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  1. #1
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
    Jim Zborowski Guest

    Default continuous neutral

    OK, I know I read this but can't find it. What does NEC say about neutral wire being cintinuous vs 2 piece at the meter base?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    As long as there are terminals for it to land on, no problem.

    Besides, how else would they ground the meter base if the neutral/ground did not land on a terminal there?

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

  3. #3
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    The discrepancy seems to be whether or not the neutral wire must be one piece through the meter base or if it can run from the weatherhead to the meter base, then another piece from the meter base to the service panel.


  4. #4
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    There are two lugs in the meter base for neutrals. One is for the power company and the other is for the neutral to the service panel. Just curious....have you ever looked inside a meter base?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    At first I thought you were meaning the neutral was simply run through the meter can without being connected to it.

    Okay, If there is one terminal, open sided, that the neutral slips into, then the screw is tightened, that would allow for the neutral to be continuous, yet grounded at the meter. It would be a challenge to properly strip that section of insulation back, but I've done similar for other reasons, so it can be done.

    Being as I seldom open meter cans, I don't recall seeing that type.

    However, as I have done many code inspections the last couple of years, I have had the opportunity to look inside the meter cans prior to power, and in those (to my recollection) all had two sets of three terminals: Phase A, Phase B, Neutral, one set above the meter plug in connections and another set below the meter plug in connections, with the neutral lugs being connected on a short bus bar.

    Thus, the code (NEC) would not address that other than through 110.3(B) Installation and Use. Where all listed and labeled items are required to be installed and used in accordance with their listing and labeling information (not a code quote, but that is what it is stating).

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

  6. #6
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    I know exactly what is in a meter base. What I am asking is, is there anything in the NEC that says the neutral wire is to be continuous from the weather head to the panel., as in 1 wire, not two connected at the meter base. The power company connects at the weatherheadnot the meter base. The customer has to provide the wire extending out of the weatherhead for them to connect to. They do not connect at the meter base.


  7. #7
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: continuous neutral

    No...


  8. #8
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
    Jim Zborowski Guest

    Default Re: continuous neutral

    Yes..........thats the way they it is here, not sure how they do it where you're at. I think Jerry is getting what I'm asking. The neutral terminal has two slip covers with set screws, so it would be possible to strip the wire and insert it without cutting it. But, does the NEC say it can't be cut. If what I'm reading from Jerry's response, it doesn't make any difference if it's one pice or two from the weatherhead to the panel.

    Last edited by Jim Zborowski; 07-10-2008 at 07:57 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: continuous neutral

    How would you wire an underground service meter base? Would you expect the power company to provide you with a neutral long enough to reach your neutral bar?


  10. #10
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
    Jim Zborowski Guest

    Default Re: continuous neutral

    Well, when I wired my new house for undergroung service, they reqired I dig the trench to the pulpit, they supplied the wire but I had to drop it into the trench, connect to the meter base and the panel, and leave them a 3' loop at the pulpit. Thet then ran it into the pulpit and made the connection inside, and inserted the meter into the base. What can I say.....thats how they do it here. For some odd reason, if you have overhead service, they don;t supply the wire. Go figure.


  11. #11
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    I stand corrected and apologize. In my 30 years as a licensed electrician the power company has always wired to the top of the meter base. The electrician wired from the bottom.


  12. #12
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    Must be how you guys do it there. Here, it's a whole different ball game.
    I've always run on wire each to the top of the base, and a separate set to the panel. We have one lineman now who says his town wants the neutral one piece from the splice at the weatherhead all the way to the panel. I know it's possible, but is it required by code. As far as I can see, it's not.


  13. #13
    Frank Mauck's Avatar
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    There is nothing in the National Electrical Code that requires the Grounded Conductor (Neutral) to be continuous from the weatherhead to the panel. Article 230.46 of the NEC permits the Service Entrance Conductors to be spliced or tapped. It is the grounding electrode conductor that is required to be continuous but also has exceptions.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Zborowski View Post
    But, does the NEC say it can't be cut.

    No, the NEC does not prohibit cutting the neutral.

    Added with edit: I should have read all the way down to Frank's response before posting - his post is correct and goes into it further than my post does.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  15. #15
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    Thanks guys.....that's what I remembered too, just having a dispute with an electrician. Even though the way the terminal is made it's possible, it wouth be a fight to the finish to pull the wire thu. Maybe he's just a glutton for punishment.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    Jim Z, I think you might be confusing this with the requirement for a continuous ground between multiple rods.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: continuous neutral

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Zborowski View Post
    Even though the way the terminal is made it's possible, it wouth be a fight to the finish to pull the wire thu.
    Jim,

    The terminals I'm thinking of you don't have to 'pull the wire through', and would not want to as that would damage the insulation.

    Those terminals have a removable side piece making the terminal open sided. You would strip that section of insulation off the conductor, push the conductor sideway into the open side of the terminal, then re-install the removable side piece. That keeps the terminal from spreading open when the terminal lug is torqued down onto the conductor.

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

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