" ...

    ... however, the one in the photo looks like it as found in a house ...

    (Billy, no need to get all excited about it now that all I have to do is refer them to my avatar. )

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Ron,

    The main problem is that those are bent way too tightly. The minimum bending radius should be 4 times the diameter of the conductor and insulation.

    If those are about 1/2" in diameter, then the minimum bending radius is 2", making the diameter of the bend 4". No way that even comes close to that, probably not more than a 1/2" bending radius, 1/4 of what it should have been.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Also, shouldn't those service conductors come into the lugs over top of the towers? In the photo they are bent in under them.


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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Also, shouldn't those service conductors come into the lugs over top of the towers? In the photo they are bent in under them.

    Yes, and, if bent properly, they would be that way.

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  10. #10

    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr
    Also, shouldn't those service conductors come into the lugs over top of the towers? In the photo they are bent in under them.



    Yes, and, if bent properly, they would be that way.
    Feeder - Article 100 of the 2005 NEC defines a feeder as: All circuit conductors between the service equipment, the source of a separately derived system, or other power supply source and the final branch-circuit overcurrent device.

    Last edited by Brandon Whitmore; 01-25-2009 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Better definition

  11. #11
    Ron Bishop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    This is a manufactured home built in 1993. It was relocated into a mobile home park. A main circuit breaker is located at the power pole and meter. The electrical panel inside is the one in the foto.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ron,

    The main problem is that those are bent way too tightly. The minimum bending radius should be 4 times the diameter of the conductor and insulation.

    If those are about 1/2" in diameter, then the minimum bending radius is 2", making the diameter of the bend 4". No way that even comes close to that, probably not more than a 1/2" bending radius, 1/4 of what it should have been.
    Absolutely correct, first thing I noticed.

    If this is a single phase 120/240 system then the tape color is not relevant.

    They will probably have to pull new conductors anyway if they don't have enough slack going to the sub.


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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    The tid-bits that I pick up from this board are invaluable.... just curious - is the 4:1 bending radius rule just for feeders? I don't recall running across this before but it makes total sense. That was my first thought when I looked at that picture.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    All wire has a bending radius, including what you see the most, NM.

    If you want to be nitpicky, you can write that up on just about every electrical install. Just take things into context and importance for your purpose.


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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    To answer the original question--reversing the two hots would have no impact on the system function or safety..

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  16. #16

    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    They will probably have to pull new conductors anyway if they don't have enough slack going to the sub.
    They could always take everything apart and flip the panel upside down....

    I'd have to look this up to see if it is acceptable any more, but can't they just use split bolts (kearney) in the panel?

    While looking into this, I found this:http://tnblnx3.tnb.com/emAlbum/album...2008_lr_bm.pdf changes to the 2008 NEC. I'm sure someone has posted something better, but it still has some good info. in it.

    Last edited by Brandon Whitmore; 01-26-2009 at 07:15 AM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    They could always take everything apart and flip the panel upside down..............
    As long as it complies with 240.81.


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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    The tid-bits that I pick up from this board are invaluable.... just curious - is the 4:1 bending radius rule just for feeders? I don't recall running across this before but it makes total sense. That was my first thought when I looked at that picture.
    The NEC requires a bending radius of 5:1 for over 600 volt installations, however, the manufacturers requirements are only based on the less restrictive 4:1 bending radius.

    That applies to all conductors.

    As Jeff pointed out, NM also has minimum radius bending requirements, however, NM is based on 5:1 bending radius.

    From the 2008 NEC. (underlining and bold are mine)
    - 334.24 Bending Radius.
    - - Bends in Types NM, NMC, and NMS cable shall be so made that the cable will not be damaged. The radius of the curve of the inner edge of any bend during or after installation shall not be less than five times the diameter of the cable.

    Also note the part in bold ... "shall be so made that the cable will not be damaged".

    The key thing to remember is that these are all the *radius* of the bends, not the *diameter* of the bends. I've had electricians point out that they met the 4:1 and 5:1 requirements, only to go 'Oops, I thought that was the diameter, I always get those things mixed up.'

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  19. #19
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Those of you that are citing code.....are you also putting comments concerning code violations in your report?

    Also, does this really make some you that excited that you would report this as if this were a MAJOR DEFECT?

    Based on that photo alone, assuming no other defects, I don't see any reason to get so excited about bend radius. Yea it's a little tight, but there is no apparent evidence of damage or undue strain. IMO......and I would not report it as a code violation.

    It's kinda of funny, since the original question had to do with a neutral question. If wired with four conductor cable, the neutral is typically some shade of white and it is insulated. Each of the other legs, black and red, carry 120 volts down separate bus bars in the panel.

    A breaker for a typical lighting circuit will only attach to one of the bus bars thus it is only getting 120 volt supplied to the circuit. A dryer breaker for example achieves 240 volts by contacting both bus bars (120 volts + 120 volts).

    As mentioned earlier, each of the pictured conductors are carrying 120 volts and therefore, it makes no difference which side of the "main" breaker it attaches to. Typically, "Hot" wires are marked red or black and neutrals are marked white. You should see a white wire of a 2-wire "romex" cable marked red or black when used in a 240 volt circuit. Sometimes the white wire is simply marked blackish with a sharpie.

    You are correct, you should never see the neutral wire of any conductor attached to a breaker.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Thacker View Post
    .

    You are correct, you should never see the neutral wire of any conductor attached to a breaker.

    AllPro - PA and MD Home Inspection and Radon Test - MD Licensed Home Inspector
    Bill,

    A GFI or AFCI breaker will need the neutral connected to the breaker.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Thacker View Post
    Those of you that are citing code.....are you also putting comments concerning code violations in your report?
    Yes I did.

    Also, does this really make some you that excited that you would report this as if this were a MAJOR DEFECT?
    I did not have a "MAJOR DEFECT" listing, I had a "DEFECT" listing, so, yes, that went in the 'things not right' list.

    Based on that photo alone, assuming no other defects, I don't see any reason to get so excited about bend radius. Yea it's a little tight, but there is no apparent evidence of damage or undue strain. IMO......and I would not report it as a code violation.
    Your choice, of course.

    Being as THERE IS ALWAYS something for which the electrician needs to come out and correct, there is no need to NOT PUT THAT IN THE REPORT. Let the electrician deal with it like they deal with everything else which is in the electrical part of the report.

    It's kinda of funny, since the original question had to do with a neutral question.
    Actually, the original question had to do with the reversed phase identification of the red and black, with a reference to the neutral thrown in.

    As mentioned earlier, each of the pictured conductors are carrying 120 volts and therefore, it makes no difference which side of the "main" breaker it attaches to.
    That was answered early on, so what we do here is point out OTHER THINGS we see in the photos IN ADDITION TO answering the question.

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  22. #22
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Bill,

    A GFI or AFCI breaker will need the neutral connected to the breaker.
    Really? that's not the way it's done in York PA.

    No....seriously...thanks for catching that. What I should have stated was:

    "You are correct. You should never see a neutral connected to a "main" breaker."

    And the GFI of AFCI neutral should be connected to an attached pigtail wire on the breaker. I don't think I have ever seen one that attached to a lug.

    Thanks for the backup Jim....

    I don't want to bum dope anyone.

    Bill

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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Thacker View Post
    And the GFI of AFCI neutral should be connected to an attached pigtail wire on the breaker. I don't think I have ever seen one that attached to a lug.
    Just so we are clear the neutral circuit conductor attaches to the breaker for both GFI and AFCI breakers. The pigtail from the breaker attaches to the neutral buss.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    That is what I meant...the pigtail attaches to the neutral bus. I meant to say I did not ever see the pigtail incorrectly wired with the pigtail attached to the breaker lug.

    I apologize for any confusion.

    Thanks Jim.


  25. #25
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dyslexia and electrical panels...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Actually, the original question had to do with the reversed phase identification of the red and black, with a reference to the neutral thrown in.
    "The electrician wrote on the back of the panel..."red", and "black", to signify where the hot and neutral service conductors should go. The installer reversed them, however. What would be the potential ramifications to reversing them?"

    I don't care how you RTFQ Jerry.

    You are just too smart for me, how can you discuss something when that person seems to know it all.

    Good day to you too.


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