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  1. #1
    Lee Nettnin's Avatar
    Lee Nettnin Guest

    Default Power to both buss bars

    Just came back from an inspection that had a 60 amp 120v service. I know this jumper is not correct, but what is the proper way to energize both sides of the panel box with only 120v coming in?
    Thanks, Lee

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  2. #2
    Todd Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    Lee,

    It looks like a 100 amp main disconnect and no visible grounds. Was this the main service?

    Todd


  3. #3
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    You got you something there...this needs an electrician and soon.


  4. #4
    Lee Nettnin's Avatar
    Lee Nettnin Guest

    Unhappy Re: Power to both buss bars

    Hi Todd,
    Yes, This is the main/only panel in the house. It is a 60 amp feed (yes I know the 100 amp breaker ain't right either). It was grounded only to the water pipe, and the panel box isn't bonded either, oh yeah and 1 double tap.
    Lee

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  5. #5
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    Just came back from an inspection that had a 60 amp 120v service.
    So you're saying this mess was protected by a 60-amp 120-volt service disconnect breaker/fuse elsewhere? Because the way it is hooked up is actually a 120-volt 200-amp main (albeit only feeding a total of 175-amps worth of breakers) and that feeder would be woefully undersized if not protected by something else "upstream". If it is, the 100-amp double-pole is really just a convenient set of lugs and acting like a main shut-off.

    I've never seen a 120-volt service or a jumper like that and have no idea if that would be the "correct" way to do it, although I'm not sure I can think of anything actually wrong with the method (assuming correct wire sizes, etc). However, there's too much else wrong to worry much about this and...it's "Sparky Time".

    Added after seeing the second photo...

    Ummmm, there's no other protection? Well....then it's very scary wrong!

    Last edited by Richard Moore; 05-03-2008 at 02:36 PM.

  6. #6
    Lee Nettnin's Avatar
    Lee Nettnin Guest

    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    Richard,
    The only other protection is in the box below the meter which is "supposed" to contain 60 amp fuses. I say "supposed to" because it was sealed by the utility and I did not cut the seal to investigate. So "assuming" the 60 amp fuse(s) are in place they would blow, BUT probably not before the line from them to the 100 amp breaker burnt through.
    I advised my client to replace the main line coming into the meter because it is frayed and to upgrade to 100 amp 220v, which is already at the weatherhead.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Nettnin View Post
    Just came back from an inspection that had a 60 amp 120v service. I know this jumper is not correct, but what is the proper way to energize both sides of the panel box with only 120v coming in?
    Thanks, Lee
    Lee,

    I think that might be a trick question. Chances are, there is probably no proper way to energize both sides without a 240 upgrade.

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  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    Lee...

    Don't put yourself out on a limb trying to solve this problem. Refer it to an electrician. I would think the house is loaded with other electrical issues as well. Just curious if the heat, water heating, and range is gas?


  9. #9
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    The box below the meter has a label stating it contains NO fuses!

    As for 240 (220) being available at the weatherhead, all I see is one un-grounded (hot) conductor along with the bare grounded conductor.

    Recommending upgrade is fine, but hopefully you are also reporting it as wrong, in need of repair, and a huge safety issue.

    Gotta go...the wife wants to hit the nursery.

    Last edited by Richard Moore; 05-03-2008 at 06:17 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    If you had to do this, couldn't you have a connector to the incoming feeder, and then have two wires coming from the connector to the 240 volt breaker. Sort of like a giant wire nut, but designed for three wires (1 incoming and 2 leaving).

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    WOW !! WOW !!!

    The box under the meter is a terminal box only and contains no fuses ( It says it right in the photo ) ....

    The service needs to be replaced , any State or local electrical inspector would have the power company take it off the grid unit it was replaced.....

    There should be a disconnect with a 60 amp breaker installed in front of the panel to protect the service entrance , which isn't worth protecting ...... Then you have to seperate the grounds ( HA HA what grounds ) and neutrals because the panel thats there becomes a sub panel.......

    It should all be replaced , none of it is worth saving....

    The only thing protecting the service is the Fuse out on the Primary side of the transformer ......

    Dave in NH


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    I can ALMOST sympathize with the guy who did this ... AFAIK, there are no single bussbar panels, and you really don't have this problem considered when they make panels. Rather than double-lug the breaker, the correct method would be to make the splice before the breaker - say, by connecting the supply wire to two pigtails - and then attaching the pigtails to the breaker.

    There still remains one BIG concern: I strongly suspect an illegal / non-permitted service change was performed, to replace a fusebox with circuit breakers.

    I say that because that house has 120v service .... something that pre-dates WW2. Had a permit been pulled, the PoCo would have almost certainly replaced the service with a modern 240v service.

    The house needs a detailed examination by a sparky. When that house was made, it was common to fuse the neutral as well as the hot - something we are not allowed to do these days. Add to that the age of the wiring, other improper 'upgrades' over the years, etc ... and there's a lot of room for error.

    Heck, they may have even negated the 'water bond/ground' with a length of plastic pipe.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    The "right way" to fix that is to replace it and do a service upgrade, anything less is "not the right way".

    That said ... *IF* the service entrance conductors fed a single 60 amp *SINGLE POLE* breaker in a 4 circuit panelboard (back feed the breaker, securing it in place properly), then have two 60 amp single pole breakers (each breaker on the same bus, typically this can be accomplished by separating the breakers with one blank space between them - making sure they are on the same bus which is fed by the single pole 60 amp main breaker) with conductors from those breakers feeding each main terminal in a panelboard with no main (just main terminals).

    That way, you still only have 120 volts, you still have both bus bars energized, and you still have only 60 amp main protection (from the first single pole breaker). The first single 60 amp single pole breaker becomes the service disconnect, that enclosure becomes the service equipment (neutral bonded to ground), and the downstream panel becomes a non-service equipment panel (neutral isolated from ground, fed by an insulated neutral conductor, two insulated hot conductors, and one equipment grounding conductor).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
    Lee Nettnin's Avatar
    Lee Nettnin Guest

    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    Thanks for all your comments.
    Just a follow up to some of the questions and comments.

    John, I also suspect no permit as I saw no sticker on the box, and I would like to believe no one would let this pass an electrical inspection. That said our utility provider has required the meters to be mounted on the exterior for the last 10 years or so whenever their is an upgrade.
    The water pipe ground is "ok", as I followed it back to the service entrance.

    Dave and Richard, Yes I see that the box does not contain any fuses. Thanks, my bad, I misread the box. The pic does not show it but there is another wire at the weatherhead that is capped off by the utility.

    James, Yes the house had quite a few electrical problems. The dryer, stove, range are all gas, and I told my client that there was no 220 in the house and until the service etc. was changed the panel box could not support electrical 220 appliances, because there was not enough amps coming in and presently no 220 volts.

    I told my client when I left that the box needed to be upgraded (yes I know its unsafe), and my report will defiantly convey the same.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Power to both buss bars

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Nettnin View Post
    I told my client when I left that the box needed to be upgraded (yes I know its unsafe), and my report will defiantly convey the same.
    Lee,

    I would not use the word "upgraded" in your report for that.

    "Upgrade" implies something is okay, but could be better if "upgraded".

    That is plain downright "not safe" and is "wrong" - thus it needs "correcting" ... not "upgrading".

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

  16. #16
    Lee Nettnin's Avatar
    Lee Nettnin Guest

    Smile Re: Power to both buss bars

    Thanks Jerry


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