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  1. #1
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    Default Correct size wires

    Does this look to be the correct size wire for this 200 amp breaker panel (CDRS 2 AWG 1 CDR 4 AWG 600V) is the writing on the service wires coming from the maiDSCN6803.JPGDSCN6808.JPGDSCN6811.JPGn shut off
    The switched main is the service panel at 200 amps, the service wires to secondary distribution panel are label as CDRS 2 AWG 4 AWG 600v on the side ? They look too small for a 200 amp service wires to the downstream panel
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    Last edited by Sam Morris; 10-08-2019 at 07:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Does this look to be the correct size wire for this 200 amp breaker panel (CDRS 2 AWG 1 CDR 4 AWG 600V) is the writing on the service wires coming from the maiDSCN6803.JPGDSCN6808.JPGDSCN6811.JPGn shut off
    It is hard to tell from your photos. The obvious answer is no.... BUT your limiting factor is not what is downstream but upstream. What is the wire and fuse size supplying that feed to the 200 amp breaker?
    Also, do you have a 4 wire feed and correct bonding assuming the fused disconnect switch is your service equipment.

    Jim Luttrall
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    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    First presumption: The left switch is the service equipment, correct?

    What are the fuse sizes? Putting the photos in like that makes it harder to open the photos (right click, open in new tab, then zoom in on them) and they need higher resolution.

    Also would help to have full shot of each (showing top to bottom of the panels), then zoom in closer for the various items (fuse sizes, how the cable goes through the sides of the panels, etc ... one can never take too many photos while on site, beats trying to guess at things later on).

    As Jim said, what matters is the fuse sizes, not the breaker size downstream.
    - The fuse sizes must be less than or equal to (not greater than) the rating of the conductors. A larger breaker downstream is not going to allow any more current than will get through the fuses.
    - If the fuses are larger than the rating of the conductors, that is a STOP RIGHT THERE item and needs to be addressed.

    The panel on the right is, I am presuming, not the service equipment panel (that is the switch panel with the fuses on the left), so treat the 'main' breaker in that panel as a 'panel main' (it is not a "service equipment main") and treat that panel as a 'remote' panel (as "not service equipment").

    Jerry Peck
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    First presumption: The left switch is the service equipment, correct?

    What are the fuse sizes? Putting the photos in like that makes it harder to open the photos (right click, open in new tab, then zoom in on them) and they need higher resolution.

    Also would help to have full shot of each (showing top to bottom of the panels), then zoom in closer for the various items (fuse sizes, how the cable goes through the sides of the panels, etc ... one can never take too many photos while on site, beats trying to guess at things later on).

    As Jim said, what matters is the fuse sizes, not the breaker size downstream.
    - The fuse sizes must be less than or equal to (not greater than) the rating of the conductors. A larger breaker downstream is not going to allow any more current than will get through the fuses.
    - If the fuses are larger than the rating of the conductors, that is a STOP RIGHT THERE item and needs to be addressed.

    The panel on the right is, I am presuming, not the service equipment panel (that is the switch panel with the fuses on the left), so treat the 'main' breaker in that panel as a 'panel main' (it is not a "service equipment main") and treat that panel as a 'remote' panel (as "not service equipment").
    Panel on right is the secondary panel, switched main is on left side, so the right panel has issues if were calling it a AKA Sub-Panel. It has two hots and a neutral coming in from the pole 200 AMP (three black wires at bottom of switched main) from there the red wire, black wire and copper strand wire goes out of switched main to the secondary panel. Is the service wires to the secondary panel rated for 200 AMPS ?? Does not look like it to me

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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Morning, Sam, Jim, Jerry, Members. Hope everyone is well and in good spirits today.

    Sam, members, Jim, Jerry, correct me if I am wrong.
    This appears to be nothing more than a Main disconnect. A: A Safety Switch and cartridge fuses followed by service equipment panel board and breakers downstream. I do not think it, the breaker panel board, meets other electrical service equipment. But then again, I am not paid to think. Just trying to help freely.

    As for the distribution panels main disconnect breaker ampacity and feeder conductors. As long as they, panel board and main disconnect breaker, meet the minimum AWG and lugs are correctly sized that would be fine, and Bob's your uncle mate. Any over sized conductors would be fine as well as long as they meet lugging size.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 10-09-2019 at 03:16 AM.
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Unless I've overlooked it, no one has mentioned the fact that this was not installed legally, so thinking about wire size is less an issue than the fact that apparently someone did "let's see if this will work" type wiring.


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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    Unless I've overlooked it, no one has mentioned the fact that this was not installed legally, so thinking about wire size is less an issue than the fact that apparently someone did "let's see if this will work" type wiring.
    Morning, David. How did you determine this?

    If so, illegally installed, that would be a installation violation for the AHJ to determine and conclude, unless there is a safety concern.

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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Morning, David. How did you determine this?

    If so, illegally installed, that would be a installation violation for the AHJ to determine and conclude, unless there is a safety concern.
    Robert, when I see 3-wire cable stuck from a service panel into a subpanel, sheath intact, no separate ground, possibly no connectors, I have to ask what else the installer kludged. Assuming I saw what I think I saw.


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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    Robert, when I see 3-wire cable stuck from a service panel into a subpanel, sheath intact, no separate ground, possibly no connectors, I have to ask what else the installer kludged. Assuming I saw what I think I saw.
    Morning, David.
    1: I see 3 black jacketed insulator cables being feed to the fused safety switch.
    2: I can not determine/observed how the service entrance cables terminate on white SEC cable feeding the service equipment panel, being referred to by some, rightly or wrongly, as the remote/sub/auxiliary panel board, to which I see a main breaker disconnect. So rightly or wrongly, I am referring to the panel board as the service panel as opposed to other service equipment.

    Not enough information from the pic.

    Sam. You have an image of the safety switch and cables?

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Morning, David.
    1: I see 3 black jacketed insulator cables being feed to the fused safety switch.
    2: I can not determine/observed how the service entrance cables terminate on white SEC cable feeding the service equipment panel, being referred to by some, rightly or wrongly, as the remote/sub/auxiliary panel board, to which I see a main breaker disconnect. So rightly or wrongly, I am referring to the panel board as the service panel as opposed to other service equipment.

    Not enough information from the pic.

    Sam. You have an image of the safety switch and cables?
    I think the service wires from the switched main to the AKA sub-panel are under sized for 200 amp, I'm I correct in saying this ?? Yes I do see the missing box wire connector missing at the top and sheathing should be removed going in box. Hope this helps

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    Last edited by Sam Morris; 10-09-2019 at 06:16 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Good morning!

    Just wondering if the missing box connectors are of no concern much less the missing hole plug?


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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    ... correct me if I am wrong.
    This appears to be nothing more than a Main disconnect. A: A Safety Switch and cartridge fuses followed by service equipment panel board and breakers downstream.
    The service equipment is THE FIRST means of disconnect, and with that switched panel with the fuses in it being "the first" means of disconnect, the left enclosure is "the service equipment".

    Jerry Peck
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The service equipment is THE FIRST means of disconnect, and with that switched panel with the fuses in it being "the first" means of disconnect, the left enclosure is "the service equipment".
    YES I understand Thank You


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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    Unless I've overlooked it, no one has mentioned the fact that this was not installed legally, so thinking about wire size is less an issue than the fact that apparently someone did "let's see if this will work" type wiring.
    David,

    We don't "know" that this was not installed legally ... however, the appearance does make one wonder "who did THAT".

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The service equipment is THE FIRST means of disconnect, and with that switched panel with the fuses in it being "the first" means of disconnect, the left enclosure is "the service equipment".
    If I did not write it that way, describing the electrical equipment that is, I was referring to it that way:-) Wouldn't be the first time. Lol.

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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Personally, I gauge cables and circuit conductors. Reach out to Sean Forgarty LLC and purchase a set of AWG gauges.

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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    First, let's start with service equipment on the left: what is the rating of the fuses?

    That is the key information needed before continuing.

    Jerry Peck
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    First, let's start with service equipment on the left: what is the rating of the fuses?

    That is the key information needed before continuing.
    200 amps


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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Looks like any report needs to say professional evaluation is required and don't bother to get into details. I can see plenty wrong from pictures that don't show everything that COULD be wrong so it's a bit useless speculating.

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

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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,

    We don't "know" that this was not installed legally ... however, the appearance does make one wonder "who did THAT".
    Jerry, of course I respect your knowledge of what's legal and what's not. I used the term loosely, to indicate "noncompliant with any edition of the NEC going back to way before that type of SE cable was first manufactured."

    If I were to guess, I'd hazard that "don't 'know'" refers to the fact that I have no idea what codes the jurisdiction has or has not adopted, nor whether a local AHJ waived any NEC requirements, intentionally, unthinkingly, or with written Special Perdition.

    Now that I've blathered on, what in fact is your reasoning?


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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    Jerry, of course I respect your knowledge of what's legal and what's not. I used the term loosely, to indicate "noncompliant with any edition of the NEC going back to way before that type of SE cable was first manufactured."

    If I were to guess, I'd hazard that "don't 'know'" refers to the fact that I have no idea what codes the jurisdiction has or has not adopted, nor whether a local AHJ waived any NEC requirements, intentionally, unthinkingly, or with written Special Perdition.

    Now that I've blathered on, what in fact is your reasoning?
    David,

    My reasoning is that there are still some areas which do not have codes, or require permits, which means that 'anyone can do whatever they want' and it is not illegal, thus it could be a legal installation in that area.

    Granted, there are fewer and fewer such areas, but I am sure that some still exist.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    First, let's start with service equipment on the left: what is the rating of the fuses?

    That is the key information needed before continuing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    200 amps
    The conductors downstream of the 200 amp fuses would need to be rated for at least 200 amps.

    Based on the 2011 NEC (and earlier editions going back for a few decades) Table 310.15(B)7 (the Table number has changed over the years) for dwelling services was:
    100 amp - #4 copper or #2 aluminium
    110 amp - #3 copper or #1 aluminium
    125 amp - #2 copper or #1/0 aluminium
    150 amp - #1 copper or #2/0 aluminium
    175 amp - #1/0 copper or #3/0 aluminium
    200 amp - #2/0 copper or #4/0 aluminium
    225 amp - #3/0 copper or #250 kcmil aluminium
    250 amp - #4/0 copper or #300 kcmil aluminium
    300 amp - #250 kcmil copper or #350 kcmil aluminium
    350 amp - #350 kcmil copper or #500 kcmil aluminium
    400 amp - #400 kcmil copper or #600 kcmil aluminium

    That changed in 2014 - those 'easy numbers went out', now it is essentially the following (from the 2017 NEC) 310.15(B)(7):
    - use the ampacity tables to find size:
    - - (1) for 100 amp through 400 amp services, service entrance conductors which supply the entire load of the dwelling, the minimum conductor rating shall be 83% of the service rating (rating of breaker or fuse which protects the service entrance conductors)
    - - (2) for 100 amp through 400 amp feeders, feeders which supply the entire load of the dwelling, the minimum conductor rating shall be 83% of the feeder rating (rating of the breaker or fuse which protects the feeder)

    Example 1: 200 amp service rating (breaker or fuse rating) 200 amp x 0.83 = 166 amp
    - 75 degree C rated equipment and 2/0 copper with 75 degree C rated conductor insulation (THHN, THW, THWN, USE) provides 175 amp ampacity, which meets or exceeds the minimum of 166 amp
    - The old table allowed 2/0 copper (no change).

    Example 2: 150 amp service rating (breaker or fuse rating) 150 amp x 0.83 = 124.5 amp
    - 75 degree C rated equipment and 1/0 copper with 75 degree C rated conductor insulation (THHN, THW, THWN, USE) provides 125 amp ampacity, which meets or exceeds the minimum of 124.5 amp
    - The old table allowed #1 copper ... that is a big change to 1/0 copper.

    It no longer is a easy table to look up and follow, you need to verify conductor insulation rating and make a table of the options to keep with you (more options now, more to look at).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Adding another example with edit (this is for comparison purposes, but this is only applicable to older installations for comparison while not being applicable to older installations - because the older codes are still applicable to those older installations):

    Older installations will typically have equipment which is rated for 60 degrees C, and any conductor connection to such 60 degree C rated equipment needs to use the 60 degree C ratings, which means:
    - Example 3: 200 amp service rating (breaker or fuse rating) 200 amp x 0.83 = 166 amp
    - - 60 degree C rated equipment and 4/0 copper with 60 degree C rated conductor insulation (TW, UF) provides 195 amp ampacity, which meets or exceeds the minimum of 166 amp
    - - NOTE: 60 degree C rated equipment and 3/0 copper with 60 degree C rating used for conductor insulation (even if the conductor is is replaced with conductors having a 75 degree C insulation rating) only provides 165 ampacity ... which does not meet or exceed the minimum of 166 amp

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 10-09-2019 at 04:37 PM. Reason: added other examples with edit
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The conductors downstream of the 200 amp fuses would need to be rated for at least 200 amps.

    That changed in 2014 - those 'easy numbers went out', now it is essentially the following (from the 2017 NEC) 310.15(B)(7):
    . . .
    It no longer is a easy table to look up and follow, you need to verify conductor insulation rating and make a table of the options to keep with you (more options now, more to look at).
    Good news for modern man: Table 310.12 in the 2020 NEC is the familiar "easy lookup."


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,

    My reasoning is that there are still some areas which do not have codes, or require permits, which means that 'anyone can do whatever they want' and it is not illegal, thus it could be a legal installation in that area.

    Granted, there are fewer and fewer such areas, but I am sure that some still exist.
    As in Georgia, most locations allow allows a property owner for residential service to do their own electrical work without being licensed or permitted, unless part of building/remodel requiring a permit then the electrical requires inspection along with all other work


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Correct size wires

    (Bumping to current top of list as I added additional examples to my previous post.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The conductors downstream of the 200 amp fuses would need to be rated for at least 200 amps.

    Based on the 2011 NEC (and earlier editions going back for a few decades) Table 310.15(B)7 (the Table number has changed over the years) for dwelling services was:
    100 amp - #4 copper or #2 aluminium
    110 amp - #3 copper or #1 aluminium
    125 amp - #2 copper or #1/0 aluminium
    150 amp - #1 copper or #2/0 aluminium
    175 amp - #1/0 copper or #3/0 aluminium
    200 amp - #2/0 copper or #4/0 aluminium
    225 amp - #3/0 copper or #250 kcmil aluminium
    250 amp - #4/0 copper or #300 kcmil aluminium
    300 amp - #250 kcmil copper or #350 kcmil aluminium
    350 amp - #350 kcmil copper or #500 kcmil aluminium
    400 amp - #400 kcmil copper or #600 kcmil aluminium

    That changed in 2014 - those 'easy numbers went out', now it is essentially the following (from the 2017 NEC) 310.15(B)(7):
    - use the ampacity tables to find size:
    - - (1) for 100 amp through 400 amp services, service entrance conductors which supply the entire load of the dwelling, the minimum conductor rating shall be 83% of the service rating (rating of breaker or fuse which protects the service entrance conductors)
    - - (2) for 100 amp through 400 amp feeders, feeders which supply the entire load of the dwelling, the minimum conductor rating shall be 83% of the feeder rating (rating of the breaker or fuse which protects the feeder)

    Example 1: 200 amp service rating (breaker or fuse rating) 200 amp x 0.83 = 166 amp
    - 75 degree C rated equipment and 2/0 copper with 75 degree C rated conductor insulation (THHN, THW, THWN, USE) provides 175 amp ampacity, which meets or exceeds the minimum of 166 amp
    - The old table allowed 2/0 copper (no change).

    Example 2: 150 amp service rating (breaker or fuse rating) 150 amp x 0.83 = 124.5 amp
    - 75 degree C rated equipment and 1/0 copper with 75 degree C rated conductor insulation (THHN, THW, THWN, USE) provides 125 amp ampacity, which meets or exceeds the minimum of 124.5 amp
    - The old table allowed #1 copper ... that is a big change to 1/0 copper.

    It no longer is a easy table to look up and follow, you need to verify conductor insulation rating and make a table of the options to keep with you (more options now, more to look at).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Adding another example with edit (this is for comparison purposes, but this is only applicable to older installations for comparison while not being applicable to older installations - because the older codes are still applicable to those older installations):

    Older installations will typically have equipment which is rated for 60 degrees C, and any conductor connection to such 60 degree C rated equipment needs to use the 60 degree C ratings, which means:
    - Example 3: 200 amp service rating (breaker or fuse rating) 200 amp x 0.83 = 166 amp
    - - 60 degree C rated equipment and 4/0 copper with 60 degree C rated conductor insulation (TW, UF) provides 195 amp ampacity, which meets or exceeds the minimum of 166 amp
    - - NOTE: 60 degree C rated equipment and 3/0 copper with 60 degree C rating used for conductor insulation (even if the conductor is is replaced with conductors having a 75 degree C insulation rating) only provides 165 ampacity ... which does not meet or exceed the minimum of 166 amp


    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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