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  1. #1
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    Default Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    I am under an assumption that this is not OK. I remember that there must be a physical connection, like a split nut or a twist connector(probably don't come in that size?). I also do not think that downsizing the neutral wire size is proper?

    Please - some electrical expertise is needed

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    It is definitely not a proper splice, that is for sure.

    Also looks like the spliced on conductor is a size smaller.

    But that is just one of the problems in that service equipment.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It is definitely not a proper splice, that is for sure.

    Also looks like the spliced on conductor is a size smaller.

    But that is just one of the problems in that service equipment.
    Thats what I thought Jerry, thanks for the confirmation. But let me ask you this, what else do you visibly see that is an issue from the photo?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Neutral splice is wrong. Needs properly sized wire and appropriate connection, Split bolt, bus terminals, barrel connection etc.

    Is this house wired with Knob & Tube? Why is there loom over the red conductors were they enter the panel?

    Don Martin, ACI
    Preferred Home Inspections

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris viscomi View Post
    Thats what I thought Jerry, thanks for the confirmation. But let me ask you this, what else do you visibly see that is an issue from the photo?
    1) That group of conductors coming in through the hole in the back with no bushing, fitting, or clamp of any kind.

    2) What kind of conductor/insulation are those conductors? The look to me like old rubber insulated, cloth covered, conductors which had the cloth and rubber insulation stripped off and new insulation slipped on over the now-bare conductor - that red just looks to new and too bright to be from that old conductor, just look at the white conductor for a reference point of looks.

    3) Are those old knob and tube conductors? If so, they are all terminated incorrectly.

    4) That conduit in the upper left looks like it is too small for the knock-out hole.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris viscomi View Post
    I am under an assumption that this is not OK. I remember that there must be a physical connection, like a split nut or a twist connector(probably don't come in that size?). I also do not think that downsizing the neutral wire size is proper?

    Please - some electrical expertise is needed
    NEC 110.14 is pretty specific on the method of splicing, and what I see in the pictures is not satisfactory according to the code. If conductor fill exceeds seventy-five percent of the cross sectional area of the panel then a splice is legal, but it must be done correctly.

    There is also: NEC 200.6(A)(1-4) Which essentially says that 6 AWG or smaller grounded conductors must meet identification standards. This panel apparently does not meet this standard.

    The smaller gauge splice is apparently smaller than the ungrounded conductors. This brings into question the load calculation for the panel...but judging by its age I would seriously doubt that was ever done. If the panel is rated for 100A then the neutral must be a minimum of 8 gauge copper (6 gauge Al or Cu clad Al). That spliced section does not look to be big enough.

    Nevermind the shared neutral and ground busses seen in the pictures. But hey! At least they have a GFI installed there!


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    As with many questions like this a few assumptions can be made. IMO the short section of neutral conductor is not undersized. For a 100 amp service the minimum size THHN conductor required is #4. The neutral conductor can be even smaller if it's sized according to the load calculation. When compared to the original white conductor (likely a #2 AWG since it appears to be the same size as the ungrounded conductors) that short piece of black THHN appears to be a #4 conductor so the size isn't an issue. Even a #6 would probably be OK providing the lug was listed for a #6.

    The splice is the problem given that it appears to be incorrectly installed.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    As with many questions like this a few assumptions can be made. IMO the short section of neutral conductor is not undersized. For a 100 amp service the minimum size THHN conductor required is #4. The neutral conductor can be even smaller if it's sized according to the load calculation. When compared to the original white conductor (likely a #2 AWG since it appears to be the same size as the ungrounded conductors) that short piece of black THHN appears to be a #4 conductor so the size isn't an issue. Even a #6 would probably be OK providing the lug was listed for a #6.

    The splice is the problem given that it appears to be incorrectly installed.
    The spliced conductor is not okay.

    Invalid assumptions quoted above. The identified conductor (entering panel and before the splice) shown is marked TW. Your assumptions are baseless. The spliced element is black plastic tape wrapped cord (note fibers) not identified.

    Taped twisted, even tinned/Solder is not and was not sufficient.

    Neither the top right cord/flex cable ("SO" or other, chapter 4), nor top furthest left, are a chapter 3 wiring method. Likewise stripping elements of assemblies and utilizing the componants thereof is not legal (or safe).
    Bare (painted to left) solid copper conductor (entering top right in unclosed, un-clamped, unbushed KO) is insufficient gnd or bond.

    Un contained, un secured individual wires outside (top, middle and lower) right, not a chapter 3 wiring method - no knobs, no tubes, no protection from contact with conductive materials or persons - no spacing.

    Wiring methods entering panel must be secured (clamped, locknut, etc.).

    The GE 100 amp (AIC rating is readable) back fed main is not bolted or retained/restrained to the panel.

    Mains area clearance within is compromised.

    Panel is not properly mounted or secured.





    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-09-2012 at 09:55 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    The spliced conductor is not okay.

    Invalid assumptions quoted above. The identified conductor (entering panel and before the splice) shown is marked TW. Your assumptions are baseless. The spliced element is black plastic tape wrapped cord (note fibers) not identified.

    The GE 100 amp (AIC rating is readable) back fed main is not bolted or retained/restrained to the panel.

    My assumptions are far from baseless, in fact I would say that you should look more closely at the photo's when you comment. The 100 amp main is not a snap-in type backfed breaker, it's factory installed and has the silver clip to the right of it holding it in place.

    My comment regarding the size of the neutral conductor was correct. Since the ungrounded conductors are marked TW they must be at least a #2 AWG conductor since type TW is not on the list of reduced sized conductors in 310.15(B)(7). The THHN comment was in regard to the small piece spliced on.

    As far as the splice I never said that it was OK. You need to adjust your glasses, look more closely at the photo's and read more carefully before you post.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    My assumptions are far from baseless, in fact I would say that you should look more closely at the photo's when you comment. The 100 amp main is not a snap-in type backfed breaker, it's factory installed and has the silver clip to the right of it holding it in place.

    My comment regarding the size of the neutral conductor was correct. Since the ungrounded conductors are marked TW they must be at least a #2 AWG conductor since type TW is not on the list of reduced sized conductors in 310.15(B)(7). The THHN comment was in regard to the small piece spliced on.

    As far as the splice I never said that it was OK. You need to adjust your glasses, look more closely at the photo's and read more carefully before you post.
    The conductors are from a 24V DC Machinery/battery Cord or pyrotechnic assembly, </= 600V TW wire.

    You claimed they were THHN, and you're off the mark completely.

    I am seeing, observing, and iidentifying (comprehending) just fine, can't say the same for you.

    'cuse me, as I recall a screwbolt required to the right, torqued - filling that empty hole in the clip made for same such as installating a
    THQMV100D to a TLM....CCU; an approach which might be undertaken by a DIYer in staged upgrade/rewire project slowly converting from 30 or 60A & K&T, but not yet addressing changes or a true load calc for service yet.

    Obviously the generational work pictured wasn't done by a licensed electrical contractor "above the table".

    Granted the box is a bit short up top to be an 8, perhaps it is a TM 2010CCU.



  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Ah, leave it to Watson. The "U" shaped metal piece on the right of the main breaker is held in place by a spring type "push on" connecter installed on a plastic boss. With this in place the breaker can't be removed. Part of a factory mount for the main breaker, either factory installed or a MLO upgrade kit.

    Without the spring connecter the "U" shaped piece wouldn't even stay in place - the elusive screw isn't needed.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Invalid assumptions quoted above. The identified conductor (entering panel and before the splice) shown is marked TW. Your assumptions are baseless. The spliced element is black plastic tape wrapped cord (note fibers) not identified.
    Late to the show and still not correct.

    The black conductor is not a taped piece of cord. That is the nylon oversheath that has cracked off of the insulation.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Late to the show and still not correct.

    The black conductor is not a taped piece of cord. That is the nylon oversheath that has cracked off of the insulation.
    That's what I saw too which led me to the conclusion that it was THHN.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    That's what I saw too which led me to the conclusion that it was THHN.
    I agreed with that assessment after looking at the pic again.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    in the lower left corner of the center picture there is a red wire attached to a ground wire by wire nut is that acceptable i didnt think you can use wire nuts in an electrical panel and can you use red for a ground?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is Splice in Main Neutral wire OK?

    I believe what you think is a copper conductor is actually another red conductor that goes to the 3rd from the bottom left breaker.

    Article 312.8 allows splices in a panel.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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