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  1. #1
    Mark Brown's Avatar
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    Default #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    ... and there is a utility company service crimp installed. Some things we find cause our jaw to drop.

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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    What, no props for calling this out? Nice work Mark, worth your fee right there.


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    it's oversized...

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    It doesn't look right, for sure. What is the size of the main disconnect, i.e., the main breaker?

    The neutral in the picture is possibly a #2 or #4awg, although it looks quite small in proportion to the surroundings.

    According to Table 250.66 of the 2011 NEC, you can size the neutral for 3/0awg copper to #6awg CU if the load calculations do not exceed this. I've never seen this done, but it's legal, otherwise the utility would be at risk hooking up that service.

    Definitely not best practice.


  5. #5
    Mark Brown's Avatar
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    No, it is a #12 AWG. It is not legal. The electrician that was called could not believe it.

    I don't mean this rude, but if I can recognize a #12 AWG, I don't need to be performing home inspections.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Just because the connection is made with crimp on butt splices doesn't mean that POCO made the splice! Those connectors can be bought at almost any electrical supply house!


  7. #7
    Tony Cole's Avatar
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Brown View Post
    ... and there is a utility company service crimp installed. Some things we find cause our jaw to drop.

    If the inspector years ago passed it, why should the utility not connect it?
    I wonder if the house had an old two wire service years ago and they converted to 220V the easiest way?
    Did the electrician look to see if the wire went all the way down to the meter base?(spliced?)
    Catching something like that makes the adrenaline flow...


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Mark, I'm not going to tell you to quit your day job, but there is no way that is a #12. It appears to be a bit bigger than the wire in the pull-off support for the utility cable. I'd guess it to be a #6. And, if it is a #6 it would be good for up to a service supplied with up to a #2 copper, easily good for a 100 AMP service.

    The wire used in a pull-off support I checked measures a bit bigger than a #7 in my wire gauge and a bit smaller than a #6, and it doesn't look like this one is much different than what I had in stock.

    I'm not there to put a gauge on the wire but I don't think there's a problem. Guys that wired a lot of houses in an area habitually used the smallest legal wire possible in their services, and the stuff looks strange sometimes. I'm a bit more concerned that your electrician hasn't seen an install like this before.

    If I get time later I'll post some pictures of a pull off with several sizes of wire so you can compare.


  9. #9
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    Talking Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    ok
    #1 I think it is rude to tell a fellow inspector he is unable to tell the difference in wire size
    #2 You cannot in this photo tell if the wire is bare copper or insulated conductor
    #3 Why would the electrician tell you oh its ok you dont need me to fix it DUH its his occupation to fix stupid things and ocassionally fix things that dont need fixing

    But the fact is it does look like #6 or #8 bare but if it is insulated than it looks like #12

    Just my opinion
    which is what we all give lol


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Hold on....I need to get more popcorn...

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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Rude? If you're gonna post here you better grow some skin. With or without insulation that wire is bigger than #12 It's OBVIOUS you don't know. I'm not going to just let it go so you feel better because a lot of folks look here for advice and by not questioning what you presented someone would go away assuming that a service looking like this is automatically a non compliant service

    It's also pretty obvious it's bare copper by the coloration. Weathered copper gets a patina, which is the green colored stuff just below the weather head

    I have 40+ years in the electrical business and usually know what I'm looking at - not always but a good percentage of the time. I'd bet your total time experience in electrical adds up to a few weeks, maybe a month ? You have nowhere begun to see all the stuff out there you won't understand and there's a bunch of stuff you haven't seen yet.

    Your electrician is obviously inexperienced in at least one type of service installation. This is NOT an unusual or even rare installation.

    I'd like to say I don't care one way or the other what your electrician thinks or does but the fact of the matter is his not knowing makes everybody look bad - especially you because you have probably made a report that says there is a non-compliant electrical service on the house. If I was an owner who has had a sale put in limbo because of that report I'd be more than just a little ticked.

    There's a bit more to this business than shooting from the hip and patting everybody on the back for a job well done before circling the troops for a few verses of Kumbaya. Your reputation and future business depends on you being able to present facts if that is in fact what you are trying to do.


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Hold on....I need to get more popcorn...
    And LOTS of soda!

    Too bad we can't schedule a live show, huh.

    Last edited by Bill Kriegh; 11-11-2011 at 09:31 AM.

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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    And LOTS of soda!
    Waaay ahead of you bother...

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    yes rude

    I am a Master electrician, started the apprenticehip 1974 topped out in 1978 and have a degree in electrical engineering I have sat on 2 code panels and think when i say you are rude well that is my opinion and a fact also!!!

    Hand me some popcorn too please

    ps read more than the first name when you reply you might not find yourself being put in your place as often


  15. #15
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    Smile Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    I have been viewing this website for quite some time, however, have refused to post because a percentage of the personalities only want to 'gripe and be rude'... it has nothing to do with 'thick skin' ... only a willingness to listen to the likes of an unprofessional person of which you fit quite easily into that small percentage.
    I posted this photo for the majority of inspectors that get this weird humor out of some of the issues we come across followed by the satisfaction of the possibility that we may have saved a life or home once these items are corrected.
    The wire is a #12 AWG as stated. I was on the roof within a foot of the weather head viewing the installation. The wire is stranded THHN coated. You are making your judgment based on a photo in which size of items are skewed based on depth of field. You should know but apparently do not, you cannot judge the size of any item in a photo with a scale being laid 'directly' on the object. Any legal document requires this be done. The reason is simple, only a few inches can skew the projected size of an object. The projected size of an object only becomes more skewed as distance between to objects become greater. Exaggerated Example: a person in a photo in front of a tree can look larger than life quickly as the distance between the two become greater. If I would have been closer to the wire when I took the photo, the wire may have looked as big as a pencil or a finger... what would you have to say then.
    IF you wish to learn something, visit this website: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...mls/depth.html
    ... if not keep on trying to prove you are right. However, I have seen a few of your type in my life, and I know exactly what you will do... keep on promoting your twisted sense of self without the ability to accept you are wrong. This must be a miserable way to live... however, I notice some thrive on it.
    As to experience, I guess you have me beat. I only have 35 years in electrical. My beginnings were in residential followed by commercial and industrial wiring, motor controls, PLC, and CNC controls. Twenty-one of those years I was responsible for a 25 man crew, the purchase of and installation of all equipment, buildings and facility.
    You have my Master Electrician beat to. He only has 40 years of experience. His experience is both residential, commercial, and Industrial, and HVAC. He was a Master electrician for Johnson & Johnson for 30 years. He owns a thriving electrical business.
    With the above stated, it is no secret to anyone, years in service does not make an expert or qualify anyone for any task. If they have applied themselves to life, studied, and asking questions and learning from ALL people versus running their mouths, they may have begun to learn a few things that places them on the path to qualifications.
    Now, with that stated, I will get a bag of popcorn and sign out, and move on to better things.

    Last edited by Mark Brown; 11-11-2011 at 02:57 PM.

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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Looks to me to be #8 hard-drawn copper, but just a very experienced guess on my part.
    A solid conductor can fool a person... made that mistake once by rejecting a bonding conductor size... won't do it again
    If you've never had the pleasure of cutting hard-drawn copper #6 before...
    you should try it. You won't like it and your dykes will hate it. (thats dykes as in Klein's) (spelling?)


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Brown View Post
    I have been viewing this website for quite some time, however, have refused to post because a percentage of the personalities only want to 'gripe and be rude'... it has nothing to do with 'thick skin' ... only a willingness to listen to the likes of an unprofessional person of which you fit quite easily into that small percentage.
    I posted this photo for the majority of inspectors that get this weird humor out of some of the issues we come across followed by the satisfaction of the possibility that we may have saved a life or home once these items are corrected.
    The wire is a #12 AWG as stated. I was on the roof within a foot of the weather head viewing the installation. The wire is stranded THHN coated. You are making your judgment based on a photo in which size of items are skewed based on depth of field. You should know but apparently do not, you cannot judge the size of any item in a photo with a scale being laid 'directly' on the object. Any legal document requires this be done. The reason is simple, only a few inches can skew the projected size of an object. The projected size of an object only becomes more skewed as distance between to objects become greater. Exaggerated Example: a person in a photo in front of a tree can look larger than life quickly as the distance between the two become greater. If I would have been closer to the wire when I took the photo, the wire may have looked as big as a pencil or a finger... what would you have to say then.
    IF you wish to learn something, visit this website: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...mls/depth.html
    ... if not keep on trying to prove you are right. However, I have seen a few of your type in my life, and I know exactly what you will do... keep on promoting your twisted sense of self without the ability to accept you are wrong. This must be a miserable way to live... however, I notice some thrive on it.
    As to experience, I guess you have me beat. I only have 35 years in electrical. My beginnings were in residential followed by commercial and industrial wiring, motor controls, PLC, and CNC controls. Twenty-one of those years I was responsible for a 25 man crew, the purchase of and installation of all equipment, buildings and facility.
    You have my Master Electrician beat to. He only has 40 years of experience. His experience is both residential, commercial, and Industrial, and HVAC. He was a Master electrician for Johnson & Johnson for 30 years. He owns a thriving electrical business.
    With the above stated, it is no secret to anyone, years in service does not make an expert or qualify anyone for any task. If they have applied themselves to life, studied, and asking questions and learning from ALL people versus running their mouths, they may have begun to learn a few things that places them on the path to qualifications.
    Now, with that stated, I will get a bag of popcorn and sign out, and move on to better things.
    Well Stated.


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Brown View Post
    The wire is a #12 AWG as stated. I was on the roof within a foot of the weather head viewing the installation.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    Looks to me to be #8 hard-drawn copper, but just a very experienced guess on my part.
    I'm going to give Bob the benefit of doubt in that he may not have read the post above his which was posted a few hours earlier because sometimes I respond to a post before reading all the new posts below it - and my answer becomes suspect because of the information in the posts which I had not read yet.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    The wire is a #12 AWG as stated. I was on the roof within a foot of the weather head viewing the installation. The wire is stranded THHN coated.
    Ok it's 12 awg. Depth of field can be very misleading as you stated in a photo. The wire is closer to the camera than the other wires. This is what I do when I want to make a fish look bigger than it really is ...

    Is that bi-coloring .. it changes color just before entering the weatherhead .. the protective insulation ? ... and if so what was the original color?

    Being # 12 that utility installed crimp connector is in no way rated for reducing to #12 so I just have to believe this is one of those crazy installs you come across sometimes.


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Brown View Post

    ...The wire is a #12 AWG as stated...

    ...The wire is stranded THHN coated...
    That would be "weird".


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Yeah, I've been told I'm a bit rough around the edges sometimes. I got that way after years of people in the trade telling me things that weren't right and lying to me about how things are or need to be - all done with a straight face. I like to take things at face value. I found out a long time ago that often times I can't. Here's why I'm questioning your description of what's there.

    I find myself looking at a mast that took a bit of additional effort to fabricate because the mast knob was welded on - usually an indication it was fabricated by a shop and not a DIYer or a hit and run guy. In other words, I'd expect this to be done by somebody that knows what they're doing.

    Then I get told that the neutral is a #12. Depth of field or not, that wire looked like it was bigger than a #12. It looked bigger than the wire on the pull off, and it filled a good bit more of the hole in the separator in the weather head than I'd expect a #12 to fill. Then I look closer at the wire and see that the (pretty much) unmistakeable patina of bare weathered copper is present. I look closer at the wire where it exits the weather head. Now with THHN not being rated for either moisture or sunlight, it has the nasty habit of shedding the nylon outer covering and leaves a "fuzzy" border between where it weathers completely off the wire and where it is sort of intact. That's not there. Then I look at the lower part of the wire and see it is a light color, probably a result of the patina, but the upper protected area is dark - just the opposite of how a white wire weathers, and black insulation doesn't weather to white.

    So, after all that, I ran that photo through a couple of applications designed to bring out detail in a picture. What I see is no evidence at all of insulation but what looks to be pitting just below the separator, often caused by the reaction of the copper and the galvanized pipe and the zinc content in the weather head - on bare wire.

    There we have the totally unprofessional and tactless process I went through. And, why I don't think you're leveling with us about the wire. It's also what I'm going to continue to think about what's there until you show me somebody stripping the insulation off that wire. And, at that point I'll throw the "W" word right out in front of God and everybody.

    I spent part of my career installing and inspecting things to code and specification where people's lives depended directly on things being right the first time and because of that I am a total pain in the behind when it comes to some things, like details - not that it's any of your business.


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    Ok it's 12 awg. Depth of field can be very misleading as you stated in a photo. The wire is closer to the camera than the other wires. This is what I do when I want to make a fish look bigger than it really is ...

    Is that bi-coloring .. it changes color just before entering the weatherhead .. the protective insulation ? ... and if so what was the original color?

    Being # 12 that utility installed crimp connector is in no way rated for reducing to #12 so I just have to believe this is one of those crazy installs you come across sometimes.
    Yeah, the smallest they go is #6. Even doubling up a #12 wouldn't get you a tight connection. And, with the liability that comes with a failed neutral connection it's hard for me to believe they'd connect something that didn't fit right.


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    I spent part of my career installing and inspecting things to code and specification where people's lives depended directly on things being right the first time ...
    Bill,

    The BOAF (Building Officials Association of Florida) is promoting the us use of this by building officials and inspectors in Florida, and it is for the same reason as you stated above: "First Preventers"

    The firefighters use "First Responders".

    If the building officials and inspectors can get the work to be done safer, then 'preventing it first' (First Preventers) saves the first responders from having to respond so often.

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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Here's some closeups. Correction, blowups. I'm not taking sides. Looks like a solid copper.

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Here's some closeups.

    Sorry, blowups and close ups are two different things. Still not enough to convince me that isn't #6 or #8 soft drawn copper


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Going by the provided picture I am with Bill. Pop corn anyone!

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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Throw another vote with Bill.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Not taking sides but I'd bet a weeks pay that isn't #12 THHN. It's #8 solid copper for all the reasons stated previously with the most weight on the fact that a #12 THHN will not hold securely in the crimp connector and if it was a #12 it would be discolored from the overheating that would have to occur due to the undersized wire. This forum often seems to turn into a pi**ing match and this is just another example of that.


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    Not taking sides but I'd bet a weeks pay that isn't #12 THHN. It's #8 solid copper for all the reasons stated previously with the most weight on the fact that a #12 THHN will not hold securely in the crimp connector and if it was a #12 it would be discolored from the overheating that would have to occur due to the undersized wire. This forum often seems to turn into a pi**ing match and this is just another example of that.
    And that post is an example of what is being referred to in the thread as a pi$$ing match - the original poster SAID IT WAS DEFINITELY a #12, and here you are STATING THAT IT ISN'T.

    From the PHOTO *I* can't tell, and *I* was not there, neither was anyone else EXCEPT FOR the original poster - why is it so hard to believe him when we all know, admit, and state, that photos can be deceiving?

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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And that post is an example of what is being referred to in the thread as a pi$$ing match - the original poster SAID IT WAS DEFINITELY a #12, and here you are STATING THAT IT ISN'T.

    From the PHOTO *I* can't tell, and *I* was not there, neither was anyone else EXCEPT FOR the original poster - why is it so hard to believe him when we all know, admit, and state, that photos can be deceiving?
    Probably for the same reason an automobile aficionado would raise a question about a fuzzy picture of a '65 Vette a guy said he owned that looked like it had a divided rear window. Seen a few - didn't look right compared to what it was being presented as.


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Probably for the same reason an automobile aficionado would raise a question about a fuzzy picture of a '65 Vette a guy said he owned that looked like it had a divided rear window. Seen a few - didn't look right compared to what it was being presented as.
    The split rear window would be a '63, right?

    Did they still have the split rear window in '64?

    But there is a difference between a fuzzy photo showing a "split" rear window, no arguing about "perspective" creating a illusion in "size".

    'Course, the fuzzy photo could have been taken at an angle which 'just made it look like' the rear window was split ... but that would be some fuzzy photo to not clearly see the split in the rear window.

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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Probably for the same reason an automobile aficionado would raise a question about a fuzzy picture of a '65 Vette a guy said he owned that looked like it had a divided rear window. Seen a few - didn't look right compared to what it was being presented as.
    The split rear window would be a '63, right?

    Did they still have the split rear window in '64?

    But there is a difference between a fuzzy photo showing a "split" rear window, no arguing about "perspective" creating a illusion in "size".

    'Course, the fuzzy photo could have been taken at an angle which 'just made it look like' the rear window was split ... but that would be some fuzzy photo to not clearly show the split in the rear window.

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    They (GM) hated the split window for a few reasons. 1963 was the first and last year for the split window. So, no.


    [quote=Jerry Peck;182430]The split rear window would be a '63, right?

    Did they still have the split rear window in '64?


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Ah yes, the fact is that whatever angle the photo is taken from, it shows something that doesn't look quite right and evokes a question, which is what you are dancing around.

    It just doesn't look right to me, or several others, evidently.


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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    The '40 Ford had a split rear window, and so did the '53 VW. Just sayin'.

    If the Vette has been in a rollover, and has had a new roof installed, could it not be a bona fide '65 with a split rear window?

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  36. #36
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Yeah, the smallest they go is #6. Even doubling up a #12 wouldn't get you a tight connection. And, with the liability that comes with a failed neutral connection it's hard for me to believe they'd connect something that didn't fit right.
    You see that's my point Bill. There is no way the utility would have made that connection with that connector. I'm looking at the crimp marks and I'm convinced that no connection would exist if that were #12 THHN. I'm also not understanding what coated thhn is ? Can someone bring me up to speed ?

    #12 would be white insulation and I'm not seeing any weathering pattern for white insulation used on thhn in that photo. Now having said that as you have already mentioned it is a photo and the original insulated color has not been verified but ... I am skeptical until proven otherwise.

    You can post all the pictures you want but you have to show proof that the photo is what you say it is and that has not been done and I'm just trying to determine why this photo looks like something else than what is being shown. I don't see this as a p.... match ..I just see this as professionals discussing something that might need further explanation before we rubber stamp what someone wants us to believe is obvious or take his word for it. Jeez if I were to have taken peoples word for what they said they did prior to when I showed up on the job I'd have been buried in red tags.

    So I guess what I'm saying is if the op wants to call that #12 thhn that's fine with me but he needs to give me more than a picture he admits is possibly deceiving us from the truth before I'm pulling out my rubber stamp.

    Roger

    Last edited by Roger Frazee; 11-14-2011 at 10:12 PM. Reason: add image

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    Talking Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Great post Mark. The controversy regarding the AWG is undoubtedly because the northern boys forgot that everything in Texas looks just a little bigger.

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  38. #38
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Thread drift...

    The plate on the Vett is from Alaska. Good thing that body is fiberglass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Martin View Post
    Great post Mark. The controversy regarding the AWG is undoubtedly because the northern boys forgot that everything in Texas looks just a little bigger.



  39. #39
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And that post is an example of what is being referred to in the thread as a pi$$ing match - the original poster SAID IT WAS DEFINITELY a #12, and here you are STATING THAT IT ISN'T.

    From the PHOTO *I* can't tell, and *I* was not there, neither was anyone else EXCEPT FOR the original poster - why is it so hard to believe him when we all know, admit, and state, that photos can be deceiving?
    Mr. Peck,

    With all due respect I was merely offering one persons opinion of my perception of the photograph originally submitted.

    I did not state that the wire was "definitely" not a #12.

    I wrote that "I would bet a weeks pay."

    Latter enlargements of said photo only reinforced the opinion that I stated for numerous reasons.

    If one was to accept the premise that the wire depicted was a #12 jacketed, stranded wire, the following would also need to be assumed:

    1) The original inspector was incompetent and approved of an installation that they obviously did not properly peruse or comprehend.

    2) The POCO line personnel are equally incompetent and connected such an obvious improper installation, despite the liability.

    3) A #12 jacketed, stranded wire is capable of carrying the return current of a minimum 100A service with no signs of discoloration where such would obviously be present, at the connection to a larger circumference wire.

    4) The connector being utilized is capable of accepting and properly crimping on to a #12 jacketed, stranded wire with such efficiency as to not produce any sign of its inability to safely carry such a load without evidence of overheating.

    5) Regardless of angle and depth perception, the wire depicted is demonstrably larger than a #12 jacketed, stranded wire would appear as compared to the other wires in the photo, regardless of whether a person is standing in front of a tree.

    6) The un-named licensed electrician with a plethora of experience did not choose to elucidate such findings to the POCO to have such a service disconnected due to its inherent danger to the property.

    Furthermore, the "blown up" version of the photo, from my perspective, corroborates the supposition that there is a patina on a non-jacketed copper wire as one would customarily expect to see as per my experience.

    Maybe I'm mistaken, but my eyes are even discerning bleed through of the copper throughout the photograph.

    Add to that the logic of the fact that a # 6 or 8 solid copper wire would be an acceptable, approved wiring method in regarsds to a 100A service.

    I tend to formulate my opinions based on facts. The facts as reiterated above bring me to the conclusion that the OP was mistaken.

    I did not comment in a nefarious or perjorative manner. I merely offered one persons opinion based on the evidence presented.

    There is no fault in being mistaken. The only fault is when apprised of the possibility that one is mistaken, one adamantly refuses to accept the opinions of other experienced personnel.

    I have seen you repeatedly offer your opinion stridently regardless of the opposing commentary of others. That is your perogative. It is mine as well.

    There was no intention of casting aspursion upon the OP.

    To discern attitude from text is speculative at best.

    I stand by my opinion and I am confident that you will continue to stand by yours and that's what makes the world go 'round.

    If the original OP wants to prove their suppposition as opposed to the opinions of others in this forum, take an edged tool and scrape the outside of said wire. My opinion is that such an endeavor would show copper and not jacket.

    Merely an opinion in a forum that compels such from like individuals.

    The preceding commentary was not subject to review of any posts that followed the quoted.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    I have no doubt that those crimps were NOT installed by the POCO. They have the right tools for the job.

    I am sure they were installed by an inexperienced electrician or one that didn't care about anything but getting paid. I bet he cut a few extra pieces of that #8 or #6 solid copper and stuffed them down inside that crimp to make it hold tight!

    I have my doubts regarding the wire size! If I had been told it was a #10 THHN I might not have questioned the size but I don't believe for one second that it is/was a #12. I also have a really hard time believing a #12 would not have burnt years ago. This wire does not look burnt at all! The house must be owned by a little old lady who only uses one light at a time and maybe a TV. Or maybe the owner had all their appliances, lights, TV's etc etc all specially made to operate on 240-volts so the neutral was only there so that it could be bonded to ground in the meter

    That said, unless the OP wants to post a picture that can prove ALL of us who are in doubt wrong and I have to side with Bill and the others who doubt as well!

    Post a pic OP and shut us up! Would have been a lot quicker than that dissertation you wrote above.

    By the way, electricians are NOT rude ... we're arrogant, insensitive, egotistical and maybe self centered but never rude! When you think we're wrong it's because you misunderstood us!

    And the electrician said let there be light! And there was light! And the electrician saw the light and saw that it was good and said ....will that be cash or credit! 2004 Lou Romano

    Last edited by Lou Romano; 11-15-2011 at 03:57 PM.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Once they trade in the Prius for a plug in, we will determine how well the electrical system works.


  42. #42
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    Smile Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Settle this once and for all. Get up there and mic that suckah!

    #12 thhn is 0.130" diameter. Hey, that's about 1/8"

    Don't forget to wear your linesman's gloves!

    I've had so much fun reading you guys' banter.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    It looks like 10 gauge to me.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Nope, its more than 1/8 = .125


    Quote Originally Posted by Brigid Lenfest View Post
    Settle this once and for all. Get up there and mic that suckah!

    #12 thhn is 0.130" diameter. Hey, that's about 1/8"

    Don't forget to wear your linesman's gloves!

    I've had so much fun reading you guys' banter.



  45. #45
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Just bolting a 1963 Alaskan licence plate on it doesn't make it a '63 Vette in Alaska. That car is in Alameda, California. Now back to the wire wars.

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

  46. #46
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Just bolting a 1963 Alaskan licence plate on it doesn't make it a '63 Vette in Alaska. That car is in Alameda, California. Now back to the wire wars.
    I've been waiting for the op to tell us it really is a scale model but is deceiving us because it is closer to the camera lens than the people are ....


  47. #47
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    I've been waiting for the op to tell us it really is a scale model but is deceiving us because it is closer to the camera lens than the people are ....
    Don't you recognize the Limited Edition Matchbox series?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  48. #48
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    I've been waiting for the op to tell us it really is a scale model but is deceiving us because it is closer to the camera lens than the people are ....
    Are you sure those are people? They look more like folk to me Must be the denseness of field


  49. #49
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Da reason I guessed # 8-6 hard drawn copper...
    Job looks like a real good Homeowner job who tried real hard, (pun intended).
    That stuff used to be available as scrap as the the single conductor service drops were replaced by triplex.
    I've personally observed the old stuff re-utilized in every imaginable way.
    Works exceptionally well for clothes line also.
    Just the guess Ma'am, just the guess.


  50. #50
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    I'm disappointed in some of you. I'm pretty new to the forum, too, and I've been pleased that most participants can disagree fairly amicably. But in this case some of you have been outright rude. If you were responding to someone who's been around for years and knows the personalities involved, that would be one thing, but this is a new poster and you've driven him away. It doesn't matter to me who's right or wrong; others' perceived mistakes are no reason for disrespect or assuming their general ignorance. Or joking with others at the poster's expense. Grow up.

    You all must have better eyes than I - I don't know how you can tell that the (alleged) insulation is not frayed at the mast and shows no signs of pitting. To me it does look a little frayed, but it may be just blur. Why, if it's copper, is it so uniformly oxidized along most of it, then not at all at the top?

    Last edited by Kristi Silber; 11-16-2011 at 05:13 PM.

  51. #51
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Can't be #12. looking at the first picture, that wire is the same size as the tree trunk in the background.


  52. #52
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Why, if it's copper, is it so uniformly oxidized along most of it, then not at all at the top?
    Difference in exposure.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  53. #53
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Thompson View Post
    Can't be #12. looking at the first picture, that wire is the same size as the tree trunk in the background.

    Hee hee, I liked that one.

    Exposure, yes, never thought about that before, but I guess the sun's energy would speed reactions like that, wouldn't it? Does it speed rust of ferric metals, too? Funny, I've never noticed.

    I'm a copper sculptor (of indoor pieces, oxidation with torch only), and I work with wire anywhere from 4 to 28 ga. I was just looking at some 6 in my shop while doing something else, and thinking it would be hard to install it like it is in the photo and still have it hang so nicely, without any angular bends.

    For the record, it does on the face of it appear to me, too, to be uninsulated copper...but I'm not there and photos can be deceiving.


  54. #54
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Soft drawn copper is quite easy to form into soft bends like the picture shows.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  55. #55
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Interesting. Do you know what makes it soft? Is it a particular alloy? Even when I anneal my copper it doesn't take long before it resists graceful handling. I'll have to look for soft drawn. Never thought to order from electrical supply stores, have to check it out.

    I learn a lot from you electricians. I'll have to keep my skin thick so I can hang out with you.

    (My newest tool is a voltage sniffer! Loads of fun.)


  56. #56
    Stephen G's Avatar
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Kristi, send pics or name of the sniffer


    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    Interesting. Do you know what makes it soft? Is it a particular alloy? Even when I anneal my copper it doesn't take long before it resists graceful handling. I'll have to look for soft drawn. Never thought to order from electrical supply stores, have to check it out.

    I learn a lot from you electricians. I'll have to keep my skin thick so I can hang out with you.

    (My newest tool is a voltage sniffer! Loads of fun.)



  57. #57
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Voltage sniffers have their place. However DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT use them as the only verification something doesn't have voltage.


  58. #58
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    And do test on a known "live" circuit to ensure that battery and unit are functional before accepting results of no electron activity.

    Even if you tested it yesterday and it worked fine.


  59. #59
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Oh, I'm plenty wary, believe me! It's just a cheap little thing, $15 or something, and I don't trust it fully, but it's already helped me identify an exposed wire in my own house that I had no idea was hot, just dangling from my basement joists. Scary wiring in my house. I got it mostly to try to find out whether knob and tube is still carrying current. Thank you all for your concern!


  60. #60
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Copper can be drawn in various tempers.
    Utilities would use the hard drawn because of the need of the higher tensile strength and resistance to elongation. Google, Youngs modulus of elasticity and also tensile strength. I've got to get to work


  61. #61
    Brigid Lenfest's Avatar
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    #12 thhn is 0.130" diameter. Hey, that's about 1/8"
    Stephen G
    Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service
    Nope, its more than 1/8 = .125


    -----------------------------

    I think I understand what you are getting at, Stephen.

    My point, however, is that a strand of wire 0.130 inches in diameter, 5/1000ths larger that 1/8 inch, would probably look smaller than the neutral in the picture. In my very humble opinion.

    I'll retire from this discussion now, seeing how the conversation seems to meander, and I'm afraid I'm a bit busy.

    Best wishes to all.


  62. #62
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    I'm disappointed in some of you. I'm pretty new to the forum, too, and I've been pleased that most participants can disagree fairly amicably. But in this case some of you have been outright rude. If you were responding to someone who's been around for years and knows the personalities involved, that would be one thing, but this is a new poster and you've driven him away. It doesn't matter to me who's right or wrong; others' perceived mistakes are no reason for disrespect or assuming their general ignorance. Or joking with others at the poster's expense. Grow up.

    You all must have better eyes than I - I don't know how you can tell that the (alleged) insulation is not frayed at the mast and shows no signs of pitting. To me it does look a little frayed, but it may be just blur. Why, if it's copper, is it so uniformly oxidized along most of it, then not at all at the top?

    Ah my grasshopper, you obviously have not worked in the construction field, or worked on a construction site where the various trades will call each other names that have yet to be used in this forum---but stop by "Joe's" on the way home to buy each other beers. This is not the sewing circle.

    As in any profession, when you are in it for a while you will become knowledgeable in various things. Examining a cable for patina or fraying are some of them. What I have seen so far, are valid interpretations of what was presented for comments. Especially, the comment that the proper tool was apparently not used for the final connections at the mast. Saw the marks, but did not interpret them that way until it was pointed out.

    You can learn a lot from what has been said so far, even with the "frosty" comments. I suggest that you grow up and just let the "comments" flow off your back like water. With one exception, the folks here are respectful to each other and what you are reading is just banter you watch as you have your popcorn.

    Rich.


  63. #63
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    Ah my grasshopper, you obviously have not worked in the construction field, or worked on a construction site where the various trades will call each other names that have yet to be used in this forum---but stop by "Joe's" on the way home to buy each other beers. This is not the sewing circle.

    As in any profession, when you are in it for a while you will become knowledgeable in various things. Examining a cable for patina or fraying are some of them. What I have seen so far, are valid interpretations of what was presented for comments. Especially, the comment that the proper tool was apparently not used for the final connections at the mast. Saw the marks, but did not interpret them that way until it was pointed out.

    You can learn a lot from what has been said so far, even with the "frosty" comments. I suggest that you grow up and just let the "comments" flow off your back like water. With one exception, the folks here are respectful to each other and what you are reading is just banter you watch as you have your popcorn.

    Rich.
    Rich,

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    I, personally, mean no disrespect for anyone and in fact will treat everyone with respect until they prove that they don't deserve such.

    As you eloquently pointed out, had this conversation taken place on a construction site, most of it would be unprintable.

    In the construction industry, you tend to get information and responses in a straight-forward, no-nonsense and blunt manner.

    30+ years of such as well as Marine Corps attitude adjustment makes some of my own commentary seem acerbic.

    And unless I am being verbally accosted, I mean no disrespect.

    So please, anyone who participates in this forum, remember to peruse commentary with that knowledge in mind.

    I'm just sort of the "if it walks like a duck......" kind of person.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


  64. #64
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    Default Re: #12 AWG for Neutral at Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    Rich,

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    I, personally, mean no disrespect for anyone and in fact will treat everyone with respect until they prove that they don't deserve such.

    As you eloquently pointed out, had this conversation taken place on a construction site, most of it would be unprintable.

    In the construction industry, you tend to get information and responses in a straight-forward, no-nonsense and blunt manner.

    30+ years of such as well as Marine Corps attitude adjustment makes some of my own commentary seem acerbic.

    And unless I am being verbally accosted, I mean no disrespect.

    So please, anyone who participates in this forum, remember to peruse commentary with that knowledge in mind.

    I'm just sort of the "if it walks like a duck......" kind of person.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
    Rick -you were NOT the person that I was referring about in my post.
    You have a Happy Turkey Day too!!


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