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  1. #1
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    Default What size are these service wires?

    Condo today had a 400 amp disconnect at the exterior closet. Huge copper service wire in Challenger distribution panel in utility room (diameter of wire seemed to be as large as a nickel). Any idea what size copper wires these are.

    Any thoughts why a condo complex of 4 units has this much amperage to each unit.

    Also the door seemed to weigh 10 pounds and had to be removed to access the recessed dead front cover.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    Condo today had a 400 amp disconnect at the exterior closet. Huge copper service wire in Challenger distribution panel in utility room (diameter of wire seemed to be as large as a nickel). Any idea what size copper wires these are.

    Any thoughts why a condo complex of 4 units has this much amperage to each unit.
    That is quite new wire. The size is written right on it. I can see it but cannot make it out in the pic.
    Did you not look at the wire for the size?

    Are you saying EACH unit had 400A, or 400A split between four units?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    There were 4 400 amp disconnects. I do not think the wire was new, was much larger than 4/0 and markings were not legible to me.


  4. #4
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    If it is a 400 amp breaker the copper wire should be 400 AWG....


  5. #5
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    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    If it is a 400 amp breaker the copper wire should be 400 AWG....

    Huh?

    If the main disconnect size is indeed 400 amps, then the copper conductors would need to be:
    - older equipment with 60 degree C rated terminals: 750 kcmil
    - newer equipment with 75 degree C rated terminals: 600 kcmil

    400 kcmil (which I think you might have been referring to) is only rated for: (respectively based on above equipment)
    - 280 amps
    - 335 amps

    Sidney,

    The best way to tell the size is to read the printing on the side of the conductors, shown in white in your photo.

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    Jerrry, Table 310.15(B)(6) would apply here since these are individual dwelling units of a multi-family building, so 400mcm CU is correct.

    No way I'd say it actually was 400 unless I saw it on there.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    There were 4 400 amp disconnects. I do not think the wire was new, was much larger than 4/0 and markings were not legible to me.
    Heck, I can almost make it out in the pic.
    Were they not physically legible, or did you not know what it meant? I would hope not the latter.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Jerry, Table 310.15(B)(6) would apply here since these are individual dwelling units of a multi-family building, so 400mcm CU is correct.

    No way I'd say it actually was 400 unless I saw it on there.
    You are correct, I didn't read far enough when I went back and reviewed:
    "(6) 120/240-Volt, 3-Wire, Single-Phase Dwelling Services and Feeders. For individual dwelling units of one-family, two-family, and multifamily dwellings,"

    ... skipping the: "and multi-family dwellings" part.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    Unsure if there was a breaker. Only saw the disconnect from the first picture, there were 4 of these and they were not labeled per unit, could not be opened without turning off all power, thus were not opened nor inspected and will write up report that way. I was thinking that these may be inappropriate cable for service wire.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Jerry, Table 310.15(B)(6) would apply here since these are individual dwelling units of a multi-family building, so 400mcm CU is correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You are correct,...

    As long as that is not a 3-phase system that is part of. And many condos do have 3-phase systems.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    after magnification, what I can make out on the wiring may be AMD OIL RESISTANT followed by what looks like II, then OB AWM (UL) 600V

    Condo constructed in '86


  12. #12
    Lloyd Miller's Avatar
    Lloyd Miller Guest

    Default Re: What size are these service wires?

    In most panels with door handle disconnects ....there is a way to defeat the interloc....so that you can open the door (without turning off power) for inspection, trouble shooting, etc.


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