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Thread: Overheated Ground
06-19-2007, 05:30 AM #1
Yesterdays inspection - Home built in 1940's, main panel had a ground to the exterior grounding rod and an attachment to the copper water pipes. Both ground wires were insulated (white insulation) stranded copper and both had melted insulation inside and outside of the panel. Exposed copper strand at the water pipe was dingy black. Home had mostly new romex wiring, but there was some BX (tinned copper) that terminated and was wire nutted to new wires inside the panel. Panel itself was not new and no scorching/burn marks were seen inside the panel. There was no access available to the attic area. I recommended that an electrician evaluate the entire panel and try to determine reason for overheated grounds and correct the circuits with the wire nuts inside the panel as well as other electrical problems inside the home. Home also had an opening at the top of the meter and insufficient drip loop with rust/water streaks inside the panel.
My question is this - Could this have been a lightening stike???? Incoming neutral connection poor either at the home or at the pole???? Short due to the water in the panel???? Any other possibilities????
Sorry, pics didn't show enough detail so I tried to paint a mental picture.
06-19-2007, 06:02 AM #2
Re: Overheated Ground
Yes. It could have been a lightening strike. The only way for you to have known (ther than the indicators you found) was to have access to the disclosure or have found, not only what you did but also, blown-out areas of romex insulation.
The fact that the panel was not new doesen't mean all that much. However, the new romex mostly throughout is an indication of a catastrophic event.
You were right to have an electrician to make repairs to the water intrusion issue from the drip loop, but also have the electrician make repairs to the grounding system, as needed.
Good pick-up all around.