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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Service Equipment?

    This one's got me a little turned around - 1950s house, all original equipment from what I can tell.

    Overhead electric service goes into the meter and then heads to two separate panels (no shut-off a the meter - just a meter). Both panels have grounds and neutrals bonded. So, are they both service equipment (wired correctly) or both non-service equipment (wired wrong) ??????

    I can't recall seeing this before.

    And, yes, it's a Zinsco and there are plenty of other problems.... I'm mainly just trying to wrap my head around this.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,898

    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    Matt, it almost looks like the SE cable is spliced to conductors coming out of the conduit mast. Can you confirm this? Where the panels adjacent to each other? What did they serve? Did it look like one panel fed the other by the way the breakers were arranged?

    The neutral looks a little small from the mast too.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
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    1,363

    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    Wait a second - the two hot SECs run down into the mast.
    Then two conductors come out of the mast and run to the right to where ever.
    And the neutral is all monkeyed up.
    I can fully understand why you can't get your head around it.
    As you said, there are problems.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    The weather head has two hot conductors coming in from the POCO and going to the meter - from there, two hots go to one panel (outside, right next to the meter) and another set goes back up the mast and out the weather head to the other panel (inside).

    So the weather head has two sets - one coming in, one going out.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    I can't remember seeing that arrangement before Matt. What are they doing for main disconnects?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    To answer one of your questions, the neutral should not be grounded in the indoor, Pushmatic panel, as it appears to be fed from a breaker in the Zinsco.

    The feeders to the Pushmatic must pass through the meter box on their way back up to the weather head? That has to be a violation.

    I can't see the neutral service conductor in the Zinsco panel. It does appears to be way undersized where it enters the weather head, but the the load is split across two neutral wires, so that's probably why it hasn't fried.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
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    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    To answer one of your questions, the neutral should not be grounded in the indoor, Pushmatic panel, as it appears to be fed from a breaker in the Zinsco.
    The inside Pushmatic isn't fed from the Zinsco, that I'm certain of. The exterior Zinsco only fed the electric heat and one newer 120 volt circuit.

    Basically, from a process of elimination, the only thing I can conclude is that both panels are fed separately off the meter (I even checked both panels separately to be sure they are both being metered).

    You guys are making me feel better... about 10:15 this morning I was feeling a little dumb


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,246

    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    That looks to me like the riser is being used for the service entrance conductors from the overhead service down to the meter, then back up to the smaller SEC weather head which is going someplace else.

    That presents two potential problems: a) service equipment in two separate locations; b) feeders in the riser with the service entrance conductors.

    NEITHER a) nor b) is allowed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
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    601

    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    Jerry, unless you consider the meter a disconnect, the wire going back up the mast is still service entrance wire. Since you haven't gotten to the service equipment yet you don't have a feeder. We have a couple of REAs around here that do things like this to de-crapify the poles. (one less mast on the pole)

    Doesn't make the installation any more legal, however.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,246

    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Jerry, unless you consider the meter a disconnect, the wire going back up the mast is still service entrance wire. Since you haven't gotten to the service equipment yet you don't have a feeder. We have a couple of REAs around here that do things like this to de-crapify the poles. (one less mast on the pole)

    Doesn't make the installation any more legal, however.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That looks to me like the riser is being used for the service entrance conductors from the overhead service down to the meter, then back up to the smaller SEC weather head which is going someplace else.

    That presents two potential problems: a) service equipment in two separate locations; b) feeders in the riser with the service entrance conductors.

    NEITHER a) nor b) is allowed.
    This is what I was saying, or trying to say:

    a) The overhead sesrvice drop runs down the mast to the meter to the service equipment and back up through the meter and through the mast to the service entrance cable weatherhead - which means the conductors going back up the mast to the service entrance weatherhead are service entrance conductors and are feeding a separate service equipment at a different location, which is not allowed.

    b) The overhead sesrvice drop runs down the mast to the meter to and through the service equipment and back up through the meter and through the mast to the service entrance cable weatherhead - which means the conductors going back up the mast to the service entrance weatherhead are feeder conductors and are feeding a remote panel, feeder conductors in the same raceway as the service entrance conductors are not allowed.

    Does that help clear up what I was saying, or trying to say?

    I doubt that second set of conductors in the mast go to the meter and stop there, then come back up. I suspect those conductors are run through the meter from the service equipment beyond the meter.

    That leaves the question as to whether they are 'service entrance conductors' or 'feeder conductors', neither of which is allowed in there, but for different reasons.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: Service Equipment?

    I suspect from the info presented so far that a set of wires feeds the input side of the meter and that the meter is (probably) double tapped on the output side with one set going to the Zinsco panel and the other to the inside panel. It also looks like the inside panel and the 2 sets of conductors in the mast was probably the original installation with the Zinsco added later

    Depending on where the utility decides their point of service is, having metered and unmetered conductors may or may not be an issue. Most AHJs won't (or can't) apply the NEC prior to the utility designated point of service. The lack of a service disconnect is a far more serious issue.

    Just trying to point out out that in some areas, including one of the areas I work in, metered and unmetered conductors in the same mast aren't an issue. When I questioned the utility about the REQUIREMENT they had to put both sets of conductors in the same mast they basically said the NEC didn't apply to their stuff, and it was their way or the highway.


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