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  1. #1
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    Default Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Here's a new one for me. 220V - 50A branch circuit to a remote panel. Wires are not in a common sheath (run separate the entire length). There also is no fourth wire and the third wire is half size. I know that is no longer correct. I am assuming that the third half size wire is used as a ground conductor.

    My Question:

    1. Are unsheathed separate conductors allowed?
    2. when did they allow half size ground wires and when was the requirement for a fourth neutral conductor added to the code?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Someone "messed up".

    Those need to be in an approved raceway for starters.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Someone "messed up".

    Those need to be in an approved raceway for starters.

    Have to agree with that, garbage workmanship.


    To the OP, 220V consists of a hot,neutral, ground/earth, and is 50 Hertz. Long obsolete voltage in North America.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    I know that is no longer correct. I am assuming that the third half size wire is used as a ground conductor.
    It was never allowed to run the conductors like that.

    If the third conductor was the ground, the panel would be 240 volt only.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Here's a new one for me. 220V - 50A branch circuit to a remote panel.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    To the OP, 220V consists of a hot,neutral, ground/earth, and is 50 Hertz. Long obsolete voltage in North America.
    Rollie,

    50 amp, not 50 Hertz ...

    Ken,

    240 volt, not 220 volt ... hopefully that was what caught Rollie's eye ... 110 volt / 220 volt was replaced decades ago with a standardized nominal 120 volt / 240 volt.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Rollie,

    50 amp, not 50 Hertz ...

    Ken,

    240 volt, not 220 volt ... hopefully that was what caught Rollie's eye ... 110 volt / 220 volt was replaced decades ago with a standardized nominal 120 volt / 240 volt.
    220 is 50 hertz, it was not a typo on my part, referring to 120V and 240V, is incorrect and a DIY term.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    220 is 50 hertz, it was not a typo on my part, referring to 120V and 240V, is incorrect and a DIY term.
    The US used 50 Hertz as the standard?

    I've read and been taught that Tesla used 60 Hertz ... who and where was the 50 Hertz the standard in the US?

    We have:
    120 volt circuits
    240 volt circuits
    120 volt / 240 volt circuits

    And those are DIY terms? What terms do you use for those circuits?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    ............ To the OP, 220V consists of a hot,neutral, ground/earth, and is 50 Hertz. Long obsolete voltage in North America.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    220 is 50 hertz, it was not a typo on my part, referring to 120V and 240V, is incorrect and a DIY term.
    ((residential service not commercial service which is a different ball game and single split phase not 3 phase, just to keep it simplified)
    If you say 220 volts I take it to be 50 Hz.
    If you say 240 volts I take it to be 60 Hz.
    If you say 120 volts I take it to be 60 Hz
    If you say 110 volts I take it to be 50 Hz or 60 Hz depending on what country you are from.

    In the Us many people think/say that their electric is 110 volts when it is really 120 volts and they just don't understand the terminology (DIY) possibly yielding 110v/220v at 60 Hz in their minds when they are really talking about 120v/240v at 60 Hz.

    If you say 110/220 volts I take it to be 50 Hz and not Us/North America.
    If you say 120/240 volts I take it to be 60 Hz and US/North America.

    50 amp is 50 amp where ever you go.

    So if you say 220 volts and 50 amp I take it to be 110/220 volts 50Hz and not US/North America and you are located elsewhere in the world.
    If you are posting a forum in the US and are located in the US I automatically adjust 110v and 220v to think/translate that you are referring to 60 HZ 120v/240v

    Rollie,
    Looking for a little education. An inquiring mind.
    When did the US use 110v220v 50 Hz and when did it become obsolete???

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 03-30-2016 at 05:52 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    The US used to be 110 volts / 220 volts 60 Hertz.

    The standard then changed to 120 volts / 240 volts 60 Hertz.

    Europe is, if I recall correctly, 220 volts 50 Hertz (not 110 /220 ... jjust 220 volts).

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    Have to agree with that, garbage workmanship.


    To the OP, 220V consists of a hot,neutral, ground/earth, and is 50 Hertz. Long obsolete voltage in North America.
    Jerry,
    What I was really driving at was that in the us often terms in voltage are used a little slopply and interchangeable at times. Also that even though something is stated as let say 110v we know that they are actually talking about 120v due to the context of the situation or location.

    Something of a "potato - patato " . And it for us is about location and context that we know what is being referred to as in US vs Europe.

    My question was about the 110v/220v 50hz as the obsolete us standard. per Rollie's comment. Key being 50 Hz.

    My Ham radio work started in 1968 and I just do not know/remember that 50 HZ was ever a standard for the majority of the country (US), though it may have been regionally. With a little search, this may be what Rollie may have been referring to:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_frequency

    " Westinghouse Electric decided to standardize on a higher frequency to permit operation of both electric lighting and induction motors on the same generating system. Although 50 Hz was suitable for both, in 1890 Westinghouse considered that existing arc-lighting equipment operated slightly better on 60 Hz, and so that frequency was chosen.[5] The operation of Tesla's induction motor, licensed by Westinghouse in 1888, required a lower frequency than the 133 Hz common for lighting systems at that time. In 1893 General Electric Corporation, which was affiliated with AEG in Germany, built a generating project at Mill Creek, California using 50 Hz, but changed to 60 Hz a year later to maintain market share with the Westinghouse standard. "

    "In the United States, Southern California Edison had standardized on 50 Hz.[11] Much of Southern California operated on 50 Hz and did not completely change frequency of their generators and customer equipment to 60 Hz until around 1948. Some projects by the Au Sable Electric Company used 30 Hz at transmission voltages up to 110,000 volts in 1914."


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Garry,

    The way I took Rollie's post was not as though he was referring to the 'experimental' period when electricity and it's production was being worked out.

    I took is an actual production standard used all over North America.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Here's a new one for me. 220V - 50A branch circuit to a remote panel. Wires are not in a common sheath (run separate the entire length). There also is no fourth wire and the third wire is half size. I know that is no longer correct. I am assuming that the third half size wire is used as a ground conductor.

    My Question:

    1. Are unsheathed separate conductors allowed?
    2. when did they allow half size ground wires and when was the requirement for a fourth neutral conductor added to the code?

    If the wires supply power to a sub panel, all the wires should be the same size and sheathed. And yes there needs to be a fourth wire so the ground and neutral wires are isolated at the sub panel.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Borchardt View Post
    And yes there needs to be a fourth wire so the ground and neutral wires are isolated at the sub panel.
    Not if the circuit is 240 volt only as stated.

    The neutral/grounded conductor is only required for 120 volt circuits and 120/240 volt circuits.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not if the circuit is 240 volt only as stated.

    The neutral/grounded conductor is only required for 120 volt circuits and 120/240 volt circuits.
    Oops, me bad. I forgot it was 240 volt only.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Borchardt View Post
    If the wires supply power to a sub panel, all the wires should be the same size and sheathed. And yes there needs to be a fourth wire so the ground and neutral wires are isolated at the sub panel.
    All the wires do not need to be the same size. It is common for the neutral to be smaller and even more so for the grounding conductor.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    All the wires do not need to be the same size. It is common for the neutral to be smaller and even more so for the grounding conductor.
    Minor point - Neutral can never be smaller than the EGC.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Unsheathed Branch circuit wires.

    IFF the wire were thermoset (and probably crumbly) I believe it could have been an open/knob-and-tube wiring install, and legal. Thermoplastic, I'm not so sure. I've heard about jurisdictions where there was so much dampness that they extended the permission to use K&T well past the era of rubber-covered tinned wiring. That may have been as long as a decade back, though, and it's not a report I tracked down.


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